Tips on Managing Your Big Ticket Purchases Without Breaking the Bank

Whether the washing machine has finally died or you’re eyeing up a new car, the time is going to come in everyone’s life when you’re going to have to drop a lot of money at once. But how to do it? No matter what it is – whitegoods, a holiday, even something as humdrum as automotive repairs – everyone needs to have a plan in place for how they’re going to manage big ticket purchases.

Fortunately, it’s easy to plan for the future when you take the right approach. Fast Money has rounded up a few tips to help you make the smart financial decisions this year. Read on to find out more!

Put away that credit card

The first thing you should probably do is discount the idea of putting it on your credit card. All too quickly this can become the easy way out, which is a slippery slope that can lead to some major financial trouble for you and your family. Not only do you risk maxing out your credit card – affecting your ability to use it other on other purchases – you can also create problems for yourself down the line, dramatically increasing the amount of interest you have to pay and the size of your minimum repayment. The smart decision is always to turn down using your credit card.

Plan your savings around it

Think carefully, are there any lifestyle changes you could enact or smart decisions you could make to free up some more savings? Having a ready cushion of money available on hand can alleviate much of the stress that comes with making a big ticket purchase. This can involve some hard decisions, such as foregoing an overseas holiday or cutting costs in other parts of your life, but there will most definitely come a time when you will thank yourself for your prudence.

Get smart, targeted help when you need it

If your lifestyle simply can’t support that level of savings, then there are still alternatives. One of the most intelligent ways to support your saving efforts with additional capital is taking out a personal loan. This offers the same help a credit card does with the added bonus that it’s provided in a fixed lump sum. That means you can access it’s entire value at once without the risk of going overboard and incurring additional debt.

If you’re looking for the help you need to make those getting those big ticket items simple and easy, speak to the loan consultants at Fast Money to learn more.

Where To Apply For A Loan As A Foreigner In Singapore

Despite there being nearly a million foreigners on work permits in Singapore, many institutions have been surprisingly slow to offer loan products specifically tailored to foreigners. Combined with Singapore’s extremely high cost of living – considered by many economists and commentators to be the most expensive city in the world – this can lead foreigners struggling to acquire a ready line of credit, helping them to meet their day to day needs and assisting them with making big tsicket purchases.

In this blog, we will break down the different options available to foreign workers looking to secure a personal loan. Read on to find out more.

Traditional lenders

Many banks are wary of lending to foreigners for a variety of reasons. At the fundamental level, banks are concerned about your ability to service and fully repay a loan. These concerns most often take the form of worries about the stability and regularity of your cash flow, or the permanence of your living situation.

Foreign workers and foreign talent frequently operate in industries with irregular payment cycles or salary amounts, meaning the bank lacks the iron clad confidence that comes from knowing that the borrower is on a fixed salary payable regularly. Additionally, there is always the concern that you could lose your work permit or visa, and be forced to vacate the country rapidly.

The end-result of this is that not every bank offers a loan product targeted at work permit holders, meaning this class of people can often struggle to access credit.

The need for an alternative

This doesn’t mean that work permit holders are locked out of the credit market. Many financial institutions such as independent licensed moneylenders have recognised this gap in the market and moved to provide temporary residents with loan products tailored to their specific needs.

These loans require that

Often these loans simply require the borrower to submit a few additional documents as part of their application. In addition to a valid work pass, you will be need to provide a valid employment pass, the tenancy agreement for your rental premises proving your intent to stay here for the length of time needed to service the loan, a bank statement and three months of pay slips to demonstrate a level of income comfortably capable of making repayments and an employment letter from your place of business demonstrating stable work.

For more information on applying for a personal loan as a foreigner, start a conversation with the loan consultant at Fast Money today.

Why You Should Apply for Personal Loan from a Licensed Moneylender Instead of a Bank

With so many financial institutions in Singapore to choose from, it can be hard to even begin to decide who you should borrow from. It’s a decision that requires careful consideration, as choosing who your lender is has a huge impact on the terms of your loan, which in turn impact how the loan will affect your financial future.

