You should keep these key points in mind:
- Before approaching a moneylender, consider other alternatives, such as the various financial assistance schemes offered by various Government agencies. You may contact the agencies to find out more about their schemes.
- You are legally obliged to fulfil any loan contract you enter into with a licensed moneylender.
- Consider whether you are able to abide by the contractual terms, bearing in mind your income and financial obligations. Borrow only what you need and are able to repay. Be mindful that if you are unable to meet the contractual terms, the late payment fees and interest payment will be a financial strain not just on yourself but also on your family.
- The law requires moneylenders to explain the terms of a loan to you in a language you understand and to provide you with a copy of the loan contract. Make sure you fully understand the terms of the contract, in particular, the repayment schedule, the interest rate charged and the fees applicable.
- Consider carefully before agreeing to any contractual term which allows a moneylender to lodge a caveat on the sale proceeds of your real estate property upon default of the loan repayment. When a caveat is lodged against your property, you will not be able to sell it without first repaying the moneylender in full. If the repayment is taken from the net proceeds from the sale of the property, it can wipe out all or a substantial portion of the proceeds.
- You should shop around different moneylenders for the most favourable terms. You should not rush into and commit yourself to a loan until you are satisfied with the terms and conditions.