Everything You Need to Know About Moneylenders in Singapore

The cost of living in Singapore has constantly been on the rise and with the job market so tight, many of us have found ourselves in debt. Especially if you have not been frugal with your expenses and saving money, you indefinitely need a loan. There are several directions you can go in under such a circumstance – you can ask your friends and family for a loan and pay them back as and when you can, you can go to bank or you can approach a licensed moneylender. Most of us take the route to the bank because banks have been slashing their rates with increasing competition in the financial market.

what-you-need-to-know-about-moneylenders-in-singapore

Is your annual income more than S$20,000?

To get a loan from a bank (at least at decent interest rates), more often than not Singaporean citizens and Permanent Residents must earn at least S$20,000 per annum. If you are a foreigner, it will make it more difficult to get a personal loan in Singapore because many banks do not offer personal loans to foreigners. Additionally, you may be required to earn a minimum of S$45,000 per annum to be eligible.

How much can you borrow?

Banks are very reluctant to offer personal loans to customers whose annual income does not exceed S$20,000 simply because personal loans are largely unsecured loans making them ‘high risk’ in nature. And if you throw your less than average annual income into the mix, you are seen as flight risk to them.

But let’s say your annual income does not touch the S$20,000 mark. In that case, moneylenders in Singapore can legally lend you up to S$3,000. On the other hand, if you earn more than S$20,000 per annum, they can offer you a loan up to 2X to 4X your salary.

What kind of loan can you expect from Moneylenders?

The lender policy varies between different lenders. For instance, some lenders can offer you more flexible personal loans when compared to others and can even be tailored to suit your financial requirements. The interest rates and the terms of your loan will help you distinguish between different moneylenders. The loan amount that you are eligible for can also depend on the repayment tenure that you choose.

How to choose a moneylender?

How do you choose the right top, the perfect bag or the best restaurant to dine in? You window shop and do your research until you find one that suits you and your wallet. That is exactly how you need to look for a moneylender as well. Shop around, speak with different customer service agents of different moneylenders you are interested in and pick one that offers you the best deal.

Beware of Scams

There are many online as well as offline moneylenders who are unlicensed and scammers that are just waiting to loot you out of your hard earned money. This is where your mad research skills will come into play. All licensed moneylenders in Singapore need to pass the ‘Moneylender’s Test’ conducted by the Registry of Moneylenders. Upon passing the test, if the Registry of Moneylenders deems the business fit for the moneylending industry, they will have to apply for the money lending license. You can find the complete list of licensed moneylenders on the official Ministry of Law website under “List of Licensed Moneylenders in Singapore”. Be careful when making a deal and make sure you are not being cheated. If the package offered to you is too good to be true, that may well be the case.

The upside to all this is that the government has come down heavily on such scam artists and have also heavily fined licensed moneylenders who employ similar techniques with expletive content and SMS sent out in bulk to Singaporeans.

So there you have it – don’t be disheartened if your bank loan application has been rejected. There are always other legal institutions such as licensed moneylenders you can approach for extra cash with security.

Everyone Loves Cashback Credit Cards in Singapore

A report that was released a few months ago said that around 70% of the surveyed people in Singapore preferred a cashback credit card. Dining discounts were also highly favoured by Singaporeans. And to that we say – of course, lah! Reward points are great, but they take time to accumulate. Cashback is like an instant discount. You swipe your credit card, and you get the cashback if it meets the criteria. Simple as that. As for dining being our favourite promotions category – what to do, we all love food so much!

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Let’s take this opportunity to go over the cashback credit card market in Singapore. Many banks have, in the past couple of years, either introduced new cashback cards or revamped their old cards to make them more attractive. Here are 5 cashback credit cards we think you’d love:

Citi Cash Back Credit Card:

This card gives you 8% cashback on grocery shopping and dining, 20.88% cashback on petrol at Esso, 20.8% discount at Shell, 8% rebate at other petrol stations and 0.25% cashback for all other retail purchases. However, you can avail this cashback only if your total bill for the month is S$888 or more, and you can only get up to S$25 cashback in each category. You will get the amount in your account once you accrue S$50. The cashback never expires.

