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Old 13.01.2009, 14:14
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Credit rating in Switzerland

Does anyone know:

1. How a person's credit rating is collected/collated in Switzerland (i.e. if you are occasionally late in paying a bill, does that mean you have a bad credit rating?);
2. The name of the organisation which keeps details on your credit rating;
3. Whether you can have access to your own credit rating history; and
4. Whether you can challenge any entries which negatively impacts on your credit rating.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 13.01.2009, 14:17
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Re: Credit rating in Switzerland

"Betreibung" or "Betreibungsauskunft" is the word you might want to plug into the forum search. No credit bureaus here, no credit ratings like in the States. Your local commune / community (Gemeinde) keeps a file of "indictments" against you. You can challenge your entries on those. Other threads contain a ton of info.
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Old 13.01.2009, 14:17
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Re: Credit rating in Switzerland

This is a really good question!

The only thing that I really know is the Betreibungsamt.
About 6 months ago, I applied for a creditcard, and they
turned me down with no reason given.
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Old 13.01.2009, 14:34
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Re: Credit rating in Switzerland

This sticky might help:

The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.
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Old 13.01.2009, 14:35
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Re: Credit rating in Switzerland

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Does anyone know:

1. How a person's credit rating is collected/collated in Switzerland (i.e. if you are occasionally late in paying a bill, does that mean you have a bad credit rating?);
2. The name of the organisation which keeps details on your credit rating;
3. Whether you can have access to your own credit rating history; and
4. Whether you can challenge any entries which negatively impacts on your credit rating.

Thanks in advance!
Many companies use credit checking companies to give you a credit score. They collect information about you using debt collection cases, bankruptcy publications and other companies that provide you with credit.

Possible reasons why you don't get a good credit score are:

1. Outstanding Betreibung cases against you
2. No confirmation of your identity (Billag and Swisscom bills to your current address help confirm that)
3. Outstanding debts at your current address (possibly from last tenant)
4. Paying any credit card bill late puts a mark against your name. The credit scoring checks how many bills you have received and how many you paid on time.
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Old 13.01.2009, 14:44
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Re: Credit rating in Switzerland

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Many companies use credit checking companies to give you a credit score. They collect information about you using debt collection cases, bankruptcy publications and other companies that provide you with credit.

Possible reasons why you don't get a good credit score are:

1. Outstanding Betreibung cases against you
2. No confirmation of your identity (Billag and Swisscom bills to your current address help confirm that)
3. Outstanding debts at your current address (possibly from last tenant)
4. Paying any credit card bill late puts a mark against your name. The credit scoring checks how many bills you have received and how many you paid on time.
When I first arrived in Switzerland, I was offered a credit card without the bank even checking my finances. However, I cancelled the card about a year later because I hardly used it and the annual fees were not justifiable.

I recently applied for a credit card at a different institution and I was rejected on the basis of my credit history. It's baffling me because I can't think of what might be tarnishing my credit history ... I may have paid the occasional bill late once or twice, but surely that can't be it?

Or are the banks really careful about who they give credit to now??
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Old 13.01.2009, 14:51
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Re: Credit rating in Switzerland

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When I first arrived in Switzerland, I was offered a credit card without the bank even checking my finances. However, I cancelled the card about a year later because I hardly used it and the annual fees were not justifiable.

I recently applied for a credit card at a different institution and I was rejected on the basis of my credit history. It's baffling me because I can't think of what might be tarnishing my credit history ... I may have paid the occasional bill late once or twice, but surely that can't be it?

Or are the banks really careful about who they give credit to now??
Perhaps it is just because you have no credit history. How late did you pay those bills? Did it go to debt collection or the Inkasso agency?

I would think they are being pickier now. My personal banker at CS wanted to check payments that I needed to make and said that there are more fraud cases now.
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Old 13.01.2009, 15:02
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Re: Credit rating in Switzerland

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Perhaps it is just because you have no credit history. How late did you pay those bills? Did it go to debt collection or the Inkasso agency?

I would think they are being pickier now. My personal banker at CS wanted to check payments that I needed to make and said that there are more fraud cases now.
Well, the latest my bills had been paid was no more than 2 weeks because I had been on holidays. I rarely receive reminder notices.

My guess is perhaps the banks are a bit wary of giving credit to foreigners who may skip the country??

In any event, I was just trawling through the other thread mentioned, and I would have thought that if you had settled your outstanding debts (e.g. with Inkasso), this should not bring down your credit history even though it will be recorded.

Do you think all banks use the same credit rating information? That is, if i apply to another institution, am I likely to be rejected by them also?
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Old 13.01.2009, 15:10
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Re: Credit rating in Switzerland

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Well, the latest my bills had been paid was no more than 2 weeks because I had been on holidays. I rarely receive reminder notices.

My guess is perhaps the banks are a bit wary of giving credit to foreigners who may skip the country??

In any event, I was just trawling through the other thread mentioned, and I would have thought that if you had settled your outstanding debts (e.g. with Inkasso), this should not bring down your credit history even though it will be recorded.

Do you think all banks use the same credit rating information? That is, if i apply to another institution, am I likely to be rejected by them also?
It all depends on the scoring criteria of the individual institution, but from what you've written here it sounds as though you went into the 30 day "bucket" more than once on possibly more than one credit product. In addition you didn't use any card much, meaning you never showed your ability to service a loan or credit that was granted to you.

Don't get me wrong, I'm making no judgements here, but to a bank or other institution's scoring engine, that record wouldn't make you look like a particularly good risk.

For example, they'd usually be much keener to lend to someone who's carried a massive balance and regularly paid off the minimum every month with no delays, than they would to someone with no clear track record other than a low spend and some 30 day arrears.

Don't forget that most of these applications are also automatically processed by a system, not many have manual decisions taken on them by a human. You can sometimes appeal the decision if you think there is other information that they haven't taken into account.

It's not always fair (and as I say it depends a lot on the individual institution's risk strategy), but these things will often throw up declines which aren't always expected.

(P.S. Don't assume too much leniency in Inkasso cases - I know at least one bank which will automatically decline any credit card application from a customer who's had an Inkasso case in the last 5 years, regardless of whether it's now settled or not).
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  #10  
Old 13.01.2009, 15:23
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Re: Credit rating in Switzerland

UBS and Bonus Card gave me credit when Corner wouldn't

Now I have loads of cards to keep my credit score going. In the UK we were not accepted for a mortgage because we didn't have a credit history

For Switzerland, I know they look at Swisscom directories - even builders look me up before they come out and ask why I am not listed. They look at Billag too - why would a good customer not pay the Billag bill (does he have no TV or car ??). I use third party credit checking as part of my job here.
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