You're probably correct. The new Singers are not what they used to be...Singer was bought out a few years ago and many buyers have registered their regrets and disappointment with the new products and service.
Most complaints about sewing machine problems concern thread loops under the fabric, which are usually caused by the upper thread. Your problem is not as common. Generally, when thread problems occur on the top of the fabric, it is a bobbin issue.
Try a brand new needle. Make sure the needle, thread, and fabric are compatible. Also, check that the needle is installed correctly. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjV3sKLxKvNAhUjE1IKHdbNDb4QFggkMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.schmetzneedles.com%2Flearning%2Fpdf%2Fschmetz-needle-chart.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHTR52AmqwzvyCjbXmD5Ch52Va5_Q
All About Needles
Remove the thread from the machine. Check that the machine is clean--no lint, dust bunnies, thread pieces in the bobbin area, stuck in the feed dogs, or under the needleplate.
ALWAYS RAISE the presser foot when threading. Rethread the machine from the beginning. Check that the thread path is correct for the upper thread and that the bobbin case is loaded and threaded properly. Use the same thread for both upper and bobbin.
Most machine standard upper tension is set at the midway point. However, this is just a beginning point. The tension differs from one machine to another and may need adjusting depending on the fabric you are sewing.
Retest your machine.
If loops are still forming on the top of the fabric, then the bobbin tension may be too loose. Try tightening the bobbin tension (only 1/8th of a turn at a time!). Understanding Thread Tension Threads
Sometimes it is a thread issue. Experiment with different brands of thread. Avoid old or bargain bin threads (the thread in bins at the fabric store are not the best, also Coats & Clark may not work well in your machine). Stick with better quality threads, ie Gutermann, Aurofil, Isocord, etc. Be sure to use the type of thread that is suitable for your project, ie do not use embroidery or cotton thread for sewing garment seams unless you want to be embarrassed when the seams start popping... Polyester used to be the bane of sewing projects but is now used for many items because the quality has improved and, in some cases, surpassed the former favorite cotton. Polyester is light weight but strong. Some machines just do better with one brand of thread over another.
You may also consider testing the machine with different types of fabric to see if it performs better with a particular fabric type or weight.
If it continues to be a problem, perhaps the bobbin case is damaged or malfunctioning. If you cannot find the answer to your problem, you may just need to take it for service.