Foreigner Loans in Singapore

Top 4 Banks Offering Foreigner Loans in Singapore (2021)

When an emergency occurs, and you’re in a foreign country, it’s natural to feel panicked. What should you do when there’s an urgent medical expense, a large utility bill, or some other sudden disaster that needs to be addressed with money?

There’s no need to lose hope; there’s a way to get financial support even if you’re far from home. There are plenty of loans for foreigners in Singapore that offer great terms, no matter where you’re from. 

The bottom line is that getting financing has never been easier for foreigners in the country looking for local banking opportunities! This article will provide insight into the many options and resources available out there.

Best Foreigner Loans in Singapore 2021

Singapore offers foreigners (or non-permanent residents) studying, working, or living in Singapore the option of obtaining a personal loan.

In contrast to Singapore personal loans, loans for foreigners are approved based on a minimum annual income requirement, minimum salary requirement, and type of employment pass/permit. 

Here are the top 4 banks that offer the best loans for foreigners in Singapore, along with their loan quantum, interest rate, and processing fee.

  1. Standard Chartered CashOne Personal Loan
  2. HSBC Personal Loan
  3. OCBC ExtraCash Loan
  4. Citibank Quick Cash (for new loan customers)
Banks Annual Interest Rate Foreigners’ minimum annual income Loanable amount Processing Fee
Standard Chartered CashOne Personal Loan 3.88% (7.56% EIR) interest rate Minimum annual income of $60,000 Up to four times your monthly income 0
HSBC Personal Loan 3.8% (7%) interest rate Minimum annual income of S40,000 Up to eight times your monthly income 0
OCBC ExtraCash Loan 5.42% p.a. (EIR 12.11% p.a.) to 5.54% p.a. (EIR 10.96% p.a.) for its interest rate Minimum annual income of $45,000 Up to six times your monthly income 200
Citibank Quick Cash (new loan customers) 3.99% p.a. (EIR 7.5% p.a.) interest rate Minimum annual income of $42,000 Up to four times your monthly income 0

 

Bank Loans:

1. Standard Chartered Bank

  • Maximum loan amount: Up to 4x your monthly salary, capped at S$250,000 Minimum S$1,000 to a maximum of S$250,000
  • Loan tenure: 1 – 5 years

2. HSBC

  • Maximum loan amount: Up to 4x your monthly salary. Minimum S$1,000 to a maximum of S$200,000
  • Loan tenure: 1 to 7 years (maximum of the validity period of your employment pass)

3. OCBC

  • Maximum loan amount: Minimum $1,000 to a maximum of 4x your monthly salary.
  • Loan tenure: 1 to 5 years

4. Citibank

  • Maximum loan amount: Minimum S$1,000 to a maximum of Up to 4x your monthly salary
  • Loan tenure: 1 to 5 years

 

Alternative Options

Licensed Money Lenders

Licensed money lenders provide financial loans to people for anything from large purchases to emergencies.

This is a useful service for foreigners in Singapore who are strapped for cash and find their credit cards insufficient, especially with the increased interest rates being charged these days.

However, moneylenders are not without their fair share of critics, mainly due to misunderstandings about how they make money. Many people indeed get into debt with these offices, often only due to a lack of financial literacy. However, it is also true that moneylenders need to profit and provide services to people to stay in business.

Myth 1: You pay very high interest rates.

While interest rates vary between different licensed moneylenders, they have regulated interest rates, which means protection for the borrower against being overcharged.

Myth 2: Moneylenders are out to steal your money.

Several myths circulate about moneylenders; however, it should be noted that for those who do not have any other means of getting their hands on an amount, moneylending can be a more reliable way of accessing funds than to borrow money from friends or family again.

It is also possible to make savings plans that will enable repayment over time.

Moneylender’s services include:

  • mortgage loan
  • bridging loans
  • payday loan
  • personal loans
  • car loans
  • housing loan for investment purposes(s)
  • unsecured loans
  • commercial lending (businesses, companies)
  • small business finance (businesses)

 

What’s the Best Personal Loan From a Bank?

HSBC Personal Loan is the cheaper option if you are a foreigner living in Singapore. It offers low interest rates with a lower monthly salary requirement than other loan options. Additionally, it offers a competitive maximum amount, a low annual fee, and does not require any processing fee.

This makes it one of the best personal loan options in Singapore.

To be eligible, foreigners in Singapore must earn at least $40,00 a year and have a valid employment pass for one year.

Foreigners can apply through HSBC’s online application form.

