Best Personal Loans 2019

Personal loans are very popular for people who urgently need money. Below, we make recommendations for the best personal loans to allow you to compare rates and features and choose a loan based on your circumstances.

Table of Contents

Our Top Picks for the Best Personal Instalment Loans in Singapore

In our opinion, the following personal loans products represent the best deals currently available in Singapore. To compare these loans, 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%, 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.

comparing 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: HSBC Personal Loan

Consider this if you seek the most affordable personal loan

Eligibility S$30,000 of annual income (S$40,000 for foreigners & non-salaried employees)
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
Promotions:
  • S$100 cashback for online applicants
  • Processing fee waived (S$88)

HSBC's personal loans typically charge the lowest effective interest rates in the market (7%). Additionally, the bank is the only lender that provides loan tenures of up to 7 years, which helps to reduce the burden of your monthly payments by spreading them out over a longer period of time. Finally, the lender is a great option for foreigners living in Singapore, as its income requirement for foreigners (S$40,000) is the lowest of any bank in our review.

Read our full review

Loan DurationFlat RateProcessing FeeEffective Interest RateMonthly InstalmentTotal Cost
1 year3.8%S$07%S$865.00S$280
2 years3.7%S$07%S$447.50S$640
3 years3.7%S$07%S$308.61S$1,010
4 years3.7%S$07%S$239.17S$1,380
5 years3.8%S$07%S$198.33S$1,800
6 years3.8%S$07%S$170.56S$2,180
7 years3.8%S$07%S$150.71S$2,560
*Assuming S$10,000 loan and income of S$30,000; includes processing waiver & S$100 online cashback
Loan DurationFlat RateProcessing FeeEffective Interest RateMonthly InstalmentTotal Cost
1 year3.8%S$07%S$865.00S$280
2 years3.7%S$07%S$447.50S$640
3 years3.7%S$07%S$308.61S$1,010
4 years3.7%S$07%S$239.17S$1,380
5 years3.8%S$07%S$198.33S$1,800
6 years3.8%S$07%S$170.56S$2,180
7 years3.8%S$07%S$150.71S$2,560
*Assuming S$10,000 loan and income of S$30,000; includes processing waiver & S$100 online cashback

Best Personal Loan Promotion: POSB/DBS Personal Loan

Consider this if you require a personal loan that offers cash immediately

Eligibility S$20,000 of annual income
Max. Loan Amount 4x monthly salary; 10x monthly salary for income > S$120,000
Min. Loan Amount S$500
Processing Fee 1% of loan principal, waived for loans of more than S$30,000
Approval Time Immediate approval & disbursement for DBS & POSB credit card or line of credit customers
Promotions:
  • Up to S$888 cashback for existing bank customers
  • Up to S$1,088 cashback for new customers

POSB and DBS are currently offering a competitive promotion that provides up to S$1,088 in cashback to qualified borrowers. The banks' loans are a particularly good for individuals that need cash immediately. While most other banks take at least a day to disburse personal loans, POSB & DBS provide loans for current credit card and personal line of credit customers instantly. Additionally, the banks' rates (from 3.88%) are among the lowest available for those who qualify.

Read our full review

Loan DurationFlat RateFeeEffective Interest RateMonthly PaymentTotal Cost
1 year3.88%1%7.56%S$865.67S$220
2 years3.88%1%7.56%S$449.00S$608
3 years3.88%1%7.56%S$310.11S$996
4 years3.88%1%7.56%S$240.67S$1,384
5 years3.88%1%7.56%S$199.00S$1,772
*Assuming loan of S$10,000, total cost includes cashback promotion (assuming new-to-bank customer)
Loan DurationFlat RateFeeEffective Interest RateMonthly PaymentTotal Cost
1 year3.88%1%7.56%S$865.67S$220
2 years3.88%1%7.56%S$449.00S$608
3 years3.88%1%7.56%S$310.11S$996
4 years3.88%1%7.56%S$240.67S$1,384
5 years3.88%1%7.56%S$199.00S$1,772
*Assuming loan of S$10,000, total cost includes cashback promotion (assuming new-to-bank customer)

Best Small, Short-Term Personal Loan: Citibank Personal Loan

Consider this if you prefer a small personal loan

Eligibility S$30,000 of annual income
Max. Loan Amount 4x monthly salary
Min. Loan Amount S$1,000
Processing Fee None
Approval Time 1 hour (before 5pm)

For people who need a small personal loan and expect to be able to pay it off within 3 years, the Citibank Personal Loan (formerly known as Ready Credit PayLite) is likely one of the best options in the market. For loans of 1-3 years, Citibank's effective interest rates of 8.5%-9.0% for new customers are among the lowest in Singapore. Additionally, Citibank's Personal Loan does not charge a processing fee. Finally, Citibank’s minimum loan amount is only S$1,000, making it very accessible for anyone who may need to borrow just a few thousand dollars.

However, Citibank's Personal Loan 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.

