FAQs - REPAYMENT ASSISTANCE SCHEME (RAS)

The Repayment Assistance Scheme (RAS) was a special assistance scheme that operated in year 2015. Applications for the RAS closed on 31 Dec 2015.

Existing RAS customers should call the RAS Unit at +65 6996-6006 (9am – 6pm, Monday – Friday, excluding public holidays) or email ras@ccs.org.sg.

For enquiries on other repayment assistance schemes, please contact Credit Counselling Singapore at +65 6225-5227.

  1. What is the Repayment Assistance Scheme (RAS)?

    The Repayment Assistance Scheme (RAS) is a new centralised repayment solution administered by Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS) that offers a monthly instalment plan that helps the borrower pays down the amount of unsecured debt in excess of 12 times the borrower’s monthly income. This is to be in line with the industry-wide borrowing limit of 12 times of monthly income that will come into effect on 1 June 2019.

    RAS is offered at a lower interest rate of 5% per annum and over a fixed period of 8 years to help reduce the borrower’s debt servicing burden.

  2. Why RAS?

    In September 2013, MAS announced changes to credit card and unsecured credit rules to help individuals avoid accumulating excessive debt and to enhance the lending practices of financial institutions. One of these changes is the industry-wide borrowing limit.

    The leading retail banks and credit card companies together with The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) have come up with this new debt repayment assistance plan to help borrowers affected by the new rule.

  3. How does RAS work?

    From June 2015, if a borrower’s interest-bearing unsecured debt on all credit cards and other unsecured credit facilities with financial institutions in Singapore exceed the industry-wide borrowing limit for 3 consecutive months (e.g., March, April and May 2015), the borrower will not be able to:

    1. charge new amounts to his existing credit cards and/or other unsecured credit facilities, or
    2. obtain credit limit increases on his existing credit cards and/or other unsecured credit facilities, or
    3. obtain new credit cards or other unsecured credit facilities from any financial institution.

    A borrower who is on RAS will have his debt divided into two portions:

    1. Amounts up to 12 times his monthly income - Amounts up to 12 times his monthly income are to be repaid in accordance with the respective terms and conditions of the borrower’s existing facilities. Financial institutions will inform their customers of the monthly payment that needs to be made.
    2. Amounts in excess of 12 times his monthly income - Amounts in excess of 12 times his monthly income will be managed under RAS and are to be repaid in accordance with the terms and conditions of RAS (i.e. 5% per annum over 8 years).
  4. When will the new borrowing limits come in?

    To give sufficient time for borrowers to adjust, the borrowing limit will be phased in as follows:

    1. Effective 1 June 2015 - 24 times of monthly income;
    2. Effective 1 June 2017 - 18 times of monthly income; and
    3. Effective 1 June 2019 - 12 times of monthly income.
  5. Who does this rule apply to?

    This new rule only applies to:

    1. Singaporean or Singapore PR;
    2. individuals with annual income below $120,000;
    3. Individuals with net personal assets that are $2 million or less.
  6. Which are the financial institutions participating in RAS?

    The following financial institutions are participating in RAS.

    1. American Express International Inc.
    2. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd
    3. Bank of China Ltd
    4. CIMB Bank Berhad
    5. Citibank Singapore Ltd
    6. DBS Bank Ltd
    7. Diners Club (Singapore) Pte Ltd
    8. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd
    9. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd
    10. Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Ltd
    11. Malayan Banking Berhad
    12. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd
    13. RHB Bank Berhad
    14. United Overseas Bank Ltd
  7. How do I apply for RAS?

    Financial Institutions (FIs) will send out invitation letters, in batches from April 2015 onwards, to their customers who are affected by the new unsecured credit rule to apply for the Repayment Assistance Scheme (RAS).

    Note that a borrower may receive multiple invitation letters from his multiple FIs. The borrower, however, needs only to complete one application form (sent to him from any of his FIs) and submit it with the supporting documents to Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS) before the closing date for RAS application: 31 December 2015.

  8. Who is eligible for RAS?

    You are eligible for RAS if you fulfil the following criteria

    1. Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident,
    2. Earn less than $120,000 per annum,
    3. Have net personal assets that are $2 million or less,
    4. Have total interest-bearing unsecured debt on all credit cards and unsecured credit facilities with financial institutions in Singapore that exceeds 12 times his monthly gross income before June 2015; and
    5. Have good repayment records with his financial institutions (e.g. are current in making monthly repayments under his unsecured credit facilities).

    If the borrower thinks that he meets the RAS eligibility criteria but did not receive any invitation letters from his FIs, he may contact CCS RAS Unit at 6996 6006 to make enquiries.

    If the borrower wants to find out more about his options to resolve his debts problems before he decides his next course of action, he may register online for CCS Info Talk on Debt Management at www.ccs.org.sg (click on “Register Now” on homepage).

