SME loans

Best SME Loans for Small Businesses in Singapore 2021

You own a struggling small business or SME (small-to-medium enterprise) and want to improve your cash flow with a loan. What are the alternatives?  We have identified the best variety of SME business loans for you.

Comparing SME loans

The first step in comparing SME business loans is choosing a loan that meets the needs of your business. For example, many SMEs need small loans to pay off short-term debts or one-time purchases. Others need large amounts of financing or working capital loans to expand their business or buy expensive assets like equipment or real estate. 

Once you can determine the type of loan you need based on the purpose of the financing, you must compare the interest rates, fees, and available loan terms. After all, the most important thing is to choose the loan with the lowest total cost for your business, which means choosing a loan with a lower interest rate, a realistic maturity, and a lower cost.

Methodology

We reviewed more than 27 financial products to compare costs (fees, interest rates), requirements (collateral, income, assets) and other details (terms, expenditures, loan types) to find the most suitable credit solution for SMEs. After collecting the data, we can distinguish which kind of loan is most suitable for SMEs that require different types of financing. When choosing a loan, you should first consider different financing options, and then choose the one that suits you best.

Best SME loans in Singapore

Best 4 Business loan in 2021

1. Temporary Bridging Loan

A government-backed corporate financing program can help all companies (not just small and medium-sized enterprises) overcome the Covid-19 epidemic. This is open to Singapore-registered companies that have at least 30% of the equity in the country. The loan amount can be up to 5 million U.S. dollars and the repayment period can be up to 5 years.

Best rates

High loan amount with competitive rates

Flexible repayment period

Stretch your repayment period of up to 5 years

Features

Loan amountUp to S$3,000,000 per Borrower
Up to S$20,000,000 per Borrower Group*
Loan tenorUp to 5 years
CollateralNil

*Borrower Group consists of the following:

  1. Borrower; and
  2. Corporate shareholders holding more than 50% at all levels up; and.
  3. Subsidiaries where the Applicant company holds more than 50% shareholdings and subsequent subsidiaries at all levels down.
  4. Subsidiaries where the Applicant’s Ultimate Parent Company holds more than 50% down shareholdings and its subsidiaries at all levels.

Eligibility

  • Your business must be registered and operating in Singapore with at least 30% local shareholdings (Singaporeans or Permanent Residents)
  • Eligible companies may borrow up to S$3 million per Borrower/ $20 million per Borrower Group w.e.f. 1 April 2021 and is available until 30 September 2021.

2. SME working capital loan

This is a special type of business loan that is given to local SMEs (up to 200 employees). The Singapore government cooperates with banks to provide each borrower with up to US $ 1 million in financing, which will be repaid within 1 to 5 years. SME Working Capital Loans are applicable to Singapore-registered SMEs and Singaporeans or Permanent Residents own at least 30% of the shares.

Up to $300K financing

Access up to $300K to finance your cashflow requirements.

Government risk sharing

50% government risk sharing. 70% risk sharing for young companies.

Features

Loan amountUp to S$300,000 per Borrower
Up to S$5,000,000 per Borrower Group*
Loan tenorUp to 5 years
CollateralNil

*Borrower Group consists of the following:

  1. Borrower; and
  2. Corporate shareholders holding more than 50% at all levels up; and.
  3. Subsidiaries where the Applicant company holds more than 50% shareholdings and subsequent subsidiaries at all levels down
  4. Subsidiaries where the Applicant’s Ultimate Parent Company holds more than 50% down shareholdings and its subsidiaries at all levels

Eligibility

  • Local business registered and operating physically in Singapore
  • Minimum 30% ultimate ownership shareholdings held by Singaporeans or Singapore PR(s)
  • Group annual sales of ≤ S$100m or group employment size ≤ 200
  • Government risk sharing 50% to 70% with participating financial institutions. Borrowers are still liable for 100% of loan outstanding in event of default. Banks will proceed first with their standard commercial recovery process.

3. Standard Business loan

A “standard” business loan is an unsecured loan (meaning that it does not provide any assets as collateral). Then you can choose a repayment period of up to 5 years to pay. All major banks, such as DBS, OCBC, and UOB, provide this service to local businesses, but there may be certain requirements, such as how long your business has been around and how much revenue it generates.

Convenient to apply

Save time by retrieving your details via mybusinessinfo logo anytime, anywhere

Flexible repayment period

Stretch your repayment period up to 5 years

Features

Loan amountUp to S$500,000
Loan tenorUp to 5 years
CollateralNil

Calculate your monthly instalments, interests, and payments.

4. Trade Loan & Loan Insurance Scheme (LIS)

This programme helps enterprises apply for the LIS to secure short-term trade financing for the purpose of: 

  • Inventory / Stock Financing, 
  • Structured Pre-delivery Working Capital (revolving working capital), 
  • Factoring (with Recourse) / Bill of invoice/ AR discounting,
  • Overseas Working Capital Loan.
  • Banker’s Guarantee

Up to 80% support for the LIS insurance premium

Loans are insured by commercial insurers which co-share loan default with the PFI in the event of enterprise insolvency. A portion of the insurance premium is supported by Government. Valid until 31 March 2021.

Features

  • A Singaporean enterprise looking to apply LIS to secure short-term trade financing.
  • Be a business entity that is registered and physically present in Singapore,
  • Have at least 30% local equity held directly or indirectly by Singaporean(s) and/or Singapore PR(s), determined by the ultimate individual ownership,
  • Group revenue of up to S$100 million or maximum employment of 200 employees.

