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Unsecured Borrowing Changes: Why You Should Be Aware

Unsecured Borrowing Changes: Why You Should Be Aware

Singapore – As the nation progresses aggressively and competes against the other countries, there are now an increasing number of new borrowers in the market. This has led to several changes in credit lending rules in the past years and there is are new regulations to look at. More borrowers are exceeding their unsecured debt limits and over borrowing past their financial limits.

Consumer credit trends have stabilised and is in a healthy state, although some borrowers have over-extended themselves. Let us at Empire Global explain further on how individuals are affected.

According the the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), about 3% of unsecured borrowers are in unsecured debts that exceeds their annual incomes. Unsecured debt is money owed that is not tied to any assets, in contrast to secured debt such as housing and car loans. Examples include credit card debt and personal loans.

This prompted the Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS) to look into cutting borrowers debts by offering a centralised repayment solution. CCS will roll out a centralised repayment solution to help borrowers coordinate negotiations across financial institutions and work out a repayment plan.

The plan will take into account a the borrower’s background such as borrower’s income, expenditure, needs and loan obligations. All the leading retail banks have agreed to get on board with the new system by the first quarter of next year. For moneylenders, borrowers are highly encourage to speak to the loan officers to negotiate a suitable loan contract between themselves.

As A Borrower?

Saving Yourself From Unsecured Debt

Saving Yourself From Unsecured Debt. New Unsecured Rules to aid borrowers.

Starting from June next year, borrowers will be barred from getting additional credit if their debt exceeds their annual income for three straight months.

With major crackdowns on illegal lending and moneylenders providing bad practises, the various agencies are clamping down hard on offenders. The police in August released its Mid-Year Crime Brief, which revealed that there were 3,235 cases of unlicensed moneylending reported in the first six months of this year. This was down 31.6 per cent from the 4,729 cases reported over the same period last year.

Furthermore, social safeguards such as the continuous crackdown on illegal moneylenders are taking place. There’s many of such lenders providing bad advice and hidden rules + charges that are disallowed by the government.

This is why we at Empire Global strongly emphasize the importance of understanding the terms of borrowing and letting customers know about it. We do not engage in forcing borrowers to sign but instead tell them the best way forward for them.

This is why we value our financial loan officers very much and also why as a borrower you should go only to licensed moneylenders. Always practise financial prudence.

What’s New for Unsecured Lending?

As mentioned before, the advisory committee for moneylenders have now come up with suggestions stating that the total amount that a person can borrow would be just four times the amount of their monthly salary.

Loans for borrowers earning below $20,000 a year will be capped at $3,000. Interest rates are also expected to be changed, as the committee suggest it to be capped at four percent a month. These are actually great news for all borrowers as they are strict rules which prevents moneylenders from illegally charging more than the norm. Least now there’s would be a standard across the board.

Read about what the new Advisory Committee has to say about unsecured loans

Our Advise for Getting Unsecured Loans?

Be smart. Maximise your money by making smart financial decisions. Try to cut your debts quickly and borrow wisely. Only when you need it especially for life emergencies. Learn about the various loan offering available (payday loan, personal loan, unsecured loan, bank loans, etc). Choose on that best suits your financial needs and do not over borrow. Borrow only what you really need.

Should you need credit advise from official channels, you can contact the Credit Counselling Department and they will guide you through. If you need loan advice or how to properly plan the credit you need, you can also contact us at Empire Global and our loan officers will best advise you.

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Don't Get Red Card this World Cup 2014: Avoid Illegal Soccer Betting

Moneylenders & World Cup: Moneylending Review Just in Time?

Go..Gol.. Goal!!  There goes my bet against my friend on supper. Disappointed by the big teams loses in this recent World Cup? Who could forget England’s recent World Cup disappointment against Uruguay? Out after just two games! We at Empire Global were glued to the television and were totally saddened by the team’s loss. Terrible performance wasn’t it?

Well if you had been staying up vigilantly catching this year’s World Cup matches, our local police has been going around catching illegal betting centres and moneylenders who violated the law.

Large spike in Illegal Betting this World Cup

Infographic: Illegal Soccer Betting $6.4 million into illegal World Cup bets
Infographic: Illegal Soccer Betting $6.4 million into illegal World Cup bets

There has been a large spike in illegal soccer betting activities due to gamblers faulting on their loans, turning to ah-longs or illegal moneylenders to facilitate their gambling addiction.

We are seeing more of such cases being reported and we had to turn some customers away whom had long-standing debts with these ah-longs.