  9. What are the documents required for the RAS application?

    The following documents are required

    1. Copy of NRIC (front and back)
    2. Latest credit report from Credit Bureau (Singapore) Pte Ltd and
    3. Income Documents – Employee
      1. Latest computerised payslip; or
      2. Latest Income Tax Notice of Assessment (YA2014 or later); or
      3. Latest 12 months’ CPF Contribution History Statement (only applicable for income earner of $5,000 or less per month)
    4. Income Documents - Commission-based Earner
      1. Latest Income Tax Notice of Assessment (YA2014 or later); or
      2. Commission Statement from the company for the last 3 months
    5. Income Documents - Self-employed
      1. Latest Income Tax Notice of Assessment (YA2014 or later)
  10. The RAS Application Process

    1. The borrower completes and submits one application form with all the supporting documents to CCS in the business reply envelope attached with the application form.
    2. CCS processes the application and if the conditions are met, CCS will prepare a draft Repayment Proposal and send it to the borrower to review, sign and return to CCS.
    3. If the borrower accepted, signed and returned the draft Repayment Proposal to CCS within the specified timeline, CCS will send the borrower’s application form and supporting documentation to the borrower’s financial institutions for their review and approval.
    4. The borrower’s financial institutions will review his application and send a letter of acceptance or rejection to the borrower directly.
  11. a) Will I be notified when I have completed my RAS repayments?

    b) What will happen when I fully settle my outstanding RAS loan?

    c) How can I close my RAS account after completing all my loan payments?

    d) What will my credit bureau records look like upon completing my RAS repayments?

    Your RAS account(s) will be automatically closed once you have fully settled your repayments and fulfilled all terms and conditions. This closure will be reflected in your credit report within two months, where the RAS facility will be removed from/ no longer be displayed in your credit report.

    While it is not an industry standard for financial institutions to inform customers about the full repayment of their loans, some may choose to do so. If you wish to confirm the status of your RAS account(s) or request documentation for your records, you may reach out to the relevant financial institution(s) directly.

    Additionally, you have the option to purchase a credit report from Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) as proof of your discharge. Please keep in mind, however, that there will be a two-month delay between the settlement date and the updated status in your credit report.

  12. Can I withdraw from the RAS at the end of the repayment periods / loan tenure of 8 years?

    Exiting the RAS is possible once your interest-bearing unsecured debt is reduced to below 12 times your monthly income.

    At the end of the 8-year repayment tenure, you may approach your RAS financial institution(s), which will conduct a credit assessment to determine if you meet the criteria to exit from the scheme. Alternatively, they may guide you through their regular collection/remedial process for withdrawal from the RAS.

  13. Can I make a full one-time repayment / early repayments on my RAS loan?

    Yes, please contact your respective RAS financial institution(s)for more guidance.

  14. I have forgotten my outstanding RAS balance / which financial institution(s) I have an RAS loan with. Is there any way to retrieve this information?

    To identify your RAS facilities, you can purchase a credit report from CBS, which provides a comprehensive overview of all your loans and credit facilities.

    If you have questions about your outstanding balances, we recommend connecting with the relevant financial institution(s) for the latest and most accurate information.

  15. a) Can my suspended credit facilities be reinstated if I still have RAS balances to clear?

    b) Can I apply for new credit facilities if I still have RAS balances to clear?

    When your interest-bearing unsecured debt is reduced to below 12 times your monthly income, you may approach your RAS financial institution(s) at any time to request the reinstatement of your credit facilities.

    Your financial institution(s) will first assess your financial standing and credit worthiness, taking into account your income and credit bureau records, before lifting the suspension(s).

    It is important to note that all reinstatement requests will be subject to fresh credit assessment and/or updating of income documents as determined by your RAS financial institution. The relevant MAS unsecured credit rules will also apply. For instance, under the Credit Limit Management Measure (CLMM), if a borrower has accumulated outstanding unsecured debt exceeding 6 times their monthly income, a financial institution will not be allowed to grant them any increase in credit limit or any new unsecured credit facilities that will cause their total credit limit to exceed 12 times their monthly income.

    Considering the above, your reinstatement request(s) may not be approved if you still have outstanding RAS balances contributing to your total outstanding unsecured debt which exceeds 6 times your monthly income.

  16. Why was my application for a new credit card rejected even though I have already settled my RAS loan / my aggregate unsecured debt is already below the borrowing limit?

    In assessing your application for a new credit card, your financial institution will need to comply with MAS’ unsecured credit rules. Moreover, each financial institution has its own set of underwriting criteria and conditions. While factors such as your payment track record and ability to manage monthly repayments on all products are generally considered, the approval of applications is subject to the financial institution’s internal credit assessment policies as well as compliance with MAS’ unsecured credit rules.

  17. Is further assistance available if I need to defer my RAS repayments / if I still require debt management support at the end of my RAS loan tenure?

    If you find yourself in need of further assistance, we recommend contacting your RAS financial institution(s) directly to enquire about available options for further advice.

    You may also consider consulting Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS), a non-profit organisation offering debt management information and credit counselling services. If applicable, CCS may assist in drawing up a debt management plan with your financial institution(s). For more information, please contact CCS at 1800 6225 5227 or visit their website at www.ccs.org.sg.

    It is important to note that eligibility for specific programmes may vary, so seeking personalised advice from your bank(s) and/or CCS can help you better understand the available options for your circumstances.

  18. Who can I contact for assistance with RAS matters?

    You may continue to contact your RAS financial institution(s), who will remain available to assist you.