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Old 16.03.2012, 12:08
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Credit Score Rating/Agency in CH

Hi All,

Had a quick inquiry regarding how credit card activities are monitored in CH.

I know of two popular agencies that most banks use here:

l'iko: http://www.iko-info.ch/
and
ZEk: http://www.zek.ch/

Now, I am an avid Amex user...however I am also young and determined to build a solid credit history so that in the near future should I want a cash loan or a mortgage. I was told by someone that Amex does not report to any of these agencies as it is not obliged to by law since it is not a "credit card" but instead a "charge card" (Yes I know AMEX is a subsidary of Credit Suisse, but it is treated separately).

Now I have contacted AMEX in CH and they have given me mixed answers, but what I was able to conclude is that they will only report BAD incidents to these agencies (i.e. none payment). The employee I spoke to did not know whether the actual activity or spending habits are reported.

My question is: Is the above true regarding AMEX? Should I start using other cards such as Mastercard or VISA since I want the credit agencies to see my spending habits, limits, etc...

I appreciate anyone who can help clarify this for me.

(For those wondering: credit card you can revolve your balance over to the next month and incur interest, charge card you have to pay amount in full every month).
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Old 16.03.2012, 12:29
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Re: Credit Score Rating/Agency in CH

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Now, I am an avid Amex user
Why?
Amex is cr*p, not widely supported in Europe, and charges one of the highest fees around for retailers. Bad for business and so bad for customers.

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...however I am also young and determined to build a solid credit history so that in the near future should I want a cash loan or a mortgage.
This is almost an urban myth, you don't have to have or use a credit card to have a good credit history. Paying bills on time, having regular income coming into your account etc could help. Credit Agencies are different from one country to another so I can't really comment about the ones you mentioned above. Having too much credit can also mean you are over committed and creditors will be reluctant to lend you more money. The credit scoring algorithms are different and take into account many things that could include your date of birth and gender.

To conclude, don't worry about it, by the time you're ready for a mortgage or loan, you will probably have a good history, and your bank will almost always lend you money if you've been with them over 2 years and kept your account in good shape.
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Old 16.03.2012, 12:48
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Re: Credit Score Rating/Agency in CH

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Why?
Amex is cr*p, not widely supported in Europe, and charges one of the highest fees around for retailers. Bad for business and so bad for customers.
Tts personal preference, while i have issues at some joints when using it in the EU region, Ive had most places in CH accept it. I understand why some whould disagree with AMEX, but its my card of choice and I am very happy camper.

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This is almost an urban myth, you don't have to have or use a credit card to have a good credit history. Paying bills on time, having regular income coming into your account etc could help. Credit Agencies are different from one country to another so I can't really comment about the ones you mentioned above. Having too much credit can also mean you are over committed and creditors will be reluctant to lend you more money. The credit scoring algorithms are different and take into account many things that could include your date of birth and gender.

To conclude, don't worry about it, by the time you're ready for a mortgage or loan, you will probably have a good history, and your bank will almost always lend you money if you've been with them over 2 years and kept your account in good shape.
I don't know about it being 100% a myth... Obviously I don't believe credit cards serve as the only variable in building credit, but I assumed they are an important element in determining client credit history. Maybe I was assuming wrong.
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Old 16.03.2012, 13:40
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Re: Credit Score Rating/Agency in CH

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I don't know about it being 100% a myth... Obviously I don't believe credit cards serve as the only variable in building credit, but I assumed they are an important element in determining client credit history. Maybe I was assuming wrong.
Well every credit card provider looks at the payment history differently, I mean if you have a good history of paying interest over a period of two years with a medium size balance then they would look at you like a cash cow generating money for them. if you are the type who spends money on the credit card regularly and pays it off at the end of every month, you might not look so good for a provider who wants to target customers of that kind but you will be quite favoured for a provider looking to get customers to increase their volume of transactions and hence the fees they get from retailers.

It all depends on the provider's target customer base. So just using a credit card doesn't necessarily increase your likelyhood of getting a loan or a mortgage with others.
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Old 05.11.2019, 16:41
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Re: Credit Score Rating/Agency in CH

I'm in the market for my credit score at the moment & comparis.ch seem to have an agreement with CRIF. I put in my details & they have no info on me but kindly offered to register me for CHF79 & one year later then can produce my credit score certificate.

I also entered my Wife's details & they came back immediately with a traffic light scoring & again the CHF79 offer to provide the certificate.

I just contacted my bank as I assume they would have access to this by default as I have a mortgage with them.

Any other (not CHF79) ideas or channels that the good people on here know about is much appreciated.
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Old 15.11.2019, 12:18
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Re: Credit Score Rating/Agency in CH

So a quick update: I have contacted 3 x credit rating agencies here CRIF, ZEK & IKO & none of them have any data on me or the Mrs. Not even details of our mortgage. I've asked our bank to provide one but they say only their Credit card department can raise such a report & they can't help us out (I have escalated this request.)

How has anybody else here gotten their credit report / score in the past?
There is no mention on ch.ch either.
Help or guidance would be appreciated this document is now on our new overseas mortgage critical path.
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Old 15.11.2019, 12:33
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Re: Credit Score Rating/Agency in CH

Do they exist here?

Tom
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Old 15.11.2019, 12:55
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Re: Credit Score Rating/Agency in CH

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Do they exist here?

