Personal Loans Simplified: Our Lending Guide Plus Our 5 Top Picks (Updated March 2024)

By Amanda Goh Personal Loans Simplified: Our Lending Guide Plus Our 5 Top Picks (Updated March 2024) | Updated 04 Mar 2024 5 minutes

Best Personal Loans in Singapore

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Need cash urgently? Consider a personal loan from a bank to relieve your situation. Rather than approaching friends or family, you can get a loan with competitive interest rates to fund your financial circumstances. Continue reading to learn what you need to know when lending from a bank, and read about five of the best personal loan offers from banks in Singapore.

Why Should You Opt For a Personal Loan?

If you urgently require funds and feel uncomfortable asking family or friends, a personal loan might be your best solution.

With a personal loan, you secure money from a bank or financial entity. You then repay them in set installments over a specified duration. However, remember that there’s usually a minimum income criterion, and the bank will review your credit record.

Nevertheless, in a tight situation, getting a personal loan from a reputable bank is more cost-effective and secure than approaching a moneylender. This article will provide an overview of the five best personal loans with the most competitive rates in Singapore currently.

How to Find Favorable Rates Without Damaging Your Credit?

Lending platforms such as ROSHI’s loan marketplace allows you to get customized loan offers from major banks and other lenders without impacting your credit score. Based on your financial profile, ROSHI matches you with lenders that provide personalized rates and terms.


Singapore’s 1st
Loan Marketplace

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Since pre-qualified offers are non-binding, you can compare options across multiple lenders, even securing rates below advertised ones. Our customer success team is also available via email and chat to provide advise and help speed up the application process.

Calculating Your Loan: Interest Rates, EIR and Processing Fees

Before we continue, let’s find out what terms like interest rate, EIR (Effective interest rates) and processing fees mean. The terms can get a bit dense, so let’s break down some potentially puzzling concepts.

First, you’ll need to know how interest rates are calculated. Interest rates are often quoted as “from X%” as a starting point. This is because personal loans fluctuate on various factors, such as your credit history, the amount you wish to borrow, and the loan duration (also known as the loan tenure). The bank calculates your personalised interest rate only when you apply. Therefore, you’ll only know the finalised rate after your application gets the green light.

Second, there is an Effective Interest Rate, known in short as the EIR. The EIR considers other fees, such as the processing fee (see below) and the loan repayment structure. The EIR is a more accurate reflection of the cost of borrowing compared to the advertised interest rates.

Last but not least, you’ll need to know the processing fee. This is an often overlooked charge that can subtly increase personal loan costs. This fee is taken out from the principal amount. For example, a $10,000 loan with a 1% ($100) processing fee means you’ll receive $9,900 in hand. You might not immediately realise the effect, but the fee reduces your funds and increases the borrowing cost.

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Considerations

You can borrow two different personal loan types at a bank or financial institution. The first is a term personal loan. This is when you secure a specific amount with a predetermined repayment schedule set before receiving the money. These loans have a significantly lower interest rate. They also allow you to repay at a consistent and manageable pace that suits your financial standing.

Many financial institutions also provide what’s known as a personal line of credit. It may be called a credit line, revolving loan or “flexible repayment loan”.This arrangement grants you access to a pre-approved sum, which you can withdraw partially or in whole. However, you must pay it back promptly to avoid exorbitant interest rates. These loan amounts are based on your credit card limit. Therefore, possessing a credit card is a prerequisite for such loans. If the bank offers a structured repayment plan, it is still considered a term loan. But if you opt for such a loan, your existing credit cards with that bank are virtually unusable since you have essentially used up your credit for a cash loan. Therefore, we advise that you opt for this only if you are certain about repaying the borrowed amount immediately.

