Ah Longs are no stranger to Singaporeans. In fact, Singaporeans shudder at the term “Ah Long” as it is often associated with violence and terror. Yet again, Singaporeans still get themselves entangled with Ah Longs time and time again. You can read here to find out about why people still choose Ah Long.
Ah Longs stand on a different subpar level as compared to banks and other local non-bank financial institutes such as FS Bolt. Here we will look at the characteristics of Ah Longs and how they compare to FS Bolt.
1. Loan sharks are not licensed and use scam tactics
A lot of Ah Longs pretend to be licensed moneylenders to trick their victims into borrowing money from them. They claim that they are legal and may sound very legit the first time that they are in contact with their victim. Once their victim borrows money from them and settles matters relating to repayment, these “licensed moneylenders” show their true colour and demand repayments with unreasonable interests.
A more current tactic used by Ah Longs nowadays is that they will randomly bank in money to unsuspecting victims and then contact the victims through text demanding repayments. Even after the victim banks in the full amount on the spot, the Ah Longs continue to harass them asking for added interests. Ah Longs are very clever in using psychological means to induce fear if their victims do not want to pay back.
FS Bolt does not resort to scamming tactics like the Ah Longs to get “customers”. Nor does FS Bolt “force” people to get a loan with them. FS Bolt was created by Funding Societies which is licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The sole purpose of FS Bolt is to help SMEs in financial difficulties.
2. You will end up in a never-ending debt with the Ah Longs
Once people borrow from Ah Longs, they most commonly end up in a never-ending cycle of debt with the Ah Longs. Since there is no documentation of the loan amount or repayment amount, the Ah Longs take advantage of this fact and inflate the interest at will, having borrowers paying way more than the original loan amount. This happens time and time again with the constant harassment from the Ah Longs.
If the borrowers stop paying, the Ah Longs then threaten to damage the property of the borrowers or harass their family members.
FS Bolt is different as once the borrowers take up a loan with FS Bolt, both parties go into a formal agreement with a fixed interest and set repayment period. Business owners will never end up in a never-ending debt cycle nor will they receive any form of harassment.
3. Ah Longs could harass, embarrass and damage property if the borrower fails to pay up
Splashing of paint at the entrance of the borrower’s house; exposing the borrower’s details on social media and embarrassing them in front of their family members and close friends; threatening to set fire to the borrower’s property, etc. These are just a few examples of the harassment Ah Longs will go to when a borrower fails to pay.
Ah Longs are so brazen to the extent that they randomly message victims asking them to take up a loan and threatening them by harassing their homes if the victims did not take up the loan. Some gave in to these unscrupulous culprits out of fear.
Rest assured with FS Bolt; we never use such methods when a borrower fails to pay.
4. It’s so easy to borrow from an Ah Long
When you borrow from an Ah Long, all you need is to provide your IC and details of your guarantor; usually, it being from your family members. If the borrower can’t pay, then their friends and family have to bear the consequences. Some Ah Long even ask for the borrower’s SingPass to qualify for a loan, which is illegal. With a SingPass access, Ah Longs can gain access to the borrower’s personal information.
As for FS Bolt, minimum paperwork are required to verify business owners. The application process only takes 2 minutes. Besides, no collaterals are needed; instead, they take a Personal Guarantee from the applicant.
5. Family lives might be affected when a borrower engages with an Ah Long
Some cases when the borrowers fail to pay, they end up becoming runners for the Ah Longs. To a certain extent, even the borrower’s family members are involved. There is one case where an ex-loan shark reveals that his father was the one that was in debt with a big amount from the loan shark and had no other payment choice but to work for that loan shark. The guy ended up becoming a loan shark himself. This to say that family members end up becoming runners or loan sharks to “repay” the debt of the family member who borrowed from the loan shark.
FS Bolt does not bother the borrower’s family members even if the borrower fails to pay. A loan agreement is only between the borrower and FS Bolt.
6. Borrowers do not know how much they have paid to Ah Longs
The Ah Longs simply set the repayment amount; borrowers can’t keep track of how much they have paid plus the unreasonable inflated interest on top of the loan amount. This is because no formal written documentation or loan agreement was ironed out in the first place. Borrowers could pay up to tens of thousands from the original loan amount. Borrowing from an Ah Long would lock you up for a huge lump sum to pay back, and this might distress the borrower’s family members as they would have to help the borrowers pay back if the borrower fails to do so.
The loan sharks’ interest rate fluctuates frequently but starts at 10% – 20%. The rate will increase sharply if the borrower defaults on payment.
It is different with FS Bolt. By using the FS Bolt app, business owners can track everything within the app. From the business loan amount to the calculated interest rate to the repayment amount and period, everything can be seen in the app.
7. Borrowers might be annoyed by the Ah Longs from time to time
There have been cases wherein after a borrower dissociates himself/herself from the Ah Long or have reported the Ah Longs to the authorities, the other Ah Longs contact the borrower with another number, harassing them again and asking them to take up a loan. The same goes for a borrower who is still entangled with an Ah Long. The loan sharks harass and annoy the borrower from time to time demanding payment through text and calls.
You will never have to experience the same ordeal with FS Bolt. There is no need for any form of harassment or annoyance coming from us, and everything is made clear within the app.
You do not need to turn to Ah Longs when financial difficulty hits. But if you are involved being a debtor or a runner for them, the first step is always to report to the police. Calling the police hotline at 1800 225 0000 to break the cycle is the first step towards a new life.
FS Bolt can provide you with a loan that has better benefits than one taken from a loan shark. You will never need to deal with constant harassment and live in constant fear for the safety of you and your loved ones.
Download the FS Bolt app here for a loan quantum injection of up to SGD 50k within 24 hours.
Borrowing a loan the legal way has never been easier.
Funding Societies – Capital Markets Services License No: CMS100572-1 issued by Monetary Authority of Singapore (2016)