1 Fullerton Credit Pte Ltd is a licensed moneylender (License No. 100/2023) listed in the Registry of Moneylenders, under the Ministry of Law in Singapore.

Licensed vs Unlicensed Private Money Lender Singapore

Licensed Money Lender

Licensed money lender and unlicensed money lender might sound similar, but fret not, there are some major differences between the two. 

In this article, we will define licensed moneylenders and unlicensed moneylenders, and discuss how they do business. 

If you are keen to know more about licensed moneylenders and unlicensed moneylenders, you have come to the right place. Without further ado, let’s start first with the definition of licensed moneylenders.

What Are Licensed Moneylenders?

In a nutshell, licensed moneylenders are non-conventional loan companies providing short-term loans. They cater to short-term and long-term borrowers who are in need of having quick funds.

In contrast to traditional lenders like banks, a licensed money lender is financed by private investors. Licensed moneylender offers a variety of loans such as personal loan, payday loan, foreigner loan, business loan and bridging loan.

Moneylender agent & Client

How Do Licensed Moneylenders Operate?

Unconventional moneylenders such as friends, family, and acquaintances lend you money on the sole basis that they trust you. Meanwhile, licensed moneylenders require more than trust.

Licensed money lending firms generally require face-to-face verification with the applicants. The loan applicants require to go down to the office and present a proof of identification, proof of your income and recent 3 months payslips.

A professional loan provider might also inquire about your credit history. Having bad credit might not prevent you from getting financial loans, however, it might have an effect on other areas like the approved loan amount.

Difference Between Licensed and Unlicensed Lenders

Most of the people would not recognize the licensed one from the unlicensed ones but there are some indications that you are dealing with the unlicensed ones:

Documentation with the Law

Licensed moneylenders are registered in the Registry of Moneylenders and are compliant with the Moneylenders Act. If you are unable to find their license number on the Registry, it would mean that the lender is operating illegally.

1. Debt Collection Method

Most illegal moneylenders would often harass their clients when it comes to not paying on time. Some would wake up just to see that the walls on their house are splashed with paint. Others would be harassed through social media and their mobile phones.

2. Interest Rate

Licensed lenders will only give you an interest rate up to 4% per month as this is mandated by law. The terms and conditions of the loan agreement are very transparent and should be validated by a legal officer.

You can always research money lenders in Singapore and their interest rates that you are trying to apply your loan before anything else. Most of them are visible online and you can also check this with the government because they will be registered. 

3. Contract looks too good to be true

Read every document that will be presented to you and understand each one of them. Do not sign anything until everything is very clear to you. 

Think carefully before signing a contract and listen to your instincts. If the offer that is provided to you is too good to be true, chances are you are dealing with an illegal lender.

Don’t forget, unlicensed lenders will just worsen your debt and it is very important that you know whether they are abiding by the law or not. They always have their ways to convince you with their honeyed words and offers that you can not reject. 

They will do anything just to lure you in applying for a loan without you knowing that you will be in big trouble in the future.

4. Terms and conditions of loans

The Registry of Moneylenders requires lenders in Singapore to use simple terms and explain clearly for their loan contracts. They also require all licensed lenders Singapore to answer any questions that a borrower might have. 

Not included, but is not limited to giving an answer to any queries you might have with regards to your loan such as the interest rates of the loan, as well as clarifying the interest rates of the penalties, settlement timeframe, and the different options for paying the loan. 

A lady shows where need to sign in

4. Contract with signature

Licensed moneylenders are mandated by law to produce a contract that their borrowers will sign. This contract needs to be written by a legal professional and contains details about the loan such as the interest rates, late repayment penalties, loan maturity, and more. 

When a person or loan company talks you on taking a loan with no contract, or asks you to affix your signature on a bare or an unfinished contract, do not take their loan offer. This method is not the way licensed moneylenders operate, so this could mean that you are dealing with an unlicensed moneylender.

On the other hand, an unlicensed money lender in Singapore might just give you terms and conditions that are filled with hard to understand money lender jargons. 

They will not even bother explaining their terms, lowest interest personal loans, and interest rates for penalties. They might also be unwilling to provide answers to your inquiries.

5. Physical office

Law requires licensed all moneylenders to have a physical office. The application might be made online on their website, but the contract signing should take place in the registered office of lenders in Singapore. 

Therefore, if you encounter an individual or a company that claims to be a money lender with low interest rates but only does their business on the internet and cannot present an address, they might be unlicensed moneylenders.

Benefits of loaning from licensed moneylenders

1. Fast and easy loan approvals

One of the benefits of taking out a loan from licensed moneylenders is convenience and speed. Licensed loan companies such as 1 Fullerton Credit provides a convenient way of applying for loans through their website. 

Also, compared to banks and other financial institutions that can take a few weeks to approve your loan, licensed money lenders only take an hour. Some even offer 30 minutes approvals.

Man giving cash

2. Fast disbursement of cash

Once the banks have approved your loan, you will still need to wait for the funds to become available to you. Again, this process can take a few days for banks and financial institutions. 

Meanwhile, licensed moneylenders will make the loan funds available as soon as your application was approved. 

The majority of money lenders will give you the funds that you require within a day or even an hour, allowing you to overcome your monetary needs with ease.

3. Fewer paperwork and requirements to deal with

For those who have previously tried applying for any type of loan from a bank, they will know the sheer amount of paperwork and requirements that must be accomplished and signed. 

This process of fulfilling all the paperwork requirements is tiresome, monotonous and time-consuming. 

Putting your signature to a large amount of paperwork just slows down the process. If you need the funds quickly, taking a loan from a fast, licensed moneylender is recommended. 

They will allow you to obtain funds in a more timely manner and with fewer paperwork.

Applying for a Loan With Bad Credit

As stated earlier in this article, having bad credit is not necessarily a hindrance to applying for a loan from money lenders. In this section, we will elaborate on this point further.

First, there are quite a number of money lenders that are willing to offer you a loan even if you have a bad credit rating. This is in exchange for a few drawbacks, such as lower loan amount and shorter term durations.

Next, there are some things that you can do to still qualify for a personal loan even with bad credit, which includes using collateral, or applying with a guarantor.

Wooden house with a padlock

Circumvent bad credit to ensure you get a loan?

One way of circumventing a bad credit to guarantee that your loan will get approved is by having someone with a good credit score to act as a co-maker. 

Another way of circumventing a bad credit score is by submitting your proof of paying rent and utilities on time together with your application if the loan company allows it. Lastly, you can use collateral, which will be discussed in greater detail in the next point.

How to get lower rates even with bad credit?

A good way to obtain low-interest rates is by using collateral to your loan. You can use real estate properties, vehicles, and other valuable objects as collateral.


With all the benefits and advantages that a licensed moneylender has over unlicensed money lenders and loan sharks, it is safe to say that you should get your personal loan from a licensed loan company.

If you are now convinced to take out your loan from a licensed money lender but are not familiar with the best loan providers in Singapore, don’t worry since we have a recommendation for you. 

1 Fullerton Credit is a licensed moneylender Singapore that offers a variety of loan offers with competitive interest rates. They support online applications, have responsive customer support, and many features that provide convenience to customers. 

To learn more, visit their website or contacting them via telephone at +65 6588 1886.

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