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Best personal loans with lowest interest rates in Singapore
Personal loans have quite a bad rep, mostly because it’s an unsecured loan with significant interest costs. Compared to other types of loans which are tied to collateral (e.g. home or car loans), personal loan interest rates are high.
And while we’d never encourage anyone to take personal loan on whim – say, to buy a branded handbag or a vacation you can’t afford – the truth is that times are bad. Singapore is deep in recession – the Ministry of Trade and Industry recently revised the 2020 GDP forecast to -7% to -5%.
If you have run into cash flow issues and are in need of cash urgently, a personal loan may be able to help you out. Here are the best personal loans in Singapore currently.
Best personal loans in Singapore
Here’s a list of the best personal loans in Singapore:
Do note that although correct at the time of writing, these rates may change. Additionally, the actual personal loan rate you’re offered may differ from published rates, depending on your risk profile, credit rating and more.
For the latest rates and promotions, you can compare personal loans on GoBear.
HSBC personal loan
HSBC offers personal loans at a competitive 3.7% p.a. (from EIR 7% p.a.). While most banks allow you to choose from one to five years to repay your loan (the tenure), HSBC offers a slightly longer option of up to seven years. This could be helpful in lowering your monthly repayments, but may end up in higher total interest costs. If you redeem your loan early, the fee is 2.5% of your redemption amount.
DBS personal loan
Of course, Singapore’s favourite bank DBS offers personal loans as well – and at quite competitive rates, too. DBS personal loans are from 3.88% p.a. (EIR 7.56% p.a.), and is the one of the banks in this list which allows up to seven years tenure. The early repayment fee is a flat rate of $250 instead of a percentage of the redemption sum, which may be cheaper if you intend to take a bigger loan.
OCBC ExtraCash personal loan
OCBC’s personal loan (aptly named “ExtraCash”) is the most expensive on this list. OCBC charges a whopping 15% p.a., which is effectively 15.92% p.a. The rest of the terms are similar to others: Minimum $1,000 loan, one to five years repayment option and 3% early repayment fee. One thing to highlight, however, is that OCBC’s minimum income requirement is $20,000 instead of $30,000, which is the case for most banks. But if you earn $20,000 to $29,999, your interest rate is an astronomical 22% p.a. (EIR 23.10% p.a.).
UOB personal loan
The UOB personal loan interest rate is one of the lowest in this list, at 3.68% p.a. (from EIR 7.21% p.a.). If you have a strong preference for local banks, this is worth considering.
The minimum loan required is the same as the rest ($1,000), and you can choose from one- to five-year tenure. If you look up UOB personal loans on their site, you’ll notice a 1% processing fee. Do not be alarmed – this is factored into the effective interest rate (EIR) so just use that to work out how much this loan will cost.
Citibank personal loan (Citi Quick Cash)
Citibank’s personal loan is called Citi Quick Cash, and charges 4.55% p.a. (from 7.5% p.a.). If you’re an existing Citibank customer, you can also convert your unutilised credit limit for instant access to funds, or apply for instant disbursement on your mobile. Right now, Citibank has a limited-time promotion for new Citi credit card or Citibank Ready Credit account holders taking 12-month personal loans. The interest rate is 0%, with a 3.5% processing fee. This adds up to an EIR of 7.85% p.a.
Standard Chartered CashOne personal loan
Called CashOne, Standard Chartered’s personal loan offers 3.88% p.a. (from EIR 7.67% p.a.), which is very reasonable. Like DBS/POSB and HSBC, Standard Chartered’s maximum tenure is seven years – two years longer than the usual five-year maximum. Do note that there is a $199 annual fee (deducted from the approved loan amount) in the first year. If you change your tenure, there is also a $50 charge.
CIMB CashLite personal loan
For new-to-bank customers, CIMB’s personal loan (CashLite) is the cheapest on this list. It offers 3.5% p.a. (from EIR 6.4% p.a.), which is currently the lowest interest rate. If you’re an existing CIMB customer, however, then tough luck – the rate goes up to 4.5% p.a. (from EIR 8.29% p.a.).
The rest of the terms are pretty standard: $1,000 minimum loan, one to five years repayment and 3% or $250 early repayment fee (whichever higher).
Which bank is best for personal loans?
When comparing personal loans, the most important factor is the interest rate. You may notice that some banks have processing fees, but these should be included in the effective interest rate (EIR), which should factor in the total cost of borrowing.
That said, keep an eye out for other fees and charges, which can include annual fees and late payment fees.
In most cases, the cheapest personal loan is the “best” one because the terms and conditions of these banks are mostly quite competitive. However, it’s best to double-check the fine print to be sure. For example, if you are taking a short tenure and think you may be able to repay your loan sooner, you may want to compare early termination fees.
In terms of “safety” and reliability, all the banks in Singapore are licensed under the Banking Act, and are regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). That said, many Singaporeans feel more comfortable and prefer local banks like DBS/POSB, OCBC and UOB. Of these, UOB currently has the lowest personal loan interest rate. DBS’s is a close second.
If you do not mind any bank, the cheapest personal loan is currently CIMB’s CashLite. Do note, however, that the low rate of 3.5% p.a. is only for new customers. Existing customers pay 4.5% p.a., which is much less competitive.
Personal loan calculator
A good way to work out how much your personal loan costs is to use an online personal loan calculator. These are available on each bank’s website, but that going to each site and filling up your details from scratch can be tedious.
A more convenient way is to use GoBear’s personal loan comparison tool. Fill up key details like your desired loan amount, tenure and monthly salary, and GoBear will churn results for all the best home loans for your profile, on one page. We also estimate your monthly repayments, and include details of any processing and annual fees.