Best Personal Loans for Foreigners in Singapore 2018

Personal loans can be useful to help you pay for large or unexpected expenses. We've highlighted the best loan options for foreigners living in Singapore in order to help you compare rates and features and find financing that fits your needs.

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Our Top Picks for the Best Personal Loans for Foreigners in Singapore

This list represents our recommendations for the best personal loans available to foreigners living in Singapore. We considered factors including interest costs, fees, loan tenures and promotions. The average effective interest cost of all personal loans in Singapore is about 13% to 15%, and many of the loans in this list charge much lower interest rates making them more affordable. In addition to low interest rates, you should choose a loan that allows you to make affordable monthly payments with as short of a tenure as your can manage.

Effective Interest Rates of 3-Year Personal Loan for Foreigners in Singapore. This graph compares the effective interest rates of the best personal loans in Singapore to help consumers find a personal loan with the lowest interest rate. We assume a loan tenure of 3 years and an annual income of at least S$30,000

Best Personal Loan Promotion: Standard Chartered CashOne

Consider this if you prefer a large personal loan with low rates

Eligibility S$30,000 of annual income (S$60,000 for foreigners)
Max. Loan Amount 2x monthly salary for annual income below S$30,000; 4x monthly salary for annual income > S$30,000; 8x monthly income for annual income above S$120,000 (up to S$250,000)
Min. Loan Amount S$1,000
Processing Fee S$199 for 1st year (waived for online application), S$50 for subsequent years (waived for borrowers who make repayments on time)
Approval Time 1 day

Standard Chartered's current personal loan promotion is providing S$50 cashback and a S$199 annual fee credit to online applicants. It is also offering cashback of up to S$2,088 to new customers and up to S$1,088 existing customers. For this reason, we suggest that foreigner's with high incomes consider Standard Chartered CashOne. The bank offers borrowers that earn at least S$120,000 per year loans effective interest rates of 7.76% to 9.52% for loans of at least S$50,000.

Still, CashOne does have its drawbacks. For example, it is not as cheap as HSBC for people who earn salaries of less than S$120,000 per year. To learn more about Standard Chartered's personal loans read our full review.

Summary of Standard Chartered CashOne's Interest Rates and Features

Interest Rate By Duration (Year)Flat RateFeeEffective Interest RateMonthly InstalmentTotal Cost*
14.98%S$09.82%S$4,374S$1,940
24.98%S$09.69%S$2,291S$4,430
34.98%S$09.55%S$1,596S$6,920
44.98%S$09.42%S$1,249S$9,410
54.98%S$09.29%S$1,041S$11,900
Promotion: S$50 cashback for online application + Up to S$2,088 of cashback on loan
*Assuming existing customer with annual Income above S$120,000, S$50,000 loan

Best Large, Long-Term Personal Loan for Foreigners in Singapore: HSBC Personal Loan

Consider this if you require a large, long-term personal loan

Eligibility S$30,000 of annual income (S$40,000 for foreigners)
Max. Loan Amount 4x monthly salary for income S$30,000 to S$120,000; 8x monthly salary for income > S$120,000; S$200,000 Maximum Loan Size (2x monthly salary for foreigners)
Min. Loan Amount S$5,000
Processing Fee S$88, waived for online applicants
Approval Time 1 minute approval, receive cash in one business day

For people who need a larger personal loan, HSBC's personal loan is the best option. First of all, HSBC's effective interest rate of 7% to 9% is one of the lowest available for loans of at least 3 years that are available to foreigners living in Singapore. Furthermore, HSBC's personal loans are even cheaper for customers with annual incomes of S$80,000 or more. These individuals are offered the lowest effective interest rates for long-term personal loans of 7% (or 3.7% flat rate).

Additionally, HSBC's personal loan is the only loan that provides tenures up to 7 years, compared to some other banks that only offer personal loans with tenures of up to 5 years. This allows borrowers to reduce their monthly payments by spreading the loan out over a longer period of time. The one drawback of HSBC's personal loan is that it is not the cheapest short-term loan available to foreigners in Singapore, due to its high EIR for loans of 1 and 2 years. Finally, it is also worth mentioning that HSBC has the lowest income requirement for foreigners (S$40,000) and waives its S$88 processing fee and provides S$50 in cashback to online applicants. For more information read our full review.

