Life is unpredictable and there may come a time you need to borrow money to get out of a financial plight or an emergency expense. Even if you have the savings to help you out, it may not be enough to get you out of a financial problem and that can be a big headache to solve if you do not know where to go for help.
For self-employed individuals and freelancers, it is a misconception for many that they are not allowed to get a loan from a moneylender. Since they do not have the usual forms possessed by employed individuals like a computerized pay slip and a certificate of employment, self-employed individuals have to go to other places to get money. Most of the time, they approach their family and friends for some assistance.
However, borrowing money from friends and family can be tricky and it may not even work all the time. It can be quite embarrassing to do so, and you need to pay it immediately so you do not have to worry about them pressuring you to pay. It can also give you stress, especially if they do not have the amount you truly need.
Contrary to popular belief, self-employed individuals can apply for a personal loan if they need funds for any emergency they may find themselves into at any given time. In Singapore, licensed banks, financial institutions, and moneylenders offer a vast array of financial services suited for any type of financial emergency for employed, self-employed and even unemployed individuals.
For Singaporeans and foreign residents who are self-employed, it is required that you present the following documents to a bank when applying for a personal loan:
- A photocopy of your NRIC or National Registration Identity Card (front and back)
- A copy of your recent Income Tax Notice of Assessment (ITNA) for the last two years.
- A copy of your bank statement for the last three months.
Each requirement is important for lenders to determine your eligibility for a loan.
Your NRIC verifies your basic details and ensures you are currently residing in the country.
Your ITNA document and your bank statement serve as evidence that you have a stable business, know what your business is like, and how much money you are earning every month. If you can provide your ITNA for the past two years, it will give them an estimate if you will be able to repay the loans.
It is important to remember that the bank or a financial institution may ask for more documentation as they review your loan application. Self-employed Singaporeans may also find it difficult to get an approval for a higher loan amount, especially if this is your first time to apply.
Moneylenders to the Rescue
Since your chances of getting a personal loan from a bank, if you are a self-employed individual, can be uncertain, you can opt to check out one of the many licensed moneylenders in Singapore for your quick funding needs.
In comparison to banks, moneylenders have less stringent requirements and application reviews when it comes to people applying for loans. Even if the amount you can borrow can be smaller due to your employment status, they will only require the same documents from you and when they are satisfied, you can get the loan immediately. Some moneylenders may even enable you to borrow funds even if you do not present to them your proof of income.
Payment is also easier with personal loans from moneylenders because they can be paid at a certain time frame. They also have one set interest rate and do not charge extra fees except for when you are late and if they needed to use legal action for your loans.
Unfortunately, you will need to research before you can go to moneylenders for your financial needs because only a few licensed moneylenders may be open to lending you money if you are a self-employed individual. Since self-employed individuals are considered to be in the lower earning bracket for a potential borrower, their rates and terms can vary. As a result, you do need to check them all before you decide which one to use.
Interest rates can also be higher for self-employed individuals depending on the moneylender reviewing your application. While there is a set interest rate for all moneylenders in the country, they may have certain rules for self-employed borrowers. Interest rates can also tell you if you are dealing with a legitimate moneylender.
You also need to make sure that the moneylender you are looking into is licensed by the government. There are many moneylenders in the market today and all of them claim to be licensed.
To check out the licensed moneylenders in the country, you can head on to the website of Singapore’s Ministry of Law for the entire list.
If you remain uncertain if loans will work for you as a self-employed individual, you can also check out the following options:
- Open a fixed deposit account which can help you manage your financial needs for a short time.
- Request a family member or a friend to be your co-signer or guarantor and apply for a secured loan. Your guarantor will be the one to catch your loans if you suddenly find it difficult to pay it.
- Apply for a collateral loan and offer a collateral to borrow a higher amount of money.
Like employed individuals, self-employed individuals have the option to apply for personal loans if they find themselves in a financial predicament. They may have different sources of income, but it is still income which can be used as a basis by banks or moneylenders when determining one’s loan application.
Of course, before you go apply for a personal loan, just make sure to do your research and understand every aspect of getting a loan. If there are alternatives you can use for your needs, go consider that. If there are none and loans are the way to go, then go for it.