Table of Contents
Our Top Picks for the Best Personal Instalment Loans in Singapore
The following personal loan products, in our opinion, represent the best deals currently available in Singapore. To find the best deal, we assess the total cost you would need to pay in processing fees and interest. Since the average cost of personal loans is around 13%-15% depending on loan tenure, you want to find an offer with an effective interest rate of 11% or lower. You should also try to minimise the length of your loan tenure while making sure you can comfortably afford the monthly repayment schedule.
Personal Loan with the Quickest Cash Disbursement: POSB/DBS Personal Loan
For people who need cash immediately, we recommend getting a personal loan from POSB or DBS. While most other banks approve your application the same day, they usually disburse the actual loan on the next day. However, POSB and DBS provide the loan instantly if you already have a credit card or personal line of credit from them. Additionally, DBS and POSB's personal loans' flat rates (from 3.88%) are among the lowest available for those who qualify. Furthermore, the banks are currently waiving processing fees up to S$1,000 for loans of at least S$30,000. Finally, POSB and DBS's personal loans may be a good fit for low-income borrowers, as they are available to individuals with salaries of at least S$20,000, which is lower than most competitors. However, it is unclear what interest rates POSB and DBS charge low-income borrowers.
However, POSB and DBS's personal loans' interest rates are not guaranteed, as they are advertised as "as low as 3.88%." This raises some uncertainty regarding the interest rates that individuals will actually be offered. Borrowers that offered higher interest rates may end up with substantially more expensive personal loans. For more information about POSB and DBS's personal loans read our full review.
Summary of POSB/DBS's Personal Loans' Interest Rates & Features
|Duration (Years)||Flat Rate||Fee||Effective Interest Rate||Monthly Payment||Total Cost|
|*Assuming loan of S$30,000, total cost includes impact of promotions and fees|
Best Personal Loan Promotion: Standard Chartered CashOne
We recommend Standard Chartered CashOne for people with high incomes that require large personal loans, and those who care less about reducing monthly instalments and more about reducing the overall cost of their loan. As a part of their current promotion, Standard Chartered 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 people who make at least S$120,000 per year, Standard Chartered is also charging a flat interest rate of 4.98%, which translates to EIR of 7.76% to 9.52% for loans of S$50,000. Accounting for all these factors, SC CashOne is the cheapest option for for individuals with incomes of at least S$120,000.
SC CashOne is not without its weaknesses. For one, it's not quite as cheap as HSBC or Citibank for people who earn salaries of less than S$120,000 per year, as its flat rate increases to 5.68% for borrowers with incomes of S$30,000 - S$120,000. Furthermore, its monthly instalments are bigger than the other two banks, as its flat rate is higher; its overall cost is low only due to the fact that you receive your cash rebates within 50 days of your loan approval. For more information read our full review.
Summary of Standard Chartered CashOne's Interest Rates and Features
|Interest Rate By Duration (Year)||Flat Rate||Fee||Effective Interest Rate||Monthly Instalment||Total Cost*|
|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: HSBC Personal Loan
For people who need a large personal loan, HSBC's personal loan can be an ideal choice. First, HSBC's personal loan is the only loan that provides tenures up to 7 years (instead of 5 years for most other banks), which allows you to reduce the financial burden of large monthly instalment by spreading it out over a long period of time. Secondly, HSBC's effective interest rate of 7-9% is easily one of the lowest in the market for 3-7 year tenured loans. Not only that, this product is especially good for customers with annual income of S$80,000 or more, who can enjoy the lowest effective interest rates for long-term personal loans of 7% (or 3.7% flat rate). HSBC also waives its S$88 processing fee and provides S$50 in cashback to online applicants.
The only downside of HSBC's personal loan is that is not the cheapest short-term loan, as its EIR for 1 and 2 year loans (13%) is higher than Citibank and Standard Chartered's. This makes it less appealing to borrowers seeking a short-term loan. For more information read our full review.
