Successful entrepreneurs take loans for 4 main reasons

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Author: Ravi Philemon

It is perfectly normal for successful entrepreneurs to borrow money and be in debt. Also, borrowing money to make money is not really a new idea.

By: Hitesh Khan/

Here are 4 reasons why successful entrepreneurs should borrow money and it is not just a fact of business life; but is often a shrewd choice.

1. Start up costs have to be paid

A successful business has to borrow money because before a single sale can be made, there needs to be something to sell. Every business needs some form of investment before it can start trading. This could be as simple as a computer, a telephone and an internet connection. But most need more: stock, premises, marketing and something to pay the staff, even if it’s a sole trader.

The money for this could come from a personal loan taken out by the successful entrepreneurs or other flexible sources of finance such as credit cards. The money may even be borrowed from friends, family or effectively from the business owner themselves.

Successful entrepreneurs

image credit: Alpha Stock Images

2. Working capital is needed to keep cash flowing

Typically, suppliers need to be paid before customers settle their debts. This puts continual pressure on cash flow. To keep this cycle moving, and to avoid running out of money, demands that a certain amount of money is available to the business at all times — working capital.

Over time, the business can finance working capital out of profits, but this only comes after a period of successful trading. If the business is growing quite fast, the capital required could always be ahead of the surplus generated from trade, meaning continual borrowing is needed.

3. Use the investment to make more than it costs to borrow money

This is one reason why many firms of all sizes continue to use credit, even when they’ve been trading for years. They use the funds to generate enough profits to more than cover the cost of borrowing.

Taking out credit, whether it’s a business loan, invoice finance or an overdraft, allows them to invest in more sales, creating more profit. Successful entrepreneurs spot opportunities in the market and borrow the funds they need to seize the moment.

Asking how much it costs to borrow money is often the wrong question.

The right question is: “What is the difference between how much you can make and how much it costs to borrow?”

4. Borrowing money reduces personal risk

It may seem odd for your business to borrow money when you have already got personal savings. But you saved that money for a reason — perhaps to fund children through education or provide for your retirement. Whatever that reason is, if you tie up that cash in your business, it’s not available for the original purpose. Taking out credit for your business offers a number of benefits and can improve your chances of commercial success.

Most financial institutions and non-traditional lenders disclose their minimum requirements for lending. If you meet a lender’s minimum qualifications and want to see estimated rates and terms, you can pre-qualify for financing. But pre-qualification is not the same as putting in an application for personal loans. You may pre-qualify for a loan and yet your loan application may be rejected once you put in a formal application – and the more formal personal loan applications you put out, the more the impact is on your credit score.

This is one good reason why you need to work with trusted loan specialists like those at iCompareLoan. Our Loan specialists are able to not only pre-qualify you with multiple lenders and compare rates and terms, they are also able to get you the best personal loans which has costs and payments that fit into your budget.

To lower the cost of borrowing, try to convince your lender to give you a better rate. You should negotiate with your lender and they may be willing to cut the interest rate to secure your business, and so the loan will cost you less. If you are uncomfortable about negotiating, you should engage the services of a loan specialist.

Loan specialists will not only be able to negotiate a better rate for you, they will also be able to help you compare the best personal loan offers from among the different ones given by the many banks. It also makes sense to engage loan specialists because their services are usually free.

Seeking sources of finance for startup or small business will be the biggest challenge for most successful entrepreneurs. Often the hardest part of starting a business is raising the money to get going. The entrepreneur might have a great idea and clear idea of how to turn it into a successful business. However, if sufficient finance can’t be raised, it is unlikely that the business will get off the ground.

It is good practice for the entrepreneur to speak to a loan consultant if there are constrains with restricted funds in growing the business. Loan consultants have very wide network with financial institutions and are very often more mindful of the different financial instruments which are available in the market out there. They can guide the businesses to the product which is the best fit for them.

Mr Paul Ho, chief mortgage consultant at iCompareLoan, said: “Most importantly, remember that you need to borrow when you don’t need the money, because when you really need it, no one will probably lend you any.”

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Restricted funds in start-up environment requires innovative ideas

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Author: Ravi Philemon

In an environment where funding options for start-up businesses are severely limited, starting a business with restricted funds requires a shift in mindset.

By: Hitesh Khan/

We are conditioned to begin the process of looking for new business opportunities by asking: “Where is there a gap in the market and how can I fill that gap?” A gap could be an unfilled customer need or a new invention yet to be brought to market.

Next, we establish a goal to create a venture that will fill that gap. We consider the resources necessary to make our goal a reality and go out in search of those resources. We write a business plan and present it to potential financiers with the promise of a return on investment.

If the financiers like us and like our idea, they provide us with the capital to start the business. If not, we are stuck. Most times, people find it difficult to raise the resources they require, causing the entire project to fall on its head.

There is an alternative route to creating a new venture. Instead of starting with the question, “Where is there a gap in the market and how can I fill it?” ask yourself, “What do I have and who do I know?”

restricted funds

Image credit: Flickr l Aleksandr Zykov

Carefully examine the resources and relationships over which you have influence, and consider how you can put these to work quickly and effectively to create an offering that the market needs or wants. You can experiment using different combinations of resources to test how the market responds to different offerings and over time create an offering that is really valuable to others.

With this approach, an entrepreneur’s goals emerge over time, taking resources, connections and contingencies into account.