 

Typical Requirements and Eligibility for Foreigner Loans in Singapore

As a foreigner applying for financing, there is little difference from that of a Singaporean or Permanent Resident–the principle difference is in the eligibility criteria. A higher minimum salary or annual/monthly income requirement usually applies to foreigners or any proof of legal residence in Singapore.

Banks

  • Proof of identity. An active passport and a valid work permit or employment pass with at least six months until expiration.
  • Proof of residence. Recent phone bills or other utility bills, bank statement, and residential tenancy agreement containing your residential address details.
  • Proof of income from your salary as an employee. You’ll need your most recent CPF statement showing your contributions for the last three months, as well as your latest income tax assessment. A valid Singapore work pass is also required.
  • Proof of earning for self-employed or on commission foreigners. A CPF contribution statement or tax assessment from your annual income.
  • Proof of earning for foreigners with less than 3 months of working experience. An employment letter that confirms your start date and salary, as well as a bank statement that shows the salary has been credited. Other bank details may also be required during the loan application.

Licensed Money Lenders

The only criteria for obtaining a loan from a licensed money lender, even for foreigners, is that the applicant must be an adult (21 years old and above) working and living in Singapore.

 

Which Loan Is the Best Match for My Needs?

Do you need a loan but don’t know the best option for you? Find out what factors determine which financing option will be good for your situation.

  • Loan amount

The amount is one of the deciding factors when taking out a loan because the interest rate will depend on this number.

  • Interest rate

Banks offer many different interest rates for the money you borrow from them, which will subsequently affect your repayments. Many people underestimate the interest rate and later regret their decision.

The important thing is knowing how much interest rate a specific bank offers for you to evaluate whether they are offering better value than what their competitors might be doing.

  • Loan tenure

Also known as loan tenor, it is the period of time over which a loan’s repayment is scheduled. This is an important factor when getting a personal loan because it will help determine the length of time you need to make repayments and affect how much you’ll have to pay as interest.

If you’re looking for an introductory loan, a short-term personal loan might be more suitable for your needs instead of a longer-term one because it’s easier on your budget and allows you to start paying off your debt sooner.

  • Credit Score

Having good credit history will increase your chances of being approved for a loan. The lower your bad credit score, the higher chance you have of being approved for a loan with an interest rate that is low enough to motivate you to start paying back the bank within the stipulated time.

So, try and pay off as much of your debt as possible before applying for a new loan with an increased interest rate attached to it.

  • Fees

Financial products offered by lenders will often come with multiple charges. This can include processing fees (may be a one-time processing fee), an annual fee, and more.

Be thorough when reading through the contract to know what other charges you may incur and find any hidden fees that may add to your payments.

  • Financial institutions reviews

You need to know the current state of a financial institution. Doing research can help you figure out what they are like as a company, what the future plans might be for the company and how well they treat their customers.

It is important because if you choose a particular bank or institution with good reviews, there is a higher likelihood that your loan will be processed smoothly and without issues.

1) Standard Chartered CashOne Personal Loan

Reviewers report that the company offers great deals. For instance, Standard Chartered currently provides $20 cashback for MyInfo applications and 50% off the first instalment of a 4- or 5-year loan (minimum of S$15,000). Despite this, it does not offer the lowest interest rates in the market, especially if you cannot meet the eligibility requirements to acquire their promos.

2) HSBC Personal Loan

According to reviews, HSBC’s personal loan is the most popular. HSBC offers the lowest interest rate on personal loans to foreigners in Singapore with an effective rate of 7%. As a bonus, HSBC waives its processing fee of S$88 and requires comparatively low income from foreigners (S$40,000).

In addition, HSBC’s personal loan offers the longest loan tenor of 7 years, unlike some other banks that only provide personal loans with a tenor of 5 years. Borrowers can thus get lower monthly payments by extending for a longer term.

3) OCBC ExtraCash Loan

Reviews indicate that OCBC offers personal loans that are among the most costly in Singapore. A large percentage of the cost is due to a high flat interest rate (8.2-13.1%) and a hefty processing fee of S$200 or 2% of the loan amount, whichever is greater. Considering all these factors, OCBC’s personal loans are more expensive than those from other banks.

Despite OCBC’s higher personal loan rates than other banks, the bank is more forthright with its fees compared to the competition. In a sense, this transparency can be useful in the application process, where applicants are better equipped to identify what they can expect from banks like OCBC.

4) Citibank Citi Quick Cash Loan (new loan customers)

This mobile-accessible loan might come in handy for crisis-stricken individuals, reviews indicate.  