SME loan criteria requirements

Why choose bizsquare to apply for you?

Lower Interest Costs

Potentially save 30%-50% on interest costs. Obtain unsecured SME loans at interest from as low as 1.3% p.a.

Secure Funding Faster

We help your company secure financing fast! Reduce SME loan application processing time by 3-5 working days.

Higher Finance Amount

Secure larger financing & higher loan amount. Procure up to $1M or more unsecured SME loans.

Higher Approval Rate

Improve your approval chances. We are familiar with the credit criteria of most banks with solid track record of > 60% approval rate for SME loan applications.

Hassle Free Approach

Leave the tedious business loan application process to our specialists while you focus resources on your core business.

Risk Free Process

No upfront fees, no fees applicable if we’re not able to secure financing for your company. Performance guarantee, pay only for results!

Frequently asked questions

The maximum small business loan funding amount differs among various banks and also depends on your company credit profile (revenue size, industry, cash flow position etc.).

Most banks’ maximum financing amount granted to SMEs range between $300K to $500K. However, it is exceedingly hard to secure the maximum amount unless the company has close to perfect credit profile.

If your main bank is not able to meet your requested financing amount, you can also apply across other banks concurrently to maximize the financing amount you’re targeting.

The typical turnaround time for SME loan applications is 2 to 4 weeks.

The turnaround time takes this long because

  1. You may not be familiar with the documents required and the application process.
  2. You may have more back-and-forth communication with the banker to get the financing application right.

If you managed to secure approval after the loan application review, you’ll have to wait for about another 1 week for funds to be disbursed. So from application to receiving funds, expect a turnaround time of between 3 to 5 weeks.

For those who can’t afford to wait, alternative financiers such as P2P crowdfunding platforms is another viable option as they typically process applications faster, within 1 week is the norm. However, be prepared to pay for higher interest rate or fees compared to bank options.

Most SME loan applications can be rejected due to multiple reasons, such as

  1. Approaching the wrong banks
  2. Business owner’s personal credit profile
  3. Limits to financing for existing bankers
  4. Weak cash flow

Imagine this scenario: You require funds urgently. Perhaps, to confirm bidding for a tender or seize opportunity for a big project .

Yet, when your SME loan application is declined, you will either have to cancel or postpone this project. Your company’s expansion plan might be stalled due to the missed opportunity.

Moreover, when your application is declined, you might not be able to submit another application to the same bank for the next 6-12 months!

It is critical that you identify the right bank to seek financing with and to be able to address the bank’s credit concerns and queries adequately, to minimize rejections.

There are more than 20+ banks and financial institution providing SME loans. Their interest rate are different and varies according to factors such as credit grading of applicant and the loan quantum.

SME loan interest rate ranges between 3.6% to 7% simple rate p.a. (EIR 7%-13%). It is also prudent to compare widely through multiple banks to suss out the best financing deal.

Do note that the lowest rates quote that you receive might not necessarily mean it’s the best financing offer for your business. Check with the banks on their processing fees, annual fees if any and any other fee charges that could effectively increase your cost of borrowing.

Alternatively, consider engaging a loan broker to help comb through the various banks business loan products to find the lowest rates for your company.

There are various working capital loan products available to meet the different requirements of SMEs

Common SME loan facilities include:

  • Unsecured business term loans
  • Trade financing (Letter of Credit/Trust Receipt)
  • Factoring
  • Receivables financing
  • Asset financing
  • Project based financing
  • SME Micro Loan
  • SME Working Capital loan

How do you cut through the complexity and technical jargon to determine the most appropriate working capital loan to utilize?

Through our expertise and experience in securing SME finance, we describe to you the various financing products in basic terms and explain how you can best utilize them for your business.

There are close to 20 banks & financial institutions (FIs) providing small business loan to SMEs.

There is no definite answer to this because different banks have varying credit criteria and risk appetite.

Do you know that some banks shun certain industries whereas other banks might welcome these same industries?

However, most SMEs are not aware which banks are suitable for their respective profile and could waste precious time speaking with banks that are not the right fit.

Aside from traditional mainstream banks, there are also multiple alternative financiers offering various financing options to SMEs.

Assisting SMEs with business financing remains our core business.

Due to our familiarity with the credit criteria of the various banks, we can help identify the most suitable banks for your company’s profile to ensure highest chances of commercial loan approval at the best terms.

If your personal credit rating is bad, your commercial loan application might be adversely affected.

When you apply for a SME loan in Singapore, your personal credit record will usually be assessed by the relevant banks. Your personal credit record will thus affect your company loan approval chances as well.

It is absolutely critical as a business owner to keep your personal credit score acceptable. Any negative impairments on your personal credit will adversely affect your business loan applications, making it next to impossible to obtain any form of business financing.

Therefore, always be conscious to protect your personal credit grading by paying all your personal credit cards, home loan, car loan etc on time. Settle any overdue payments promptly and be cautious not to over-extend your personal credit at all times.

BizSquare is a one-stop business consultancy firm providing Loan Consultancy Services, Accounting and Corporate Secretarial Services, Branding and Marketing Consultancy, Strategy Management and Start-up Mentorship.

For more info, please visit Bizsquare Group at www.bizsquare.com.sg 

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