Best Personal Loans 2017

Personal loans are very popular in Singapore for people who are in urgent need for money. To help people in Singapore find the best personal loan available, we have gathered data and analyzed offerings from each bank in Singapore. To find the best loan, you need to look for the lowest effective interest rate for the amount you need, while making sure you can easily manage the loan's monthly repayment. Below, we feature the best installment personal loans and make recommendations on which one you should choose depending on your circumstances.

Table of Contents

Our Top Picks for the Best Personal Loans in Singapore

The following loan products, in our opinion, represent the best deals currently available for people 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 make 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 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. HSBC Personal Loan has the lowest rates for long-term loans (4-7 years), while Citibank's Ready Credit Paylite has the lowest interest rates for short-term loans (1-3 years).

Best Large, Long-Term Personal Loan: HSBC Personal Loan

For people who need a large personal loan but can't handle large monthly repayments, HSBC Personal Loan is the ideal choice. First, HSBC Personal Loan's 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 only 9-10% is the lowest in the market especially for 3-7 year tenures. HSBC also waives its S$88 processing fee and provides a cash back of S$50 for online application.

The only downside of HSBC Personal Loan is that it requires a S$10,000 of minimum loan amount to enjoy these promotional rates. 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.

Summary of HSBC Personal Loan

  • Effective Interest Rate: 9-10%, Lowest in the market for 3-7 year loans
  • Loan Tenure: 1 to 7 Years
  • Loan Size: 4x monthly salary for income of S$30,000 to S$120,000, 8x monthly salary for income greater than S$120,000, S$200,000 Maximum Loan Size (2x monthly salary for foreigners)
  • S$10,000 Minimum Loan Size to enjoy the 9% EIR promotional rate (absolute minimum is S$5,000)
  • Approval: Same day approval (as quick as 1 minute), next day cash delivery with submission of valid documents
  • Processing Fee:S $88, but waived for online application
  • Eligibility: S$30,000 of annual income (S$40,000 for foreigners)
  • Promotion: S$50 online exclusive cash rebate

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 most loan maturities. 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 RateFeeEffective Interest RateMonthly InstalmentTotal Cost
15.5%S$010%S$879.17S$500
25.4%S$010%S$461.67S$1,030
34.8%S$09%S$317.78S$1,390
44.9%S$09%S$249.17S$1,910
54.9%S$09%S$207.5S$2,400
65.0%S$09%S$180.56S$2,950
75.0%S$09%S$160.71S$3,450
*Assuming S$10,000 of loan over 3 years, total cost includes impact of promotions

Best Small, Short-Term Personal Loan: Citi Ready Credit Paylite

For people who are looking for small personal loan or people who can handle large monthly repayments to pay down their debt quickly within 3 years, Citi Ready Credit Paylite has the lowest interest rates we've seen in the market. With its effective interest rate ranges between 9% to 10.5% compared to 13-15% you typically see in Singapore, it is especially cheap for loan durations ranging from 1 to 3 years. 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%. Our analysis showed that Citi Ready Credit Paylite is most ideal for small, short-term loans that you can repay within 3 years. Specifically, Citi Ready Credit Paylite is cheaper than HSBC's personal loan in 3 cases:

  • 1-year loans above S$9,000
  • All 2-year loans
  • 3-year loans above S$6,500

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. It requires a minimum annual income of S$30,000 to qualify for the loan, which increases to S$45,000 for foreigners.

Summary of Citi Ready Credit Paylite

  • Effective Interest Rate: 9%-10.5%, Lowest for 1-3 year loans (for new customers only)
  • Loan Tenure: 1 to 5 Years
  • Loan Size: S$1,000 Minimum, S$100,000 Maximum (4x monthly salary)
  • Approval: Same day approval (1 hr before 5PM)
  • Processing Fee: S$0
  • Eligibility: S$30,000 of annual income (S$42,000 for foreigners)

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 loan tenures will come with higher cost. However, Citi is actively promoting the 3-year loan, and hence offers the lowest rate for that specific duration. ALso of note, these rates are available for new customers only, and existing Citi customer should expect to pay a higher rate.

Interest Rate By Duration (Year)Flat RateFeeEffective Interest RateMonthly InstalmentTotal Cost
14.94%0%9.0%S$874.5S$494
24.82%0%9.0%S$456.83S$964
34.83%0%9.0%S$318.03S$1,449
45.72%0%10.5%S$256S$2,288
55.79%0%10.5%S$214.92S$2,895
*Assuming loan of S$10,000 over 3 years, total cost includes impact of promotions

Best Personal Loan for Low Income Borrower: 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 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. In comparison, other personal loans for low income borrowers typically charge between effective interest rate of 11-13% of flat rate plus up to 4% of processing fees with EIR going up to 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.