In Singapore, there are two classes of institutions accredited to provide personal loans – banks and licensed moneylenders. Their differing corporate structures and product offerings mean that borrowing from one can be a starkly different experience from borrowing the other. This said, licensed moneylenders do offer borrowers a number of attractive benefits, especially where their needs do not align with the products offered by Singapore’s banks. Read on to find out more.

Smaller loan principals

Banks by and large offer substantially large loan amounts to borrowers, potentially locking individuals with seeking smaller loans out of the market. Many banks offer personal loans starting as high S$5,000. If you only need a few hundred or a couple of thousand dollars to repair your car, pay a bond or upgrade your appliances, this is far too much. The first rule of borrowing is only borrow precisely as much as you need, so simply taking the higher amount is often a bad idea.

Into this market gap comes licensed moneylenders. Many moneylenders can offer much smaller loans, often under S$1,000. This is perfect for people with smaller or less expensive needs who only need a small amount of additional credit to tide them over between pay days, for example.

Greater credit score flexibility

Moneylenders are also generally more willing to provide loans to people with credit scores below that which a bank would consider the minimum for a borrower. This opens up loans to people with a broader range of credit scores. Everyone can need some help from time to time, so choosing a moneylender ensures that more people can access that support when they need it.

Faster approval process

Moneylenders can also offer rapid or even same-day approval on loan applications, making them ideal for individuals with a sudden and pressing need for additional capital. When you need your car repaired for work as quickly as possible or need to finance a replacement purchase for something essential, a moneylender is the place to go.

For more information on how a personal loan through a moneylender can support you, speak to one of the experienced loan consultants at Fast Money.

Step by Step Guide to Applying for a Business Loan in Singapore

The majority of businesses will often hit a period in their life-cycle when they will need an injection of capital. Whether it’s to finance an expansion, protect the business’ operations during the vulnerable early periods, or to help the business purchase mission-critical plant and equipment, most organisations find themselves looking to broaden their cash flow with a loan.

But how to go about it? If you’re a first-time entrepreneur or you’ve recently stepped into a new industry, you can often find yourself without the financial knowledge necessary to navigate Singapore’s mature and complex financial industry. In this blog, Fast Money helps you better understand what goes into a loan application, and how you can give yours the best chance of success.

The right loan product for the right reasons

Before you even set foot in a bank or a moneylender’s office, you need to understand what you’re looking for and why. Singapore’s financial institutions offer an enormous range of options for business-owners looking for a loan – finding the one that suits you best should be your first objective. Different lenders will have different terms and conditions including maximum loan amounts, interest rates, amount of required collateral (if any), payment terms, repayment requirements and more. Carefully scrutinise a broad selection of products from a diverse range of institutions to find the product most suitable for your needs with the most favourable repayment terms.

Getting your documentation in order

Once you’ve chosen a loan product and a lender, it’s time to prepare your case. A loan application is – at its heart – a process of convincing the lender that you’re a financially responsible entrepreneur with a clear ability to repay the loan. To support your case, you need to bring the right evidence.

Banks and moneylenders will often tell you on their websites what documentation you need to provide as part of the application. As a bare minimum, this includes your latest ACRA business profile and proof that your business has been incorporated for the minimum amount of time required by the lender. You will also need to provide your tenancy agreement, an M&A, and a utilities bill from your place of business.

You may also need to provide proof of a certain amount of local shareholding, and – for certain loans intended for small to medium enterprises – proof that you employ a certain number of employers or turnover a certain amount per annum.

Fast, modern application processes

Once you’ve got your documentation together, it’s time to apply. In the 21st century, this is an extremely streamlined process. You’ll be able to make an enquiry online without setting foot in the lender’s office, communicating your needs ahead of time so you can work out well in advance what loan product you need. Fill in an online form and one of the team members at the moneylender’s office will be in touch to discuss the next step in your application.

To learn how a business loan could help your organisation grow and stay competitive, speak to the loan consultants at Fast Money today.