They are not fixed at the start of a project as they are when the traditional approach is applied.

More stringent personal loan restrictions to kick in from next year

Here are some principles and guidelines that will provide you with a better chance of effectively launching a business with restricted funds.

1. Start with what you have

At the outset of looking to start a new business with restricted funds, take stock of what you have at your disposal. Consider your:

  • Skills – what can you do?
  • Experience – what have you done in the past?
  • Knowledge – what do you know?
  • Tangible resources – what do you own and what do you have access to?

2. Take into account who you know

What you have needs to be combined with who you know for it to have real power. Take stock of the relationships you have with others, map out your network of connections and consider how your connections could enable you to use what you have more effectively.

3. Invest what you can afford to lose

There is a big difference in your mindset if you start with the perspective that “I am investing this amount and I expect a 30% return” versus “I can afford to lose this much, therefore I will put it into the business and see if I can make it work”.

If you have only put in what you can afford to lose, you maintain flexibility in the business and minimise stress in managing it. If you are only willing to invest when you expect that you can get a specific return, there is a strong chance that you may never take the leap and launch the business you always dreamed of owning.

An example of this is the entrepreneur who refuses to leave a well-paying job until he finds an opportunity that he predicts will pay more, versus one who decides to invest a small portion of her savings and two years of her life in a project that she believes is worth that amount of time and money – irrespective of whether it will pay more than what she currently earns.

This is one good reason why those with restricted funds should never not consider using a personal loan to finance their businesses.

5 tips for boosting your chances of getting personal loans

4. Experiment and adapt

With this mindset, flexibility and adaptability are a competitive advantage. You succeed not by becoming too fixated on a single goal or outcome but by being responsive to changes in the environment. Existing firms typically take longer to adapt than new firms because they have more incentive for things to remain the same and they have established routines and practices that reinforce the status quo.

New firms are not tied to the way things have always been done and thus entrepreneurs can benefit from shifts in consumer preferences, or shifts in technology or changing legislation by realigning their businesses to take advantage of such developments.

Seeking sources of finance for startup or small business will be the biggest challenge for most entrepreneurs. Often the hardest part of starting a business is raising the money to get going. The entrepreneur might have a great idea and clear idea of how to turn it into a successful business. However, if sufficient finance can’t be raised, it is unlikely that the business will get off the ground.

It is good practice for the entrepreneur to speak to a loan consultant if there are constrains with restricted funds in growing the business. Loan consultants have very wide network with financial institutions and are very often more mindful of the different financial instruments which are available in the market out there. They can guide the businesses to the product which is the best fit for them. Most importantly, remember that you need to borrow when you don’t need the money, because when you really need it, no one will probably lend you any.

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Credit card debts can be alleviated with careful planning

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Author: Ravi Philemon

If you think you may have too much credit card debts begin to address it by honestly evaluating your spending habits.

By: Hitesh Khan/

Examine your existing expenses to analyse how your money is spent. You will most likely be able to identify the problem areas where you are more likely to spend too much or too readily with credit cards.

Then, based on your current spending practices, create a realistic budget to pay off your credit card debts in the shortest time possible while not adding any more debt to it.

Today, carrying installment debt is almost a fact of life. Mortgages, car loans, or small-business loans (to name a few) are part of almost everyone’s life. On the other hand, carrying credit card debt is usually not a good idea. At interest rates of 21% and up, it’s hard to justify keeping such spending or to keep accumulating such debts.

Debt and credit play increasingly important roles in our lives. As consumers age and get closer to their peak earning years, many are realising the need to reduce debt and increase savings. Even though analysing your spending habits and creating a budget to address your debt may seem a little overwhelming, the simplicity of the philosophy, ‘never spend more than you earn’ still stands. Once you have come to grips with this basic fact, managing your debt will become far easier and more rewarding.

credit card debts

Image credit: Hloom via Flickr

If you get a credit card, you should plan to pay the full amount owed every month. That way you avoid the exorbitant interest rates the cards charge, and you also benefit from the grace period (which in effect enables you to borrow money for a few weeks for free).

In order to accomplish this, determine how much you’re able to pay on your credit card bill each month and then stick to that limit. At the end of the month, pay the full amount, just as if it were any other bill, like rent or utilities.

Also, examine each monthly statement to make sure there are no inaccuracies or fraudulent activity, and report anything you find immediately.

If you usually pay the balance in full but are going to be late with one payment, call the credit card company and find out how much you will be charged as a penalty. Include that amount in your check, so that the fee doesn’t appear as a balance on the following bill, which would eliminate the grace period and result in more interest charges.

If you expect to have difficulty paying off the bill every month, consider using a debit card (which draws from your bank account) or an American Express card (which doesn’t allow you to carry a balance from one month to the next). Remember that if you have credit card debt, you’re really borrowing from your future earnings, which is a bad habit to get into.