Summary of Standard Chartered CashOne

  • Effective Interest Rate: 9%-10.5%, Lowest for low income borrowers earning less than S$30,000 per year
  • Loan Tenure: 1 to 5 Years
  • Loan Size: 2x monthly salary for annual income below S$30,000, 4x monthly salary for annual income above S$30,000 (up to S$200,000)
  • Approval: Receive cash the next day
  • Eligibility: S$20,000 of annual income (S$60,000 for foreigners)
  • Processing Fee: S$199 for 1st year (waived for online application), S$50 for subsequent years (waived 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)

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 another 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 RateFeeEffective Interest RateMonthly InstalmentTotal Cost*
19.80%S$027.6%S$915S$830
29.80%S$023.1%S$498S$1,810
310.80%S$023.0%S$368S$3,090
410.80%S$021.8%S$298S$4,170
510.80%S$020.9%S$257S$5,250
*Assuming Annual Income below S$30,000, loan of S$10,000 over 3 years, total cost includes impact of promotions

Personal Loan with the Quickest Cash Disbursement: DBS/POSB Personal Loan

For people who need cash immediately, we recommend getting a personal loan from DBS or POSB. While most other banks approve your application the same day, they usually disburse the actual loan on the next day. However, DBS and POSB provide the loan instantly if you already have a credit card or personal line of credit from them. On the other hand, however, DBS & POSB's personal loans's effective interest rates range from 13% to 20%, rather expensive compared to other options we showcased above. Therefore, we recommend this product for people who absolutely need the cash right away.

Summary of DBS/POSB Personal Loan

  • Effective Interest Rate: 13.14%-19.7% (higher for annual income between S$20,000 and S$30,000)
  • Loan Tenure: 1 to 5 Years
  • Loan Size: 4x monthly salary, 10x if your annual income is S$120,000 and above
  • Approval: Immediate approval & disbursement for DBS & POSB credit card or line of credit customers
  • Eligibility: S$20,000 of annual income
  • Processing Fee: 2-3% for people with at least S$30,000 of annual income (4% for S$20,000 to S$30,000 of income)
  • Promotion: S$388 of cashback for approved loan amount of S$20,000 or more (S$188 of cashback for loan between S$10,000 and S$19,999)

Interest Rate & Cost of DBS/POSB Personal Loan by Tenor

Below, we show different interest rates, fees and effective interest rates of DBS & POSB's personal instalment loan depending on its tenure. Below rates represent the cost of a loan for people who make at least S$30,000 per year. Although DBS & POSB provide this loan for people who make less than S$30,000 per year, their total costs can be 40-98% higher than what is shown below.

Interest Rate By Duration (Year)Flat RateFeeEffective Interest RateMonthly PaymentTotal Cost*
17.99%2%19.7%S$899.92S$911
27.99%2%17.28%S$483.25S$1,710
36.99%2%13.96%S$326.78S$1,776
46.99%2%13.5%S$257.33S$2,364
56.99%2%13.14%S$215.67S$2,952
*Assuming Annual Income above S$30,000, loan of S$10,000 over 3 years, total cost includes impact of promotions

Best Personal Loan Promotion: UOB Personal Loan

If you are looking for the best promotional interest rates on a personal loan, you may want to check out the new offering from UOB. However, there's an important caveat: you must be a either new UOB credit card customer or a new CashPlus (UOB's personal line of credit) customer to qualify for UOB's promotional rates. Otherwise, the cost of UOB Personal Loan can be rather high. If you do qualify, however, UOB is offering a 0% processing fee plus flat rate of 4.8% that translates to 8.2%-8.96% of effective interest rate, by far the lowest level we've seen in the market. If you are not a new customer to UOB, however, you are likely to find much better offers with either HSBC or Citi.

Summary of UOB Personal Loan

  • Effective Interest Rate: 8.2%-8.96% for new UOB credit card or line of credit customer (15%-18% for existing customers)
  • Loan Tenure: 1 to 5 Years
  • Loan Size: S$1,000 minimum, maximum 98% of the credit limit of your credit card
  • Processing Fee: 1.8% (0% for new customers)
  • Eligibility: Need to be a UOB credit card or line of credit customer
  • Bonus:: S$100 Dairy Farm Gift Vouchers (S$10,000 minimum approved loan amount of at least 36 months)

Interest Rate & Cost of UOB Personal Loan by Tenor

Below, we show different interest rates, fees and effective interest rates of UOB Personal Loan depending on the maturity of the loan. As you can see below, UOB's rates are not competitive unless you can qualify for its promotional processing fee waiver & interest rates. In particular, UOB is actively promoting the 3-year loan, and hence offers the lowest rate for that specific duration.

Interest Rate by Duration (Year)Flat RateFeeEffective Interest RatePromo Flat RatePromo FeePromo Effective Interest Rate
18%1.8%17.94%0%4.8%8.75%
28%1.8%16.54%0%4.8%8.96%
38%1.8%15.84%0%4.38%8.2%
48%1.8%15.34%0%4.8%8.89%
58%1.8%14.94%0%4.8%8.81%

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.

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

Summary Table of Best Personal Loans in Singapore

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

S$10,000 Personal Loan Over 3 YearsEffective Interest RateTotal CostMin Annual Income
HSBC Personal Loan9.0%S$1,390S$30,000
Citi Ready Credit Paylite9.0%S$1,449S$30,000
DBS/POSB Personal Loan12.0%S$1,776S$30,000
UOB Personal Loan15.8%S$2,100S$30,000
ANZ MoneyLine Term Loan14.7%S$2,270S$30,000
Standard Chartered CashOne16.6%S$2,364S$30,000
OCBC ExtraCash Loan17.7%S$2,681S$30,000
Standard Chartered CashOne23.0%S$3,090S$20,000
DBS/POSB Personal Loan21.74%S$3,5120S$20,000
OCBC ExtraCash Loan26.41%S$3,850S$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 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.

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 what personal loans are and how much they cost in our guide.

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 Loan Lenders in ValuePenguin's Study
DBS/POSBOCBCUOBHSBCCitibank
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.

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