ZEK Swiss Credit Bureau

The ZEK (Zentralstelle für Kreditinformation) is the go-to credit checkpoint for all lenders that issue consumer loans, credit cards and car leases.

Founded in 1968, the ZEK is based in Zurich and gathers credit information in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

The bureau operates a central database which only credit-issuing companies like banks and loan-providers have access to. Approximately 1.5 million consumers are registered at ZEK.

Personal information about Swiss borrowers is stored in the ZEK database, and this makes it possible for lenders to assess the creditworthiness of prospective borrowers.

The database contains positive, negative and neutral information. A borrower’s creditworthiness is shown to lenders in code form.

Information that builds the credit histories of borrowers in Switzerland and Liechtenstein includes the following:

  • Personal information: surname, name, birthday, address, civil status
  • Credit history: details about installment-based, account overdraft, cash, fixed, or payday loans. History of all open or denied credit applications, plus both ongoing and expired loan agreements.
  • Credit card use: Records of blocked credit cards, poor credit repayment and credit card debt.
  • Rental contracts: records of leases, rentals and purchases.
  • Official data: Records of bankruptcies and court orders.

Important: Every time you apply for a credit card, a record of that application is added to your credit history at ZEK. If the application is denied (if a bank only accepts applicants with excellent credit, for example), your credit record will be negatively impacted.

Right to your credit history: As a borrower, you have the right to request a copy of your credit history from the ZEK.

More information:
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Editor Daniel Dreier
Daniel Dreier is editor and personal finance expert at moneyland.ch.
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