If you do feel that the debt you have might be a problem, here are a few tips for improving the situation:

  • Determine how much debt you have, and put together a plan for repaying it. If you’re currently paying the minimum amount required on your credit cards, stop doing so, and pay the maximum you’re able to. If you pay the minimum, it will take you 20-40 years to pay off the balance, meaning you’ll pay more than five times the actual debt in interest.
  • If you have multiple cards, pay off the ones with the highest interest rates first.
  • Consider switching to a card that offers a lower interest rate.
  • If you’re a homeowner, consider a home equity loan. The rate will usually be significantly lower than that of a credit card, and the interest on these loans is generally tax deductible.
  • Avoid luxuries, impulse buying, and any unnecessary spending.
  • Keep track of your expenses so you can determine where your money is going and keep a tight lid on expenditures that are higher than they need to be.
  • Limit your credit card usage to the bare necessities, and cancel most of your cards, just keeping one or two. If the situation is dire, try to stop using your credit cards entirely.

If you have too much credit card debts, don’t expect a quick fix.

Fighting your way out of debt takes time and perseverance. You should do it as quickly as you can, but understand that you’re fighting an uphill battle that might take some time.

The most flexible way to repay credit card debts is by taking out a personal loan, especially since you can choose the loan amount and loan tenure. You will need to exercise discipline, however, in using the cash to repay your credit card bills in full – instead of letting it contribute to your debt. On top of that, you need to commit to the monthly repayments, which are likely significantly more than the minimum payment on a credit card bill.

If all else fails, consider a debt consolidation plan. This is a special personal loan open to Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents who are heavily in debt, especially if they have at least 12 months’ salary’s worth of outstanding debt. On top of that, there are further eligibility conditions to fulfil, such as your income and net assets.

“If your credit card debts are is not that high, you should consider other more viable option and speak to a loan consultant quickly,” said Mr Paul Ho, chief mortgage consultant at iCompareLoan.

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HSBC Life launches one of its kind retirement solution

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Author: Ravi Philemon

HSBC Life is only one of its kind currently available in Singapore

  • A single premium retirement solution that is capital guaranteed plan and offered in USD
  • Offers a high watermark feature that locks in higher income guarantees when account values exceed previous guarantee levels
  • Offers flexibility in that policyholder can access account value with no surrender charge

HSBC LifeHSBC Insurance (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (HSBC Life Singapore) has launched HSBC Life Variable Annuity.  A retirement plan which combines the assurance of a steady guaranteed base level of income and the ability to generate significant upside income potential. HSBC Life Singapore is the only insurer to offer this unique product currently.

Many of Singaporeans have reached a pivotal period of their lives.  They are starting to reach retirement and have a greater need to maintain a steady income for the years ahead. This solution responds to these needs by ensuring Singaporeans remain invested and protected from any sudden market fluctuations while allowing them to take advantage of any potential upside.

HSBC Life Variable Annuity offers:

  • A stream of guaranteed retirement income and potential lump sum payout at maturity
  • Fully participate in the market upside locking in higher guarantees along the way – this plan’s ratchet feature increases policyholder’s guarantee on a monthly basis whenever the account value is higher than the existing guarantee
  • Protect against downside risk – Policyholder’s monthly payout will never decrease even when the market falls
  • Flexibility to access the account value without surrender charges
  • HSBC Life FlexConcept Fund – a 10% volatility controlled fund which will invest in a blend of equity and bond markets

According to the Life Insurance Association (LIA) industry report in February 2020, Singaporeans are being pro-active in planning for their retirement.

The industry recorded a 34 per cent increase in the uptake of retirement policies in YTD 4Q2019 compared to a year ago. Retirement policies totaled S$469 million in weighted premium which forms about 11% of total weighted premiums for the year.

HSBC’s  announcement reflects an increased focus for HSBC life in Singapore. In 2019, HSBC Life Singapore added three new protection and retirement solutions targeted at both the retail and high net-worth segments to their bench strength.  They included:

  • Life Protect Advantage which offers competitive protection value with unique features including coverage of pre-existing conditions and the option to get higher guaranteed protection up to 99 years old
  • Emerald Legacy Life Plan which offers a unique feature where customers have the choice to further increase their protection cover.
  • HSBC Life Retirement Income which offers a regular stream of monthly income when the insured reaches retirement as well as additional coverage should they be diagnosed with age-related conditions and chronic diseases.

The product launches were part of HSBC Life Singapore’s business overhaul which also involved the launch of a new brand and widening its distribution channel to include independent Financial Advisory (FA) firms.

The business overhaul reflects the overall growth and evolving composition of Singapore’s insurance market, including an ageing and wealthier domestic population and a rise in international citizens seeking more sophisticated wealth and insurance solutions.

On 13 March, HSBC also rolled out a series of support measures to help retail banking customers better manage their cash flow amidst the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19.

Mr Anurag Mathur, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Bank (Singapore) said: “The COVID-19 situation has impacted many travel, hospitality and F&B businesses and trades as well as the livelihood of Singaporeans operating or working in these sectors.”

“Property loan and credit card repayment makes up a large part of many Singaporeans’ monthly expenses. We hope the support measures will provide some financial reprieve but, most importantly, help our affected customers to proactively manage their finances and tide them over during this critical period.”

HSBC Bank (Singapore)’s measures are designed to ease the financial burden of its property loan and credit card customers with a specific focus on individuals employed in vulnerable industries such as aviation, hospitality, tourism, transportation, retail and food & beverages whose monthly income were impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Both support measures will be available from March 13 onwards.

Mortgage Principal Repayment Deferment

Affected HSBC Bank (Singapore) property loan customers who meet the eligibility criteria including having a good repayment history can choose to defer repayment of their outstanding loan principal for six or twelve months. Under the scheme, eligible customers simply need to make interest repayment during the agreed period.