Read our full review

Loan DurationFlat RateFeeEffective Interest RateMonthly InstalmentTotal Cost
1 year4.94%0%9.0%S$874.50S$494
2 years4.92%0%9.0%S$457.67S$984
3 years4.55%0%8.5%S$315.69S$1,365
4 years5.72%0%10.5%S$256.00S$2,288
5 years5.79%0%10.5%S$214.92S$2,895
*Assuming loan of S$10,000, total cost includes impact of promotions
Loan TenureFlat RateFeeEffective Interest RateMonthly InstalmentTotal Cost
1 year4.94%0%9.0%S$874.50S$494
2 years4.92%0%9.0%S$457.67S$984
3 years4.55%0%8.5%S$315.69S$1,365
4 years5.72%0%10.5%S$256.00S$2,288
5 years5.79%0%10.5%S$214.92S$2,895
*Assuming loan of S$10,000, total cost includes impact of promotions

Alternative Short-Term Option: OCBC Cash-On-Instalment

Consider this if you prefer a 2-year loan with the lowest total cost of borrowing

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

Due its exclusive rate offered through ValueChampion, 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.

Read our full review

Loan DurationFlat RateFeeEffective Interest Rate*Monthly PaymentTotal Cost
1 year0%6%11.47%S$833.33S$600
2 years0%9%9.00%S$416.67S$900
3 years5.80%2%12.11%S$326.11S$1,940
4 years5.80%2%11.71%S$256.67S$2,520
5 years5.80%2%11.38%S$215.00S$3,100
*Assuming Annual Income above S$30,000, loan of S$10,000
Loan DurationFlat RateFeeEffective Interest RateMonthly PaymentTotal Cost
1 year0%6%11.47%S$833.33S$600
2 years0%9%9.00%S$416.67S$900
3 years5.80%2%12.11%S$326.11S$1,940
4 years5.80%2%11.71%S$256.67S$2,520
5 years5.80%2%11.38%S$215.00S$3,100
*Assuming Annual Income above S$30,000, loan of S$10,000

Best Personal Loan for Low Income Borrowers: Standard Chartered CashOne

Consider this if you prefer a personal loan with the lowest interest rates for low income borrowers

Eligibility S$20,000 of annual income (S$60,000 for foreigners)
Max. Loan Amount 2x monthly salary for annual income below S$30,000
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
Promotions:
  • 0.4% - 0.8% Cashback
  • Processing fee waived (S$199)
More From ValueChampion:

For individuals 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 and S$30,000 per year, Standard Chartered charges flat rates of 9.8 - 10.8% with a waived processing fee. This roughly translates to 20-27% EIR, 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, 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.

Read our full review

Loan DurationFlat RateFeeEffective Interest RateMonthly InstalmentTotal Cost
1 year9.8%S$027.56%S$274.50S$282
2 years9.8%S$023.14%S$149.50S$576
3 years10.8%S$022.99%S$110.33S$980
4 years10.8%S$021.80%S$89.50S$1,284
5 years10.8%S$020.92%S$77.00S$1,608
*Assuming existing customer with annual income of S$25,000, S$3,000 loan
Loan DurationFlat RateFeeEffective Interest RateMonthly InstalmentTotal Cost
1 year9.8%S$027.56%S$274.50S$282
2 years9.8%S$023.14%S$149.50S$576
3 years10.8%S$022.99%S$110.33S$980
4 years10.8%S$021.80%S$89.50S$1,284
5 years10.8%S$020.92%S$77.00S$1,608
*Assuming existing customer with annual income of S$20,000, S$3,000 loan

Best Personal Loan for Foreigners in Singapore

Consider this if are a foreigner living in Singapore and require a personal loan

Eligibility S$30,000 of annual income (S$40,000 for foreigners & non-salaried employees)
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
Promotions:
  • S$100 cashback for online applicants
  • Processing fee waived (S$88)
More from ValueChampion:

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 foreigners (7 - 7.5%).

To learn more about the best personal loans available to foreigners living in Singapore, refer to our full guide.

Read our full review

Loan DurationFlat RateProcessing FeeEffective Interest RateMonthly InstalmentTotal Cost of Borrowing
1 year4%S$07.5%S$866.67S$300
2 years4%S$07.5%S$450.00S$700
3 years4%S$07.5%S$311.11S$1,100
4 years4%S$07.5%S$241.67S$1,500
5 years4%S$07.5%S$200.00S$1,900
6 years4%S$07.5%S$172.22S$2,300
7 years4%S$07.5%S$152.38S$2,700
*Assuming S$10,000 of loan and income of S$30,000; includes processing waiver & S$100 online cashback
Loan DurationFlat RateProcessing FeeEffective Interest RateMonthly InstalmentTotal Cost of Borrowing
1 year4%S$07.5%S$866.67S$300
2 years4%S$07.5%S$450.00S$700
3 years4%S$07.5%S$311.11S$1,100
4 years4%S$07.5%S$241.67S$1,500
5 years4%S$07.5%S$200.00S$1,900
6 years4%S$07.5%S$172.22S$2,300
7 years4%S$07.5%S$152.38S$2,700
*Assuming S$10,000 of loan and income of S$40,000; includes processing waiver & S$100 online cashback

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

Consider this if you require a loan to repay other debt and prefer cash back promotions

Balance to Income Ratio More than 12x monthly income
Early Repayment Fee 5% on outstanding loan amount
Late Payment Fee S$90
Processing Fee S$99
Promotions:
  • Up to S$1,200 of cashback for new customers (Up to S$800 for existing customers)
  • Up to S$3,000 cashback for borrowers refinancing DCP
More From ValueChampion:

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.

