ZEK vs. IKO: what is the difference?

Here you will find the right answers

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  • BenutzernameChipmunk
  • Status Member
  • Registriert seit11/29/16
  • Beiträge8

If I want to take out a loan... how are the ZEK and the IKO different?

Kind regards

  • BenutzernameMoneyguru von moneyland.ch
  • OrtSchweiz
  • Status Expert
  • Registriert seit8/4/15
  • Beiträge4016

Hi Chipmunk,

Debt has become an everyday part of life for many residents of Switzerland. According to the Federal Statistical Office, 40 percent of residents live in a household with at least one type of debt. Credit bureaus record the way in which debtors deal with debt in order to provide lenders with the information they need in order to make informed decisions about loan applicants.

While a number of private credit bureaus operate in Switzerland, only two of these are official in that they were called into being by legislation. These are the “Informationsstelle für Konsumkredit / Centre de renseignements sur le crédit à la consommation” or IKO, and the “Zentralstelle für Kreditinformation / Centrale d’information de crédit” (ZEK).

Both of these credit bureaus are associations rather than government organs. The boards of both associations are made up primarily of representatives of major Swiss lenders. However, the functions of the two credit bureaus are somewhat different, and each maintains its own database.

The IKO functions to collect and provide data as required by the Swiss consumer credit law (KKG/LLC). It does not collect data for credit and loans which are not covered by consumer credit laws. That means that only credit or loans of more than 500 Swiss francs and less than 80,000 francs are recorded. For loans to be recorded by the IKO, loan terms must be higher than 3 months – or 12 months if paid in 4 installments or less. Secured loans are not recorded, nor are payments made in installments. Lenders have an obligation to report the credit behavior of borrowers to the IKO, and data is primarily used for legal purposes.

The ZEK collects data on all consumer credit and loans, not just those covered by consumer credit law. That means that small, large, short-term and long-term loans may be recorded by the ZEK. Purchases paid for in installments, credit card use, car leases, secured loans and even interest-free loans may be reported. Even consumer behavior with regards to the payment of bills may be reported to the ZEK. The purpose of the ZEK is to provide lenders with a broader picture of your creditworthiness than that provided by the IKO. Data is provided voluntarily by lenders. It is primarily used as a reference for lenders and not for legal purposes.

Best regards

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