Credit Card Interest Discount

HSBC Bank (Singapore) will reduce the revolving interest rate by half for up to six months for its affected credit cardholders who meet the eligibility criteria including having a good repayment history. Upon expiry of the six-month period, any outstanding balance will be reverted back to the prevailing rate.

With the ongoing COVID-19 issue, HSBC Bank (Singapore) understands customers’ concerns with going to its branches to do banking. As such, the Bank has been proactively reaching out to its existing and new customers to help shift them to its internet and mobile banking platforms, which can support their payment and fund transfer needs.

HSBC’s announcement follows the introduction of a series of other relief measures by the bank in support of individuals, businesses and communities in Singapore that have been impacted by COVID-19. More broadly, HSBC is working with individuals or businesses facing financial distress as a result of COVID-19 outbreak to review their current situation and identify appropriate arrangements.

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Digital relief package rolled out by DBS to help F&B businesses

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Digital relief package rolled out by DBS to help F&B businesses

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Author: Ravi Philemon

DBS rolls out digital relief package to help F&B businesses tap new income streams amid Covid-19 – Plug-and-play digital solutions to help F&B SMEs overcome the challenges of tightened safe distancing measures

DBS on March 25, announced a suite of digital solutions to support the F&B services industry which has about 8,000 establishments impacted by tightened safe distancing measures as a result of the Covid-19 situation.

With Singapore residents being encouraged to change their eating habits from dining out to dining in, DBS is working with two homegrown technology startups, Oddle and FirstCom, to offer F&B businesses the ability to set up an online food ordering site in just three business days.

digital relief packageSupported by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Enterprise Singapore, DBS’ F&B digital relief package aims to help the F&B services industry go online, creating new income streams for them while catering to the nation’s growing need for takeaway and delivery meals.

Joyce Tee, Group Head of SME Banking, DBS, said that through conversations with F&B clients and industry groups to understand their immediate challenges, she realised that the industry is grappling with fewer dine-in patrons due to stricter safe distancing measures implemented by the authorities as a result of the Covid-19 situation.

“The DBS F&B digital relief package elevates our support for the F&B community by creating an ecosystem of government partners and homegrown technology startups to help affected businesses overcome cashflow challenges by creating new income streams fast. The digital solutions in our package can be implemented with minimal lead time, allowing F&B businesses to tap into a rich online consumer base in just days rather than months. More than ever, SME banking today is more than just transactional relationships. It is about staying the course even when times are bad. In unprecedented times like these, DBS is actively rallying the industry to ensure the viability of our customers and their employees’ livelihoods,” Tee added

Unlocking new income streams for the F&B services industry through the digital relief package

Oddle will support DBS’ F&B clients by establishing a branded e-menu with integrated shopping cart, order management and payment gateways in as few as three business days. This will allow merchants to immediately establish a digital presence and access previously untapped pools of online customers. Oddle will also ease the onboarding process to their F&B platform by providing training and a social media kit for merchants to further power online sales through digital marketing tools.

To access the DBS package, DBS’ F&B customers need only pay a preferential rate for these services, as compared to commission rates of as high as 30% on other industry digital platforms. Additionally, Oddle will also allow F&B SMEs the option to integrate with Oddle’s preferred logistics partners who may want to ride on the growing preference for on-demand food delivery. Oddle’s system currently powers over 3,000 F&B brands, including Soup Restaurant, Arnold’s Fried Chicken and A-One F&B.

FirstCom will help DBS’ F&B customers who already have an online presence to amplify their digital marketing efforts by offering merchants preferential rates for digital marketing services, which includes setting up and managing businesses’ social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. For F&B brands that are new to ecommerce, FirstCom will also be able to help them set up a digital presence in fewer than five working days.

With cashflow the lifeblood of an SME business, FirstCom will also integrate DBS’ digital merchant collections solution, DBS Max, as a payments and collections option in their respective ecommerce solutions. Additionally, DBS will absorb the set-up costs for DBS Max and waive Merchant Discount Rates for six months for FirstCom customers adopting DBS Max. FirstCom has served over 4,500 SME clients to date and has powered the digital marketing efforts of Singapore’s National Day Parade since 2017.

Jane Lim, Assistant Chief Executive, Sectoral Transformation Group, IMDA, said: “We are heartened to see the industry step up with efforts to encourage digital adoption in support of our call to “Stay Healthy, Go Digital”, such as DBS’ latest suite of offerings. In spite of the Covid-19 situation, we want to enable enterprises to carry on with their business operations as much as possible. Going digital is key; it not only allows our local SMEs to tide through the current climate, but also positions them to emerge stronger and more competitive when the economy recovers.”

Tee said that DBS is also exploring additional last mile delivery solutions for F&B merchants as the bank believes the current situation is bound to reshape dining patterns. This allows F&B businesses to offer their own on-demand food delivery services and better position them to ride on the growing norm of dining in.

Tee added, “As a result of Covid-19, consumer behaviour is likely to change as web-shy consumers are now pushed to embrace online food orders and doorstep deliveries. To adapt to the shifting business landscape, we are tapping into our digital capabilities as the World’s Best Digital Bank to empower our corporate customers to transform their businesses to keep pace with the changes. We are confident that today’s measures, coupled with our suite of digital payment and financing solutions, will help F&B businesses turn adversity into opportunity and place them in a stronger position to seize the growth opportunities that will emerge when this crisis passes.”