Summary of HSBC's Personal Loan's Interest Rates and Features
|Interest Rate by Duration (Year)||Flat Rate^||Fee||Effective Interest Rate||Monthly Instalment*||Total Cost*|
|Promotion: S$50 cash rebate & S$88 annual fee waiver exclusively for online applications|
|*Assuming S$10,000 loan & annual income of at least S$80,000, total cost includes impact of promotions|
|^ Flat rate for 3-7 year loans increases to 4.8% - 5.0% for borrowers with annual income less than S$80,000|
Best Small, Short-Term Personal Loan: Citibank Ready Credit Paylite
For people who need a small personal loan and expect to be able to pay it off within 3 years, Citibank Ready Credit Paylite is likely one of the best options in the market. For loan maturities from 1 to 3 years, Citibank Ready Credit Paylite's effective interest rate of 8.5% for new customers is the lowest we've seen in the market. Additionally, Citibank Ready Credit Paylite charges zero processing fee, and its flat rates for new customers range from 4.55% to 5.79%, which is competitive with other banks. Finally, Citibank’s minimum loan amount is only S$1,000 compared to HSBC’s S$5,000, making it very accessible for anyone who may need to borrow just a few thousand dollars.
However, Citibank Ready Credit Paylite does not offer the lowest interest rates for personal loans with tenures of more than 3 years (flat rate of 5.72 - 5.79% compared to HSBC's of 3.7 - 4.8%), making it a less attractive option for borrowers that require long-term loans. Additionally, while the application decision is made within one hour, cash is disbursed more slowly (3-5 days) than other loans that disburse within one business day. For more information read our full review.
Summary of Citibank Ready Credit Paylite's Interest Rates and Features
|Interest Rate By Duration (Year)||Flat Rate||Fee||Effective Interest Rate||Monthly Instalment*||Total Cost*|
|*Assuming loan of S$10,000, total cost includes impact of promotions|
Best 2-Year Personal Loan: OCBC Cash-On-Instalment
Due its exclusive 2-year rate offered through ValueChampion and cashback promotion, OCBC's Cash-On-Instalments are the cheapest 2-year personal loans offered in Singapore. The exclusive rate charges 0% annual interest and a 9% processing fee. Additionally, these loans are unique in that they allow consumers to convert their available credit limit into a fixed monthly instalment loan. This feature can be quite useful for those who need a relatively small sum of cash. Their 1-year loan is also relatively cheap, with a one-time processing fee of 6% and 0% of interest. However, OCBC's Cash-On Instalments can be quite expensive for longer durations as we show in our table below. For more information, read our full 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*|
|Promotion: Up to S$320 cashback (S$80 per S$8,000 in total loan amount)|
|*Assuming Annual Income above S$30,000, loan of S$10,000|
Best Personal Loan for Low Income Borrowers: Standard Chartered CashOne
For low income borrowers who make less than S$30,000 per year, Standard Chartered CashOne is the best personal loan with the lowest interest rates. For people who make between S$20,000 S$30,000 per year, Standard Chartered only charges flat rates of 9.8 - 10.8% with a waived processing fee. This roughly translates to 20-27% of effective interest rate, depending on the loan tenure. In comparison, other personal loans for low income borrowers typically charge between flat rates of 11-13% plus up to 4% of processing fees with EIR of around 30%.
The downside of this loan, on the other hand, is that it has a maximum loan cap of S$5,000 or 2x your monthly salary, whichever is lower. However, if you make less than S$30,000, we strongly advise you against borrowing more than this amount in the first place. Therefore, if you are looking for a few thousand dollars of loans and you make less than S$30,000, Standard Chartered CashOne is the best personal loan you can find in Singapore. To learn more read our full review.
