In Singapore, if for some reasons you have to borrow some money for urgent use, besides the traditional money lending facilities such as banks and financial institutions, you can turn to licensed money lenders. These are mainly small businesses or companies that specifically extend monetary credit to mostly the man in the street with not-so-good credit rating in the eyes of official credit bureaus and banks, or the prospective borrower with less earning power that can’t borrow from traditional money lenders.
When you borrow from licensed money lenders, first you need to find out from the Singapore’s Registry of Moneylenders for a listing of legitimate and licensed operators. If time permits, do some calling and web search of most of these lending companies, before you narrow down to a few choices. Ask about their interest rates, the way they calculate their interest, and any hidden fees or charges for late or non-payment, not that you won’t be repaying the installments late. This round of fact-finding is more for the transparency of their services than anything else.
Once you have maybe three or four choices, visit them personally and ascertain for yourself their physical office/shop, and their personal attitudes in handling people and business-at-hand. Though looks and facades may be deceiving, it still warrants an actual visit to get a first-hand feel of the potential licensed money lender that you will eventually borrow from. For those shortlisted, ask more questions about their mode of doing business, going in depth on every possible angle you can think of in the business of lending money. After this round of intense questioning, make your decision, which is usually a mix of rational and gut feel.
Now that you have found the licensed moneylender which you feel is the right fit for you, ask even more questions. Cover all grounds that you know of in money lending. When eventually you are satisfied with your chosen licensed money lender, transact. Borrow only what you need, rather than what you may want. As a rule of thumb, work out your finances, budget your monthly take home salary, and only use your disposable income as repayment of your loan. Never exceeds the amount of your disposable income. If you do, you will be seeing yourself perpetually in debt trying to clear your loan(s).
Work out the repayment terms with the licensed money lender. Make sure you scrutinise the fine print, that is the terms and conditions of the loan contract before you sign on the dotted line. Remember, your repayment must be within the amount of your monthly disposable income. Repay the installment amount as worked out between you and the licensed money lender in full as stipulated in the contract’s cyclical period. At all times do not missed any repayment, as late fees and charges will kick into effect, and increase exponentially the final amount repayable, versus the principal amount loaned in the first place. This regular repayment will mininise unhappiness on both you and the licensed money lender, and eventually your loan will be cleared in due time.