DBS’ F&B digital relief package is expected to be available by the end of March 2020, and the bank will be proactively engaging its F&B clients on how they can access these solutions.

DBS’ F&B digital relief package comes on the back of two rounds of relief measures to address cash flow challenges faced by the SME community. These liquidity relief measures include a six-month principal repayment moratorium for SME property loans announced on 13 February, and a collateral-free Digital Business Loan of up to SGD 50,000 disbursed within 24 hours of loan acceptance announced on 26 February.

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Penrose Condominiums: A Homeowners Dream Property

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Author: iCompareLoan Editorial Team

Image Credits: Penrose Condominiums, by Hong Leong Group and City Developments Limited (CDL)

Fantastic news! The developers, Hong Leong & CDL, have completed the Penrose condominiums. Location is everything when you are looking for your special home. The Penrose condos are in the heart of Geylang, Singapore. Sims Villa is the prime district for all that is happening around the city. Surrounded by shopping, parks, schools, and nightlife activities, you will never become bored or complacent. The Penrose condominiums have unique amenities that you and your family will die for. Continue to learn all about your new home.

The Building:

Our new property launch, the Penrose, has 570 condos for you to choose from. These range between one-bedroom units to five-bedroom units. Perfect for a couple or a large family. The sky-rise is around 18 stories high. Top floors can have a beautiful panoramic view of Singapore. Constructed with the finest materials, you can enjoy comfort without worrying about footsteps above. The site area is large at 174,648 sq ft. Depending on the unit, the price per square foot is approximately $1,400. Visit to request floor plans of the condo size you are interested in. You can also call the development group directly at (+65) 6631 8522.

The Amenities:

No condo building is complete without exceptional amenities. The Penrose is no exception. Your family and your guests can take part in wonderful activities without the unnecessary travel time. The entrance is enhanced, like walking into a warm palace. Greeting you with enthusiasm when you come home after a long day.

The unit amenities are plentiful. Smart technology is in place for the techie in all of us. Picturesque windows fill the condos for a bright and airy living experience. Stainless steel appliances for easy maintenance and quick cleanup will make entertaining a breeze. Spacious living quarters will have you lounging in style when you are relaxing at home.

Pool parties for all in a gorgeous, blue deluxe 50-meter lap pool. Crystal clear water, with areas surrounded by plants and shade. Additionally, the large deck is spacious to sunbathe or read a book. This pool is equipped with specialized water features that will attract any water-goer. Crystal clear water, with areas surrounded by plants and shade.

Gym memberships are no more with a luxurious in-house gym. The equipment is state-of-the-art, with everything to flatten and tone your overall appearance. You can treadmill while looking over the gorgeous pool.

BBQ pit areas make entertaining fun. The kids will enjoy a dip in their own specialized pool. There is a clubhouse as well as an event house. Everything you need to make your memorable event unique.

Around Town:

When you must travel to school or work, everything is nearby. In walking distance is the Aljunied train station as well as two bus lines. If driving is your forte, you are close to the main expressway. Preschool, primary and secondary schools are within walking distance so the children will be safe from harm. If your older children are almost ready for college, they have choices! Saint Andrew’s Junior College and James Crook University are close to home.

You can enjoy a day trip to the Kallang Water Sports Centre or the Singapore Sports Hub. The wildlife parks are plentiful, learn and watch the majestic creatures in their natural habits. Savor your time at several parks around the area, including directly at the beach. The Singapore scenery is breathtaking and you can appreciate it from your brand new home.

Supermarkets are plentiful as you will never go without supplies. You can walk, bike, drive, or bus to over 15 places to purchase local or foreign market products and produce. If you like spending your time shopping with friends and family, approximately eight malls are around the area. You can find items near and abroad for gifts or decorate your new home.

The new property launch of the Penrose condominiums is not only the talk of the town but globally. People from around the world are excited to finally be able to purchase one of these outstanding units. Loans are the bread and butter of the purchasing experience. You can compare home loan Singapore with iCompareLoan mortgage broker. Get the best rates with the least amount of interest in your buying power. This is your first step in coming home to your dream.

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Your New Life at Forett @ Bukit Timah

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Author: iCompareLoan Editorial Team

Image Credits: Forett @ Bukit Timah, by Qingjian Perennial (Bukit Timah) Pte. Ltd.

Who said you can’t enjoy each day to the fullest and start living your dream life in Singapore? The Forett @ Bukit Timah is an upcoming freehold residential project that will be developed by 2024 in District 21, near the Toh Tuck Road. This project will include a total number of 669 units and spans across a land area of 360,130 sq ft.

The compound will include various types of units, starting from 1 bedroom + study apartments to 5-bedroom suites. This upscale establishment manages to bring to life a gorgeous dwelling surrounded by the sheer beauty of nature, so you can enjoy a whole new level of tranquility, privacy and luxurious expanse. This place allows you to make the most out of each and every day by being surrounded by sheer nature.

Due to the low-rise character of the establishment, you can enjoy the greenery of Bukit Timah Hill that lies nearby and dive into the nature reserves surrounding the place. This entire space is designed with a design-conscious architecture that perfectly blends in with the top-notch facilities and astounding panorama.


