Personal loans have a somewhat negative connotation as people tend to associate them with having poor financial management...right? Nah, that’s not always the case.

According to the experts at SingSaver, when properly used, personal loans can be a small expense that prevents you from falling into larger debt, help take charge of your finances to become more financially responsible or even bring you one step closer to your financial goals. It helps, too, to make wise decisions along the way when you're deciding on which loan to get. No idea how? Luckily, we’ve got a few handy tips for you. 

Tip #1: Ask yourself why you’re getting a personal loan.
You might have considered a personal loan for big purchases. But in truth, it can be used for many other things, from home renovations and wedding prep to managing credit card debt and even as emergency funds. Here are a few reasons why people get personal loans: 

To break free from credit card debt 
We know how it sounds: Borrowing more money to pay off the money you owe seems counter-intuitive. But this can actually get you out of the debt cycle as personal loans typically have lower interest rates compared to credit cards. Getting a personal loan to pay off your credit card debt instantly stops the high interest rates and accumulative charges that credit card companies stack against the amount you owe. Plus, with the right plan and interest rate, you could end up paying less than what you would have had paid through your credit card, saving you money. 

In times of emergency
Not all surprises are good. There are times when we’re caught off guard — such as family or medical emergencies — and the amount that you’ve been saving for a rainy day just isn’t enough. What you need is extra cash to tide you through. This is where a personal loan can act as that financial buffer to help you weather the storm. 

Prevent insurance policies from lapsing
Wait, aren’t insurance policies meant to provide financial support and reduce uncertainties? Yes, but they often require a long-time financial commitment and missing premium payments can result in them being terminated. And when that happens, you’re not only losing protection, but the premiums you’ve already paid for, especially with endowment, life and investment-linked policies. To ease your stress, a personal loan can be a bridge to ensure that you don’t lose out, particularly on maturing policies that are close to paying out. 

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Tip #2: Shop around for interest rates
Who doesn’t love getting the best deals? Scout around for what’s available, then compare plans to decide which suits your needs and capabilities. SingSaver does the work for you with easy-to-use comparison tables that allow you to browse the different rates offered across the various banks in Singapore at a glance. Remember, even the slightest difference in interest rates can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. 

Tip #3: Read the fine print
A good plan isn’t just about low interest rates. Always read the terms and conditions, which includes but is not limited to, the required repayment schedule, maximum loan duration, any income inhibitors and even how long it’ll take for loan approvals. And never neglect any extra information that could be hidden in the fine print, such as additional administrative or disbursement fees. Appearances can be deceiving — some loans may seem to offer the best deal with its low loan advertised interest rates but when the numbers add up, you could end up repaying more instead. 

To ensure that you don’t fall into this trap, SingSaver experts advise to always look at the Effective Interest Rate (EIR) of a personal loan plan rather than the advertised interest rate.  

Tip #4: For a fuss-free application process, apply for a loan online, and with instant approval
Besides being a free and unbiased platform covering a wide range of banks and providers, one of the biggest advantages of using SingSaver is its convenience and ease. All the information you need is just a click away. Researching and applying for loans online means you never have to leave your house, saving you both time and money. 

In addition, SingSaver also works with banks to offer instant approvals, so you won’t be left worrying and fretting if you’re in need of extra cash. A one-stop advisory site, SingSaver also offers educational easy-to-understand blog content to help with all your financial queries. 

Tip #5: Take advantage of the best deals when you apply for a personal loan
And having built strong relationships with partner institutes like banks and insurance companies, SingSaver is also able to secure exclusive deals — fee waivers and cashback promos — that are unavailable on other platforms, just for you. 

One such exclusive deal is the Standard Chartered CashOne Personal. Its advantages include:
●    Flat interest rates as low as 3.88% per annum (EIR from 7.67% p.a.)
●    $199 cashback to help offset the annual fee of your first year 
●    50% off the first month installment via cashback 
●    Instant loan approval and cash pay-out

To sweeten the deal, apply for the SingSaver x Standard Chartered CashOne Personal and you can be one of three winners to win a cash cushion of up to $10,000 every month. 

For more details or to apply, visit www.singsaver.link/8days-cashcushion. Terms & Conditions apply.

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