After several hesitations, you decided to take out your first personal loan. Whether it's to finance the car of your dreams, to get out of a bad patch or to help you get started on your personal projects, know that you're not alone in making this choice. In fact, more than 30% of Swiss people have already taken out private credit. The flexibility and ease of taking out a loan are often arguments in favour of the consumer.
If in the past you had to go through a bank, nowadays the possibilities of borrowing have multiplied in order to satisfy everyone's needs. To this end, we invite you to carefully compare the various existing offers through our numerous comparators.
But before that, it is essential to get organized and ask the right questions. A credit will probably commit you over several years and inadequate choices could put your projects at risk.
In this guide, we will help you prepare your credit application efficiently in order to obtain it as quickly and easily as possible while avoiding the pitfalls.
1. Ensure your solvency
Before you want to obtain a personal loan, make sure you are not late in any payments. If you have already taken out a loan, the same applies.
Banking and financial institutions have the opportunity to assess your creditworthiness beforehand in order to determine whether your credit application is admissible and criteria such as the regularity of payments are taken into account.
2. Prepare the necessary documents
As for everything, good preparation is the key to success. In addition, you will immediately leave a good impression on the institution responsible for assessing your situation. The necessary documents are usually as follows:
- Passport or identity card
- Residence permit for foreigners
- Last three pay slips
Some institutions or brokers may also request a bank statement, an AHV/IV/LPP pension decision, your other outstanding credits, your family situation or your last tax assessment.
3. Do not multiply loan applications
If you ask several banks for a loan within a very short period of time, they can be informed. If the loan application is rejected, it will also be visible to them and could therefore negatively influence the decision of other financial service providers. Please note that your data is available for two years from banks and online suppliers. In order to avoid this situation, we recommend that you use our credit comparators. This way, you can get an overview without appearing in credit information banks such as CRIF and ZEK.
4. Check the interest rate
The interest rate on your loan is decided by the financial institution on the basis of several criteria such as your age, nationality or type of residence permit as well as your financial and professional situation. As already discussed above, creditworthiness criteria are also taken into account. The maximum admissible rate provided for in Art. 9, para. 2, letter B must not exceed 15%. The higher your ability to repay the loan quickly, the lower the interest rate will be.
Online platforms generally offer a better interest rate than banks because of their lower structural costs.
5. Know the difference between the effective and nominal rate
When you want to take out a loan, you will pay two interest rates. The nominal interest rate represents the interest charges to be paid for the desired credit, while the effective interest rate includes processing fees, commissions and other possible costs. It is the latter rate that you should consider.
6. Be honest about your financial situation
Don't overestimate your ability to repay your loan on a monthly basis. These repayments will be made up of the interest and the capital loaned by the bank. The financial institution that granted you credit will thoroughly check that you are able to repay your loan.
7. Do not pay unnecessary fees.
Applying for consumer credit is free of charge, so you don't have to pay any fees to open a file. However, if you choose to apply for credit online, you may be asked to contribute to the cost of authenticating the documents needed to apply for a loan. If a broker asks you to pay an advance of several hundred francs in exchange for the promise of an insured loan, this is actually a dishonest practice. It is indeed not the broker who decides whether or not to grant a loan, but the financial institution.
8. Plan for the unexpected
It is impossible to know what the next day will be made of. It is then never too prudent to cover your back in the event of a sudden change in the situation. For example, you can take out insurance to cover your reimbursements in the event of unemployment, illness or death. In addition, if you suddenly receive a large sum of money, you can repay your loan early. Any interest paid in excess will then be reimbursed to you, if this clause is included in the contract.