Multiple banks. Different interest rates. Call it a "conflict of interest".
  • Personal Loan options for EP Holders in Singapore

    Singapore has a large number of working foreigners who contribute to its economy. There may be times when you, a foreigner, need urgent cash to cover unexpected expenses or necessary purchases. Banks and other lending institutions in Singapore offer financial aid when you need it the most.

    Personal Loans

    Personal loans in Singapore are usually approved within a day or two, making them the best solution for financial emergencies. You get a lump sum amount that you can use at your discretion. These loans have fixed interest rates and monthly repayment options with varying tenures.

    Take a look at some of the personal loan options for employment pass holders in Singapore.

    Standard Chartered CashOne Personal Loan

    • Annual income requirement – minimum S$60,000
    • Employment pass must be either Q, P1, or P2 type. Q pass must have at least one-year remaining validity
    • Interest rates – starting from 6.88% p.a. (EIR – 12.75% p.a.)
    • Loan tenure – 1 to 5 years
    • Age criteria – 21 to 65 years
    • Get up to 4 times your monthly salary
    • Annual fee – S$199
    • Late payment fee – S$80
    • Early repayment fee – 3% of your outstanding amount or S$250, whichever is higher

    OCBC ExtraCash Personal Loan

    • Annual income requirement – minimum S$45,000
    • Nominal interest rates – starting from 8.18% p.a. (EIR – 18.47% p.a.)
    • Loan tenure – 1 to 5 years (for foreigners, tenures may vary)
    • Age criteria – 21 years and more
    • Get up to 6 times your monthly salary
    • Processing fee – 2% of your loan amount or S$200, whichever is higher
    • Late payment fee – S$80
    • Early repayment fee – 3% of your outstanding amount or S$1,000, whichever is higher

    HSBC Personal Loan

    • Annual income requirement – minimum S$40,000
    • Employment pass should have at least one year validity
    • Equivalent flat interest rates – starting from 4.80% p.a. (EIR – 9.00% p.a.) for annual incomes less than S$80,000 p.a. & from 3.70% p.a. (EIR – 7.00% p.a.) for annual incomes of S$80,000 and more
    • Loan tenure – up to the validity period remaining on your employment pass, rounded to the nearest year (rounded down)
    • Age criteria – 21 to 65 years
    • Get up to 4 times your monthly salary, capped at a maximum of S$100,000
    • Processing fee – S$88
    • Late payment fee – current interest on unpaid amount + 2.5%
    • Early repayment fee – 2.5% of the early repayment amount

    Citibank Personal Loan

    • Annual income requirement – minimum S$42,000
    • Nominal interest rates – starting from 4.55% p.a. (EIR – 8.50% p.a.) for new customers and from 5.39% p.a. (EIR – 10.00% p.a.) for existing customers
    • Loan tenure – 1 to 5 years
    • Age criteria – 21 years and more
    • Late payment fee – prevailing interest rates will apply to the unpaid amounts. If the monthly payments remain unpaid for 2 consecutive months, the loan is immediately terminated and the entire amount becomes payable right away
    • Loan cancellation fee – S$100 or 3% of the outstanding principal amount remaining unbilled

    Other than banks, there are other financial institutions in Singapore that also offer personal loans (foreigner loans) if you hold an employment pass.

    Other Sources of Personal Loans for Foreigners in Singapore

    There are a number of licensed moneylenders in the country you can borrow from in your times of need. If you feel that you don’t qualify or meet the criteria placed by banks, you can look at such moneylenders as the next option.

    Moneylenders in Singapore offer loan options that have a host of features such as:

    • Affordable interest rates
    • Customised loan packages
    • Convenient repayment options

    Most moneylenders require you to fulfil the following criteria or have certain documents to be eligible for a personal loan:

    • Age – 21 to 55 years
    • Valid Singapore work pass or employment pass
    • Valid passport
    • Employment (full-time, with proof of employment)
    • Proof of residence
    • Bank statement

    These requirements may vary from one moneylender to another.

    Points to Remember

    While borrowing from either banks or moneylenders, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

    • Examine your need and find out what your exact requirement is.
    • Borrow money only to the extent required.
    • Find out how much your instalment amount is and whether you have the monthly budget to accommodate the monthly payments.
    • Don’t over-borrow. Borrowing more than you need only makes your instalments larger, making it difficult to pay them.
    • Choose a loan based on the Effective Interest Rate (EIR) since it shows you the true cost of the loan you apply for.
    • Keep in mind that moneylenders charge higher interest rates than banks.
    • Pay your monthly instalments on time to avoid additional fees and charges for late repayment.
    • Get financial advice from an expert before you apply for the loan.

    All said and done, having an employment pass in Singapore can help you get the funds you need, provided you meet the criteria of the lender you are borrowing from. Personal loans can be of great financial help if you handle them wisely and make your repayments on time. However, if you keep defaulting on your payments, your loan can turn into a financial nightmare and strain your monthly income.

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