There are several advantages to borrowing money from a moneylender, including faster transactions and lack of collateral. However, it’s essential to look for a lender with a license who observes the prescribed rules and regulations. If you live in Singapore or are a foreigner and need to borrow money, it would be worthwhile to know that the Ministry of Law has a list of licensed money lender legally allowed to engage in money lending. Why is the list essential, and what details deserve your attention? Continue reading to find out.
What is a Licensed List of Money Lenders?
As mentioned above, the Ministry of Law in Singapore lists lenders from whom you should borrow money if you need to. It keeps updating the list from time to time, so it’s advisable to check it for regular updates. As of December 2021, 156 lenders are authorized to lend money to the people.
Details Mentioned in the List
The list contains everything you need to borrow money safely and securely by browsing through the necessary information, including the business’s name, address, license number, landline number, and company URL. If the authorities have suspended any money lender, they will mention it in the list. Similarly, if someone’s license has been suspended for some reason, it will be discussed separately at the bottom of the list for your convenience. Each information has a particular significance, from the name to the URL.
Things You Should Check
The first thing you should check in the list containing the name of licensed lenders is the business name since it plays an important role. Any advertising, marketing material, circular or other document related to the lender will be considered false and misleading if it does not contain the business name. Further, if the name is not displayed to be easily readable, the lender will be responsible for the consequences. The law also says that the person who lends the money should have the words “Licensed Moneylender” attached to their place of business in the English language. You must borrow money from a licensee who has displayed the name of their business.
Contact Details or Address
The second thing that you should check to ensure whether a moneylender in Singapore is trustworthy or not is to check their address or contact details. Subsection 1 of the Moneylenders Act deals with this part of the law. They should have a detailed contact on display at their office or the place from which they operate, and it should have a pin code, among other details that you or anyone can easily verify. You should avoid approaching someone who does not have a residential or business address, phone number, and any additional information that you think is desirable.
According to the Moneylenders Act of Singapore, all persons involved in lending money to borrowers should possess a valid and updated license. The only exception is excluded, or exempted lenders and both are usually mentioned clearly in the list. According to subsection 1A of the Act, it is illegal to practice unlicensed moneylending, and if anyone is found doing so, will have to pay a fine of not less than 50,000 SGD$ and not more than 500,000 SGD$. In other circumstances, the authorities could punish them with a penalty of not more than 30,000 SGD$ and not more than 300,000 SGD$ and an imprisonment term of up to four years. A second offense of the same type will attract a fine of not less than 30,000 SGD$ and not more than 300,000 SGD$, with a total jail term of up to seven years.
Terms of the Loan
Even though it may sound obvious, you should be clear regarding the loan terms before completing taking it. The law states that the lender should inform you in writing of the terms and conditions and all the other information concerning it. They should also have the written statement signed by either you or your agent to acknowledge that you have been adequately informed of the terms and conditions. If you do not understand English, they should explain the terms before you sign the document in a language that you know. You should also ask for a copy of the contract and keep it with you until the loan is paid off.
You should always borrow money from a list of licensed money lenders that the Ministry of Law releases in Singapore, which keeps updating the list regularly. Borrowing money from a lender is a quick and hassle-free process but should be proceeded with the greatest caution.
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