With technology being easily accessible to everyone with just about a smartphone, a gambler can simply place bets via online soccer betting rings setup by syndicates.
Illegal bookmaker sends SMS for bet on World Cup
Illegal bookmaker sends SMS for bet on World Cup. Just one of the ways that you can place a bet via technology.

Ah-longs are further targeting victims who have succumbered to heavy betting losses turning them into “agents” or bookmakers for them.

These ah-longs harass and embarrass others when they collect money leading to moneylenders getting a bad name by the public. There has been public outcry and calls for review of the moneylending industry and the change has occurred just about recently.

New Rules for Moneylenders

Previously we wrote about how this year’s Budget 2014 is looking at revising the moneylending industry , it has come to be true. In recent news, the Ministry of Law has formed an advisory committee to review regulations for the licensed moneylending industry. This in turn could be good news for borrowers allowing better protection.

The advisory committee will review and implement practises such as capping of interest rates, restrict charging fees by moneylenders. This is to further look into bad moneylenders abusing their licenses and resorting to harassment means, excessive borrowing and charging exorbitant rates.

Some moneylenders give ill-advise to borrowers and tell them to take up loans which they cannot payback. This acts allow moneylenders to collect more interest and further land the borrower into greater debt.

With a stop to new licenses being issued to moneylenders since 2012, there has been a call to better review the licensed moneylending industry.

The committee is looking to cap the number of loans that a borrower is allowed to borrow, this in turn could lead borrowers to turn to illegal moneylenders. Which is why we advocate proper borrowing and educate our borrowers here at Empire Global.

Read more on: New Rules for Moneylenders

God of Football Gambling? Do Not Bet Illegally!

Never ever bet with illegal online bookmakers thinking it is more convenient and provide better odds. That will not be the case when you are arrested, charged in court and given a hefty fine.

Penalties

Betting with illegal bookmakers = Fine up to $5000 or imprisonment up to 6mths or both

Being involved with illegal bookmaking = Fine at least $20000 and up to $200,000. Imprisonment up to 5years.

Don't get Red Carded this World Cup 2014. Do not bet illegally.

Don’t get Red Carded this World Cup 2014. Do not bet illegally. Campaign by NCPC

AVOID illegal moneylenders or loansharks as they will try all means to land you further into debt. This is to allow a continuous flow of cash for them.
Need loans? Get it from Licensed Moneylenders
If you ever end up in debt due to unforeseen circumstances, do take measures to do proper money management first. Do consult our friendly loan officers at Empire Global to do a loan assessment before deciding to take up a loan or a payday loan for yourself.
Moneylenders Genuine or Fake

Moneylenders boosting sales or genuine to help via online platforms?

Singapore — Followers and friendship is cheap. Recent article on the May 11, Sunday Times 2014 showcasing the bloggers community in Singapore. Highlighting that there is an increasing number of people buying “likes” on Facebook, Instagram and other social platforms. People have been boosting their online popularity by paying for “likes”, retweets and followers. All these for a small price. True? Totally.

Now there are modern bots who are very good at emulating human interactions and these are developed by service providers who all want to earn from a person’s or company’s ego. Some companies are known to using these providers to give them an edge in the market.

Stronger” social community means the company has some good PR with the customers right? Well, don’t be too easily deceived by it. Having higher numbers of ‘Likes‘ or ‘Followersdoes not necessary tell you anything about the person or business. Believable? Up to you.

Moneylenders giving a bad name to themselves

It has come to a concern that in our community of licensed moneylenders, there are an increasing number of companies using link networks and providers. Unlicensed moneylenders or some legit lenders even, have used similar offerings to promote their website. All these are done in order to attract and achieve more sales for the company. However, most of the services provided by them are like just to close sales and increase loans take up rate rather then sincerely there to provide good services and advice.

Some of these loan information are grabbed from other websites that are not even relevance to Singapore. Marketing firms have been arguing about this practise stating that these providers are providing dishonest means to convince their customers.

Increasing number of moneylending firms using black hat SEO techniques to boost ranks

Increasing number of moneylending firms using black hat SEO techniques to boost ranks

Paid articles or blogs to popular bloggers made by moneylender firms are increasingly misleading and the competition is heating up. With strict laws made by the government, some moneylenders are now using these methods to give themselves good online reputation.

As consumers, always do your research and check out the reality of the information and accuracy. With the internet providing vast amounts of information, it’s now much easier to make your choice. Look out for legit reviews and always check out the competition.

