Mortgages: Top 6 Questions to Ask before Applying for One

Are you planning to get a mortgage? It is actually one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, especially if you’re living in a foreign land such as Singapore. It is therefore essential before you go for it, you ask yourself the following questions:

Do I need to apply for a private home loan?

Are there instances when a private home loan is not really necessary? Yes, there is. For one, if you are able to save a lot of money prior to your relocation, it makes good sense if you will just buy the property in cash. This way, you no longer have to think about repayments. Private home loans may also be unnecessary if you are qualified to get an HDB flat. This type of property is regulated by the Housing and Development Board and is very cheap. You don’t apply for a private home loan but get a mortgage from HDB. You can also forego getting one if you’re still not eligible to own a property in Singapore.

What are the requirements for mortgages?

The requirements for getting a mortgage can vary from one lender to another. Thus, it’s recommended you research first of what they need before you submit your application. Normally, they will require your credit report. As long as they are an institution approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, they can make an inquiry into your account. If you have a good credit standing, you won’t have any problem getting a mortgage.

You also need to be at least 21 years old, the age considered to be the most legal in the country. It is also a great help if you’re already a permanent resident or a citizen of the country.

What types of properties can I own?

The types of properties you can purchase in Singapore are divided into two: non-restricted and restricted. The former are those that you can obtain without prior approval to the government, the second with approval. Non-restricted properties include non-condominium developments with no more than 6 levels. Restricted ones are vacant lands, landed properties such as bungalows and semi-detached houses, and HDB flats. You are subject to the Residential Property Act. 

You may ask, why is this implemented? Singapore is a small country, and the government would like to make sure that Singaporeans are properly taken care of. They don’t have to compete so much with the foreigners when it comes to owning homes right in their country of origin.

What does the property look like?

There are different kinds of properties available in Singapore. The most common are the HDB flats. They make up around 80 percent in the country. HDB flats can have one bedroom to 4 bedrooms. You can also get a mansionette and an executive flat. Then you have the landed properties, which are bungalows, semi-detached houses, detached houses, and terrace houses. A lot of foreigners would also like to own the black-and-white houses. These are the age-old properties, highly valued because of their history and excellent architectural style.

You can coordinate with your estate agent, so you can visit the properties you like prior to applying for a mortgage.

How much will be my interest?

Like any kind of mortgage, you will be required to pay for an interest. Interest rates (or the Singapore interbank offered rates) can also differ among lenders. There are also two kinds of interest rates: fixed interest rates and variable interest rates. The variable interest rate is usually associated with the fed rate and is therefore subject to fluctuations. The fixed interest rate doesn’t change for a number of years.

Which of the two is better depends on you. If you want to know how much to pay every year, you can settle for the fixed interest rate. If you want to take advantage of very low interest repayments, go for the variable interest rate. You can apply for refinancing as a way of reducing interest repayments.

Do I have the capacity to pay?

A debt needs to be paid, especially if we’re talking about mortgages. Defaults can happen if you don’t have the capacity to do so. If this occurs, then the lender has the option to repossess your property and sell it with the hope of profiting and recovering from your debt.

It is highly essential you have a job or a business when you’re in Singapore. Besides, the lender would ask for a copy of your employment pass when you apply for a mortgage. They would usually match how much you earn to how much you can borrow from them.

These are just basic questions about mortgaging. If you have more, go to your estate agent. He or she can guide you on the best steps to take, so you can obtain the loan you truly want. f

Understanding Early Critical Illness Insurance Cover Singapore

Having insurance is essential for it helps to protect from risks and the individual can choose what the protection will cover. The best term insurance Singapore plan on early critical illness is comprehensive coverage that covers the stages of the critical illness. A lump sum amount of money is paid to the insured when a medical diagnosis confirms they have a chronic disease that is covered by the policy.