All Current Personal Loan Rates in Singapore

Here’s an overview of the starting interest rates from all personal loan providers. For illustration, let’s consider a Singaporean with a monthly income of $2,500 seeking to borrow $10,000 and repay it over three years. Do note that the loans we recommend are term personal loans and the interest rates below are applicable as of Thursday, October 12, 2023 and are subject to change.
LenderAnnual Interest Rate Effective Interest RateProcessing Fee
CIMB Bank 3.38% 6.32%$0
Citibank 3.45% 6.50%$0
Standard Chartered 3.48% 6.95%$0
OCBC Bank 3.80% 7.49%1.0% of approved loan
DBS 3.88% 7.56%$100
POSB 3.88% 7.56%$100
Maybank 3.88% 7.29%$200
HSBC 4.00% 7.50%$0
OCBC Bank 5.42% 12.11%$200
*Today's Personal Loans Rates - 04 March 2024
Leader Annual Interest Rate Effective Interest Rate Processing Fee
CIMB Bank 3.38% 6.32% $0
Citibank 3.45% 6.50% $0
Standard Chartered 3.48% 6.95% $0
UOB 3.77% 6.89% 1%
OCBC Bank 3.80% 7.49% 1% of approved loan
DBS 3.88% 7.56% $100
POSB 3.88% 7.56% $100
Maybank 3.88% 7.29% $200
HSBC 4.00% 7.50% $0
OCBC Bank 5.42% 12.11% $200
*Today's Personal Loans Rates - 12 October 2023

Our Top Picks For The Most Attractive Offers

We have thoroughly researched all available personal loan products and picked out the options we feel provide the best value and service for borrowers. Based on criteria like interest rates, fees, loan amounts, repayment terms, and perks, we have concluded the following products stand out as attractive choices worth considering.

1. Standard Chartered CashOne

Standard Chartered CashOne Personal Loan

Best Promotions, Best for Low-Income Borrowers
standard chartered new logo

3.48% Annual Interest Rate EIR 6.95% p.a.

$11,044 Total Repayment

$307 Monthly Repayment

APPLY NOW on Standard Chartered's website

The Standard Chartered CashOne personal loan welcomes applications from Singapore Citizens, PRs and foreigners with a Singapore Employment Pass. Applicants need to be aged 21 to 65.

What sets this personal loan offer apart is its relatively lenient entry requirements. Singaporeans and PRs only need a minimum annual income of $20,000(notably lower than other banks). Foreigners only require a $60,000 annual income as a minimum. Unlike other lenders, Standard Chartered doesn’t strictly insist on salaried applicants. They accept salaried workers, those on variable or commission-based earners, and even the self-employed. Sign in through SingPass and receive your loan amount in your account in 15 minutes. There is no prerequisite to be an existing client of Standard Chartered for this loan.

If the loan duration is 1 to 5 years, the bank imposes an annual fee of $199 (subtracted from the approved loan amount). However, no yearly fees are levied from the second year onwards unless you default on an installment. You’ll receive a $50 annual charge for that particular year, on top of a late payment penalty of $100.

The $199 processing fee makes CashOne more cost-efficient for larger loan amounts. For instance, with a $10,000 loan, the fee is 1.99% of the principal.
The advertised starting interest rate is 3.48%, translating to an EIR of 6.95% or more. However, interest rates can vary according to individuals, so your rate might vary from this benchmark.

2. Citibank Quick Cash

Citibank Quick Cash Loan

0% IR for 1 Year Tenure, Best Small-Short-Term Loan
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3.45% Annual Interest Rate EIR 6.5% p.a.

$11,035 Total Repayment

$307 Monthly Repayment

APPLY NOW on Citibank's website

The Citibank Quick Cash offers a 3.45% interest rate (EIR: 6.5%) for those without a Citibank loan. Existing Citibank loan customers will receive a slightly higher interest rate.

To apply, just access the Citi Mobile App, input the desired loan amount, and the funds are instantly available.

The loan is open to Singapore Citizens and PRs between 21 and 65 years old with a minimum annual income of $30,000. Foreign applicants should have a yearly income of more than $42,000. Citibank would have assessed these criteria if you were an existing Citibank customer. Therefore, you do not have to worry about meeting them when taking out a personal loan.

Opting for Citibank’s Quick Cash personal loan grants you flexibility in loan tenure. Choose from 12, 24, 36, 48 or 60 months without processing fees. If you lean towards a concise 1-year repayment plan, the interest rate is 3.56%. For those who want to stretch the loan up to 5 years, the rate is 3.48%. Regardless of your chosen tenure, the EIR remains consistent at 6.5%.

However, it’s essential to note that these rates are indicative. Individualised rates may vary.

3. DBS/POSB Personal Loan

DBS Personal Loan

Fastest Loan Disbursement
DBS Saving Account

3.88% Annual Interest Rate EIR 7.56% p.a.