Online popularity the right way

As a licensed moneylender company, we want to provide real value to our readers and to allow them to make the right choice when they require a loan. This is why we have written lots of guides on the hows of getting the right loan and the whys of borrowing from licensed moneylenders.

Our practise as legit moneylenders, we want to provide sound advice to borrowers. We understand the borrowers mindset, that they want quick solutions to solve their financial woes. This is why we have heavily emphasized on the “what to avoids” inborrowing.

Ask our loan officers and they will offer you great advice

Ask our loan officers and they will offer you great advice

We want to the educate the borrowers first and provide the most updated information to them.

Borrowers need to understand on how to choose the right moneylender and to know about the importance of borrowing from a legitimate licensed money lending firm. Although there has been a surge in money lending firms in the neighbourhoods, the government has been introducing ways to curb bad practises made by some firms. Hence checks are constantly carried out and firms found flaunting the rules are heavily fined.

Therefore, do not be shy to pick up the phone and call the licensed moneylenders and enquire for more details before taking up a loan. Pay a visit to the moneylenders office and find out more information and ensure they are legit and sincere loan providers before signing on any loan document.

Doing all the necessary checks and finding out more information do not only ensure you are borrowing from the right source but also ensure you get the best available loan as well as the right loan package that you are able to service and solve your financial difficulties during tough times.

Why Borrow from licensed moneylenders

Why borrow from licensed moneylenders

Singapore — Unlicensed moneylending services have been creating issues for long in Singapore and recently efforts have been ramped up to deal with such occurrences.

Although with additional efforts to handle unlicensed moneylenders, there has been a debate to make moneylending from such lenders a crime.  This is done in order to further reduce moneylending harassment issues.

Head of Unlicensed Moneylending Strikeforce, Superintendent of Police Aileen Yap mentioned in an article on ChannelNewsAsia 11 Oct  “Singapore has zero tolerance for unlicensed moneylending activities resulting in harassment acts that threaten the safety and security of our community.”

The benefits of borrowing from licensed moneylenders have long been accepted by the community at large. This is shown by the thriving popularity of legit moneylenders setting up shops in the neighbourhood. People have grown to accept such licensed moneylenders which set themselves aside from illegal lenders as they provide a form of legit lending services for those in need. The increased supply due to rising cost of living have led to people turning to such businesses to apply for personal loans.

Avoid the bad stuff early!

Avoid unlicensed moneylenders

Avoid unlicensed moneylenders syndicates. Avoid harassment & high interest rates. Save the trouble of endless worries.

Avoid harassment methods by properly borrowing from legit moneylenders. In Singapore, moneylenders have to adhere to strict policy of different moneylending laws laid out by the government and if lenders fail to abide to one, they will face harsh punishments such as fines or revoking of lender’s license.

More professional licensed moneylenders would also advise borrowers on a feasible repayment scheme which they can manage their money properly.

Avoid extremely high interest rates met out by unlicensed moneylenders. Moneylenders are licensed by the “Registrar of Moneylenders” in Singapore, meaning there’s restrictions in place on the different fees, maximum interest rates they can make and the maximum amount they can lend out.

With the new rules mentioned in this year Budget 2014, tighter control over licensed moneylenders shows the government interest in this business and ensure it does not go beyond control.

Avoid SMS spam from illegal moneylenders tempting you to borrow from them. Licensed money lenders are by law not allowed to tele market or send advertisements via SMSes to potential customers. One can report them to IPT as they have violated the personal DNC act and moneylenders act.

Avoid illegal means of people obtaining your personal information. Bad moneylenders have been touted to use one’s personal Singpass login details to obtain personal information. This piece of information can be wrongfully used. Hence legal lenders will only do Singpass verification checks when one is obtaining a loan at the office. This is usually to check on your previous salary to issue you the appropriate loans that one can service.

Borrowing from  moneylenders. What’s better?

On the whole, it’s much better that borrowing is not criminalized, but addressed through educating people on borrowing from different sources.

Loan advisers are now equipped with proper knowledge to dish out proper loans to borrowers. They are usually trained by licensed moneylending firms and they adhere greatly to the rules enacted towards the company.

By borrowing from legit licensed moneylenders, they offer short term payday loans and personal loans that ease up one’s financial burden. Aside from that, it is better knowing that these businesses have a regulatory compliance and legit licenses to provide loans.

This form of security is a huge advantage as compared to borrowing from unlicensed ones. One can save their own trouble and borrow from legal providers instead.

Differences between payday loans vs credit card cash advances

Differences between payday loans vs credit card cash advance

Singapore – If you have been researching and comparing credit card cash advances and payday loans, you might get confused between their various offerings.