The policy has the benefit of helping the policyholder to cope with the expenses of living with the critical illness.   Who needs it? An early critical illness insurance policy helps the insured not to be denied any health care right from the start of the illnesses diagnosis. In Singapore, there is an expected increase in terminal illnesses due to a high life expectancy, while some illnesses are hereditary.

More people are contracting ailments’ like cancer, heart attack, stroke and organ failures among others. Singaporeans of all ages, gender have a better financial alternative in getting early critical illness insurance.   People, who are affected, endure hardships due to the expensive treatments and extensive medical care.

Most Singaporeans have a cause to worry if they cannot pay for their medical expenses while still meeting family obligations. These make the term insurance Singapore plan a necessity for every working individual when a critical illness takes them off from their jobs.   Affordability of the coverage The pricing of an early critical illness insurance policy is impacted by many factors that include the amount of coverage, age, sex and the medical history of the insured. Despite the fact that there are low priced insurance plans, they offer less coverage to the consumer unlike those who pay more for the same.     

Without a critical illness policy, it represents a loss of income to a worker should they fall ill and, their dependents are left without any support. It’s good to note that some of the policies can also pay for expenses that are not medical related like paying for child support.   How to get the payouts There are benefits of enrolling for the term insurance Singapore on early stage critical illness and, it’s the assurance of getting the amount of money attached to the insurance cover. The insured can claim for a payout at the early stages in the diagnosis of the illness. The plan also pays for checkups, surgeries, psychological trauma and in some cases, transport to a health center.     

Furthermore, the insured can still make a claim if they are unfortunate enough to get another critical illness. In the case of death, the insurance company will offer to refund the full premium minus the claims which benefit the dependents.   Bottom line Since the availability of early critical illness insurance coverage, it has helped lessen the worry of the insured whenever a disease stops them from working. It has proven to be flexible on payouts in the wide range of critical illnesses to patients. Therefore, it’s important to shop around, consult widely and find the policy that has the best term insurance Singapore for every individual’s situation.

Dissecting the Credit Card: Know More about It

When you are traveling or living in another country, especially in Singapore, credit cards will come in handy. Sometimes you will not have enough cash on hand to meet all your needs. You can also utilize credit cards to build your credit. Good credit history, which means consistent credit card repayments, can help you obtain loans and even other credit cards conveniently.

But do you really know what a credit card is or how it works? Perhaps only a little. Thus, the following information will surely come in handy.

What is a credit card?

Credit cards are sometimes called plastics, because they are made of such. However, they are very powerful, as you can do a lot of things with them. Credit cards come in wide varieties. There are entertainment cards, dining cards, travel cards, regular ones, charge cards, supplemental cards—and a whole lot more.

A credit card, though, is more associated with debt. When you use it, you are not using your own money but from the issuer, which can be both a bank or a non-bank.

The first credit card was released in 1950, and it was issued by Diner’s Club. It is the first credit card that is accepted by various business establishments. It was followed eight years after by American Express. Later the banks adopted the system, and they too started issuing their own credit cards. Two of the most popular ones found all over the world are Visa and MasterCard. Visa was from Bank of America while MasterCard was formerly called MasterCharge.

Credit cards are made up of a series of numbers, both found in the front and the bank. They are not random ones. Issuers follow the ANSI system. What the numbers mean, however, differ from one issuer to another. The back contains a magnetic stripe that contains information and is the one “read” by the machine in shopping centers and other establishments.

How does it work?

A credit card works like a loan, wherein you use other people’s money to purchase something you need or want. Virtually all cards have credit limit. It is the amount you can utilize in whatever way. Normally the amount is based on a number of things, such as your employment status, credit history, and salary. If you have been their credit card user for such a long time, your credit limit may be very huge.

When you shop, you present the credit card to the cashier. The cashier will then swipe the card into their credit card reader. If it works, the machine will print a copy, stating how much money you have taken from the credit limit. Meanwhile, the amount is debited from your credit card.

