When looking for a licensed moneylender, you need to keep in mind these key points:
- Before meeting with any moneylender, you should first consider any other alternative, such as help from family, or consider help offered by various government agencies. You should contact these agencies to find out more about any help they offer before you seek a loan.
- You are obliged by law to fulfil any loan contract that you enter with a licensed moneylender.
- The licence laws that moneylenders work under, require that all moneylenders need to explain in depth the terms of a loan to you in a language you understand and to also provide you with a copy of the signed loan contract. Make certain you understand all of the terms and conditions of the contract, the repayment schedule, the internet rate that is being charged and other fees that are applicable.
- Carefully consider before signing any contract term that permits the moneylender to place a ‘caveat’ on the profits from the sale of any real estate upon defaulting on loan repayments. When such a ‘caveat’ is placed on your property, you will not be able to sell that real estate until you first repay the moneylender in full.
- You should shop for different moneylenders that offer the most favourable terms. You do not need to hurry into agreeing to a loan contract until you are satisfied with this lender’ terms and conditions.
Even when the moneylender is licensed, reconsider them if they:
- Use language that is abusive, or behave in a means that is threatening to you or your family;
- Ask for your SingPass user ID and/or password;
- Retain your NRIC card or any other personal ID documents;
- Require you to sign a blank or Note of Contract for the loan that is incomplete;
- Approve a loan for you without giving you a copy of the loan papers and/or without explaining to you all the terms and conditions.
- Approve your loan without doing‘due diligence’ or approving a loan by SMS, over the phone or by email before they have even received your loan application and your supporting documents such as payslips, and income tax papers.
- Keeping some part of your loan principal for any reason is against the law.
Such practices are against the law. If any of the moneylenders do any of these things to you, immediately report this moneylender to the ‘Registry of Moneylenders’, with the moneylender’s business name, business licence and phone numbers for contact.