A loan shark also called “Ah Long” is an illegal moneylender who takes advantage of the hopeless situations of borrowers. Loan sharks would often target individuals who are badly in need of money. They would charge high interest rates and unreasonably high fees.
Borrowers would take their ridiculous loan offerings out of desperation. If these loan sharks fail to collect their money, they would even use harassment and violence. The contract and transactions made with loan sharks are illegal. In many cases, dealing with these criminals creates more problems.
How to spot a loan shark?
Needless to say, borrowers should never deal with loan sharks. They are dangerous, and they could cost your entire life savings and earnings. At times of desperate financial needs, you have to be extra careful so as not to be their next victim. Here are the tell-tale signs to know if the moneylender you are dealing with is a Singapore loan shark.
A deal with a loan shark in Singapore is too good to be true. They would offer you loans without even considering your current income. Instead of following prescribed loan amounts by the Moneylenders Act, they would offer you loans that are obviously impossible for you to pay. They do this because they want you to drown you in debt.
Also, loan sharks do not operate their business with a legal domain or address. They are often working online and cannot provide a physical address. They do this so they can easily get away from police and authorities. Aside from the lack of a physical address, they also often have cheap-looking websites. This is because they are not willing to invest in a good website if they are willing to spend at all.
Moreover, loan sharks add excessive interest rates and hidden charges in their loan offerings. In most cases, borrowers are surprised upon discovering these fees. Since the transaction is illegal, loan sharks are able to include these unnecessary fees. Most of the time, borrowers cannot get away from these fees because they are highly indebted to these loan sharks posing as legitimate money lenders.
Most importantly, loan sharks do not have a license number from the Ministry of Law. All licensed moneylenders are given license numbers by the government. If they cannot show you this number, they are likely part of loan sharks Singapore groups. You can learn more about this here on the website of the Ministry of Law.
How to verify the moneylender’s legitimacy?
Like legitimate or licensed moneylenders, loan sharks are now able to run social media campaigns. In these elaborate marketing schemes, loan sharks get a new set of victims to prey. They could easily promise low interest rates on their loans, but in reality, they would even make the lives of the people more difficult than it already is.
The best way to ensure the legitimacy of a moneylender you are dealing with is through checking if they are in the full list of licensed moneylender which can be found here. This list is from the Ministry of Law and is updated on a regular basis. When a money lender is not on this list, it is very likely that it is a loanshark Singapore business.
Also, you must take note that licensed moneylenders are only allowed to advertise through three channels. They may use their own buildings or premises. They may use their own website. Lastly, they may use online and print advertisements. Do not deal with a money lender company that uses social media, SMS, or emails to send you loan offerings.
Moreover, moneylending laws in the country specifically cite these types of charges when it comes to borrowing money. One is a repayment fee of not more than $60 for each month of repayment. Second is a loan fee of not more than 10% of the principal of the loan. Third, are legal costs set by the court for a successful claim by the moneylender for the recovery of the loan. If moneylenders are charging you more than these fees, do not hesitate to report them to the Ministry of Law immediately.
How to deal with loan sharks
If in case you accidentally borrowed from a loan shark, be assured that you still have a chance to get away from this problem. There are multiple ways you can get out of this problem. The important thing here is to trust the Singaporean government. They know what they are doing, which means that you have to allow them to do their job.
Here are the best things to do when you are put into these problematic situations. First, you must report your situation to the authorities. Get the attention of government agencies and offices like the Credit Counselling Singapore, National Council on Problem Gambling, and Comcare. You may want to get help from any of these offices.
Second, you have to stop your interaction with these dangerous people immediately. Stop making payments and do not yield to their threats. Engaging with these people will only put your life and your family’s life in danger. It is better that you seek the help of authorities instead of engaging with them.
Third, if you continue to receive any form of harassment from loan sharks, immediately call the police at ‘999.’ It is best that you get the attention of people around you, especially the authorities so that they have an idea that you are dealing with loan sharks. Remember that loan sharks would even use violence against the borrowers. You may be putting the lives of your family members in danger as you continue your interaction with these groups.
Fourth, while you cannot cut off your ties with loan sharks without paying back the money you won them, you can still find protection from legal means. There are existing laws that get you to safety, and that could work to your advantage. Please seek legal advice as soon as possible. These offices will provide you with suggestions on how to best deal with your loans or debts with a loan shark.
Dealing with a loan shark can be a very dangerous business. Be careful when borrowing money and always check the list of licensed money lenders in Singapore to avoid getting in deep financial trouble. Look for legitimate financial institutions who can lend you the money you need without breaking laws. Even seemingly great deals online can be a scam, so be sure to only trust licensed money lenders.
If you think that you are in trouble, seek help from the authorities. Do not deal with loan sharks on your own. The police, as well as the agents of the Ministry of Law, are much equipped to deal with these types of individuals. Hence, the best way for you to deal with loan sharks is to report them.
If you’d like to know more about loans and other financial matters, do not hesitate to contact A1 Credit Pte Ltd. They are a licensed moneylender who has been providing service to their clients since 2009. They can provide you with the information you need when it comes to applying for a loan or ways to avoid loan sharks.
There are a lot of legitimate or licensed money lenders in the country. Instead of getting a loan with a loan shark, you can choose among these tens of financial institutions who could help you with your money problems.
Transactions, contracts, and agreements with these legitimate money lenders follow the provisions of the Moneylenders Act, which means that customers are ensured their rights are protected by these businesses. Customers can be sure that they will not be exploited by these lending businesses.