Personal loans are very popular in Singapore. Google Trends shows that Singapore ranks as #4 in the world in terms of interest in personal loan, and such interest has grown by more than two folds since 2013. To help people in Singapore find the best personal loan available, we have gathered data and analyzed offerings from each bank in Singapore. Below, we feature the best personal loans and make recommendations on which one you should choose depending on your circumstances.
Table of Contents
- Lowest Interest Rate Personal Loan in Singapore
- Cost Comparisons of Personal Loans from All Major Banks
- How to Find the Best Personal Loan
Our Picks for the Best Personal Loans in 2017
The following loan products, in our opinion, represent the best deals currently available for people in Singapore. To find the best deal, we calculate the cost of each bank’s offering based on a hypothetical loan of S$10,000 for 3 years. Total cost reflects the amount of dollars you would have paid in fees and interest on your loan. In total, you should expect to pay back all of the cost and your principal back to the lender over the duration of your loan.
Best Personal Loans with the Lowest Interest Rates
Below, we have featured two personal loans with the lowest interest rates we've seen in Singapore. First one is from Citibank and the second one is from HSBC. Citibank's Ready Credit Paylite has the lowest interest rates for short-term loans (1-3 years), while HSBC Personal Loan has the lowest rates for long-term loans (4-7 years).
Best Long-Term Personal Loan: HSBC Personal Loan
HSBC Personal Loan is one of the best personal loans in Singapore because it has one of the lowest effective interest rates available. While the average cost of a personal loan is about 11%-15% depending on the duration of a loan, HSBC charges an effective interest rate of only 9-10%. It also comes with a waiver of S$88 processing plus S$50 cashback for online application, a promotion that HSBC seems to be continuing in 2017.
Together with the S$50 cashback, an EIR of 9-10% is one of the lowest we've seen in Singapore, except for in the following few cases where Citi Ready Credit Paylite is cheaper by a razor thin margin: 1) 1-year loans above S$9,000, 2) 3-year loans above S$6,500 and 3) 2-year long loans. HSBC is also the only bank we've seen in Singapore that offers a personal loan for up to 7 years instead of 5 years. The only downside of HSBC Personal Loan is that it requires a S$10,000 of minimum loan amount to enjoy these promotional rates.
Combining low cost and great flexibility in duration, HSBC Personal Loan is one of the best deals in Singapore, especially for long-term loans. If you are a Premier or Advance customer, you can enjoy an even better deal with interest rates of 7% and 8% effective interest rates and no minimum loan requirement. As with other banks, HSBC requires a minimum annual income of S$30,000.
Pros of HSBC Personal Loan
- Lowest interest rate in Singapore, especially for +4 year loans with 9% interest
- Duration Up to 7 Years
- S$200,000 Maximum Loan Size
- Promotion: S$50 online exclusive cash rebate, Waiver of S$88 annual fee
Cons of HSBC Personal Loan
- S$10,000 Minimum Loan Size to enjoy the 9% EIR promotional rate
Interest Rate & Cost of HSBC Personal Loan by Tenor
Because HSBC is waiving the S$88 of annual fee, it offers a consistent effective interest rate of 9% for all loan maturity. Our table below demonstrates how the flat rate changes for each loan tenor to reflect such a dynamic. This EIR does not reflect the S$50 of cash rebate, which can make a quite meaningful impact for small size loans.
|Interest Rate by Duration (Year)||Flat Rate||Fee||Effective Interest Rate*|
|*Assuming S$10,000 of loan|
Best Short-Term Personal Loan: Citi Ready Credit Paylite
Citi Ready Credit Paylite is one of the best personal loan products in Singapore. It has the lowest interest rates we've seen in the market, with its effective interest rate ranges between 9% to 10.5% compared to 11-15% you typically see in Singapore. To break down the cost further, Citi Ready Credit Paylite charges zero processing fee, and its flat rate ranges from 4.82% to 5.79%. Please see the table below for a detailed view of Citi Ready Credit Paylite's costs and interest rates.
Because its 1-3 year loans only charge an effective interest rate of 9%, it offers the lowest rate in Singapore for short-term loans even compared to HSBC's highly competitive offers. For example, for a loan size of S$10,000 over 2 years, Citi Paylite costs S$116 less than HSBC Personal Loan in fees and interests.