Every month, you will be provided with a statement. It is a document containing a lot of data, such as how much you spend within a statement period, what is your minimum payment, when to pay it, interest, fees, and total balance of your credit card limit and amount you have used up.

What is the relationship between credit cards and interest?

Credit cards have interest rates, calculated per annum. This is how credit card issuers can earn money from you—just like loans. In Singapore the interest rate can be between 18 and 25 percent. Since it is something you need to pay, you should look for credit cards with low interest rates also for low repayments.

Moreover, the interest on your credit card will be based on your remaining balance. That is why it is recommended you pay the full amount when it is due, not just the minimum. As more debts are carried over, the higher your interest repayments will be.

Remember: don’t easily fall for interest-free credit cards. Usually, they remain interest free for only a period of time. If you’re not keeping track of it, you could be overspending and be charged with a very high interest repayment.

How do you apply for a credit card?

There are two ways on how to apply for a credit card. You can go to their respective websites or proceed to the banks, such as in the case of Visa. What you should focus on is how to be eligible for a credit card.

A bad credit report does not really mean you are no longer eligible for a credit card. However, if you do get one, you may have a very small credit limit and a high interest rate. In Singapore you need to be at least 21 years old and a resident or citizen of the country. It helps if you already have an existing account in the bank. Normally you will just request your origin country to send your references to their Singapore branch. You also need proofs such as visa, passport, employment pass, and proof of billing.

Keep Yourself—and Your Family—Safe with Travel Insurance

Keep Yourself—and Your Family—Safe with Travel Insurance

It doesn’t matter if you’re a frequent traveler or not. Once you decide to go to other countries, especially to those you’re not really familiar of, have a travel insurance policy.

A travel insurance coverage offers protection in a lot of things. Here are just some of its benefits:

  • Protection for lost or stolen luggage
  • Protection for lost or stolen important documents such as visa and passport
  • Health care assistance
  • 24-hour customer support
  • Acceptance in several countries all over the world
  • Protection for damaged or stolen rental car


Getting a travel insurance policy is actually not difficult at all. There are also many ways on how you can reduce its premium, make the most out of it, and not make it void:

Ask the airline. One of the first people you need to ask for travel insurance is the airline. You can apply for one once you book your airline tickets. However, you cannot really expect thorough coverage with them. Majority of them provide travel insurance that’s only good while you’re in transit or at the airport. You cannot depend on it during medical situations.

Check your credit card. It’s common for credit cards in Singapore to offer complimentary presents or rewards to their clients, especially to their new subscribers. Besides waiving the annual fee, you may look forward to free travel insurance policies.

The good news is their travel insurance is quite comprehensive and so much better than the one offered by airline companies. However, it may not really suffice all your needs, especially if you’re planning to stay long in your destination. It may not be useful during emergencies. Moreover, the insurance may not become applicable unless you utilize the credit card for booking the airline and accommodation. It may also not last for a very long time.

To be sure always read the terms and conditions.

Determine your flying schedules. If you will be flying a lot of times during the year, it’s best to apply for a year-round insurance policy. You will pay less for it, and you don’t have to worry about forgetting filing for travel insurance.

Identify your destination. Not all countries will be covered by your travel insurance. It is very rare, if not impossible, to find insurance coverage if you’re going to very dangerous countries, those that are filled with wars, famines, and diseases. You have to keep in mind that the travel insurance companies are doing business, and they want to avoid clients who are most likely going to file a lot of claims against their policy.

This is also the reason why you should listen to travel advisories. The Singapore government can keep you abreast of countries that are under close watch. They would then issue out warnings. If you go to this country and suffer from an accident or injury, you may not be able to make a claim. Insurance companies will use the non-conformity to travel advisory against you.

Know your companions. It’s possible you will be traveling with your loved ones, such as your spouse and kids. It is ideal if you can find an insurance policy that covers not only you but the entire family. You may pay higher than other travel insurance coverage, but it’s going to be worth it since everyone is protected.