Summary of Standard Chartered CashOne's Interest Rates and Features
|Interest Rate By Duration (Year)||Flat Rate||Fee||Effective Interest Rate||Monthly Instalment||Total Cost*|
|Promotion: S$50 cashback for online application + Up to S2,088 of additional cashback|
|*Assuming existing customer with annual income of S$20,000, S$3,000 loan|
Best Personal Loan for Foreigners in Singapore
We recommend that foreigners working in Singapore consider applying for personal loans through HSBC, which offers the lowest income requirement for foreigners (S$40,000) of any bank in our review. Additionally, HSBC offers the longest personal loan tenures (7 years), which spreads out and reduces the cost of monthly instalments. Additionally, HSBC charges the lowest EIR for long-term loans (7 - 9%). Finally, HSBC is currently waiving its processing fee (S$88) and offering S$50 cashback to online applicants.
However, HSBC does not offer the best short-term interest rates. Its 1 and 2 year EIR rates (13%) are higher than Standard Chartered's. Standardard Chartered also offers loans to foreigners, though it requires that foreigners earn salaries of at least S$60,000. Therefore, high income foreigners seeking short-term loans, might be better off with a loan from Standard Chartered. For more information about HSBC's personal loans read our full review. To learn more about the best personal loans available to foreigners living in Singapore, refer to our full guide.
Best Debt Consolidation Plans in Singapore
Debt consolidation plans are loans that charge lower interest rates in order to allow borrowers to repay other debt. These can serve as cheaper alternatives to personal loans for borrowers that require financing to repay more expensive debt.
Best DCP Promotion: POSB & DBS Debt Consolidation Plan
POSB & DBS's debt consolidation loan is worth considering due to its lowest advertised rates and current promotion. The bank is advertising rates "as low as 4.58%" for tenures up to 8 years. This can actually work out well for some who can manage to secure these rates. POSB is also providing up to S$1,200 of cash back for new customers, which can more than offset POSB's S$99 processing fee. Additionally, the banks are offering S$2,000 to S$3,000 in cashback for borrowers refinancing their debt consolidation loan. However, since the wording around its rate is "as low as" 4.58%, you could actually end up paying an interest that is much higher. Nevertheless, we believe this is an option worth your consideration given its low potential interest rates & high level of promotion bonus. To further explore this plan, read our full review.
|POSB/DBS Debt Consolidation Loan||Details|
|Flat Interest Rate 1-8 Years||As low as 4.58%|
|Promotion||Up to S$1,200 of cash back for new customers (existing customers: S$300 for loan of under S$75,000, S$800 for loan of over S$75,000); S$2,000 - S$3,000 cashback for borrowers refinancing DCP with POSB|
HSBC Debt Consolidation Plan
HSBC's Debt Consolidation plan is also always worth considering. In our view, HSBC has the best debt consolidation plan in the market because it offers the lowest interest rate, while also waiving its processing fee. For instance, for loan tenures of 1 to 7 years, it only charges a flat rate of 4%, compared to 5 - 6% being charged by other banks. For longer tenures of 8 to 10 years, its rates are still the cheapest at 5.7% vs +6% of competitors. Not only that, customers who apply online can receive S$100 in cashback as a welcome gift and have the processing fee waived. For more information, see our full review.
Details of HSBC Debt Consolidation Loan
|HSBC Debt Consolidation Loan||Details|
|Processing Fee||S$88 or 1%, waived|
|Flat Interest Rate 1-7 Years||4.0%|
|Flat Interest Rate 8-10 Years||5.7%|
|Promotion||S$100 cashback for online application + Processing fee waiver|
Best Personal Lines of Credit
Personal line of credit products allow borrowers to draw from available credit similar to a credit card. The benefit of this type of financing is that borrowers only pay interest on the amount that they've actually borrowed. In some cases, it can be a cheaper alternative to a traditional personal loan.
