Responsible Licensed Moneylender in Singapore: Government Assistance schemes & Responsible Borrowing

Responsible Licensed Moneylender: Government Aid & Responsible Borrowing

The current Covid-19 has thrown the economy into a recession and lots of fear has crept into people. Not just on health concerns alone, but also on financial stability. In this article, we look into what is a responsible licensed moneylender and how we at Empire Global practise being a responsible licensed moneylender.

We will be diving into Singapore government assistance schemes that borrowers can consider first before taking up loans with financial institutions or responsible licensed moneylender.

Learn about Government Financial Assistance and Schemes

As the pandemic Covid-19 is behind everyone’s minds, we in Singapore do see drops in the recurrent cases. The pandemic has affected the livelihoods of many and not just employees but businesses and corporations have been greatly affected.

There are numerous financial assistance schemes available to help everyone tide through the Covid-19 crisis that has hit our homelands hard. We are going to introduce a few schemes that can best benefit you before considering to get a loan.

The Singapore government is fast to introduce several financial schemes to address the concerns of the public. For an overview of all the available schemes, check out on supportgowhere.gov.sg

The Temporary Relief Fund

Assistance: Immediate financial cash assistance of $500

Application Window: 1 Apr to 30 Apr 2020

Who can Apply

  • Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents aged 16 years and above;
  • Was retrenched or suffered substantial loss of personal loss of personal income due to COVID-19 (at least 30%)*;
  • Had a gross monthly household income of ≤$10,000 or a gross monthly per capita income of ≤$3,100 before loss of job or income; and
  • Not currently a beneficiary of ComCare assistance *Loss of job/income must have taken place after 23 Jan 2020

Where to Apply: 

  • Social Service Offices (SSOs)
  • Community Centres/Clubs(CCs)
  • Online using Singpass at go.gov.sg/temporary-relief- fund

COVID-19 Support Grant

Assistance scheme provides: 

  • Monthly cash grant of $800, for 3 months
  • Job and training support by Workforce Singapore or the Employment and Employability Institute

Application Window: 1 May – 30 Sep 2020

Who can Apply 

  • Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents aged 16 years and above;
  • Had a gross monthly household income of ≤$10,000 or a gross monthly per capita income of ≤$3,100 before loss of job or income;
  • Live in a property with annual value of ≤$21,000; and
  • Not currently a beneficiary of ComCare assistance

Where to Apply: 

  • Social Service Offices (SSOs)
  • Community Centres/Clubs(CCs)

The Courage Fund

Assistance: One-time lump sum payment of up to $1,000 (depending on household’s per capita income after being affected by COVID-19)

Application Window:

  • From 6 Apr 2020
  •  Applications should be made within 6 months from the end of the SHN, LOA, QO or discharge from hospitalization due to COVID-19 (whichever is later)

Who can Apply

  • Lower-income households (with at least one Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident) whose family member(s) have contracted COVID-19 or are one Stay-Home Notice (SHN), Leave of Absence (LOA), or Home Quarantine Order (QO);
  • Had a completed or partial loss of household income due to COVID-19 (at least 10%); and
  • A household income of $3,900, or per capita household income of $1,350, prior to being affected by COVID-19.
  • ComCare clients may also apply.

Where to Apply: Social Service Offices (SSOs)

ComCare Interim Assistance

Assistance (depending on the situation of the household) may include:

  • Cash
  • Vouchers; and/or
  • Food rations

Application Window: Unrestricted
Who can Apply:

  • Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident (at least one immediate family member in the same household must be a Singapore Citizen);
  • Need urgent and immediate help for less than 3 months; and
  • Have a household income of $1,900 and below, or a per capita household income of $650 and below
  • Where to Apply: Social Service Offices (SSOs)

ComCare Short-to-Medium Term Assistance

Assistance may include:

  • Monthly cash assistance
  • Assistance with household bills i.e. rental, utilities and/or service and conservancy charges
  • Medical assistance
  • Employment assistance such as job search and/or training
  • Referrals for other relevant services
  • Application Window: Unrestricted

Who can Apply:

  • Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident (at least one immediate family member in the same household must be a Singapore Citizen);
  • Have little or no family support, savings, or assets to rely on for daily needs; and
  • Have a monthly household income of $1,900 and below or a per capita income of $650*
  • *If income exceeds these guidelines, individuals may still approach SSOs for assistance

Where to Apply: Social Service Offices (SSOs)

ComCare Long Term Assistance

Assistance (depending on the situation) may include:

  • Cash assistance
  • Additional assistance for school-going children
  • Secondary assistance (e.g. recurring essentials like medical or hygiene consumables)
  • Discretionary assistance (i.e. one-off essentials like medical equipment and household appliances)
  • Medical assistance
  • Education assistance
  • Supplementary community assistance (i.e. free or highly- subsidised access to social support services like home help and senior activity centres funded by the Government)

