What does it take to become a licensed moneylender in Singapore?

141

Every day, thousands and thousands of people come across a need to require a money loan for some of their life’s biggest decisions. From requiring a loan for a marriage or for study, taking a loan from a bank or licensed moneylender can safely be called a part of the new-age economy which is as essential as the need to have a bank for safe money deposit.

If you feel that you would want to pursue a career as a licensed money lender in Singapore then there are a few things you must always keep in mind. Here is a brief guide to tell you everything that you may need to equip yourself with the expertise to offer low-interest personal loans and gain the reputation of the best-licensed moneylender.

What does the Singapore Moneylenders Act say?

According to Singapore Moneylenders Act, no one is legally allowed to pursue a money lending business unless they have a license to be a moneylender. In Singapore, the general rule of thumb is that without a license you cannot be a moneylender even as a principal or an agent except if you are an exempted or excluded moneylender.

The Singapore government has always worked towards ensuring that both the borrower as well as the moneylender should be protected under law. That is why the rights and protections for both a licensed moneylender as well as the borrower are carefully summarized in the Moneylenders’ Act.

This document is the single most important tool for all licensed moneylenders in Singapore as it gives all the necessary details on how a moneylending business should work and function.

It also contains crucial information such as the parameters on which the moneylenders must use and disclose the information and data of the borrowers.

This document serves as a guide for both the moneylenders and borrowers and a best-licensed moneylender ensures that they are familiar with the document so that they do not fall prey to any scams or frauds.

Getting registered for the moneylenders’ test

You need to get yourself registered for the Moneylenders’ Test Booking System to request a test slot. You are required to pay a non-refundable test fee of S$130 for each attempt that you give. The fee includes the GST. You may check your results two weeks after you appeared for the test.

Eligibility for moneylenders’ test

While anybody can register for a moneylenders’ test, it is crucial to pass the test in order to become a licensed money lender in Singapore. But remember that just passing the test does not immediately qualify you as a Test Qualified Manager. There are additional criteria such as having a minimum of four GCE ‘0’ levels passes including the English language. Besides this, the candidate must be fit and must possess good character.

Get Listed

Financial frauds are becoming the order of the day hence it is important that a licensed moneylender gets themselves listed in the legitimate moneylenders list released by the Ministry of Law. The last such list by the Ministry of Singapore was published in 2020. More often than not, before deciding which moneylender to trust borrowers do a google search on the best-licensed moneylender in Singapore and go with those trusted by the Ministry of Law list.

Getting your moneylending license renewed

It is imperative that a licensee maintains good conduct throughout his practice as the renewal of a moneylending license depends on your performance. Apart from that, when the time for renewal is due, licensees must keep handy the following documents and forward them to the registry.

The documents required are:

  1. A tenancy agreement for the place of business, valid for at least one year following the expiry of the existing license.
  2. A renewed bankers’ guarantee or an insurance guarantee for a sum of $20,000.
  3. A copy of the proof of ownership of the premises
  4. A landlords’ approval and Management Corporation Strata Title approval if needed for the proposed place of business for the entire period covering the license.

Fair and best business practices

Remember as in any trade, a good money lending service is recognised by the seamless and hassle-free experience it gives to its borrowers along with the best interest rates. Everyone who is in the market to borrow money looks for lenders who are armed with the right information, guaranteeing low-interest personal loans.

So, concentrating on these strengths can get you ahead of the others in the trade, helping you create a name for yourself that would lead to potential customers in due course of time. All the best!

BUSINESS NEWS DAY