Loan DurationFlat Rate^Processing FeeEffective Interest RateMonthly Instalment*
17.2%S$013%S$893.33
27.1%S$013%S$475.83
34.8%S$09%S$317.78
44.9%S$09%S$249.17
54.9%S$09%S$207.50
65.0%S$09%S$180.56
75.0%S$09%S$160.71
*Assuming S$10,000 of loan and income of S$40,000; processing fee is waived for online application

Small, Short-Term Personal Loan for Foreigners in Singapore: OCBC Cash-On-Instalment

Consider this if you are a foreigner living in Singapore and seek the cheapest short-term loan available

Eligibility S$30,000 of annual income (S$45,000 for foreigners)
Max. Loan Amount Maximum available credit limit
Min. Loan Amount S$1,000
Processing Fee 6% for 12 month loans, 9% for 24 month loans, 2% for 36 - 60 month loans
Approval Time Unknown

OCBC's Cash-On-Instalment loans are the cheapest 1 and 2 year personal loans available to foreigners living in Singapore. This is due, in part, to the fact that the bank offers an exclusive rate of 0% annual interest and a 9% processing fee to applicants that apply through ValueChampion. Their 1-year loan is also relatively cheap, with a one-time processing fee of 6% and a 0% interest rate. With that said, OCBC's Cash-On Instalment loan is not the cheapest personal loan options for tenures of 3 or more years. For more information, please refer to our complete review of OCBC's Cash-on-Instalment. For information regarding OCBC's ExtraCash Personal Loan, read our review.

Summary of OCBC Cash-On-Instalment Loan's Interest Rates & Features

Interest Rate By Duration (Year)Flat Rate*Fee*Effective Interest Rate*Monthly Payment*Total Cost*
10%6%11.47%S$833.33S$600
20%9%9.00%S$416.67S$900
35.80%2%12.11%S$326.11S$1,940
45.80%2%11.71%S$256.67S$2,520
55.80%2%11.38%S$215.00S$3,100
Promotion: Up to S$320 cashback (S$80 per S$8,000 in total loan amount)
*Assuming Annual Income above S$45,000, loan of S$10,000

Best Debt Consolidation Plan for Foreigners in Singapore: HSBC Debt Consolidation Plan

Consider this if you require a loan to repay other debt and prefer a plan with the lowest interest rate and no processing fee

Balance to Income Ratio More than 12x monthly income
Early Repayment Fee 5% of redemption amount
Late Payment Fee S$75
Processing Fee S$88 or 1%, waived for online applications

HSBC offers the most affordable debt consolidation plans for foreigners living in Singapore due to its low interest rates. For example, for loan tenures of 1 to 7 years, HSBC only charges a flat rate of 4%, compared to other banks that typically charge 5% - 6%. For longer tenures of 8 to 10 years, its rates are still the cheapest at 5.7% compared to other lenders that charge at least 6%. Additionally, online applicants receive S$100 in cashback and have their processing fee waived. For more information, see our full review.

Details of HSBC Debt Consolidation Loan

HSBC Debt Consolidation LoanDetails
Processing FeeS$88 or 1%, waived
Flat Interest Rate 1-7 Years4.0%
Flat Interest Rate 8-10 Years5.7%
PromotionS$100 cashback for online application + Processing fee waiver

Best Personal Lines of Credit

Unlike personal instalment loans, personal lines of credit give borrowers the ability to draw from available credit and functions similar to a credit card. This type of loan is beneficial because it only charges interest on the amount that you actually borrow. Because of this, it can actually be cheaper than a traditional personal loan depending on your borrowing habits.

Best Long-Term Personal Line of Credit: HSBC Personal Line of Credit

Consider this if you prefer a flexible, long-term alternative to personal loans

Eligibility S$30,000 of annual income
Max. Credit Limit 4x monthly salary (6x for annual income > S$120,000), up to S$100,000
Annual Fee S$60, waived for 1 year

HSBC is the best long-term personal line of credit available to foreigners living in Singapore. The bank charges the lowest effective interest rate for this type of at 18.5%, while other banks tend to charge 20% or more. Additionally, waives its annual fee (S$60) for 1 year for new customers and 2 years for Revolution, Advance and Premier customers. The bank's personal line of credit even more cheaper due to its promotion, which offers a 50% interest rebate for first the 3 months of the loan. Finally, HSBC's S$88 processing fee is waived for approved credit amounts of at least S$10,000.

Best Short-Term Personal Line of Credit: Maybank CreditAble

Consider this if you prefer a large, short-term alternative to personal loans, with a great promotional rate

Eligibility S$30,000 of annual income
Max. Credit Limit 4x monthly salary
Annual Fee S$80, waived for 2 years

Maybank's Creditable is another great personal line of credit that foreigners might want to consider. While this loan charges higher effective interest rates (from 19.8%) than HSBC, Maybank's promotional interest rate during the first year of its personal lines of credit is very low at 9%. Maybank also waives its S$80 annual fee for 2 years and also offering S$120 cashback to online applicants.These factors make Creditable a good choice for those who want a line of credit for 2 years or less. Finally, Maybank gives its borrowers a higher maximum credit limit of 4x monthly salary than HSBC.