It’s best if they have a branch in your destination. You don’t know when you’re going to need your travel insurance coverage or if you have questions. It’s excellent if you can depend on a 24-hour assistance, and you can visit the office should you require personal support from them. This is also the reason why you should look for more popular travel insurance.

Read the terms and conditions. One of the conditions you need to read is when the travel insurance becomes void. Perhaps you’re not aware that your decisions mean you can no longer take advantage of the benefits offered by your travel insurance. You should know the rules even before you apply for one.

Protect yourself from cancellations. This is where most of the credit cards with travel insurance fail. You cannot ask for protection against flight cancellations. Now there are so many reasons why flights can be cancelled. These may include natural disasters, threat to terrorism, and quarantine over an illness. When your insurance has protection against cancellation, you have a huge chance of getting the full refund of your cancelled trip. You can then utilize the money for your extended needs, such as accommodation.

Compare travel insurance. Just because it’s bundled to another product or service you’re getting the best deal for your travel insurance. It’s either it’s actually overpriced, or the benefits are highly limited. Compare at least 3 to 5 travel insurance policies before you settle for one.

What Makes You a Forex Superstar?

One of the good investments you can make out of your money in Singapore is forex trading. There are a lot of players in the field, which means as long as you know how to do things correctly or more safely, you can diversify your account. Trillions of money go in and out of the market, and it operates 24 hours a day. You may not earn something now, but if you can be patient, surely you’ll recover your earnings a little later.

However, you just don’t want to be any kind of forex trader. You want to be the best. Thus, these tips will help you achieve your goal:

1. Know what it takes to be in forex trading.

It’s not enough you have the knowledge or the background in forex trading. It is also fundamental you can develop the right attitude. First you need to be extremely patient. You don’t succeed overnight or even after a few days. Sometimes you start earning something significant after a few weeks. In fact, a number have to wait for months.

You also have to be committed. There’s no point in going into forex trading if you cannot take time to monitor your own account. Besides, even if you’re using an automated program, it’s still your financial decision that truly counts.

2. Choose a good forex broker.

It’s actually a much better idea to go with forex trading with someone professional. After all, two heads will always be better than one. You can also count on the forex trading skills of your broker. Your broker can also do a lot of things for you, so you can have plenty of free time in your hands.

Selecting a forex trading broker means choosing one that is approved by the Monetary Authority in Singapore. This ways you’re protected by the government. This also means your broker is definitely well trained and highly professional.

3. Begin with a demo account.

Never take the demo account for granted. A demo account is one of the coolest methods to take a peep into forex trading without spending a single dime. This is because a demo account is completely for free (that’s why you need to be careful of those who ask for payments during registration). You can make use of the demo account to get an idea of how forex trading really works, as well as to test your forex trading skills and techniques. To start using the demo account, you simply need to make use of the virtual money. You can then trade in real-time.

Nevertheless, there are two important things you should keep in mind. First, demo accounts don’t last forever. They’re only good for a few days, but the rule is the longer the better. Second not all demo accounts really allow you to trade. You may want to find another if you are prevented from doing so.

4. Be extremely cautious.

You have to remember that forex trading is risky business. There’s no guarantee there will be profits waiting for you all the time. If you allow yourself to go all the way, then you’re bound to lose a lot in the end.

Be mindful of how you spend your investments. Though the market operates 24 hours, not all hours are ideal for trading. Usually you need to determine the market hours where a lot of currencies are being traded. These are times when two market times seem to overlap. There are guides on market hours available in the Internet.

You may also have to implement a stop-loss order. It’s a “command” where your account stops trading once your limits have already been reached. This is to control how much you can lose. You are automatically logged out from your forex trading account, so even if you’re not keeping track, you don’t end up spending a lot more.

Have better control of your emotions. Those who are frustrated and angry tend to lose a lot of money because they become more aggressive. They also stop being rational when it comes to their decision making.

Listen to the trend.