ANZ Optimum World MasterCard Credit Card:

This credit card allows you to choose a favourite category for its 5% cashback scheme. The categories to choose from are: Dining and Leisure, Travel, Shopping and Groceries. This gives you the freedom to choose your discounts in the category that you spend the most on. Moreover, you can change the category every quarter before the 25th of the preceding month – that is, by December 25th for the January-March quarter and so on. This means that you can change your category if you expect any particular expense to spike up in the following months. On all other categories, you earn a standard 1% cash rebate. These cash rebates have no ceiling attached to them, so you can earn unlimited rebates in your chosen category every month. You accumulate these cashbacks in the form of Optimum$, which can be redeemed online. But remember that Optimum$ expire within 3 years of their accrual.

POSB Everyday Credit Card:

POSB’s lone card, the Everyday Credit Card, gives up to 9% rebate on weekend dining, 3% discount on weekday dining and up to 15% additional discount on total dining bill at selected restaurants. It also gives you up to 20.1% savings on petrol at SPC, 5% cash rebate for groceries at Sheng Siong, 3% on health and personal care at Watsons, 1% on recurring utility bills from SP Services, 1% off on recurring mobile, cable TV, internet bills and in-store purchases at StarHub, and 0.3% cash rebate on all other transactions. The requirement is that you should spend a minimum of S$700 on your card every month. The rebates are not subject to an expiry date and can be easily redeemed.

OCBC 365 Credit Card:

OCBC’s 365 Credit Card gives you 6% off on local weekend dining, and 3% discount on local weekday dining as well as overseas dining. All online spending, grocery shopping, personal care shopping and recurring bills from StarHub, SingTel and H1 give you a 3% cash rebate. You also get up to 23.9% cashback at Caltex petrol filling and up to 18.3% off at Esso stations. All other retail transactions give you 0.3% cashback. A minimum monthly spend of S$600 is required to avail these cashback offers. The maximum cashback in a month is S$80.

UOB One Card:

This card gives tier-based cash rebate, with monthly spends of up to S$1,000 being rewarded by a 3.33% rebate and spends of S$2,000 per month earning you a 5% cashback. You also have to make at least 3 purchases every month to qualify. You also get up to 20.8% off on petrol purchases at Shell, and up to 24% at Caltex. You also earn SMART$ 10% additional discounts at 900 selected merchants including The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Metro, Cathay Cineplexes, AirAsia and Cold Storage. It also allows you to get a UOB One account with up to 3.33% interest. Of OF course, there are also several dining deals giving you up to 50% discounts on food bills.

So, which of these cards do you think is suitable for you?

Some strategies that can help you earn more rewards and miles

For most people, earning reward points on their new credit card is the most important thing. Maximizing the rewards actually means a lot to such people. Well, if you get to know about certain strategies and tips about earning more miles and points, won’t it be awesome? Let us talk more about maximizing your rewards on the credit card that you use.

To avail signup bonuses you must hit the required spending

A signup bonus is nothing but a set of additional points, cash or miles which you receive only after spending a particular amount using your credit card within a specific time frame. Every credit card does not have sign up bonuses. However, the competitive rewards card offered by different banks do have sign up bonuses associated with them. It is an obvious fact that if you do not spend a particular amount you will not be receiving the sign up bonus. In such a case, it does not even matter how big or beneficial the sign up bonus actually is.

It is definitely a good idea to apply for a credit card that has sign up bonuses associated with it. The minimum that is required to avail the bonus should not be a very difficult number for you. You must ensure that you do not go into a debt in order to meet the minimum spend for the sign up bonus. Let us say, if you must spend SGD 3000 in 3 months for availing the sign up bonus, but all you can charge your credit card with is an amount of SGD 500 every month, then the bonus will be negated partially by the finance charges. You must avoid carrying any debt on your credit card, until and unless the circumstance is absolutely unavoidable. The best idea is to go for a credit card with a minimum spend that suits you and your budget.

