24-hour Money Lender Guide: Legal Personal Loans from Licensed Moneylenders in Singapore


A financial crisis that requires quick cash may arise unexpectedly. You may need a fast cash loan to sort out medical bills, improve business cash flow, or sort out any emergencies. These financial emergencies may occur at any time of the day. Imagine facing a money crisis on a Wednesday night at 2 am, or during the weekend.

Banks in Singapore do offer loans though it might be quite tough to catch their operating hours. They usually operate from 8.30am to 4pm. That is within the usual working hours of Singaporeans. Saturday is not a working day for banks in Singapore, and only some will open for half of Saturday. With their opening hours and red tape, your personal loan application might take days to approve.

Unlike traditional money lenders who take a long time to approve loans, licensed money lenders will come in handy as they offer fast cash loans.

In this article, we explore licensed money lenders in Singapore and what they offer. If you are in a tight financial position, this article is the guide you need to find the best money lenders in Singapore. Stay with us as we discuss 24-hour money lenders and how to spot a licensed one.

What Does A Licensed Money Lender Do?

Licensed money lenders are approved by the Ministry of Law to provide instant personal loans to Singaporeans, permanent and resident. They also provide fast cash to foreigners with a valid employment pass. A licensed moneylender will have their unique licence number on MinLaw’s list of licensed moneylenders.

Licensed money lenders process the loans quickly and apply less stringent credit rules. With licensed money lenders, you can get the cash in minutes without much credit scrutiny. As a result of the convenience and flexibility, licensed lenders often charge a higher interest rate. Of course, as with all loans, the sooner you repay the soon, the less interest you pay.

If you are looking for cash urgently, licensed lenders are the alternative source of funds. They offer small loans, which can be as low as a few hundred bucks.

When applying for a loan, here are the documents you will need.

  • Proof of identity documents such as NRIC or passport.
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of income

Where Can I find 24-hour Money Lenders In Singapore?

Unfortunately, 24-hour money lenders don’t exist, but rather they have websites that run throughout the day.

Be on the lookout for any lender that claims to open for all of 24 hours. It is likely an illegal money lender.

Licensed money lenders have an online portal where you can apply for a loan at any time. It reduces your loan waiting time with digitalised applications. However, you will have to wait for disbursement the next day. As per the ministry law, the lenders can only disburse the loan after an in-person visit to their premises where they do the verification.

How To Differentiate Between A Licensed Money Lender & An Unlicensed Money Lender?

Licensed money lenders are governed by the ministry’s law, and they follow the set regulations. It is not easy to get a legal moneylending license in Singapore, so rest assured that they will follow all the rules and regulations. In this section, we look at the laws and regulations that licensed money lenders must abide by when lending money.

1. The terms and conditions of your loan contract

Before you sign the money contract, the licensed money lender is supposed to make sure you understand what you are signing. The contract should include all the terms, including repayment period, payment method, interest rate, and other details that pertain to the loan.

Licensed moneylenders are obligated to explain all the loan terms in a language that you understand.

On the other hand, unlicensed money lenders are not bound by the law and may not offer any contracts. They are not keen on following set regulations. These unlicensed money lenders will usually try to attract your attention using SMS messages and WhatsApp messages.

Do not be fooled by an unlicensed moneylender. No fees have to be paid to have your loan approved by any licensed moneylender. Any loan processing fees will be deducted from your principal loan amount.

2. Interest rates and late repayment fees

Licensed money lenders can charge up to 4% per month for their loans. Plus, they can only charge up to 4% interest for late repayment. The lenders can’t impose fees and costs that exceed the original loan given to you.

For instance, if you take a loan of $3,000, fees, admin costs, and other charges can’t exceed the principal amount you have borrowed.

3. Advertisement channels

Licensed money lenders are allowed to advertise their services through business or consumer directories or websites belonging to licensed money lenders. Any other lenders’ advertisements you see may not belong to licensed money lenders. If you receive an SMS offering cheap loans, be wary as those can be loan sharks.

4. The maximum loan amount you can obtain

How much can you borrow in Singapore? There are set limits on how much you can borrow in Singapore. The law is clear on how many unsecured loans you can borrow. Below is a schedule of how you can borrow.