Personal Loan or Balance Transfer – Which is Better?

If you’re considering refinancing your credit card debt, you obviously want to make the smartest and most effective move for your financial future. Singapore’s mature economy and highly-developed banking system offers individuals numerous options for refinancing, so how do you figure out which is the most appropriate for your needs?

The majority of credit card-holders usually gravitate towards either a personal loan or a balance transfer to achieve a reduction in their interest rates. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and may suit some individuals and situations better than others. In this blog, we’ll compare the two and break down the pros and cons of each.

Volatile and time-limited

Fundamentally, a credit card balance transfer works by transferring the remaining credit on your current credit card to a new credit card with lower interest rates or more favourable terms. Banks and other financial institutions often offer low or zero interest rate terms on your new card, potentially saving you money in the short-term.

Be warned that these new interest rates are temporary in the majority of cases. After a certain amount of time has elapsed – usually 3, 6, 12 or 24 months – the card will revert to its headline interest rate. This can often by much, much higher than the introductory interest rate, and can have a sharp and severe effect on your budget. A 0% per annum balance transfer rate can become 20% in as little as a few months, so understand what you’re signing up for.

Additionally, there is often a balance transfer fee charged for the transfer. This is often represented as a percentage of the balance transferred. Speak to your lender to learn about the terms and conditions of a balance transfer.

The certainty you need in your finances

Where a personal loan excels is in the absolute confidence it gives borrowers. The money is provided as a lump sum – leaving no room for overspending and racking up additional debt – at a fixed interest rate. While lenders can’t offer you a 0% introductory interest rate, the rates they provide are frequently substantially lower than a credit card, meaning that you’ll still save money in the long-run. That means there’s no extra hit to your finances when you’re already vulnerable.

Consider how a personal loan could help you better manage your finances. Speak to a loan consultant at Fast Money today to learn more.

Debunking 3 Myths Of Personal Loans

Loans are one of those things that the majority of people will take out, but no one ever talks about. Maybe it’s a shyness about talking about personal finances, but the end result is that there is a great deal of ignorance and misinformation surrounding personal loans floating around out there. Unless you have a friend who’s a banker or in finance, it’s likely no one you know will be able to confidently talk about the process of getting a personal loan.

We want to clear the air a little bit, so we’ve rounded up three of the most common and wrong-headed myths about personal loans in our latest blog post. Read on, you might learn something!

Banks are the best place to get a loan

This is the most common one. Start talking about personal loans and someone will inevitably ask which bank you are applying through. There is this perception that not only are banks the best place to get a personal loan, they’re the only place. Singapore is a mature economy with a highly-developed finance and credit industry, so consumers have a broad range of lenders to choose from, each offering their own loan products with their own unique terms. Look beyond the banks and consider how a licensed moneylender could help you achieve your financial goals.

The application process is long and complex

If you’ve never taken out a loan, you’re likely to imagine the application process involving physically appearing at the lender’s office, waiting for them to call you, then pleading your case for a loan directly to the lender’s face. Then weeks later, you’ll find out in the mail if you were approved. An intimidating thought! Fortunately, not one that has much to do with reality. Lenders in Singapore are utilising some of the latest advances in financial technology to make the process of applying for a loan easier than ever. Moneylenders have streamlined their approach, allowing you to start exploring your options for a loan through their website, before coming down to the office to sign and fill in a paper application.

Loans always mean more debt

Many people see the word ‘loan’ and immediately have visions of their equity plummeting. You’d be surprised how wrong this is! Carefully choosing your loan product can actually reduce your overall debt pool. Think of it this way – if you’ve got several lines of credit out such as a credit card, a car loan and a mortgage, you’re paying a certain amount each month in interest that’s simply lost income. That’s money above and beyond the original loan amount that you could be saving. Choosing to do what is called a refinance – that is taking out a new loan to replace an existing loan – can actually save you money where the new loan has a better interest rate, saving you money in the long-term.

Make the intelligent financial decision and speak to the loan consultants at Fast Money and learn how a loan could help you achieve your financial goals.