This new complex is located in the heart of Singapore, in the Bukit Timah neighborhood. You have a lot of green spaces nearby, plus the Bukit Timah Road, which connects the South-East from the North-West districts.

This residential district is located just 600 meters away from the upcoming MRT station called “Beauty World”. Serving the downtown line, this new station will enable residents to reach downtown Singapore with ease. Forett @ Bukit Timah also gives you access to the major expressways, including the Pan Island Expressway and Bukit Timah Expressway.

In the area, you can gain the peace of mind that you’ll never run out of amenities, things to and places to visit.


If you want to spend an unforgettable day shopping with your dear ones or simply eat at your favorite restaurant, you can visit the Beauty World Plaza, Beauty World Centre, Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, and many other restaurants and shopping stores located in the close proximity.

The Bukit Batok Nature Park and the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve are two of the best places to relish in lush greenery and touch base with nature. Your kids will be more than ecstatic to run around the parks, while you can enjoy the culture and heritage offered by these natural areas. If you are a sports enthusiast, you can pay a visit to the Singapore Gun Club and the Archery Club.

Schools & Others

If you have young children, you’ll be pleased to know that Forett @ Bukit Timah features numerous great schools in its proximity. Some of the renowned schools in this area include the Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School, Bukit Timah Primary School, Methodist Girls Primary School & Secondary School, Bukit View Secondary School and Singapore University of Social Sciences.


Inside the Forett @ Bukit Timah complex, you’ll gain access to over 99 gorgeous facilities and amenities that will make your life much easier. You can follow the forest trails along some unique cascading streams, relax in lush green terraces, go up the elevated pathways, uncover the hidden mysteries of garden spaces and waterways, and ultimately experience your own journey towards your heart.

The list of facilities includes a community library, gym, naturalized waterway, elder care facilities, sports hall, market & hawker centre, forest corridor, gardens, pools, and many others. Inside the rooms, you’ll get to enjoy numerous start amenities, such as smart integrated appliances, eco-friendly heaters, smart aircon and even face recognition, that help you make your life easier.

Benefits of Living in the Forett @ Bukit Timah Upscale Establishment

By living in this place, you’ll be able to get the best out of both worlds: numerous amenities that will make your life easier and will enable you to save time & money, and also astounding parks that will help you recreate. You’ll be able to reach any part of the city with ease thanks to the great access to expressways and MRT lines, but you’ll also be able to enjoy a high level of comfort.

If you want to get a loan to purchase your own space at Forett @ Bukit Timah, you can now compare home loan Singapore for free using the services of iCompareLoan mortgage broker.

For advice on a new home loan.

For refinancing advice.

Download this article here.

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The Midwood Singapore—A Place To Call Home

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Author: iCompareLoan Editorial Team

Image Credits: Midwood Singapore, by Hong Leong Holdings

The brand new Midwood Singapore is a development residence on 8 and 10 Hillview Rise in Singapore’s District 23. Just a short distance out brings you to the Jurong Lake District’s CBD in Singapore. The new Hillview Condo consists of almost six hundred units and a childcare center. Never has life been so easy or so impressive as you reside with an all-access pass to the rest of Singapore while living amidst premium amenities.

There is a six-story multi-story car park for accessible parking every time. The variety of developments are all built with state-of-the-art amenities with your comfort in mind. Whether you need a four-bedroom unit or a one-bedroom residence, you will find it at Midwood.

Developed jointly between the highly-regarded Hong Realty Limited and Hong Leong Holdings, of the Hong Leong Group, you can be sure that Midwood is part of the distinctive groups of Singapore residential projects by the same developer. The track record of Midwood Developers includes Bartley Residences, Sage, Aalto, The Tate Residences, One Balmoral, Coco Palms, Amber Park, and The Jovel.

A Picture-Perfect Residence

Take a photography tour with the kids as you stroll to the nearby parks of Little Guillin. Take a leisurely walk alone or hike with your friends around the area. Greenery and nature surround you even as you live within the heart of Singapore. Swim a lap or two to meet your fitness goals. Take a grand view of the city scene below the pool as you swim lap after invigorating lap. Bask in the sunshine in one of the deck chairs by the pool to get your fill of Vitamin D. Meet the neighbors and make a few new friends as you take in the clear, sun-kissed azure state-of-the-art pool.

Poetically located along Hillview Rise, Midwood is next to the malls opposite Kingsford Hillview Peak, the HilV2 and The Hillier. Hillview Camp is west and north of Midwood where you will also find the Ministry of Defence MINDEF building. Just five minutes away or so is the Hillview MRT Station. As you can see, you will live amidst convenience and access surrounded by landscaped gardens and yet within reach of everything important to you.

Whether you are currently single or plan to start a small family, beginning a new life on such high standards is sure to bring you to even greater elevations. Surround yourself with perfection and go even further in life. Remind yourself that your dreams are indeed achievable, including a superb address such as Midwood.

The Highest Connectivity

One of the more recent condos built, you can be sure that every world-class amenity you can think of is included in the development. This includes the highest connectivity and units for both singles and small families. Check out the show flat open currently. Book an appointment online and even apply online to get things moving. International schools are online including secondary, primary and pre-school of the highest standards. You will probably agree that Midwood features everything you could want and need in a residence.