$11,164 Total Repayment

$310 Monthly Repayment

APPLY NOW on DBS's website

For DBS Personal Loan, only current DBS customers can apply. You are eligible for instant cash disbursement if you possess a DBS Cashline or a DBS credit card or credit your paycheck into a DBS Or POSB account.

Eligibility extends to Singaporeans, PRs, and foreigners with a DBS Cashline or credit card account. Applications should have an annual income of at least $20,000 and be between the ages of 21 and 75.

DBS criteria are similar to the Standard Chartered CashOne loan. A fixed salary is not mandatory to qualify, so the loan is accessible to self-employed or commission-based employees.

The personal loan from DBS boasts attractive interest rates ranging from 3.88%. A processing fee of 1% applies, setting the minimum EIR at 7.56%. Borrowers can choose from loan tenures ranging from 6 months to 5 years. However, do note that these rates are starting points. The exact interest rate is determined by DBS based on individual profiles, with the maximum EIR being 20.1%.

4. HSBC Personal Loan

HSBC Personal Loan

Online Promotions, Most Competitive Interest Rates
HSBC logo

4% Annual Interest Rate EIR 7.5% p.a.

$11,200 Total Repayment

$311 Monthly Repayment

APPLY NOW on HSBC's website

HSBC’s loan caters to Singaporeans and PRs between 21 and 65 years old. Applicants need to have an annual income of $30,000 or more.

The extended loan duration is a standout feature since loan tenure can stretch up to 7 years. If you seek a significant loan amount but cannot afford hefty monthly repayments, you should put HSBC at the top of your choices. This is the most extended loan tenure available in Singapore currently.

However, there is a caveat. The interest rates start at 4%, with EIR fluctuating from 7.5% to 15%. Note that these rates may differ based on individual financial profiles.

Also, you’ll need to be patient with substantial loan amounts. Larger loans, such as those above $100,000, may take a longer processing duration. Expect to wait up to a week for larger loan amounts.

Best way to find the

How to choose the right personal loan?

Choosing the right loan product involves weighing various factors to find the best fit for your financial situation. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to choose a personal loan:

    1. Determine your needs: Understand the specific reason for the loan, whether it’s for consolidating debt, financing a purchase, or covering an emergency.
    1. Evaluate interest rates: UOB Personal Loan and Standard Chartered CashOne generally offer competitive interest rates if you want the most affordable personal loan. Citibank’s Quick Cash is a viable option for new Citibank customers. Remember that rates can vary based on trustworthiness and other factors.
    1. Check loan tenures: Need more time to repay a considerable sum? Then consider options like an HSBC Personal Loan with a loan tenure of up to 7 years, the longest in Singapore as of this article’s publication.
    1. Consider approval time: If you need the money urgently, you’ll need to consider lenders known for quick processing time. For example, existing DBS customers can consider a DBS Personal Loan. Other options are UOB Personal Loan (for existing UOB customers) and Standard Chartered CashOne.
    1. Review eligibility criteria: Some banks have specific requirements. Older applications above 65 years should go for DBS Personal loans, which allow loans for applicants up to age 75. DBS and Standard Chartered CashOne have a more accessible minimum income requirement of $20,000, accommodating those who earn less annually. For those who rely on commissions or are self-employed, go for DBS loans or Standard Chartered CashOne.
    1. Understand fees: Apart from the interest rate, be aware of processing fees, late repayment penalties and annual fees associated with the loan.
    1. Loan amount and duration: Only borrow what you need and can afford to repay. A small loan amount with a shorter term generally leans to less interest paid over the life of the loan.

Once you’ve weighed all the above factors and found a loan that suits your needs, proceed with the application process. Ensure you have all the necessary documentation. Remember that while a personal loan can relieve a financial crunch, managing the responsibility wisely is essential to avoid future financial strain.

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Important Info

It’s crucial to prioritise avoiding debt. But if circumstances necessitate taking a loan, commit wholeheartedly to repaying it on schedule to avoid additional charges. As a proactive measure, regularly evaluate and adjust your financial habits. Ensure a comprehensive budget that accounts for all expenses to meet daily needs and save for the future. Simultaneously, establish an emergency fund, equivalent to a few months of your expenses, to act as a safety net to offer an alternative to borrowing. Moreover, do familiarise yourself with your insurance needs. Adequate insurance can act as a buffer against unexpected large expenditures, minimising the need for loans during emergencies.

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