Read our full review

POSB/DBS Debt Consolidation LoanDetails
Processing FeeS$99
Flat Interest Rate 1-8 YearsAs low as 3.98%
PromotionUp 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
POSB/DBS Debt Consolidation LoanDetails
Processing FeeS$99
Flat Interest Rate 1-8 YearsAs low as 3.98%
PromotionUp 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

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
Promotions:
  • Processing fee waiver (S$88 or 1% of loan amount)

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.

Read our full review

HSBC Debt Consolidation LoanDetails
Processing FeeS$88 or 1%, waived
Flat Interest Rate 1-7 Years4.0%
Flat Interest Rate 8-10 Years5.7%
HSBC Debt Consolidation LoanDetails
Processing FeeS$88 or 1%, waived
Flat Interest Rate 1-7 Years4.0%
Flat Interest Rate 8-10 Years5.7%

Best Balance Transfer Loan Promotion: DBS & POSB Balance Transfers

Consider this if borrowers seeking a 12-month interest-free balance transfer of at least S$15,000

Processing Fee 2.5%
Maximum Principal 93% of credit line
Interest Free Period 6 months

DBS and POSB's balance transfers are great options for borrowers seeking 12 month balance transfers of at least S$15,000 due to their current promotions. While the banks do not offer the lowest rates for their balance transfers (EIR: 5.06% - 5.20%), they are currently offering S$100 to S$500 in cashback to borrowers that are approved for balance transfers of at least S$15,000.

Loan AmountPromotional Cashback
S$15,000 - S$29,999S$150
S$30,000 - S$30,000S$300
S$50,000+S$500

As we've mentioned with other balance transfers, it is important for borrowers to repay their entire balance before the end of the interest-free period as DBS and POSB charge 19.8% to 29.8% for cashline balance transfers and 25.9% for credit card balance transfers after the interest-free period. To learn more about the features of DBS and POSB's balance transfers please refer to our full review.

Summary of DBS & POSB's Funds Transfer Costs

Interest-Free PeriodProcessing FeeEIR with CashlineEIR with Credit CardPrevailing Interest Rate
6 months2.5%5.27%5.34%19.8% - 29.8%
12 months4.5%5.06%5.20%19.8% - 29.8%

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

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 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

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. 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.

Comparing the total cost of personal loans from every bank in Singapore in terms of interest payment, assuming S$10,000 of personal loan over 3 years
Cost of Personal Loan by Bank

Compare the Best Personal Loans

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

Personal LoansBest For...Min. Annual Income
HSBC Personal LoanBest Personal LoanS$30,000
POSB/DBS Personal LoanBest PromotionS$20,000
Citibank Personal LoanSmall, Short Term LoansS$30,000
OCBC Cash-On-InstalmentShort-Term AlternativeS$30,000
Standard Chartered CashOneAnnual Income Below S$30,000S$20,000
Personal LoansBest For...Min. Annual Income
HSBC Personal LoanBest Personal LoanS$30,000
POSB/DBS Personal LoanBest Personal Loan PromotionS$20,000
Citibank Personal LoanSmall, Short Term LoansS$30,000
OCBC Cash-On-InstalmentShort-Term AlternativeS$20,000
Standard Chartered CashOneAnnual Income Below S$30,000S$20,000
HSBC Personal LoanForeigners in SingaporeS$40,000

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

To learn more about how personal loans work in Singapore, you can read more about personal loans basics and how much they cost in our guides.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

While there are several banks that tend to offer competitive interest rates, it is best to view the variety of personal loan offerings based on your borrowing needs and personal financial situation. For example, some banks offer great rates to those with lower incomes, while others offer lower rates to individuals taking out very large loans. By identifying your financing needs, you'll be able to better assess the personal loan landscape.

In order to be eligible for a personal loan, you'll need to be at least 21 years old, and no older than 65. Additionally, most banks require that you earn at least S$20,000 - S$30,000 annually. Most lenders will require that you submit documentation proving your identity, age and income.

While it is possible to use a personal loan for nearly all purchases, if you are interested in financing in order to purchase a vehicle, renovate your home, attend university or even buy a home, you are better off considering a specific-use loan. Most banks offer a range of these loans (e.g. car loans) with interest rates that are much lower than those of personal loans.

It depends. If you are able to repay your credit card balance within your monthly billing cycle, a credit card can be a great option, as they often offer great rewards that can offset the total cost of your wedding. On the other hand, if you are unable to repay your balance in-full, you're better off choosing a personal loan, as personal loans tend to charge much lower interest rates than credit cards.

Methodology

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.

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

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.

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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