In case your card offers any additional bonus then add an authorized user

Some of the credit cards offered by the banks do offer sign up bonuses if you add an authorized user within a particular time frame. However, the authorized user that you add must make purchases during that stipulated time frame. In case your new credit card offers this, then adding a user can be a great plan to earn those extra points that you are looking for. Go ahead and add a college aged child or a partner and enhance the benefits for yourself!

But before you can do any of this, it is of great importance that you actually understand what an authorized user truly is. This person who you add to the credit card will be able to use the credit as well as the benefits, but is not legally liable to make any payments for the credit card. If you feel like removing an authorised user from your credit card you may do that anytime. However, talk to you card issuer once about any effect on your bonus, before you remove the user.

When you are shopping online, use bonus mall

Bonus mall is basically a shopping portal which lets you avail great rewards and discounts on all the purchases that you make online. In order to use it, you have to go to the bonus mall of the issuer and select the particular retailer of your choice before you buy anything from there. After this, make the payments using your credit card to reap those additional rewards.

If applicable, opt into the category for bonus rewards

In case the credit card that you use has reward categories, all you have to do is opt in quarterly in order to avail the advantages. Otherwise, you will keep receiving the standard rewards that are typically lower.

 

Make use of your credit card for all the things that do not require a fee

In order to earn rewards, several expenditures can be added on the credit card that you use and then paid off before the last date of the repayment. Add things like groceries, gas, entertainment spending, travel expenses, utilities and subscriptions on the credit card that you use. But ensure that you pay these off every month.

Other expenditures like quarterly tax payments or rent, may trigger a particular fee if you pay them using your credit card. Avoid that extra fee by paying these with a bank draft or cheque. This is a significant saving and is definitely more than any reward that you can win.

Couple up the credit cards

Some of the credit cards work better together when you are thinking of maximizing the reward points. For example, if you have two credit cards, Chase Sapphire Preferred Cards and Chase Freedom, you can actually use the combination of the two cards to enjoy the maximum benefits. Enjoy five percent bonus categories and also the Chase Ultimate Rewards website in order to redeem rewards that maximizes your points. Use the Chase Freedom for all the purchases that are with 5 percent rewards. And then you can transfer the points to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card that you have in order to redeem the points on travel when you use the website of Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Conclusion – Credit cards can be prove to be extremely beneficial to use when you know how to use one in the right way. Making the late payments or skipping payments if not advisable if you wish to maintain a good credit score. You can also apply for a personal loan using your credit card. However, the personal loan will depend on the credit limit that you currently have and the repayment history. Some of the banks providing the best credit cards in Singapore are OCBC bank, DBS Bank, UOB Bank, Bank of China, Citibank, Standard Chartered, ICICI, POSB, etc. The credit cards are designed in a way to offer innovative and customisable solutions to you. The different credit cards are unique and meant for different spending habits. Choose the credit card that completely suits your purposes. Maintain a healthy usage and keep a score which will only increase your creditworthiness. Before you choose a credit card for yourself, make sure that you indulge yourself in both quantitative and qualitative research and then select the one that you need.

POSB Credit Card – One for All and All for One

Unlike other banks in Singapore, POSB offers only 1 Credit Card product. While you might think that the bank is at a disadvantage for not providing its customers with more choices, you might not need them when a single card offers widespread rebates and discounts across most categories! POSB in fact has been smart about what its Credit Card offers its takers and here is why – more often than not when we are presented with numerous choices, we get confused because we like one or more features from multiple cards. But here in front of us we have a single card with features from a plethora of categories minimizing our anxiety over picking the right one.