Application Window: Unrestricted
Who can Apply:

  • Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Is unable to work due to old age, illness or disability;
  • Have little or no family support, savings or assets to rely on for daily needs;
  • Is an elderly person who receive only a small monthly payout from other sources (e.g. CPF Retirement Sum/CPF Life, Pension, ElderShield, etc.); and
  • Has children who are low-income themselves (i.e. household income of $1,900 and below, or per capita household income of $650 and below, and are unable to support their parents

Where to Apply: Social Service Offices (SSOs)

Responsible Borrowing from Responsible Licensed Moneylender

It actually takes both parties to come together and ensure that borrowing does not become a long term liability for both parties. The parties mentioned are the actual borrowers who are seeking short term loans, personal loans or even unsecured loans to either tide them over a tough time like the current Covid-19 pandemic or to ensure continuity in their business or lifestyles. Borrowers can also comprise those who are in sudden need of cash to pay for a service or solution, for example borrowers needing money to pay for their utility bills.

In such unprecedented times, businesses are unable to sustain their cash flow or their workers income as most of them see huge dips in sales and human traffic. Many are trying to tide over with their savings. Financial stability is on everybody’s minds as whether there will be a new form of circuit breakers or new measures to clamp down on the spread of infection.

It is now more than ever crucial to practise responsible borrowing as fear might just creep in and take over a borrower’s mindset.

What is Responsible Borrowing?

  1. Simply not borrowing more money that you can afford to pay back
  2. Understand different loan interest rates offered by different financial institutions or licensed moneylenders
  3. Choosing a loan scheme that caters to your loan needs
  4. Checking the duration of the loan. Longer loan term might have a smaller repayment. Short loan terms have larger repayment. A responsible borrower ensures that he/she borrowers at a comfortable level without hurting other financial commitments.
  5. Not missing out a repayment plan

Why borrow from a Responsible Licensed Moneylender?

  1. Borrow from a Licensed Moneylender. Firstly, always check whether the moneylender has a licensed. That’s rule number 1. A licensed moneylender has to be registered and such licenses are monitored heavily to ensure that licensed moneylender firms do not abuse their authority. For example, Empire Global is a licensed moneylender registered with the Insolvency & Public Trustee’s Office. (License No. 64/2017).
  2. If you are considering to apply for a personal loan, check that the licensed moneylender that you are approaching is approved by the Ministry of Law, and registered with the Insolvency & Public Trustee’s Office.
  3. Responsible licensed moneylender will advice on your loan scheme, loan term, loan needs according to your financial records. This prevents you from overborrowing leading that might lead to further liability. A responsible licensed moneylender will explain the loan terms and conditions to a potential borrower. All clauses are explained properly before a loan agreement is made.

If you are considering to apply for a personal loan, you should approach a licensed Moneylender approved by the Ministry of Law, and registered with the Insolvency & Public Trustee’s Office.

It is important to only borrow what you can repay.

You should consider these before applying for a loan from a licensed Moneylender:

  1. Never borrow to pay off another debt
  2. If you are unable to fulfill the contractual terms, the late payment and interest fees will be a financial strain not just on yourself, but also on your family
  3. Make sure you fully understand the terms of the contract, in particular, the repayment schedule, the interest rate charged, and fees applicable.

How do I know if a licensed moneylender is actually licensed?

Details of licensed moneylenders in Singapore are clearly detailed and updated regularly on the Registry of Moneylenders’ Ministry of Law website https://www.mlaw.gov.sg/content/rom/en.html

How much can I borrow?

Depending on your income, there are limits on how much you can borrow, and how much interest you can be charged.

We are Empire Global: Responsible Licensed Moneylender

As a responsible licensed moneylender, we build on initiatives by the government to create the best customer experience in the loan market. Our loan officers are professionally trained and ensure that borrowers are educated on the loan terms put forth. We provide responsible loan solutions that would benefit our clients. Empire Global is a licensed money lender and regulated by the Ministry of Law and is fully compliant with the Moneylender’s Act. We update our internal processes from time to time and keep up to the date with the latest underlying laws in the Registry of Moneylenders’ Ministry of Law website

Conclusion of Borrowing from Responsible Licensed Moneylender in Singapore

As with any commitments in life, do practise due diligence before committing to anything permanent. Such rules apply to taking out a loan. With new uptake of financial means through loans or money assistance schemes, it is your responsibility to practise mindful and responsible borrowing. To be a dutiful responsible borrower and for us at Empire Global to play a part in being a good responsible licensed moneylender.