Banks vs Licensed Moneylenders: Which is better?

March 4, 2024

When it comes to borrowing money, individuals often findthemselves weighing the pros and cons of traditional banks versus alternativemoneylenders. Each option offers distinct advantages and disadvantages, makingit essential for borrowers to understand their choices fully.

So, which option is better: banks or moneylenders? Let's delve into the pros and cons of each.



Lower Interest Rates

  • Banks typically offer lower interest rates compared to moneylenders, especially for individuals with good credit scores. This can result in substantial savings over the loan term.
  • Bank interest rates: Approx 5.5% p.a

No Processing Fees

  • Unlike moneylenders, banks do not charge processing fees, ensuring borrowers receive the entire approved loan amount.

Regulated and Secure:

  • Banks are heavily regulated financial institutions, providing a sense of security to borrowers. They adhere to strict lending guidelines and consumer protection laws, reducing the risk of predatory lending practices.

Various Financial Products:

  • Banks offer a wide range of financial products and services, including personal loans, mortgages, credit cards, and investment opportunities. This diversity allows borrowers to choose products tailored to their specific needs.


Stringent Eligibility Criteria

  • Banks often have stringent eligibility criteria, including high credit scores, minimum annual income (S$30,000), and collateral requirements. This can make it challenging for individuals with poor credit or irregular income streams to qualify for loans.

Lengthy Approval Process

  • Unlike moneylenders, banks do not charge processing fees, ensuring borrowers receive the entire approved loan amount.

Lower Loan Quantum

  • In the banking sector, loans are granted based on a tiered system. If your annual income is less than $120,000, you can only borrow up to 4x your monthly income.




  • Licensed Moneylenders, are more accessible to individuals with poor credit or unconventional income sources. They may be more willing to approve loans for borrowers who do not meet banks' strict eligibility criteria.

Quick Approval

  • Moneylenders typically offer faster loan approval processes compared to banks. This can be beneficial for individuals in urgent need of funds for emergencies or unexpected expenses.
  • Some lenders, such as Friday Finance, even provide instant loan approvals upon meeting specific criteria and furnishing the required information for eligibility analysis by the algorithm.

Flexible Terms

  • Moneylenders may offer more flexible loan terms, allowing borrowers to negotiate repayment schedules and loan amounts based on their unique circumstances.

Higher loan quantum:

  • The amount of quantum a borrower qualifies for is a function of their income. For moneylenders, if you have a minimum income of $20,000, you can borrow up to 6x your monthly income.


Higher Interest Rates

  • Moneylenders, particularly unlicensed ones, often charge higher interest rates compared to banks. This can result in higher overall borrowing costs and financial strain for borrowers.
  • Most moneylenders typically impose a monthly interest rate ranging from 3-4%. However, certain moneylenders like Friday Finance provide loans with competitive monthly interest rates starting as low as 1.8%.

Admin Fees

  • Moneylenders charge borrowers admin fees/ processing fees, reducing the overall loan amount received by borrowers.
  • The administrative fees vary but typically amount to around 10%. Therefore, if your loan application for $10,000 is approved, the disbursed amount will usually be $9,000 after deducting the administrative fees.
  • In response to this, Friday Finance has introduced a program where we refund 50%of the administrative fees to our borrowers upon complete repayment of their loan, provided they have consistently made all payments on time. This initiative serves a dual purpose: it not only helps borrowers save on administrative fees but also assists them in enhancing their credit history and score.


In conclusion, the decision between banks and moneylenders ultimately boils down to individual preferences, financial circumstances, and borrowing needs. While banks offer lower interest rates, greater security, and a wider range of financial products, they may come with stringent eligibility criteria and lengthy approval processes. On the other hand, moneylenders provide accessibility, quick approval, and flexible terms, but may charge higher interest rates and administrative fees.


When choosing between the two, borrowers should carefully weigh the pros and cons of each option and consider factors such as creditworthiness, borrowing requirements, and urgency of funds. Regardless of the choice made, it's essential to practice financial prudence and responsibility to ensure a positive borrowing experience and avoid falling into debt traps.


Ultimately, whether banks or moneylenders are better depends on the individual's unique financial situation and preferences. By understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each option, borrowers can make informed decisions that align with their financial goals and objectives.