Best Long-Term Personal Line of Credit: HSBC Personal Line of Credit
HSBC offers the best long-term personal line of credit. It stands out due to its low effective interest rate, which is the lowest in the market at 18.5%, compared to 20% charged by other banks, making it ideal for those who want a line of credit for several years. HSBC waives its annual fee (S$60) for 2 years for Revolution, Advance and Premier customers, and 1 year for all other customers. The bank is also offering a 50% interest rebate promotion for first the 3 months of personal lines of credit to make it even more affordable. Additionally, 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
Maybank's Creditable is another great personal line of credit. While its effective interest rates (from 19.8%) are higher than HSBC's, Maybank is currently offering a promotional interest rate of 9% during the first year and and S$120 cashback for online applicants. Additionally, the bank waives its S$80 annual fee for 2 years, making it ideal for those who want a short-term line of credit for 2 years or less. Finally, Maybank allows borrowers a maximum credit limit of 4x monthly salary, which is twice as much as HSBC's limit.
Best Personal Loans by Dollar Cost
Below, we show total cost for each personal loan product in Singapore that we've collected. To help you find the best personal loan for your circumstances, we have prepared a visual analysis of how much it will cost you to get funding. We assume that the borrower makes at least S$30,000 annually, and that they borrow S$10,000 over 3 years. For such a loan, you should expect to pay somewhere between S$1,300 and S$2,700 in fees and interest. This cost does not reflect other possible penalties like late or early payments, which we typically advise against.
Compare the Personal Loans
Please refer to our summary table below for the best personal loan offerings in Singapore.
|Personal Loans||Best For...||Min. Annual Income|
|POSB/DBS Personal Loan||Quickest Cash Disbursement||S$20,000||Apply Now|
|Standard Chartered CashOne||Best Cashback Promotion||S$30,000||Apply Now|
|Citibank Ready Credit Paylite||Cheapest 1-Year Loan||S$30,000||Apply Now|
|OCBC Cash-On-Instalment||Cheapest 2-Year Loan||S$30,000||Apply Now|
|HSBC Personal Loan||Best 3-7 Year Loan||S$30,000||Apply Now|
|Standard Chartered CashOne||Annual Income Below S$30,000||S$20,000||Apply Now|
|Personal Loans||Best For...||Min. Annual Income|
|POSB/DBS Personal Loan||Apply Now||Quickest Cash Disbursement||S$20,000|
|Standard Chartered CashOne||Apply Now||Best Cashback Promotion||S$30,000|
|HSBC Personal Loan||Apply Now||Best 3-7 Year Loan||S$30,000|
|Citibank Ready Credit Paylite||Apply Now||Cheapest 1-Year Loan||S$30,000|
|OCBC Cash-On-Instalment||Apply Now||Cheapest 2-Year Loan||S$20,000|
|Standard Chartered CashOne||Apply Now||Annual Income Below S$30,000||S$20,000|
How to Choose the Best Personal Loan
Before you take out a personal loan, you should always consider if this is the right option for you. Although personal loans are cheaper than credit card debt, they still come at a relatively high price. Interest rates and other terms can also vary greatly based on your annual income and other factors. Therefore, here are some parting thoughts and advice for those who want to take out a personal loan.
- Total Cost: this is the dollar amount you end up paying in interest and fees. You can minimize it by choosing low effective interest rate and short duration.
- Monthly Payment: you need to be able to comfortably afford the monthly payment during the loan’s tenure. Otherwise, you will end up paying significant amounts in penalty fees and interest. To figure out your monthly payment, first multiply your annual flat rate by the principal amount. Then, multiply this amount by the duration of your loan in years. Then add this amount to the principal you borrowed. Dividing this by the duration of your loan in months will result in the monthly payment (also called monthly instalment) that you need to make to the bank.
- Balance: you need to balance the above two numbers as much as possible. Try to minimize the total cost of your personal loan, while making sure that your finances can comfortably handle the monthly installment required to pay off the loan.
Effective Interest Rate (EIR) vs Flat Interest Rate
When evaluating a personal loan in Singapore, it’s very important to consider both its flat rate and its effective interest rate (EIR). To explain the difference, flat rate is the number you use to calculate how much interest you owe on the loan. For example, if you borrow S$10,000 at 5% flat rate over 5 years, you have to pay S$500 in interest per year for the next 5 years.
