The Swiss personal loans business is divided into two main categories – conventional and online. A large share of the Swiss personal loan business is carried out the conventional way, in which borrowers visit a lender’s branch office in person and apply for a loan.
But the share of personal loans which are applied for online is growing. Many banks now provide the option of applying for loans via their online portals. These lenders include cashgate (a joint venture of Raiffeisen and cantonal banks), Bank-now (a Credit Suisse subsidiary) and Cembra Money Bank.
The Banque Cantonale du Valais, Banque Cantonale de Genève and the Banque Cantonale du Jura do not (yet) offer loans online.
Some lenders, such as Migros Bank subsidiary eny Finance AG, operate fully online. Migros Bank offers both conventional loans and cheaper online loans. Countrywide retailer Valora launched bob money, an online lender, in July 2015.
In addition to loans offered by lenders, personal loans can now also be obtained via peer-to-peer platforms (like Lend). These platforms work on a simple principle: Borrowers request loans and lenders – typically private investors – lend them money in exchange for interest. The peer-to-peer platform connects lenders with borrowers and conducts necessary credit checks and provides potential lenders with borrower creditworthiness ratings. It also handles the transfer of loans and the collection of repayments. In exchange for its services, the platform charges a fee. Major Swiss peer-to-peer loan platforms are included in the moneyland.ch personal loan comparison.
The cheapest loans can be found online
The most affordable person loans available in Switzerland are often found online. When applying for loans entirely online, borrowers must enter all necessary information themselves. By having borrowers perform much of the work themselves, lenders cut down on administration and infrastructure. These cost savings allow them to offer loans with somewhat lower interest rates.
Important: Lenders often list a minimum and a maximum interest rate for loans. The minimum rate is used for loans to borrowers with excellent creditworthiness. The maximum rate is used for loans to borrowers with poor creditworthiness. So the minimum rates which are typically advertised by lenders are only available to some applicants. You can use the personal loan calculator on moneyland.ch to find out how much a loan will cost you based on the interest rate and loan term.
Important: Take the time to consider whether or not a loan application is likely to be accepted before you apply. If a loan application is rejected, this will negatively impact your ZEK credit report, which will make it difficult for you to obtain loans from other lenders.
Beware of unscrupulous loan brokers
The Internet is full of offers from loan brokers and salespeople who claim that certain loans are the cheapest or best. But be careful: Not all online loan sites, comparisons and brokers have your best interests in mind. Make sure to compare interest rates and get an unbiased overview of available loans and the terms and conditions attached to them before you settle on any one loan.