With Citi Quick Cash, you get what you expect. You may be able to get a personal loan deposited into your account in just a minute after converting your credit limit. It might be of great use to those who have unforeseen expenses, such as medical bills or business financial obligations.

 

Other Things You Need to Know About Foreigner Loans in Singapore

1. Is it worth it to get a foreigner loan in Singapore?

If you’re going through a rough patch, it might be helpful to talk with banks or licensed moneylenders about getting loans to tide you over till you get back on your feet.

2. What Types of Loans for Foreigners are Available in Singapore?

  • Instalment Loans

The most common type of loan is an instalment loan. A lump sum is deposited into the borrower’s account in advance, which they then repay by monthly instalments over a set period of time. The use of personal instalment loans can be beneficial for those who need money to cover one-time, large expenses.

  • Line of Credit

Another common type of personal loan is the credit line or personal line of credit. Borrowers can tap their personal line of credit whenever they need funds. The interest charged to these borrowers is calculated based on the amount they borrow.

These loans often carry lower interest rates than other personal loans, so you may find them cheaper than others. Personal lines of credit will be beneficial to people who borrow small amounts frequently.

3. Balance Transfer Loans

A balance transfer loan or debt consolidation loan might be the right choice if you already have accumulated a significant amount of personal debt. By consolidating and repaying their existing loans, both types of loans benefit borrowers.

Borrowers can utilize balance transfers to combine their existing debts into a single loan. Because these loans offer an interest-free period of 3-12 months, they’re especially attractive to borrowers who plan to repay their debt quickly. 

4. What are the interest rates money lenders can charge foreigners in Singapore? 

Moneylenders in Singapore can charge foreigners a maximum of 4% interest per month on foreign loans. This is regardless of the foreign borrower’s income and whether it is an unsecured or secured loan.

5. How long does it take to get a foreigner loan in Singapore?

There is no need to worry about long and tedious approvals or even the documentation process. In fact, most licensed lenders can arrange for fast loan processing in less than 24 hours for a foreigner loan in Singapore. This makes moneylenders of the best foreigner loan providers in the country.

Unlike banks, they conduct a non-traditional credit check, which won’t be a problem for foreigners with a low credit score.

6. What makes a foreigner loan different from a personal cash loan?

Foreigner loans are simply personal loans for foreigners in the country. A personal loan, on the other hand, is an unsecured loan. In other words, you do not have to provide collateral for the loan.

7. Is a foreigner loan more expensive than a personal loan? 

Most foreigners residing in Singapore legally are required to have a higher minimum salary or income level.

8. Can you apply for as many personal loans as you like? 

As a measure to limit excessive borrowing, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has limited the credit limit on unsecured loans to 12 times an individual’s monthly income only (effective since 1 June 2019). In the case of a further loan request, after the maximum loan amount has been reached, the application will be rejected automatically.

9. Where can foreigners get quick access to personal loans?

Moneylenders are one of the many ways in which foreigners can access cash quickly. If you can prove that you have an income and a steady income source (whether monthly income or annual income), you have enough financial credibility to get financing from a moneylender.

Moreover, moneylenders are fast in processing applications and disbursing loans (sometimes with near-instant approval), and the case is the same for personal loans for foreigners. Moneylenders have a wider range of services for their clients compared to conventional lenders.

They also offer customized tenure, monthly payments, and other loan details and terms that are tailored to the borrower’s needs.

 

The Bottom Line

Here are the deciding factors foreigners should consider:

  • HSBC Bank offers the best personal loans for foreigners in Singapore, competitive interest rates, monthly payment, credit limit, and processing fees.
  • Make sure you are eligible.
  • A flat interest rate doesn’t always mean it’s a cheaper loan. Many other factors determine the cost of a loan, and these fees can be applied to all types of loans. Outside of the processing fee, these extra costs aren’t always apparent at first glance, so it is important to review what might not seem to make sense or if there would be any extra cost before application.
  • Do not just take out loans, assuming you can always pay them back. Plan your repayment strategy before you apply for financing. 
  • Make the most of the banks’ various promotional offers, but keep in mind that a loan is still a loan-you must repay the loan in full before the fixed period expires.

Applying for financing can be complicated, and all the options available to you can be overwhelming. What’s more, you also have to consider a lot of different factors before an application.

If you need assistance when picking loans, reach out to us at Instant Loan

We provide foreigners in Singapore with a customized list of loans from trustworthy and top-rated lenders in the country that is tailored specifically to their financial needs.

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