Trends give you a very good idea of what’s waiting for the forex trading market. You can determine possible trends by using both technical and fundamental analyses. Technical analysis means using graphs and charts, while fundamental analysis means keeping tabs of news. Politics, new economic policies, and even wars can have profound effects on trading.

Go with the flow. If majority are buying U.S. dollars and selling euros more often then it could be because euros are gaining in the market. There’s a good reason why many are following the trends.

To become a forex superstar, you’re going to meet a lot of issues. But allow mistakes and setbacks to make you a better trader. nts[1]:void 0

Save Up for Your Kid’s College

College education in Singapore can be pretty expensive, especially for a foreigner. However, that doesn’t mean you can no longer afford it. In fact, you can start saving up some money before your child reaches to college.

In Singapore there are a lot of ways on how you can do that.

Begin by opening a children’s account.

One of the most conventional ways of building up funds for college is to create a children’s savings account. A lot of banks are currently offering that. The good news is you don’t have to go through lengthy requirements before you can open one.

There are so far two kinds of children’s accounts in Singapore. One is the savings account. It is very similar to the savings account of adults, though the minimum balance may be low or even completely non-existent. The interest, on the other hand, may be a little higher so you can easily increase the funds. If you will just compare banks properly, you will find some of them do offer a little more than 3 percent on the savings.

If your child has savings account, he or she will have his or her own passbook to keep track of his or her savings or perhaps an ATM.

Another kind of account is the trust fund account. It’s like a time deposit account, where you continuously put in money into the account but it cannot be withdrawn until the child reaches a specific age. Usually, the kid needs to be 21 years old before he or she can enjoy the money. By then, the trust fund has enjoyed interest and a huge chunk of cash from your continuous deposits.

To open a children’s account, you may need to have an existing account in the bank, may it be a savings account, a current account, a foreign currency savings account, or a fixed deposit account. Since you’re a foreigner, you need to present your visa, passport, and employment passes. You also need to bring the child’s identification and birth certificate as proof you are his guardian or parent.

Set up an online banking system.

An online banking service gives you no excuse to forget about building college funds for your kids. With it, you can instantly transfer money from your account to theirs. You can do so anytime and anywhere. Setting up an online account is never difficult, as long as you already have an existing account in the bank. If you’re having a hard time, you can count on the 24-hour customer support to walk you through.

Pay your bills at the right time.

You may never imagine how much you can save just by paying all your bills when they’re due. Take, for example, your credit cards. If you pay at least the minimum on time, you can get away with paying the late fees, which can be as much as 50 SGD.

Learn to manage your credit cards well.

Paying on time, though, isn’t enough. When it comes to your credit cards, you should aspire to pay the full amount when it’s due. This way, it doesn’t keep earning interest, which you need to pay. Moreover, use your credit cards only when they are truly needed. For regular purchases, you can buy items in cash or even through debit cards.

Settle for free entertainment.

Though Singapore is small, there are a lot of good places you can visit without spending anything. You can go to Esplanade to watch performances or head to the library, admire the architecture of Raffles Hotel, take a stroll near Merlion Park, get to know more information in the national library, admire the beauty of the botanical garden, or enjoy window-shopping in Little India. You can take the kids to the national museums, which often have free tours, or to the nearby beaches. There’s also East Coast Park and Marina Bay.

Save on food.

Food doesn’t have to be too costly when you’re in Singapore. You can gather coupons that are often included in newspapers and use them during the weekend to buy goods at discounted prices. When going out with your family, choose among the savory dishes offered by small stalls in hawker centers. Another option is to just purchase the ingredients straight from the farmers’ market.

Keep your family healthy.

Though you can always count on the health insurance policies and the world-renowned health care facilities in Singapore, you can definitely save a lot more money if you can just keep your entire family healthy. There are so many good biking and walking paths all over the country. Compared to other nations, Singapore is clean and well-maintained. There are several organic produce you can choose.

Do these things consistently, and you’ll just discover one day you have a good amount of fund to send your child off to college. t