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Old 18.06.2012, 00:19
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Question about Swiss Credit Checks on an Expat in Switzerland

Hi all,

I will soon be relocating to Zürich. I anticipate that the cell phone, cable companies, and other service providers will ask to run credit checks on me. This may even be necessary for when I need to find a permanent place to live.

Being that I'm new to Switzerland and have no credit record in that country, how does this work? Does furnishing a copy of my American credit record suffice, or is it more complicated than this? Do I need to report my American credit record to a Swiss financial authority before moving to Switzerland?

Many thanks in advance,

Paul
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Old 18.06.2012, 07:33
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Nope, you don't need to do anything, nor can you - your hard earned american credit rating is worth exactly nothing once you cross that border (yes, even into Canada or Mexico!)



You're judged based on you specific demographic (age, gender, nationality, income, profession), and allocated credit (or lack thereof) is given from that.

Once you been here for a while, company history may play a greater role.


Credit is handled very differently though. There are only a couple of reporting agencies and, though I could be wrong, they seem to be quite small and uncoordinated. Their usage is entirely elective, and uncommon. What most would consider to be your "credit report" is the Betreibungsauszug, which is held by the betreibungsamt in the gemeinde. It's really not the same thing though, as it only shows cases where you really haven't paid (or someone's pissed off at you, and wants to get even), and none of the 30-60 days - 60-90 days stuff.
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Old 18.06.2012, 07:54
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Re: Question about Swiss Credit Checks on an Expat in Switzerland

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I will soon be relocating to Zürich. I anticipate that the cell phone, cable companies, and other service providers will ask to run credit checks on me. This may even be necessary for when I need to find a permanent place to live.
Well it doesn't work quite like this.

Cell phone: No-one will give you anything that's not pre-pay until you have your permit. Once you do, there's not often a problem. Pre-pay is simple as: Walk into store with passport, buy phone and SIM, pay, leave.

Cable companies and anything else that is physically connected to your "registered address" (a Swiss concept - do a forum search) don't do credit checks other than the "Beitreibungsauszug". Now the latter is a record of occasions where a creditor has had to turn to the authorities to recover a debt from you. You've never lived in Switzerland, so the chances of your name popping up there are zero (well unless you managed to get a Beitreibung before even arriving in the country). Same goes for the checks for a rental place.

Chillax !
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Old 18.06.2012, 20:33
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Re: Question about Swiss Credit Checks on an Expat in Switzerland

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Well it doesn't work quite like this.

Cell phone: No-one will give you anything that's not pre-pay until you have your permit. Once you do, there's not often a problem. Pre-pay is simple as: Walk into store with passport, buy phone and SIM, pay, leave.

Cable companies and anything else that is physically connected to your "registered address" (a Swiss concept - do a forum search) don't do credit checks other than the "Beitreibungsauszug". Now the latter is a record of occasions where a creditor has had to turn to the authorities to recover a debt from you. You've never lived in Switzerland, so the chances of your name popping up there are zero (well unless you managed to get a Beitreibung before even arriving in the country). Same goes for the checks for a rental place.

Chillax !
Thank you Fridge and tom_tulpe. Question: what kind of permit is needed to purchase a cell phone? Do you mean my residence permit? Also, I have lived in Switzerland for 14 months from 2009 through 2010, so it is possible I will have a "Betreibungsauszug" record, yes?

Much appreciated,

Paul
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Old 18.06.2012, 20:40
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Re: Question about Swiss Credit Checks on an Expat in Switzerland

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Thank you Fridge and tom_tulpe. Question: what kind of permit is needed to purchase a cell phone? Do you mean my residence permit? Also, I have lived in Switzerland for 14 months from 2009 through 2010, so it is possible I will have a "Betreibungsauszug" record, yes?

Much appreciated,

Paul
Hi Again Paul

Yes they are talking about your residence permit, it is used for everything here including opening bank account etc. You can get a paper from the Gemeinde saying the permit is in process and this works too...
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Old 18.06.2012, 22:22
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Re: Question about Swiss Credit Checks on an Expat in Switzerland

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Thank you Fridge and tom_tulpe. Question: what kind of permit is needed to purchase a cell phone? Do you mean my residence permit? Also, I have lived in Switzerland for 14 months from 2009 through 2010, so it is possible I will have a "Betreibungsauszug" record, yes?

Much appreciated,

Paul
Only if you left something unpaid.

Otherwise, yes it technically does still exist, but they'll be completely blank (which is good).
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Old 18.06.2012, 23:19
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Re: Question about Swiss Credit Checks on an Expat in Switzerland

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Question: what kind of permit is needed to purchase a cell phone?
None, but you will need your passport and some kind of address that ties the device to you, as a real person with a known address. I gave my NH address, no problem. Living in NH I obviously have no permit of any kind
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Old 18.06.2012, 23:38
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Re: Question about Swiss Credit Checks on an Expat in Switzerland

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Question: what kind of permit is needed to purchase a cell phone?
Prepay: No permit required, just ID (Passport) and money, which can be cash.
Contract: residence permits, B-Permit always works, L-Permit usually works as well
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Old 19.06.2012, 21:36
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Re: Question about Swiss Credit Checks on an Expat in Switzerland

Okay -- thanks again all. This has been quite helpful.
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