Luxury At Your Feet

Gigantic spaces, luxurious marble floors, and rooftop views are all within your reach at Midwood. Costas Kondylis was the sketcher for this condo, apparent with its well-thought-out-expanses. Nature and parks are just a stone’s throw away including the Upper Pierce Reservoir, Dairy Farm Nature Park, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Bukit Batok Nature Park and Little Guilin by Bukit Gombak.


Midwood is within the Hillview Estate private neighborhood. There are various eateries, bistros and most importantly, espresso joints that are a prevailing hang-out for residents. This is a good neighborhood supporting an ideal lifestyle. The trails for strolling and cycling allow you to do a physical workout on weekends and spend your days at work without too much of a commute.

Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance at its finest, Midwood Condo is set up as a private home, with areas for relaxation and areas for work. You will never be too far away from the fervor of urban life with tons of feasting and hotspot shopping just a short walk away. You can go to The Rail Mall, West Mall and Bukit Panjang Plaza, with enough time to cook up a fabulous meal for friends and family in the comfort of your own home.

If you’re considering getting a mortgage, you can compare mortgage loan Singapore on the iCompareLoan mortgage broker site.

For advice on a new home loan.

For refinancing advice.

Download this article here.

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HSBC SME Green Loan a first to develop sustainable projects

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Author: Ravi Philemon

HSBC Singapore on March 16 launched the HSBC SME Green Loan, providing small and medium enterprises with finance to develop sustainable projects by utilising existing ‘green’ certifications.

By: Phoenix Lee/

HSBC SME Green Loan is a first for the Singapore market. The Green Loan will draw on existing certifications from Singapore industry authorities to certify the validity of specific green projects or assets, instead of the externally-reviewed bespoke Green Finance Frameworks used by corporates.

HSBC SME Green LoanBy doing so, the HSBC SME Green Loan reduces the time, complexity and cost typically associated with applying for green finance, providing Singapore’s SMEs with a straightforward route to a sustainable future.

HSBC will accept applications to finance eligible green projects from businesses holding the following industry certifications:

  • Singapore Environment Council – Singapore Green Labelling Scheme (SGLS) and eco-certification schemes
  • Building and Construction Authority – Green & Gracious Award, and Green Mark Scheme (GoldPLUS and Platinum)
  • Singapore Green Building Council – Product and Services certification schemes
  • Green-e – Renewable Energy Certification

The certifications help determine the valid use of proceeds of a loan, which is a core component of the internationally recognised Green Loan Principles (GLPs). This could include the purchase of greener equipment, development or production of sustainable or recycled products, construction or renovation of green buildings, or the purchase of energy-efficient assets.

As further certifications are developed in Singapore, HSBC may look to expand its list of accepted certifications.

The HSBC SME Green Loan is available to qualifying Business Banking customers of HSBC Singapore, and will be issued on a ‘term’7 basis at a minimum limit of USD$350k, denominated in either SGD or USD. Applications will be subject to HSBC’s usual credit review process.

Li Lian Ng, Head of Business Banking, HSBC Singapore, said: “Singapore is an internationally recognised hub for green finance, underpinned by the development of market-leading frameworks and incentives. By utilising these well-developed certifications, we are drawing on the best of Singapore’s sustainability credentials to plug the financial gap felt by SMEs who want to start on a green transition.”

Ms Isabella Huang-Loh, Chairman, Singapore Environment Council said: “SEC’s Green Label is one of the most established ecolabels certified to international best practices in compliance with ISO 14024 and ISO 17065:2012. SEC is also accredited by the United Nations Environment Programme for our environmental programmes such as our Green Labelling Scheme, which is accepted in over 42 countries.

Ms Jen Teo, Executive Director, Singapore Environment Council said: “We all have a role to play in climate action. The new Green Loan will broaden climate action initiatives, lending SMEs the impetus to better manage resources efficiently that translates to savings, while minimising negative impact to the environment. SEC’s Green Label follows a set of criteria that assess products and construction materials with environment and health in mind.”

Drawing on market leading certifications
Whilst green lending has boomed in recent years, with gross global issuance of green loans increasing 30% to $60 billion in 20188, green financing has traditionally been utilised by large corporates due to the deep due diligence associated with the assessment of a loan’s use of proceeds.

All HSBC Green Loans are issued in compliance with the GLPs, which set out four key pillars formalising what constitutes a green loan and voluntary recommended guidelines for businesses seeking to utilise them.

Corporates generally develop a “Green Finance Framework” to demonstrate their compliance with the GLPs. A Green Finance Framework, supported by external verification, articulates the corporate’s environmental objectives and governance process around obtaining and managing green financing. The Frameworks provide additional reassurance to lenders and stakeholders to outline a business’ accountability and true sustainability intentions.

Given the cost and time associated with Frameworks, SMEs have typically been unable to access green finance, therefore preventing them from taking forward their ambitions to shift to greener business practices.

The HSBC SME Green Loan is designed to remove this hurdle whilst continuing to align with the Green Loan Principles by leveraging Singapore’s globally recognised suite of sustainability certifications, marking a step-change in the way SMEs can apply for funding.

SMEs seeking simple route to first-step sustainability
The need for SMEs to shift towards more sustainable operations is critical if Singapore is to achieve a wider societal shift, given the 220,000 companies make the lion share of corporate Singapore.

