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Learn Foreigner Loan in Singapore

What You Should Know About Foreigner Loan in Singapore

Singaporeans and PRs have aggregate loan caps and self-exclusion framework for borrowing from licensed moneylenders to protect themselves and their families. But foreigners do not face the same restriction, and this has led to an increase in the number foreigner loan and problems that arises with it.

Foreigner Loans Increased 4.5X from 2016

The ministries have reported that foreigner loans increased from 7,500 in 2016 to 35,000 in the first half of 2018 with domestic workers making up a bulk of these loans.

Pastor Billy Lee, executive director of Blessed Grace Social Services said, “Many of these maids come with no money and a mountain of debt to their agents. By right they shouldn’t be borrowing any more money.”

This has led to problems for some employers as they are left to deal with the mess, which include harassments and unsolicited phone calls, left behind from their maid’s borrowing after sending them back home.

A Cap on Foreigner Loans in Singapore

The new cap on foreigner loan, implemented in Q4 2018, will affect foreigners holding any of the following passes: work passes, long-term visit passes, short-term visit passes, dependant’s passes and student passes.

The loans will also be capped based on the foreigners’ earning power.

Foreigners will also be able to protect themselves by applying for self-exclusion, which are already available to Singaporeans and PRs.

Foreigners who borrow from Unlicensed Moneylenders

To further reduce and limit the problems of borrowing, Ministry of Law has taken a hard stance on those who chose to borrow from unlicensed moneylenders.

All foreigners found guilty of this will have their work pass revoked, repatriated and barred from further employment in Singapore. Although employers can choose to appeal this on a case-by-case basis.

Education is Still the Most Important

Prevention is still always better than cure, and the ministries understand this.

So besides having these restrictions in place, the MOM and police will also step up education on the management and risk of borrowing from moneylenders for both foreigners and employers.

The rest of the moneylender restriction stays the same for foreigners — that includes the 4% interest rate caps on the loans and the sum of all permitted borrowing costs on any individual loan must not exceed 100% of the loan principal.

Our team here feels this is a great step in the right direction. Although most licensed moneylenders are already cautious when lending to domestic workers, having a cap in place will help inform those with less experience.

Interest Rates Take a Hike with rising Sibor in Singapore. Look at how it will affect you.

Interest Rate Spikes & Latest in Moneylenders News

Money, money and more money! The recent news about the US interest rates hikes has hit our shores in Singapore and the news is not entirely encouraging.

The three-month Sibor, which is used to price most loans and mortgages here, has been inching its way upwards due to interest rate hike in the United States and a weakening Singapore dollar versus the greenback. The recent announcements by MAS to reduce the Singapore dollar from appreciating aims to keep the Sibor elevated.

The Sibor is fixed daily by the Association of Banks in Singapore based on quotes from banks on what they expect to pay for interbank loans that day. In short, it is affected by liquidity in the banking sector.

“The reduction of the appreciation slope could keep pressure on the US and Singapore dollar exchange rate and thus could ensure Sibor remains at current levels … This move by MAS helps keep Singapore policy on a stable footing, and we expect it to be modestly beneficial for Singapore bank earnings,” analysts from Morgan Stanley said in a research note.

Interest Rate Hike: What does it mean for You?

Many housing loans offered by banks are tied to three-month Sibor. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC), for example, has 3 types of home loans and one that is currently offering home loans at three-month Sibor plus 0.85 percentage points for the first three years, according to its website. Lending rates are reviewed every three months. As the Sibor is set to increase, so will the interest rate rise. Home owners will eventually face higher mortgage payments.

“We had expected the bullish move in the SOR and Sibor since last year,” says UOB economist Francis Tan (source)

Analysts are looking at further upside to about 1 to 1.2 per cent at the end of the year. Effectively leading to an interest rate of about over 2% for home loans.

Let us assume an outstanding housing loan of S$500,000 and 20 years remaining. With the current interest rate of 1.5 per cent, this works out to a monthly payment of about S$2,410.

If the interest rate is increased to 2 per cent, the monthly payment would rise to around S$2,530. Should the rate rise to 3 per cent, the monthly payment would be S$2,770.

What to Do Next with Higher Interest Rate?

Higher interest rates charged by banks affect your loans directly. Thus you will see your loans, home mortgage loans, renovation loans slowly inching its way up.

Hence start reviewing your loans! For example, review your home loan packages every two to three years. Look at the trends Conventional wisdom has it that you should review your loan package every two to three years, or before the promotional period ends and your bank raises its premium on the interest you pay, which increases your monthly instalments.

In short, think long term and look around for good deals. Always negotiate with the bank on refinancing options.

Latest in Moneylending Industry Singapore

DPM Teo added that the improved situation was due to the tough laws enacted, strong enforcement efforts against loan-shark syndicates and the high level of community support in the fight against unlicensed moneylending activities.

According to DPM Teo, about 1,900 people were arrested for unlicensed moneylending and related harassment offences on average yearly between 2011 and 2014, while about 2,600 were convicted in court for these offences.

Debt Collectors in Singapore creating a fuss & harrassment at Funan Digital Mall Singapore

Debt Collectors in Singapore creating a fuss & harrassment at Funan Digital Mall Singapore

Seen the recent hype about public harassment during working hours? Debt collectors created a ruckus at Funan Mall over unpaid debts. Moreover, this was during working hours infront of the public eye.

With clamping down on unlicensed activities and harassment cases, this is looking good for us licensed moneylenders at Empire Global. The image of licensed lenders is changing for the better as tougher laws are weeding out bad lenders. Thankfully, the ruly debt collectors have been arrested for unlawful assembly.

Sources
http://business.asiaone.com/news/what-do-about-home-loan-interest-rates-rise
http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/debt-collectors-who-created-scene-funan-mall-foodcourt-arrested-po?page=15