Annual IncomeSingapore citizen and permanent residentForeigners residing in Singapore
Less than $10,000$3,000$500
$10,000 but less than $20,000$3,000$3,000
$20,000 and above6 times the monthly income6 times the monthly income

Any lender offering more than the above set limit is probably unlicensed. Before taking any loan from a lender, make sure you have the below information. Ask them all the questions on your mind and leave no stones unturned. A professional licensed moneylender will make the effort to explain your customized loan to you. If they are rude or if they attempt to hide certain information, you can report them or choose another lender.

  • Interest rates
  • Late interest charges
  • Other fees that may be charged
  • Installment payment details

5. Blackmail or threat in the event of late payment.

Licensed money lenders don’t intimidate or blackmail, threaten, damage, or take control of your property in the event you make late payments. They will not threaten, intimidate, or cause you distress. If you are unable to pay, renegotiate your payment terms. If you are still not able to pay, then file for bankruptcy.

Licensed money is governed by the Ministry of Law, and it is critical to confirm the lender’s status before borrowing.

6. Other signs that you are dealing with an unlicensed/illegal money lender include:

  • Threats and abusive language
  • Retains your documents.
  • Ask you to sign an incomplete contract.
  • Grants you a loan without requiring verification and sign-off of a contract.
  • withholds part of the loan.

What Are The Signs Of A Loan Scam?

Unlicensed money lenders easily start up. All they need is a website and a non-existent shop. To help distinguish between licensed and unlicensed lenders, here is what you should look out for:

Loan disbursement

A licensed moneylender will request a face-to-face verification at their physical shop.

While both licensed and unlicensed lenders are likely to accept online applications, only the licensed lender must verify and disburse the loan physically. One of the tell-tale signs of an unlicensed lender is that they allow online application and disbursement. They will send you an SMS, email, or phone number without any physical verification.

It helps to confirm the business location of the lender before applying for the loan. If there is no physical outlet, then this should be taken as a red flag.

Fees and other loan costs.

Unlicensed money lenders will ask for processing fees, admin fees, and other upfront costs. Some of these unlicensed lenders will even ask for fees before they disburse the loan.

Licensed lenders don’t ask for any upfront fees; instead, the money is deducted from the principal you receive. Loan sharks and unlicensed money lenders charge upwards of 4% in interest and other fees. Check out the interest rates before accepting any loan.

Physical address

Licensed lenders require you to go to their office for verification, while that is not a requirement for loan sharks and unlicensed lenders. If the lender you are working with has no address, then they are most likely loan sharks.

Advertising channels

Loan sharks and unlicensed money lenders will send you SMS and emails advertising their products. They will try to entice you with offers so that you can borrow from them. These are violations of advertising rules, and that is a red flag.

Licensed lenders only advertise through the allowed channels and any violation results in revocation of their licenses.


What Are The Fees That Licensed Money Lenders Can Charge?

Licensed money lenders are allowed to charge up to 4% interest per month for both unsecured and secured loans. In addition, licensed lenders can only charge 4% in late interest fees per month.

For instance, if you take a loan of $5,000 and only $2,000 is due, the lender will only charge a late payment fee on the $2,000. The balance of $3,000 is not due and no interest is charged.

In summary, a licensed lender can also charge expenses as below

  • Fees should not exceed $60 for each month one is late
  • Fees should not exceed 10% of the principal loan amount.
  • Legal costs as ordered by the court for a successful claim

The total cost can’t exceed the principal loan amount.

What Are Credit Scores?

A credit bureau credit score refers to a four-digit number assigned based on your past credit payment history. The score ranges from 1000 to 2000, with 1000 being the lowest and 2000 being the highest. If you have 2000, it means you have the lowest chance of defaulting.

Below are the credit score risk grades in Singapore.

RatingScoreProbability of default
AA1911-20000% to 0.27%
BB1844-19100.27% to 0.67%
CC1825 – 18430.67% to 0.88%
DD1813 – 18240.88% to 1.03%
EE1782 – 18121.03% to 1.58%
FF1755 – 17811.58% to 2.28%
GG1724 – 17542.28% to 3.48%
HH1000 – 17233.46% to 100%

What Should I Do If A Licensed Money Lender Is Harassing Me?

Harassment or use of abusive language by a lender is considered unfair practice by the money lender registry. If you experience such behavior, it is advisable to lodge a complaint with the registry of money lenders.

Report the lender to the registry by submitting the business name, contact information, and license. You can reach the registry through their website or telephone number. The details of the complaint are kept confidential.

Officials at the Ministry of Law may require you to attend an interview as they seek to find more details on the issue at hand. You will need information on the loan details and how to deal with the money lenders.

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