Credit card companies are stiffening up the competition as they compete amongst themselves and the different moneylenders to offer fast cash loans to people.

Getting loans is easy in Singapore with different schemes for different package offerings. Banks, licensed moneylenders and a variant of loan companies all offer a type of loan for different consumers. So let’s narrow down to the loan types of payday loans and credit card cash advances.

Let’s look at payday loans

Basically, when you are looking for personal loans in general, you might have seen different terms used interchangeably; payday loans, personal loan, cash advance, fast loan. In this article we make reference to payday loans which is part of a personal loan type.

The definition of a payday loan – A payday loan is referred to as a short-term loan that allows a person to take up a loan amount based on their salary. There’s a minimum monthly income cap depending on the moneylender rules and borrowers who have a much higher verifiable income salary would be able to borrow more money.

Payday loans (also called “payday advances” and “personal loans”) are a subset of unsecured loans, meaning there is no collaterals needed. Payday loans are granted based on your income and are tailored to the borrower’s ability to pay back in a certain timeframe. Sometimes payday loans can be paid back in multiple split payments, but are required to pay back the entire amount with the agreed interest.

Licensed moneylenders provide payday loans and the interest rates may vary accordingly. One of the greatest advantages of payday loans would be negotiable or adjustable repayment plans. This will greatly help you in terms of money management as one can better plan their finances.

Another great advance that legit moneylenders offer are simple policies on their rates. Only an interest rate is charged on your loan amount with zero hidden charges.

What about credit card cash advances?

Credit card cash advances in Singapore

Credit card cash advances in Singapore. A look into the definition and misconceptions on credit card cash advances. The things to look out for.

Credit card cash advance is based on your available credit limit on a credit card rather than your monthly income. A credit card cash advance is generally treated like a purchase made with a credit card and the repayment terms are strict.

A cash advance on a credit card may or may not offer you a better deal than a payday loan depending on your own credit ratings and whether you are credit qualified. Some credit card companies charge higher interest on cash advances as compared to payday loans offered by moneylenders.

Cash advance loans comes with your monthly credit card bills and are to be repaid accordingly. Interest is compounded daily and they require a substantial application fee when you request for a loan.

There are hidden charges on loan amounts which could be transaction fees, late payment fees, card fees, withdrawal fees, setup fees, bank service fees which the borrower might not be aware of.

To make matters even worse, many credit card companies require you to pay off any existing non-cash-advance balance (the normal purchase you make) that you might be having on your card. This means that they force you to pay up the amount with lower interest rate first, while the cash advance balance remains untouched, with the amount owed increasing and compounding interest.

Credit Card cash advance fake cheque technique

Credit Card cash advance fake cheque technique

Ever received a “credit card cheques” from credit card companies in your mailbox? Cheques offering a big lump sum to you? This is one of the biggest misconceptions faced by people. These “cheques” are treated as credit card cash advances by credit companies and it comes with all the accompanying disadvantages. People will feel it’s easy credit, but not realizing the multiple charges on such a loan.

In Singapore, credit companies cap the maximum loan amount based on their credit limits. Cash advances charge hefty interest or finance charges from day one of the loan till the day payment is made in full.

They do have their advantages, whereby the borrower can withdraw cash at the credit company’s ATM or request for loans to be transferred to the borrower’s own bank account. Some offer loan application via phone (cash-on-call) or SMS.

As a rule of thumb, hefty charges can be avoided if you pay the full amount on your credit card statement every month. Ask your card issuer to explain how interest is computed and to provide you with a case study loan amount.

Comparison and Outcome. Choose Wisely.

So what’s the best course of action for a borrower? At times, payday loans could have higher interest rates than credit card cash advances. This is due to moneylenders face higher risks of not being repaid.

However, if you have been a repeat customer with a great history of prompt repayment, licensed moneylenders would usually offer a better rate or repayment policy for you. You could also discuss with the loan officers and they will advise on  a repayment plan for you.

Payday loans offer great flexibility in terms of repayment policy and if repayment time periods are a consideration for you, you are much better of with payday loans. Payday loans also offer no hidden charges and allow lower-income people who cannot get a credit card to take up a loan.

Choose wisely based on your loan requirements and make the right choice for you. Regardless of which loan offering you are after, do your research wisely, check reviews and check out the competitors.

Should you require better advice or have any doubts on loan offerings, feel free to drop a message to us or a phone call and our friendly loan officer will service you.

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