Personal loans or personal finance, in general, is not something we learn in school, but it is something that we need to be well versed in. The typical life cycle of the average working adult begins with school, attending primary and secondary, and then, maybe pursuing higher education, before entering the workforce. Oftentimes, student loans are taken to pay for that higher education, which means that we are entering the workforce with debt. 

Therefore having a certain level of understanding of the fundamentals of budgeting, saving, debt and investing have an impact on your everyday life and can mean a difference between prosperity and poverty. This is why today we’re going to talk about the basics of personal loans, including the requirements to secure one in Malaysia, its advantages, and what is a good reason to get one. Read on!

What is a personal loan? 

A personal loan is an unsecured or non-collateral loan. Other loans, such as car loans, or housing loans, are earmarked for the purchase of that specific product, which means the house or car you are purchasing acts as the collateral for the loan. Whereas with a personal loan, there are no collaterals required, hence the interchangeable term: unsecured personal loan

With a personal loan, the lender or bank takes a great risk in lending the money, whereas lesser risk is involved for the borrower. Due to greater risk taken by the lender or bank, this results in higher interest rates on personal loans, and Malaysia is no different.

When to consider a personal loan in Malaysia?

There are several reasons why someone might want to consider getting a personal loan in Malaysia, as opposed to other financial tools. 

What is a good reason to get one? One of the major caveats or advantages to put up when it comes to opting for a personal loan is that it is a cheaper option. Especially, in contrast to credit cards, interest rates alone, pose an attractive advantage. Personal loans are the way to go for business investments, maybe a downpayment for your house or as a quick fix to cover a hospital bill. Of course, this is only an option if you can’t afford to use cash out of pocket. 

Maximum interest rates on credit cards in Malaysia are at 18% per annum, and withdrawal fees for a cash advance can go up to 12%. If your funds are tied up in an FD or investment insurance plan then there is also a charge to make a withdrawal, not to mention the wasted investment opportunity if it has not matured. 

It is in this scenario that considering a personal loan might be a better option.

How to know if you’re qualified?

The requirements or qualification criteria for personal loans in Malaysia vary from bank to bank. The general stakes include your age, occupation, income, capacity to repay the loan and place of residence. 

You will need to have a stable source of income, salaried or self-employed. Your eligibility is dependent on your company, credit history and outstanding debts, i.e. credit card bills, housing loans and car loans. 

Here are some of the requirements to secure a personal loan:
1. A stable source of income, salaried or self-employed.
2. A healthy debt-to-income ratio and credit score.

Here are some of the documents required in your application:
1. Income proof (payslip, EA form, or latest BE form)
2. Current working contract
3. Payment track record and sanction later (if you have existing loans)

What is the minimum salary for a personal loan? Generally speaking, if you still have 70% or more of your monthly income after deductions (taxes, outstanding loans, etc) then your chances of securing a personal loan are a bit higher. To be specific, however, there are banks that actually offer low income personal loans. An individual that’s being paid the minimum wage are welcome to apply for personal loans, so long as they possess a stable source of income and a healthy credit report. 

Benefits and advantages of a personal loan

There are a few advantages to taking on a personal loan, we covered some of the basics when we talked about why you might want it as an option. Well here are a couple of other advantages that you might consider. 

  1. Processing is faster
    If you’re new to banking, there is A LOT of paperwork involved. Unless you’re applying for a personal loan or credit card. Some banks even grant instant approval loans via their online platforms.
  2. Helps with your credit portfolio
    Personal loans expand your credit portfolio, strange right? Healthy credit is an indication of your responsibilities with money and how well you manage them. Therefore, with a personal loan, and some good habits, you get a better credit score, making it easier for you to qualify for other larger credit lines, like a home loan.
  3. Use of loan
    As you know, loan names correlate with their purpose, home loan to purchase a house, car loan to purchase a car, so on and so forth. Personal loans are just that, personal. There is no one purpose for a personal loan, which means you are not limited by it.

Impact factor of personal loans

There are a few things to consider before you decide to take on any banking product or solution. Primarily having to do with the impact it will have on your personal finances.

Debt management

Active loans and credit card debt play a huge role in your personal loan prospects. Debts are too high, and you won’t have the capital to pay your loan, making it difficult for you to qualify. So before you apply for a loan, do a rough credit check on your personal finances, can you afford to live after your payments. Remember to include your non-credit card obligations and loans. Take into consideration your Netflix subscription, phone bills, utilities, food, fuel, and everything you need to spend money on. Go ahead and add your hair treatment in as well, it is part of your expenses. These are all expenses that you need to be able to cover outside of your debt. 


There are lots of options when it comes to repayment schedules, and they too vary from bank to bank. In some cases you may even be able to choose your repayment plan, however, there are also cases where the bank will decide on how much you borrow against what you can afford to pay. A shorter tenure equals lower interest paid per month, but it will increase your commitments. On the other hand, longer tenures mean more interest paid. So be aware of the potential outcomes before making hasty decisions.

Almost every bank in Malaysia offers personal loan products, there are several options available. In the same way, there is an equal amount of education available out there to help you make the right decision for yourself. If you happen to have a hard time choosing between business financing or a personal loan, we might have the answer! We hope you found this article helpful, and remember to check out Funding Societies for the business solutions you need


RinggitPlus, Credit Card Tiered Interest Rates Explained

Hong Leong Bank, Does Your Lifestyle Affect Your Chances of Approval?

Maybank, Personal Loans FAQ’s

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Disclaimer: The information provided to you in this blog post is intended only for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. The materials and the information provided are not intended to be and do not constitute an advertisement or solicitation.  In no event will Funding Societies be liable to any party for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or punitive damages for use of such information by you or any unauthorized third party.