At One Glance:

Just taking a glance at what POSB Everyday Credit Card has to offer is tempting enough. You can receive cash rebates up to 9% on your everyday essentials and dining adventures across Singapore. The everyday essentials partner merchants of the bank cover some of the most popular establishments on the island including:

  • SPC
  • Sheng Siong
  • StarHub
  • SP Services
  • Watsons and many more

What’s a one for all card?

Well, you can use the POSB Everyday Card as a Credit Card, an ATM Card or an EZ Link Card! Yes, you heard it right. As a POSB Credit Card, it offers the MasterCard contactless payment feature wherein you simply have to tap and go for your purchases without the requirement of a signature. You can make payments of up to S$100 for each transaction at more than 30,000 establishments in Singapore that accept this type of payment.

You can link your POSB Card to your Savings Account and use it as an ATM Card. Furthermore, you can top up this card and use it as your EZ Link Card as well.

What’s inside the package?

This POSB Credit Card is full of surprises and benefits!

  • You can save up to 20% on your petrol purchases at SPC.
  • You can earn cash rebates of up to 5% when you purchase groceries at Sheng Siong.
  • If Watson’s is your go to for all your healthcare and beauty needs, use your POSB Credit Card and receive 3% cash rebate.
  • Pay your recurring utility bills at SP Services, your mobile bills at StarHub, broadband bills, digital cable or even purchases in stores and receive 1% cash rebate.
  • You will receive 0.3% cash rebate on all your other spends.

Is redeeming rebates a complicated process?

Absolutely not! A lot of us lazy souls don’t want to go through the complicated process involved in redeeming our points, sifting through catalogues and just let our points expire. If you fall under this category too, then this card is perfect for you because it offers instant redemption of rebates at more than 400 partner establishments across the island! Some of the popular merchants include:

  • Pet Lovers Centre
  • Popular/Harris/ Urbanwrite/ Prologue
  • SPC
  • SP Services
  • StarHub
  • Watsons

Another way to redeem your DAILY$ rebates is via Online Banking through iBanking where you have the option to use your rebates to offset your future credit card bills OR even redeem taxi vouchers at CityCab taxi and Comfort taxi. This will definitely help you make full use of your rebates.

How does this card make life easier?

With the POSB Everyday Credit Card you will never miss a payment on your recurring essential bills. By using this card, you can consolidate all your bills into this single account and make a onetime bill payment every month. Additionally, you will continue to earn cash rebates when you pay your bills using your credit card.

How does this card benefit shopaholics?

If you are a shopaholic and spend a lot on your retail purchases, try My Preferred Payment Plan offered on your POSB Everyday Card where you can combine and convert your retail purchases into repayments of 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, 24 months or 36 months. What’s even more fantastic is that you can avail this plan at 0% interest and a very minimal processing fee.

Who can apply for the POSB Everyday Card?

This card makes life extremely convenient with minimum criteria imposed on eligibility. Anyone who is at least 21 years old can apply for this card. If you are a Singaporean or a Permanent Resident, you must earn a minimum of S$30,000 and above per annum. If you a foreigner, you must earn a minimum of S$45,000 and above per annum. The principal card costs S$128.40 and the supplementary card costs S$64.20. You will enjoy a fee waiver of 1 year when you apply for this card.

Anything else I need to know to make up my mind and apply for this card?

Apply for this card online by September 30, 2016 and receive Gift Vouchers worth S$100 from Takashimaya.

5 Things to Know About Credit Card Payments via Instalments

There are a lot of things in life that we desire but can’t have even with a credit card. The price tags of our desires are ready to slap us in the face and bring us back to reality. This is because desirable things aren’t exactly reasonably priced, otherwise they wouldn’t be desirable in the first place. Using a credit card to fulfill our dream purchases isn’t exactly a solution either and why is that, you wonder. This is because, credit cards are borrowed money that charge one of the highest interest rates that are more likely to bankrupt us than help fulfill our dreams if we splurge on them. But do you know everything your credit card has to offer you that you can spin in your favor?