Compare the Personal Loans

Please refer to our summary table for the best personal loan offerings for foreigners living in Singapore.

Personal LoansBest For...Min. Annual Income
Standard Chartered CashOneBest Cashback PromotionS$60,000Apply Now
HSBC Personal LoanBest 3-7 Year LoanS$40,000Apply Now
OCBC Cash-On-InstalmentCheapest 1-2 Year LoanS$45,000Apply Now
Personal LoansBest For...Min. Annual Income
Standard Chartered CashOneApply NowBest Cashback PromotionS$60,000
HSBC Personal LoanApply NowBest 3-7 Year LoanS$40,000
OCBC Cash-On-InstalmentApply NowCheapest 1-2 Year LoanS$45,000

How to Find the Best Personal Loan

Like any other significant financial decision, we strongly suggest that you compare all of your options before choosing a personal loan. While personal loans charge lower interest rates than credit cards and typically have smaller principal amounts than home loans, they are not insignificant endeavors. With that in mind, we suggest that you carefully consider a few factors before applying for a loan.

First, it is imperative to compare the total cost of each loan. This is comprised of interest rate cost and various fees. When comparing interest rates it is essential to understand the difference between effective and flat rates. The flat rate helps you calculate the total interest you will owe over the course of the loan tenure. On the other hand, the effective interest rate (EIR) represents the true economic cost of your loan and helps you compare the interest rates of various loan types. Other costs include fees ranging from loan processing to late fees. It is important to review each loan's fees before applying, in order to understand any cost differences.

Additionally, it is important to consider your monthly payment under each loan. For instance, you want to choose a loan that you will be able to repay in a timely manner and that won't significantly restrict your budget. Typically, loans with longer durations require smaller monthly payments. However, these loans also typically have larger total costs. You must balance these factors in order to find a loan that works best for your financial situation.

What Types of Personal Loans Are Available in Singapore?

There are a handful of personal loan types offered in Singapore. Personal instalment loans are the most common. These loans offer borrowers a lump sum upfront, which borrowers then repay in monthly instalments during the tenure of the loan. Personal instalment loans are useful for individuals that need cash in order to pay for a large, one-time expense. Credit lines, or personal lines of credit, are another common type of personal loan. With a personal line of credit, borrowers can "draw" funds as needed based on a limit determined by their bank.These borrowers are charged interest based only on the amount that they actually borrow. Therefore, these loans can be cheaper than other personal loans, depending on your borrowing habits. Personal lines of credit are particularly useful for individuals that plan to borrow small amounts of money on an ongoing basis.

If you've already accumulated a significant amount of personal debt and are looking for a personal loan to pay off your existing debts, you should consider balance transfer or debt consolidation loans . Both loan types help borrowers consolidate and repay their existing loans. For example, balance transfers create one new loan by combining a borrower's existing debts. These loans are particularly attractive to borrows that expect to repay their debts in a short-period of time because these loans typically offer an interest-free period of 3 to 12 months. On the other hand, debt consolidation loans are best for borrowers that require a longer-term option for consolidating their personal debt. These loans provide a lump sum of cash specifically to be used for paying down various existing loans.

What Documents Do You Need to Obtain a Personal Loan?

Typically, loan applicants in Singapore are required to provide proof of identify, address and income. For proof of identity, foreigners generally must provide a copy of their employment pass and passport. Applicants can typically provide any official document to prove their address, such as a utility bill with name and address shown. Finally, for proof of income borrowers typically need to submit their Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution history statement, latest Income Tax Notice of Assessment or latest computerised payslip or have salary crediting into the lender’s bank account.

Methodology

To arrive at our best personal loan list for foreigners in Singapore, we collected data on all the personal loans from over 10 major loan providers in Singapore, listed in our table below.

Personal Loan Lenders in ValueChampion's Study
POSB/DBSOCBCUOBHSBCCitibank
Standard CharteredMaybankCIMBANZRHB

Then, we calculated the total cost of each loan. This cost includes everything that a borrower ends up paying to the bank aside from of the loan principal, including processing fees, administrative fees, interest rates. We also considered promotions, such as fee waivers or cashback, which decrease the total cost of a loan. We assume that borrowers make timely monthly installments, which helps them avoid additional fees, such as late payments fees or early payment fees. This page only considers the loans that are offered to foreigners living in Singapore. For those who are interested, we've also developed a complete list of the best personal loans in Singapore.

William Hofmann

William is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion Singapore, focusing on banking and SMEs. He previously was an Economic Consultant at Industrial Economics Inc.

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