Businesses – both large and small – are waking up to the significance that sustainability will play in their business models. HSBC’s Navigator survey of 2019, including the views of 200 Singapore firms, of which half are SMEs, revealed that 64% of Singaporean companies believe they have a role to play in delivering the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Moreover, looking ahead, respondents claimed they are struggling to find the time and funding needed to advance their sustainability agendas, looking to governments and regulators for support.

Ms Ng continued: “Green finance has been the preserve of large companies, yet SMEs want to play their own role; accessibility and simplicity are key to supporting them in opening the green finance door. Achieving critical mass requires three things: a common understanding of what is green, comparable and verified information on the risks and opportunities this presents to borrowers and lenders, and the ability to make informed decisions based on such data. Drawing on Singapore’s established set of accreditations, this Loan is a starting block providing consistency and accessibility for SMEs to begin their shift to a sustainable future.”

Mr Paul Ho, chief mortgage officer at iCompareLoan, said, “SMEs usually cannot access green funds because they are unfamiliar with the framework and also don’t have the time to research the requirements. This prevents the, from shifting to greener business practices. Towards helping them towards this, the HSBC SME Green Loan is a positive first step.”

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Mortgage rate research can get you the best home loan

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Author: Ravi Philemon

Getting the best home loan  would require nothing less than diligent mortgage rate research

When people set out to get a home loan, tates are the number 1 thing on their mind. But how do you find the best mortgage rate?

Extensive mortgage rate research is the key to landing the best home loan which fits your own unique needs.

By: Hitesh Khan/

mortgage rate researchSeveral factors affect your ability to get best mortgage rate. Your credit score, for one. Your down payment, the property you’re buying, the length of the loan, how much you borrow, and even when and where you’re borrowing can all play a role in determining what sort of home loan interest rates you can obtain.

Finding the best mortgage rate is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to shopping for a home loan. Other factors, such as closing costs and the type of mortgage, will affect your overall costs as well.

The following are tips on how to get the best mortgage rate you can, followed by short explanations of the main things that affect the mortgage rate you’ll pay.

Need more information? Just follow the highlighted links to further reading on individual topics that you can explore at your leisure.

Finding the best home loan
To get the best home loan, you need to do extensive mortgage rate research. Instead of shopping for a home and then applying for a mortgage, try reversing the order – get set up for a mortgage first. With a pre-approved mortgage in hand, you’ll be in a much stronger negotiating position with the seller compared to someone who has yet to arrange for financing.

Start off by checking your credit report and score. You want to check your credit report for any errors that might lower your credit score, while your credit score will be an important factor in determining the lowest mortgage rates you can get. Follow the highlighted link for information on ordering your report and correcting errors.

Next, talk with a couple mortgage professionals for some advice on your qualifications and guidance on your mortgage options, including setting a budget for your loan. Find out what sort of mortgage loan rates they’re offering, but don’t make a commitment yet.

Then compare mortgage rates from a number of lenders. Check with a number of different types:  banks, credit cooperatives, mortgage brokers, nonbank lenders, etc.

In doing your mortgage rate research, see who’s offering the combination of the best home loan and terms for a borrower with your credit profile, income and down payment in the loan amount you’re seeking.

Remember that home mortgage rates can change daily and sometimes even several times a day. So it’s important to get all your rate quotes the same day, or better yet within a few hours of each other, so you know you’re making a valid mortgage loan comparison among lenders.

When shopping for a home loan, it’s not enough to merely look for cheap mortgage rates. An unusually low rate can often disguise the fact the loan has other costs built into it that can actually make it more expensive than another loan with a higher rate. One of the most common ways of doing this is through origination fees.

Origination fee, or sometimes called a processing fee, is an upfront fee charged by the bank as a percentage of the loan amount. It is an upfront fee because it usually directly deducted from the loan amount at disbursement.

Loan origination describes the whole process of borrowing from the point where the borrower submits the application forms to the stage where the funds are finally disbursed. Meaning this fee is for the payment of the services rendered to realise the loan.

A useful way to compare competing loan offers is through the annual percentage rate (APR). APR expresses the total cost of a mortgage as an interest rate, and is usually included with any advertisement or offer of a mortgage rate. It’s not 100 percent accurate, particularly if you sell or refinance before the loan is paid off, but it’s a good rule of thumb.

Best home loans are found after extensive mortgage rate research online

Online lending and mortgage research can make it a lot easier to compare mortgage rates and shop for a home loan. You can quickly obtain quotes from a number of lenders for their latest mortgage rates and sort through them to find the best deals.

Searching online also gives you access to a wider range of lenders. You can do mortgage rate comparisons with lenders who may not have a brick-and-mortar office in your immediate area but still can originate mortgages there.

There are several ways to search for cheap mortgage rates online. You can go directly to the web pages of various lenders and check the best home loan rates they’re offering. They’ll usually have their daily mortgage rates listed. Often, a form will be provided where you can submit information about the type of loan you’re seeking and your credit profile, so you can obtain a rate quote tailored for you personally.

Another way is to use a rate quote service. You submit the information about your credit and the loan you’re seeking, but instead of getting a rate quote from a single lender, you get competing quotes from multiple lenders. This allows you to do a mortgage rate comparison among them and choose the best mortgage rate among them. Always check to see when the information was last updated. If a site isn’t showing today’s mortgage rates, you know it’s outdated and may not be comparable to rates on other sites.

Be mindful that several major factors that affect the best mortgage rate you can obtain.

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