More often than not, people who fall prey to loan sharks are those in desperate need of a fast cash loan, payday loan, or those that are unaware that they’ve been dealing with a loan shark instead of a legal money lender or licensed moneylender.
You may be wondering, “What is a loan shark and how to deal with loan sharks in Singapore?”
In essence, a loan shark is a person or organisation that loans money with extremely high-interest rates that are not permitted within the law. As they tend to be a part of organised crime groups or gangs in Singapore, they often threaten the borrowers, their victims, or use violence to collect debts. If you’ve started dealing with a loan shark, it’s not too late to get out. We’ll show you how to deal with loan sharks in Singapore in this guide below.
What are the common behaviours of loan sharks?
Unlike licensed moneylenders, once you manage to get a fast cash loan from loan sharks, they can become extremely unpredictable and violent. They can harass you and your family with threats and physical abuse.
Other than violence, loan sharks have found other ways to make your life miserable. For instance, if you are still able to repay your loan early, on time, and in full, they can always come up with new terms to extort more money from you – such as imposing additional fees or changing your loan tenure to a shorter one, making it impossible for you to pay up on time.
How do I know I’m dealing with a loan shark
The first thing you should do when enquiring with any money lender is to ask for their credentials or their license certifying that they are permitted to operate as a licensed money lender under the Ministry of Law in Singapore.
You should always do your research and observe how they advertise their businesses. A legitimate and licensed moneylender will very rarely advertise their services via Whatsapp, personal messages, emails, and flyers with dodgy information as these forms of advertising are illegal.
According to the Ministry of Law, a legal money lender in Singapore can only advertise its services on business and/or consumer directories, its official website, and ads placed on the place of business.
You can see many lenders advertising fast cash loans and payday loans in shops that may look questionable but do not be mistaken. These payday lenders operate legally and are permitted to provide payday loans according to the law.
What to expect when you borrow from loan sharks?
Here are a potential list of things that can happen if and when you seek services from loan sharks:
- They reach out only via SMS or Whatsapp and agree to the loan via texts or calls
- You do not receive any draft of the contract
- You receive a contract that is incomplete
- The terms and conditions are questionable with potential grammar mistakes
- The conditions aren’t complete yet they’re asking you to sign it
- They do not clarify when you ask them to elaborate the terms
- They do not return your IDs
- You got no copy of your contract
How do I ensure I’m enquiring from a registered licensed money lender?
Apart from checking against the list of legitimate money lenders on the Ministry of Law website, a legal lender will provide you with a proper contract that states the precise and detailed interest rate including the loan term and instalment schedule, additional fees needed, and legal option in case of loan default.
Additionally, most registered licensed moneylenders are professional and will answer every question you have before you sign and will not force your hand.
What to do if you mistakenly deal with a loan shark
Here’s how to deal with loan sharks in Singapore, especially if you are already in business with them and need help:
- Credit Counselling Singapore: 6225-5227
- ComCare: 1800-222-0000
- National Crime Prevention Council’s X-Ah Long hotline: 1800-924-5664
These are emergency contacts that you should reach out to if you’re already involved with loan sharks or if you are stuck at getting out of the harassment.
Where can I find legitimate financial help?
If you’re in need of cash but are drowning in debt, there are other better solutions than seeking financial help from a loan shark.
Licensed moneylenders such as Dio Credit offer debt consolidation plans that allow you to consolidate or amass all your debt into a single plan for easier loan management. Enquire with Dio Credit today!