Personal loans for foreigners

Foreigners working or studying in Singapore may find that they need a personal loan, and the good news is that they can still be approved for a loan provided they can meet some additional eligibility requirements. Find out more and compare your options here.

By   |   Verified by Kwok Zhong Li   |   Updated 18 Jan 2023

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Comparing personal loans for foreigners for over months

Standard Chartered CashOne

On website

Standard Chartered CashOne

Interest rate

From 3.48% (personalised)

Effective interest rate

From 6.95% (personalised)

Repayment period

3 years

Application fee

$199.00

Monthly repayment

$298.76

Total repayment

$10,755.36

Highlights

  • Earn cashback when you apply for a Personal Loan.
  • Enjoy competitive interest rates starting from 3.48% p.a.
  • Get your cash disbursed within 15 minutes of approval.

Bank promo

  • Enjoy cashback on the first 2 months interest upon approval. Terms and Conditions apply

Pros

  • Borrow as low as S1,000 and up to S$200,000.
  • Flexible repayment loan tenure from 1 to 5 years
  • Receive up to S$200 cashback for every successful referral. Valid until 31 December 2023.

Cons

  • There is a first-year annual fee of S$199.
OCBC Cash-on-Instalments

On website

OCBC Cash-on-Instalments

Interest rate

From 3.50% (personalised)

Effective interest rate

From 6.96% (personalised)

Repayment period

3 years

Application fee

$100.00

Monthly repayment

$306.94

Total repayment

$11,049.84

Highlights

  • Turn unused credit limit into cash, without the need for additional income documents.
  • Enjoy extra cash from interest rates as low as 3.50% p.a. (EIR 6.96% p.a.).
  • Manage your finances with fixed repayment with periods ranging from 1 to 5 years.

Bank promo

  • Receive up to $3,888 cashback when you apply for OCBC Cash-on-Instalments. Terms and Conditions apply.

Pros

  • Earn a generous amount of cashback when you meet the criteria.
  • Minimum loan amount is S$1,000.
  • Easy and fast application process.

Cons

  • There is a processing fee which is 1% of the approved loan amount.

Learn about personal loans for foreigners

Expert tips for foreigners and expats living in Singapore who are applying for a personal loan.

  • FAQs

Are there any traps to watch out for when applying for a personal loan as a foreigner?

Yes. Because it is more difficult to be approved for a personal loan as a foreigner, you may be exposed to loan offers from unlicensed and illegal moneylenders. Avoid these at all costs, because the interest rates will be much higher, and you could be subjected to harassment and other risks. All lenders listed by Finty are registered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Can foreigners apply for a personal loan in Singapore?

Yes. The following types of personal loan are available to foreigners:

  • Personal instalment
  • Credit line
  • Balance transfer
  • Debt consolidation
  • New car
  • Used car
  • Renovation
  • Education

Can I apply for a personal loan as a foreign student?

Yes, but you will probably be limited to taking out an education personal loan to cover your course fees only. You may also need a loan guarantor who is a Singaporean with a good credit history.

Do personal loans cost the same for foreigners as they do for Singaporeans?

There is no difference in the fees charged (e.g. application fee, late payment fee, restructuring fee, early exit fee) but there may be a difference in the interest rates offered.

How long will the loan term (loan tenure or tenor) be for a foreigner?

Loan terms are usually between one and five years, but the lender will need to be confident that you will remain in Singapore long enough to pay off your loan. So they will look at the length of time remaining on your Employment Pass or Student Pass.

How much will I be able to borrow via a personal loan as a foreigner?

Singaporeans with a good credit history can normally borrow up to seven times their monthly income, sometimes more, but foreigners may be restricted to a lower multiple of their salary.

I don’t have any credit history in Singapore. Can I still apply for a personal loan?

Yes, but you may find that the amount you can borrow is limited to twice your monthly salary. If you need a larger amount, you will have to wait and build up your credit score by meeting all your financial obligations on time. Try applying for a credit card first to establish a good repayment history.

A second plan of attack is to ask the lender if they will accept non-traditional credit references, such as your housing rental payment record, utility bill payment record or payment for insurance premiums not automatically deducted from your salary.

Alternatively, if you have a Singaporean friend or relative with a good credit history, they could cosign or guarantee your loan, but they need to be aware that they will be responsible for paying off the loan if you default.

What kinds of extra documentation do foreigners need when applying for a personal loan?

All personal loan applicants need to prove their identity, their residential address and their income.

Foreigners can prove their identity with a copy of the personal details page of their passport, plus a copy of their Employment Pass (P1, P2 or Q1, with at least one year’s remaining validity), Personalised Employment Pass, EntrePass or Student Pass.

Foreigners can prove their residential address with a copy of a utility bill showing their name and address, or any other official document showing their name and address (e.g. bank credit card statement, rental agreement, government document such as from IRAS, CPF, ICA).

Foreigners can prove their income with up to three of their latest electronic payslips, or most recent Income Tax Notice of Assessment, or their Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution history statement for the last 6-12 months if they are permanent residents. Income requirements for loan applicants tend to be higher for foreigners ($40,000-$60,000) than for Singaporeans ($20,000-$30,000).