Also, Citi’s minimum loan amount is only S$1,000 compared to HSBC’s S$5,000, making it very accessible for anyone who may only need to borrow a few thousand dollars. Combining low interest rate with low minimum principal, Citi Paylite is one of the best personal loans in Singapore. It requires a minimum annual income of S$30,000 to qualify for the loan.
Pros of Citi Ready Credit Paylite
- S$1,000 Minimum Loan Size
- No Processing Fee
- Lowest Interest Rates in Singapore, especially for 1-3 year loans
Cons of Citi Ready Credit Paylite
- Slightly Higher Rates than HSBC for +4 year loans
Interest Rate & Cost of Citi Ready Credit Paylite by Tenor
Below, we show different interest rates, fees and effective interest rates of Citi Ready Credit Paylite instalment loan depending on the maturity of the loan. Typically, longer loans will come with higher cost. However, Citi is actively promoting the 3-year loan, and hence offers the lowest rate for that specific duration.
|Interest Rate By Duration (Year)||Flat Rate||Fee||Effective Interest Rate|
Best Personal Loan for Low Income Borrower: Standard Chartered CashOne
Most personal loans in Singapore require a minimum annual income of S$30,000 (and S$40,000-S$60,000 for foreigners). This is because borrowers who make less money are perceived as risky. However, some banks will make personal loans to people who make at least S$20,000, albeit at higher rates. Among those types of loan we’ve seen in Singapore, Standard Chartered CashOne is the best personal loan with the lowest interest rates.
While other loans that are available to low income borrowers typically charge between 11-13% of flat rate plus up to 4% of processing fees, Standard Chartered only charges 9.8%-10.8% of flat rate with a waived processing fee. This roughly translates to 21-28% of effective interest rate, depending on the loan’s tenure. The details of different rates are displayed in the table below. If you make more than S$30,000, however, Standard Chartered CashOne can be quite expensive, with effective interest rates ranging from 15% to 19% depending on the duration and size of your loan.
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.
Pros of Standard Chartered CashOne
- Best rates for low income borrowers
- Zero Processing Fees for borrowers who make repayments on time
- Promotion: S$50 cashback for online application + Up to S1,088 of cashback on loan (1% cashback for loans under S$50,000, 1.5% for loans over S$50,000)
Cons of Standard Chartered CashOne
- Low Cap on Loan Principal
- Expensive for people who make more than S$30,000 annually
Interest Rate & Cost of Standard Chartered CashOne by Tenor
To see how SC Cash One's interest rate and cost changes depending on the tenor of the loan, check out our summary table below. Currently, Standard Chartered is waiving its annual fee. Without the fee waiver, it would cost you at least S$199 for the first year and anothe S$50 from the second year on. However, you need to make sure to payback your money on time because late payments can result in penalty fees as well as reinstatement of the annual fee.
|Interest Rate By Duration (Year)||Flat Rate||Fee||Effective Interest Rate*|
|*Assuming Annual Income below S$30,000|
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 he borrows S$10,000 over 3 year. 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.
Please refer to our summary table below for all the personal loan offerings in Singapore.
|S$10,000 Personal Loan Over 3 Years||EIR||Total Cost||Min Annual Income|
|Citi Ready Credit Paylite||9.0%||S$1,449||S$30,000|
|HSBC Personal Loan||9.0%||S$1,390||S$30,000|
|POSB Personal Loan||12.0%||S$1,964||S$30,000|
|ANZ MoneyLine Term Loan||14.7%||S$2,270||S$30,000|
|Standard Chartered CashOne||16.6%||S$2,414||S$30,000|
|UOB Personal Loan||15.8%||S$2,580||S$30,000|
|OCBC ExtraCash Loan||17.7%||S$2,681||S$30,000|
|Standard Chartered CashOne||23.0%||S$3,140||S$20,000|
|OCBC ExtraCash Loan||26.41%||S$3,700||S$20,000|
|POSB Personal Loan||21.74%||S$3,850||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 they are better than credit card debt, personal loans 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 advices 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 comfortable afford the monthly payment during the loan’s tenure. Otherwise, you will end up paying significant amounts in penalty fees and interest. 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 installment) 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.
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 foreigner, 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 learn more about ="/basic-guide-personal-loans">what personal loans are[/link on_current="true" and ="/average-interest-rates-personal-loans-singapore">how much they cost[/link on_current="true" in our guide.
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. This list ranges from DBS, CIMB and Maybank to OCBC and Citibank.
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.