Being in debt isn’t fun, and you definitely shouldn’t be taking out personal loans for fun.
But in certain cases, it can be a smart financial move—when you’re saddled with high interest debt like credit card debt, and want to consolidate your loans to lower your interest payments.
Many banks in Singapore offer personal loans. Let’s see how the OCBC Personal Loan measures up.
OCBC personal loan eligibility
To apply for an OCBC personal loan, you need to be at least 21 years of age. You need to earn at least $20,000 in annual income if you are Singaporean/PR or $45,000 if you are a foreigner.
In addition, you must be an OCBC credit card or EasiCredit account holder.
OCBC personal loan interest rate (2020)
OCBC offers several different ways to borrow money. Their standard personal loan is called OCBC Cash-on-Instalments, which lets you convert the unused credit limit on your OCBC credit card into a personal loan with fixed instalments.
For a OCBC Cash-on-Instalments loan of $10,000 taken over a period of 3 years, this is how much interest you would be paying:
If you really need cash, it’s better to get it through Cash-on-Instalment than to just pay directly with your credit card as the interest rate is lower. You can borrow money for 1 to 5 years at a 4.7% p.a. interest rate, and pay a $100 processing fee. The effective interest rate (EIR) works out to about 9.46% p.a. for the $10,000/3 years example.
Do note that OCBC’s Cash-on-Instalment is one of the most expensive personal loans out there! So shop around and consider other personal loans in Singapore if you’re looking for a good deal.
What if I don’t have any more credit with OCBC?
OCBC also has a loan called the OCBC ExtraCash Loan for when you’ve already busted your credit limit. Or if you flat-out refuse to get an OCBC credit card or credit line for whatever reason.
As you can see, it’s even more expensive than the OCBC Cash-on-Instalments loan. Yikes.
Other OCBC personal loan options
We’ve covered OCBC Cash-on-Instalments (the best OCBC personal loan option, though not the best on the market) and OCBC ExtraCash Loan (the more expensive of the 2), but there are 2 more OCBC products that promise “easy cash”.
The first is a standby line of credit called OCBC EasiCredit. This is like a credit card, except for cash (if that makes sense). Once approved, you can withdraw cash as and when you wish using an ATM card. The interest rate for those who with an annual income of at least $30,000 is 20.90%. Earn less than that and you’ll pay 29.8%, which is basically as bad as getting into credit card debt.
There’s also OCBC Balance Transfer, which is a different product that allows you to consolidate outstanding credit card debt into a structured repayment plan. You can read more about balance transfers here.
OCBC personal loan promotions
Until 31 March 2020, you can receive $60 cashback when you make an online application for an OCBC EasiCredit account (which is a pre-requisite for a Cash-on-Instalment loan).
Another promotion OCBC has is for their Cash-on-Instalment personal loan, if you borrow at least $8,000. This promotion is also valid until 31 March 2020.
If your approved loan amount ranges from $8,000 to $15,999, you get $80 cashback. If you borrow $16,000 to $23,999, you get $160 cashback. If you borrow $24,000 to $31,999, you get $240 cashback. Finally, for loans that are at least $32,000, you get $320 cashback.
We hope you’re sensible enough to NOT overborrow just so you can get a higher cashback amount. That would be silly, considering you’ll still end up paying more in interest payments.
How to use the OCBC personal loan calculator
Scroll down the OCBC page on Cash-on-Instalment (fixed repayment) and you’ll find the OCBC personal loan calculator for their Cash-on-Instalment loan.
Enter how much you want to borrow and the amount of time over which you wish to repay it, and the calculator will display your monthly instalments, processing fee, interest rate and EIR.
OCBC Debt Consolidation Plan
If you’ve got existing high interest debt like an unpaid credit card balance, OCBC’s Debt Consolidation Plan is another option. Transfer your existing debt to OCBC and you’ll pay a relatively low interest rate compared to credit card interest (though it’s typically higher than that of a personal loan).
Why opt for this instead of the Cash-on-Instalments loan? Well, if you have already busted your credit limit with OCBC, you won’t be eligible for Cash-on-Instalments. Cash-on-Instalments also offers a maximum tenure of 5 years, while the Debt Consolidation Plan offers up to 8 years.
However, debt consolidation plans are for Singaporeans/PRs with at least a year’s income of debt only.
How long does approval take for OCBC personal loans?
In order to apply for an OCBC Cash-on-Instalment loan, you need to be an existing OCBC credit card or EasiCredit holder. Approval is instant and the money will be transferred to a bank account designated by you.
A word of warning about personal loans
There are so many loans on offer, lucky you… right? Not really! While the OCBC Cash-on-Instalment personal loan certainly charges lower interest rates than a credit card would, it’s still a form of high interest debt. That means personal loans should only be used as a last resort to prevent yourself from having to fall into credit card debt or consolidate existing debt.
If you find yourself using personal loans regularly, it’s time to have a look at your finances. Chances are, you need to consistently reduce your spending and/or find ways to raise your income in order to stay debt-free. You’ll also need to build up an emergency fund, which you can then turn to when unexpected expenses arise instead of getting into debt.
Do you have any experience with OCBC Personal Loans? Share your reviews in the comments!