Here are things you must know about instalment payments and what they can do for your credit card dues –

The concept called EMIs or Equated Monthly Instalments
Whether you want to treat yourself with a luxury handbag, electronics, clothes or simply spread your purchases into smaller instalments, you can now do so with different leading banks offering EMI options that can help convert your bills into instalments and reduce your burden of making heavy payments on your credit card bills. SmartPay by UOB, PayLite by OCBC, Citibank Equal Payment Plan, HSBC’s Card Balance Conversion Plan, FlexiPay, EzyPay by Maybank etc. are some examples of how you can use the EMI option on your credit card to reduce your monthly payments.

What purchases you can convert into the EMI option
Many banks have a minimum purchase requirement to convert your purchases into EMIs. Usually, the minimum amount required is SGD 500 that many banks in Singapore offer their EMI options for including OCBC’s PayLite, HSBC’s Card Balance Conversion Plan, UOB’s SmartPay and Maybank’s EzyPay. However, Maybank offers its FlexiPay option for a minimum purchase of SGD 300.

EMI options are available with Interest Free Instalments
Yes, major banks in Singapore offer their EMI plans charging 0% interest. However, note that though no interest may be charged, you may be subjected to a low processing fee when you opt for this plan. UOB’s SmartPay, Maybank’s EzyPay, OCBC’s PayLite and Citibank Equal Payment Plan all provide financial flexibility with 0% interest per annum instalment plans. There are also other banks that provide similar EMI options, call your credit card issuer today and find out about their EMI plans.

Credit Card Instalment Tenures to convert your credit card dues to EMIs
Usually, banks offer instalment tenures of 3 months, 6 months and 12 months to pay your credit card dues using the EMI plans. UOB’s SmartPay, HSBC’s Card Balance Conversion Plan and OCBC’s PayLite provide the 3, 6 and 12 month tenures. Citibank’s Equal Payment Plan provides up to 24 months to pay your credit card dues. Maybank’s FlexiPay offers instalment tenures of 6 months, 12 months and 24 months with low interest and EzyPay with 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months and 36 months, all interest free.

When to convert your credit card dues into EMIs
Different banks have different date stamps as to when you can convert your purchases or credit card dues into their EMI options. Maybank’s FlexiPay and UOB’s SmartPay require you to convert your applicable credit card purchases within 10 days from the date your credit card statement was issued. HSBC’s Card Balance Conversion Plan allows applications within 14 days from the statement date or 30 days from the transaction posted date, whichever is earlier. OCBC’s PayLite allows for conversion of purchase into EMIs at least 7 working days from the payment due date of your billing statement to convert your purchases into EMIs.

So there you have it! Don’t let your dreams stay dreams on account of your ignorance. Credit Card purchases do not necessarily have to be a nightmare if you use them wisely and converting your flamboyant purchases into available EMI option is a way to use your credit card wisely and responsibly and at the same time, fulfilling your desires whilst maintaining financial stability.

2016 is the Year to own your Dream Car

Buying your own car is one of the most economical purchases that you will make in your life. Your car will take you place, literally speaking. Having your own car implies that you longer have to travel as per someone else’s schedule or timings, you can choose when you want to leave the comforts of your home and when you want to return to it at the end of an exhausting day. Having said this, however economical the need to have own car is, this need is most definitely not cheap. There are two kinds of people when it comes to making a decision as to what kind of car they would like to own. The first kind is comprises of those who would want to purchase a car that will simply satisfy their need of having their own transport, they will look at this purchase as a mere need. Now, the second kind comprises of those who will not only look at this purchase as a need but also a want. These individuals when thinking about having their own car, will evaluate the purchase as not merely satisfying this need but also their want to own “the” car that they have always desired because they anyway need to buy a car, so why not buy one that they really want? It is like hitting two birds with one stone.

car loan at minimal interest rate

No matter which category you fit into, you still have a hefty purchase to make. You not only have to make the decision of which car you want to buy but also how you are going to fund it. The answer is staring right at you – car loan. Paying for your brand new car does not have to be strenuous on your finances and a compromise on your lifestyle because this new year, the leading banks in Singapore are offering some of the best car loan interest rates. Take for example DBS bank – they offering their car loan at a minimal interest rate of 2.28%. They also financing of up to 60% of your car’s purchase price. Furthermore, you can stretch your repayment with a tenure of up to 5 years which reduce your monthly installments to a meager SGD 371.

