Business Loans

Budget 2020: 3 Quick Tips To Get The $600,000 SME Working Capital Loan

Eric Koh
February 19, 2020

On the 18th of February, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced in his Budget 2020 speech a slew of measures designed to help business owners in Singapore overcome challenges from the global economic slowdown due to the COVID-19 virus. These include corporate tax rebates, rental waivers, enhancement of the government-supported working capital loan, and other targeted measures.


The Enhanced SME Working Capital Loan (Budget 2020 Edition)

Under the new Enterprise Financing Scheme, the government pledged more financial assistance to SME business owners in Singapore by increasing the maximum loan quantum of the government-supported SME Working Capital Loan from $300,000 to $600,000, and the government risk-share on these loans from 50-70% to 80% for one year.

This pledge is considered to be very generous in comparison with the government’s previous initiatives, which demonstrates its commitment towards supporting the SME sector.

Here is a look at some of the support schemes in the past.

Year Support Package Conditions
2008 Enhancements to Spring Singapore’s Micro-Loan Program
  • Maximum loan quantum is increased from $50,000 to $100,000
  • Risk share by the government is increase from 50% to 80%*
*Risk-sharing percentage was reduced to 70% by 2011 and 50% by 2014 in tandem with economic recovery
2014 Introduction of Spring Singapore’s Enhanced Micro-Loan Program

(Specifically targets young enterprises)
  • Must be less than 3 years old
  • Maximum loan quantum of $100,000
  • 70% risk share by the government
2016 Introduction of Spring Singapore’s SME Working Capital Loan Programme
  • Maximum loan quantum of $300,000
  • 50% risk share by the government
*This loan is offered in tandem with the existing $100,000 SME Micro Loan scheme.
2019 Introduction of Enterprise Singapore’s SME Working Capital Loan under the new Enterprise Financing Scheme

(All government-supported loans streamlined into this umbrella scheme)
  • Maximum loan quantum of $300,000
  • 50% risk share by the government
  • 70% risk share by the government for young enterprises (lesser than 5 years)
*$100,000 SME Micro Loan will no longer be available
2020 Enhancement of Enterprise Singapore’s SME Working Capital Loan under the new Enterprise Financing Scheme

(targeted support for one year)
  • Maximum loan quantum increased from $300,000 to $600,000
  • Risk share by the government increased from 50-70% to 80%

Enterprise Singapore and Participating Financial Institutions

Under the umbrella Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS), the loans are administered through Enterprise Singapore’s official list of participating financial institutions (PFIs).

This means that instead of applying directly to Enterprise Singapore, business owners must instead apply through these PFIs. When the loan is approved, the PFI will lodge the loan with Enterprise Singapore directly.

There are pros and cons in this arrangement. SME owners can apply to any of the 14 PFIs. They may also take advantage of their existing banking relationships for an expedited process, or simply choose their preferred institution to work with.

However, as the credit evaluation criteria differs widely between these institutions, SME owners may encounter different evaluation results, and thus different loan offers, as a result.


Improve Your Chances of Obtaining the $600,000 SME Working Capital Loan

Previously in our blog, we talked about the ways that SMEs can improve their chances of obtaining business loans. However, these are long-term techniques that an SME owner can use to build a credible business record over time. 

If you are a business owner, here are 3 quick ways to improve the credit rating of your business. Do these before applying to any PFI.  

1. Make sure that all submission documents are in order and accurately reflect your current business

During application, all financial institutions will require the submission of a standard set of documents: company ACRA information, profit and loss statement, bank statements, directors’ notice of assessments, and credit bureau reports.

Make sure these documents are updated as much as possible, especially if the company has grown since the last financial year.

If the latest audited profit and loss statement was more than 6 months ago, consider submitting a management account of the profit and loss statement for the last 6 months to highlight the company’s growth and increased profitability.


2. Clear all personal debts now

One key credit evaluation criteria is the company directors’ /guarantors’ balance-to-income (BTI) ratio. This ratio evaluates one’s ability to repay any additional debt by comparing one’s current debt versus one’s current income.

This means that the more personal debt the directors/shareholders have, the lower their personal credit rating will be, because of the higher level of indebtedness.

Since the directors/shareholders are usually also guarantors for the company’s business loans, a lower personal credit rating will thus lower their company’s overall credit rating.

So consider clearing these personal debts (as much as possible) to present a better overall picture of the company and its directors’/shareholders’/guarantors’ financial health.  


3. Apply through a free business loan platform like Lendingpot.sg

As mentioned above, different financial institutions possess different credit evaluation criteria that may change over time. Just because the company was able to obtain a business loan with one financial institution previously, doesn’t mean that it can get another business loan now.

Since business loan applications and credit evaluation take time, roughly around 1 – 2 weeks each, it will be a tedious effort to apply directly with multiple institutions in the event that the first business loan application is rejected.

Lendingpot.sg operates a Business Loan Marketplace that allows an SME to connect to multiple lenders with just one application, allowing the SME to know who its prospective lenders and what their rates are, in a very short time.

Moreover, the applicant’s contact details are obscured and business information anonymized to maintain privacy. Only core business information such as revenue, profit or industry are revealed and evaluated by lenders.

If you expect the application process to drag on and wish to minimize any delay, consider using Lendingpot’s free Business Loan Marketplace service.


Conclusion

This is a great opportunity for small business owners to get the critical funds they need to survive this business downturn. We are here to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information!


Request for a Business Loan Now!

Lendingpot.sg operates a Business Loan Marketplace that allows an SME to connect to multiple lenders with just one application, allowing the SME to know who its prospective lenders are and the rates that they offer, in a very short time.


Leading digital loan marketplace Lendingpot connects SMEs to its network of 45 lenders comprising relationship managers from banks, financial institutions, and private and peer-to-peer lenders in Singapore. It aims to help SMEs overcome the information asymmetry problem and lack of transparency prevalent in the SME financing sector by offering SMEs financing options such as business term loans, property loans, revenue-based financing, credit lines, working capital loans, bridging loans, invoice financing, and more.

About the author

Eric Koh is passionate about helping SMEs grow and has spent years interacting with business owners at OCBC and IFS Capital. He is interested in 70s rock ‘n roll, the odd novel and copious amounts of historical trivia.

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