Tom
Yes, there are at least 3. They have no data on me or my wife which might suggest that you only have a record if you're somehow deviant.
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Old 15.11.2019, 13:43
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Re: Credit Score Rating/Agency in CH

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Yes, there are at least 3. They have no data on me or my wife which might suggest that you only have a record if you're somehow deviant.
My experience with credit reports for businesses in CH is:
1. Upon request, a credit bureau will issue, establish or update a credit report on a small business (Einzelfirma, GmbH). The report will most likely be brief indicating only whether there have been Betreibungen/ Verlustscheine against the company and possibly an estimate of number of employees and a sales estimate.
2. Credit reports for larger companies may contain some financial information and credit scores.

Although credit scoring is not widespread in CH, there are other ways to determine the credit worthiness/ reputation of a creditor, such as:
1. Debt claim register extract (Betreibungsregisterauszug)
2. Tax account register extract
3. Financial statements
4. Tax returns
5. Criminal record extract (Strafregisterauszug)
6. Reputation certificate (Leumundszeugnis)

There's also the informal method of calling around to the landlord, competition, etc.

Good luck to you!
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Old 15.11.2019, 14:21
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Re: Credit Score Rating/Agency in CH

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Yes, there are at least 3. They have no data on me or my wife which might suggest that you only have a record if you're somehow deviant.
I got a new car leasing in September.

What I understood is that there's is no gamified credit score as in other countries.What exists is a database that register when you don't pay on time, and a debt claim is filed on you (Office de pursuits, Betreibungsregisterauszug). So, everyone has a good reputation by default....until a debt is not honored.

If I understood well, the concept of creditworthiness does not exists. The principle of past performance is no guarantee of future results is effectively applied. What exists instead is a calculation of you ability to pay (income - expenses) because credit emitters are responsible of not selling you a product that will make you go bankrupt.

So, I think there's not credit score in CH

But wait...you're buying a house. The one who should be sweating to solve this issue is the salesperson. I'd expect a bit of service attitude when you're giving them thousands or even more CHF.
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Old 15.11.2019, 15:24
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Re: Credit Score Rating/Agency in CH

In other words:

You start with a good/perfect credit score and usually can only make your score worse by not paying bills due on time. Having had a past credit is not a requirement for a mortgage. On contrary, it might be even look bad if you bought furniture and other mundane things on credit.

Most Swiss will just silently shake their head in complete disbelief if you explain that in other countries you must build up a good credit score by taking out a credit and paying it back.

As simple glance on the tax statement where income and wealth is listed shows a much better picture. An as there is no chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy they have you on the hook for life anyway.
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Old 15.11.2019, 20:39
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Re: Credit Score Rating/Agency in CH

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In other words:

You start with a good/perfect credit score and usually can only make your score worse by not paying bills due on time. ...

Most Swiss will just silently shake their head in complete disbelief if you explain that in other countries you must build up a good credit score by taking out a credit and paying it back.
Yes. This happened to a Swiss friend of mine who moved to South Africa. Born and bred in Switzerland, he had never been in debt of any kind, had always paid his taxes and all other bills on time, had never taken out a loan, nor bought anything on an instalment payment scheme. In this sense, he was a model Swiss bill-payer.

In South Africa, he struggled to sign a rental contract (had to rent from private, careless landlords only) or to buy a phone contract. They all threw up their hands in disbelief, asking him, amazed: "What do you mean, you have no credit score? Does everything in Switzerland work in cash only? Do you even have a birth certificate?"

He, in turn, really struggled with their advice to go out and open up not one but two or better three separate credit accounts at large departmental stores and to buy himself a few shirts on 6-month credit, and pay off the specified amount each month.

He was also advised, once he'd earned a salary for a few months, to get a letter from his landlord confirming that he'd paid his rent punctually, and with that to apply for a smallish loan from a bank, and then pay that back punctually. If he got his employer to sign surety, they told him, that would improve his standing, too. His Swiss toes curled!
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Old 16.11.2019, 08:31
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Re: Credit Score Rating/Agency in CH

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My experience with credit reports for businesses in CH is:
1. Upon request, a credit bureau will issue, establish or update a credit report on a small business (Einzelfirma, GmbH). The report will most likely be brief indicating only whether there have been Betreibungen/ Verlustscheine against the company and possibly an estimate of number of employees and a sales estimate.
2. Credit reports for larger companies may contain some financial information and credit scores.

Although credit scoring is not widespread in CH, there are other ways to determine the credit worthiness/ reputation of a creditor, such as:
1. Debt claim register extract (Betreibungsregisterauszug)
2. Tax account register extract
3. Financial statements
4. Tax returns
5. Criminal record extract (Strafregisterauszug)
6. Reputation certificate (Leumundszeugnis)

There's also the informal method of calling around to the landlord, competition, etc.

Good luck to you!
Yes Iíve just applied to my geminde for the betriebungsregistrar. Thanks folks.

https://www.ch.ch/en/extract-debt-collection-register/
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Old 17.11.2019, 11:27
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Re: Credit Score Rating/Agency in CH

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But it can help as you can use the cards to pay for things you can't manage to pay on time otherwise.
That is real bad advice......

If you cannot manage, contact the Schuldnerberatung or instances like these.
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