Standard Chartered bank also falls within the same range where the bank is offering their Auto Financing Loan at an interest rate of 2.68% with a 5 year tenure that brings your monthly installment to SGD 378 for a minimum loan amount of SGD 10, 000. UOB bank is also offering the same deal with their car loan with an interest rate of 2.68% and a 5 year tenure and monthly installment of SGD 378. However, this loan is not applicable on OPC and China Made Cars.

Maybank and OCBC banks are offering car loans at an interest rate of 2.985 for a 5 year tenure and a monthly installment of SGD 383. With Maybank, this loan offer is not applicable to used and rental cars. OCBC on the other hand charges a Loading fee of SGD 200 if your loan amount is lesser than SGD 15, 000.

With the car loans offered at such competitive rates, owning a car has never been this simple and stress free. This year, your resolution can be to not depend on anyone else and be as independent as you can with your own mode of transport b having your dream car and banks that make this dream come true by offering some of the best interest rates for car loans.

Your Dream Car is no longer a dream with Maybank Car Loan

Owning a car in this day and age is no longer a necessity, but a luxury and desire because when we seek out to buy a car, we do not simply look for the cheapest or the most economical car. We want one that looks flamboyant with comfortable seating, spacious so we can take it out on short trips, one that is fast and so on. It is not merely a solution to our transportation problems, we want to buy a car that makes heads turn and eyes ogle when we pull it out of the garage. These cars are our dream cars because owing them is a dream. What we want is not always what we can afford and what we can afford are not part of our dreams because let’s face it, none of dream about the things we already have in life or that we can have if we want to, we dream about those things that we can’t have like our dream cars.

car-loan

If you can find the perfect car loan, owning your dream car can now become a reality leaving more room for us to dream about other things. Maybank is among the leading banks in Singapore today for providing top notch banking products and financial services at affordable costs to its customers. It has made many of their customers’ dreams come true whether it is providing financing to buy their perfect home, their dream car, higher education overseas, providing credit cards to students and so on.

No matter what loan you decide to take in life, interest rates are always a burden to bear and can even bankrupt your savings. However, using Maybank Car Loan, you can now save significantly on the interest as the bank is offering extremely competitive rates when compared to any other bank or financial institution on the island. The interest rates offered start as low as 3.25% per annum. Maybank is providing up to 60% financing for the purchase of your car or the valuation price, depending on whichever is lower. In an economy where interest rates are always bouncing around and fluctuating more than your mood, you can avail an attractive interest rate package with a flat rate scheme where market fluctuations are no longer a bother. You can also choose a financing option of up to 5 years so you own your dream car and also maintain your current lifestyle without much compromises because your monthly installments will remain fixed throughout the entire repayment period.

The Maybank Car Loan does not only apply to new cars, you can also apply for this loan for used cars. Whether the car is less than 10 years or almost 20 years old, you can receive up to 60% financing for it, the only catch here is that the age of the car plus the tenure of your loan should not exceed 10 years. If it doesn’t, you can opt for a loan tenure of up to 5 years.

maybank-car-loan

Whether you are a Singapore Citizen, a Singapore Permanent or a Foreigner, you are still eligible to apply for the Maybank Car Loan as long as you have the supporting documents such as your NRIC, employment pass etc. You only need to be at least 21 years old and all is well.

So what are you waiting for, go turn your dreams into reality because at the end of the day, you must leave no stone unturned and now you can turn all other stones with your fancy new dream car.