Personal Loans

DBS Personal Loan Review: Interest Rates, Approval Times & Loan Amounts

dbs personal loans singapore

Resorting to personal loans can be a wise financial move if you’re already in debt, have no way to repay all of it right now and wish to consolidate your debt in order to lower your interest payments.

Here’s how the DBS Personal Loan measures up compared to other loans available in Singapore.


DBS personal loan eligibility

In order to take up a DBS personal loan, you have to be a Singaporean or a PR, between 21 and 65 and have an annual income of at least $20,000.


DBS personal loan interest rate

When you apply for the DBS Personal Loan online, you get to enjoy an interest rate of 3.88% per annum.

There is also a one-time 1% processing fee that’s charged on the amount you’re borrowing.

In reality, however, the quoted interest rate does not reflect the true cost of taking out the loan.

That’s because when you add up all the other costs, such as the processing fee, administrative fees and so on, you actually end up paying a higher sum to take out the loan than the 3.88% interest rate you’re being quoted. The true cost of taking out a loan is measured by Effective Interest Rate (EIR).

The lowest possible EIR you can get when taking out a DBS personal loan is 7.9%.

For a loan of $10,000 taken over a period of 3 years, this is how much interest you would be paying:

DBS Personal Loan  For a loan of $10,000
Interest rate 3.88% p.a.
Effective interest rate  7.9% p.a.
Monthly instalments (over 36 months)  $310.11
Total repayment  $11,164 
Total interest payable  $1,164
Processing fee $0

Compared to other personal loans on the market, the interest rates offered by DBS are not the absolute cheapest, but still considered below average and quite competitive.

Other personal loans that are offering lower EIR include HSBC Personal Loan and OCBC Cash-On-Instalments.

Get a neutral comparison of personal loans in Singapore on


DBS personal loan promotions

New DBS customers receive $200 cashback when you apply for a DBS personal loan of $10,000 online.

Alternatively, take out a DBS personal loan of at least $30,000/$50,000 and get $688/$888 cashback if you’re an existing DBS customer, or $888/$1,088 if you’re a new customer.

MoneySmart is running an online promotion on DBS personal loans as well. You enjoy up to $1,088 cashback if you apply before 31 December 2019.

But please don’t take a personal loan just because of a cashback promotion, no matter how attractive. In most cases, the total interest payable will far exceed whatever cash back you can get.

Only take a loan out if you actually need it.


How to use DBS personal loan calculator

DBS has a personal loan calculator that lets you calculate your monthly loan repayments based on how much you wish to borrow and for how long.

It’s super easy to use. Just enter the loan amount and whether you wish to repay your DBS personal loan over 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 years.

The calculator will then show your monthly repayment amount, the effective interest rate as well as the total amount you’ll have to repay, including interest and other fees.


DBS Cashline vs DBS Personal Loan

DBS Cashline sounds suspiciously similar to the DBS personal loan, but there are some major differences.

Cashline is a line of credit that’s meant to be kept on standby in case you need it. What’s a line of credit? It’s an amount of money that the bank could potentially lend to you if you need it. When you need the money, you withdraw it, usually through an ATM machine, and you get charged interest on the sums you’ve withdrawn.

A credit line like DBS Cashline is a lot more flexible than a personal loan in terms of repaying interest. With a personal loan, you need to apply for a fixed loan amount and then repay a fixed amount every month.

With Cashline, on the other hand, you can withdraw money whenever you need it. So long as you repay the minimum sum every month, you can take as long as you like to pay it back. Well, you can, but you mustn’t. Taking your own sweet time to repay your Cashline bills means you’ll end up paying a lot more in interest.

Lines of credit like DBS Cashline charge much higher interest rates than personal loans, the current EIR being 19.8% (!!!) for people with a minimum gross annual income of at least $30,000. Proceed with caution.


How long does approval take for DBS personal loans?

Assuming you already have an existing POSB or DBS account, you can get your cash from a DBS personal loan application very quickly.

For applications that meet all the bank’s requirements, you can get approved almost instantly (except from 11:45pm to 8am) and have the money immediately transferred to your savings account.


Be cautious with personal loans

While personal loans aren’t as exorbitant in terms of interest as credit card debt, they’re still high-interest unsecured loans, so it’s a good idea to use them only as a last resort or as a band-aid solution to unexpected problems.

In the long term, instead of relying on personal loans, look to more sustainable solutions such as adjusting your expenditure and increasing your income. Also look to beefing up contingency plans for emergencies, such as by building up a decent emergency fund, so you can avoid getting into debt altogether should unexpected expenses crop up.

Do you have any experience with the DBS Personal Loans? Share your reviews in the comments!


Related articles

Personal Loans Should Be for Emergencies, Not Frivolous Shopping

The Best Personal Loans in Singapore with Lowest Interest Rates (2019)

Taking Personal Loans From Licensed Moneylenders vs Borrowing From Banks: What’s the Difference?

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