Loans come in various forms and configurations. As a rule, they are advertised as such. However, loans are also increasingly being offered casually, without the customer realizing that he is now taking out a loan.

There are also options for the well-known personal loan, but these are related to other functions. Credit cards are a prime example here, as they allow temptation to take advantage of the credit line – successive debt at high interest rates can be the unpleasant consequence. Social lending – a loan from private individuals to private individuals – is an increasing number of alternatives with attractive advantages. Rather classic in nature but still worth mentioning are public pawn shops that are suitable for short-term bottlenecks. We would like to take a closer look at some of the common alternatives to bank loans:




Today, well over 5 million credit cards with installment payment options are in circulation in Switzerland. Many of the publishers use the global networks of Mastercard, Visa or American Express. You can use your credit card to pay for your current purchases, quickly book a hotel and a rental car. However, the convenience of paying by credit card and withdrawing cash almost everywhere has its price.

With the monthly statement, the customer can choose between immediate payment or partial payment. If the customer chooses the partial payment, the remaining amount is kept open as a loan with a two-digit interest rate. The credit interest rate runs from the date of purchase and not the monthly statement. Outstanding amounts over $ 3,000 that have not been paid for a quarter will be paid to the Central Office for Credit Information (ZEK) as a precautionreported. Of course, all other types of stagnation of payments or even total defaults. You can enjoy similar payment options via payment cards such as the American Express (AMEX) and credit cards (so-called debit cards such as Maestro or V-Pay).However, these cards have no credit function.In the case of payment cards, the complete outstanding balance is to be paid by the next payment date.

Suitability: The credit card is the means of solving smaller amounts for short times like the almost mandatory payment option for online payment. The seduction is great, the overview quickly slipped away. The result is a high level of debt too quickly. Attention for cash withdrawals with Mastercard, Visa or American Express cards at the ATM. Very high fees are charged.


Shopping card

Shopping card

Even at Grandma’s best times, it was possible to shop on account – ie credit. “Let me write” was common and often added up over the whole month. Discounts are offered to you, but only if you continue to buy from local retailers, a reasonable customer loyalty measure. Although the cards have a partial payment option, cash withdrawals are impossible.

Suitability: For simple shopping and to benefit from special loyalty offers. However, installment options are expensive loans, often with interest up to 12%.


Purchase on account and in installments

credit loan

Online shops, mail order catalogs and, more recently, the SBB app generally offer the payment option on account when purchasing. In some cases, the operators offer you payment in installments with the invoice, even for small amounts. This grants a loan, and interest rates are consistently at the upper end of the legally permissible range. Of course, the ZEK will be notified of this.

Suitability: Quite a valid option for a loan. Attention, do not use too many different providers, otherwise you can quickly lose track.


Your own employer

company loan

Mostly in craft businesses and in industry, advance payment is a common alternative for a loan. On the other hand, there is clearly another dependency on the moods of the employer, even if there is a change of job and one is bound by an unfavorable contract. Despite the fact that such loans are usually interest-free, one should not ignore the restrictions. Only conclude such loans on the condition of short-term nature, ie the possibility of one-time repayment. Do not forget to insist on a written fixation for both sides.

Suitability: Short-term loans if the collaboration works smoothly.


Social lending

credit loan

“Social” is the big thing today, everything wants to be social today. “Social” means community and human interaction. Nobody should expect a low-interest loan for social reasons. Nevertheless, more and more professional platforms like LINELEND from Zurich offer private loans from private individuals at top conditions, which sounds a lot more social than from the bank. And that’s it because of the often cheaper credit rates. On this social lending platform, also known as crowdlending or peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, the applicant presents his credit intentions to potential investors. The speed of credit procurement is the same today as with traditional banks. According to the consumer credit law, a 14-day withdrawal period must be observed for all personal loans, whether bank or crowdlending. LINELEND takes care of all administration and the regular invoice run. The interest rates are extremely attractive compared to the usual rates on the Swiss loan interest market.

Suitability: Internet-savvy people for whom a low interest rate is important.



credit shop

There are three official pawn shops in Switzerland: in Zurich, Geneva and Lugano. For the deposit of valuables, such as expensive watches, gold, gemstones or even art objects with a corresponding certificate, submitters receive up to 20% of the estimated value of the pledge. An interest rate of one percent per month is charged and can be redeemed at any time. Of course, only against payment of the entire debt. The effort is low and uncomplicated.

Suitability: bridging loans for people with valuables in the household.


Auto pawnshop

car loan

A car pawnshop grants a short-term loan in return for delivering their car. The associated costs and effort are considered high, altogether more than the interest already classified as usury at 10% pa in Switzerland. The vehicle must also be left there.