In contrast, EIR represents the true economic cost of the loan that takes into account processing fees and your loan repayment schedule. The crucial concept to understand is that you don’t get to use the full amount you borrow for the entire duration of your loan because you have to pay the processing fee and your principal payment back to the bank. In other words, you are paying some money back every month but that has no impact on reducing your interest payment.
Therefore, you have to carefully examine both numbers when shopping for a personal loan. Flat interest rate will determine how much you have to pay back to the bank on a monthly basis. EIR will tell you what the loan is really costing you economically. Don't be tricked into thinking that a personal loan is only going to cost you 4-8% by looking at its flat rate. In reality, it is really costing you 12-20%, if not more, which is represented by EIR.
What You Need to Apply for A Personal Loan
In Singapore, you need to be between 21 and 65 years old to qualify for a personal loan. Also, most banks will require a minimum annual income of S$30,000, though some banks lend to people with as little as S$20,000 of annual income. For foreigners, this limit increases to $40,000-S$60,000 depending on the lender.
In terms of documents, you will likely need to provide the following to the lender to be approved:
- Proof of Identity: Singapore Identification Card (IC) or Employment Pass (EP) + Passport
- Proof of Address: Documents including your residential address (i.e. utility bills with your name and address)
- Proof of Income: Your Latest 12 months’ Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution history statement or Latest Income Tax Notice of Assessment or Latest Computerised Payslip or Salary Crediting into the lender’s bank account
Types of Personal Loans Available in Singapore
There are a few different types of personal loans available to borrowers in Singapore. First, there are personal instalment loans. These are the most common type of personal loans. Personal instalment loans provide borrowers funds upfront, which borrowers are expected to repay on a monthly basis over the tenure of the loan. These loans are helpful for borrowers that need financing for a large, one-time expense. Another common type of personal financing is known as a credit line or personal line of credit. These loans allow borrowers to "draw" funds as needed up to a limit determined by the lender. Borrowers are only charged interest based on the amount of money and amount of time that they have borrowed, which can make this type of financing cheaper depending on your borrowing needs. These type of loans are useful for individuals that plan to borrow smaller amounts on an ongoing basis.
Borrowers that already have a significant amount of personal debt may consider balance transfer or debt consolidation loans. Balance transfer loans allow borrowers to transfer outstanding loans to a one new loan balance. Many lenders offer a grace period of 3 to 12 months, during which borrowers are not charged interest, making these loans a great option for consolidating and paying down your personal debt. Debt consolidation loans are similar in that they allow borrowers to pay down various personal debts; however, debt consolidation loans are instalment loans that provide a lump sum of cash in order to pay down various debts. Debt consolidation loans are typically useful for borrowers that require a longer-term option for consolidating their personal debt.
Alternatives to Personal Loans: Specific Use Loans
If you are considering applying for a personal loan, it is essential to make sure that you are applying for the cheapest loan possible. Aside from comparing rates and fees, it is important to make sure that you are considering the most applicable loan type. For instance, it is often much more inexpensive to apply for a specific-use loan if it fits your borrowing purposes. For example, home, car and education loans tend to charge much lower interest rates than those of personal loans, making these loans less expensive for borrowers that require financing for these specific purposes. Therefore, while personal loans can be great financing tools for many large or unexpected expenses, prospective borrowers should also be aware of other borrowing options.
To arrive at our best personal loan list for Singapore, we collected data on all the personal loans from over 10 major loan providers in Singapore, listed in our table below.
Then, we created an algorithm that calculates how much a loan costs in dollar terms. This cost includes everything that a borrower ends up paying to the bank outside of the loan amount itself, which includes processing fees, administrative fees, interest rates. We also take into account benefits of promotions like fee waivers or cashback, which would decrease the total cost of a loan. We assume that each monthly installment is paid on time, therefore avoiding other penalties like late payments or early payments.
Because these loans come with different costs depending on the size and duration of the loan and required minimum income, cost is calculated for each duration range (1 to 5 years) and for each principal amount. By mapping out each loan's total costs at different size, maturity and income level, we were able to arrive at the above list that costs the least to the borrower.