Loans

Ultra-cheap loans? Comparis examines current rates

ANALYSIS
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Several lenders are currently luring borrowers with low-cost personal loans. Source: Comparis

From 4.5 to 4.9 per cent – with these incredibly low interest rates, lenders are battling it out like retailers in the summer sales. Except that these deals are not so easy to bag, as a Comparis analysis shows.

The poster shows a dark-haired man with a moustache and a dazzling smile. One of his upper incisors is missing. eny Finance uses this drawing to advertise that there is a way he can resolve his cosmetic problem – with a personal loan at the low rate of 4.5 per cent. But what is the reality behind this dazzling advertisement?   

The fact is that the sale of personal loans is a highly competitive business. The low interest rates often advertised by banks are usually what are known as "headline rates". These low rates are usually only available under very specific conditions, which don't apply to the majority of those looking for a loan.

In addition, a good credit rating is required. But what is that, actually?

Good credit rating

Whenever anyone applies for a loan, banks carry out a credit check. This is how they establish whether a borrower will be able to pay back the sum of money borrowed. 

They check whether the potential client earns enough money and assess so-called risk factors such as age, nationality, residence status, place of residence and how often someone changes job or moves home. 

Many banks use a statistical model known as a credit score. The higher the score, the better the creditworthiness. What's more, each bank has its own scoring system.  

To what extent does this apply to the rates currently on offer? To find out, comparis.ch analyzed over 80,000 loan applications. In the following sections, we identify those who can actually benefit from the discounted interest rates currently on offer.

Eny Finance from 4.5 per cent

Even though the criteria stipulated by the Zurich-based company (10 employees) are largely transparent, only a minority of applicants can enjoy the 4.5 per cent rate advertised. This is because only 28 per cent of all applications are for amounts above 30,000 francs. In addition, more than half of applicants do not satisfy the minimum salary requirement of 6,000 francs per month. If you then take into account the type of employment contract and the debt record, that only leaves some 11 per cent of applicants who would be eligible for this offer.  

BANK-now from 4.5 per cent

The advertised product, Credit-Now Casa, is aimed exclusively at borrowers who have owned their own home for at least six months. To be granted a loan at a rate of 4.5 per cent, the client must also achieve a very high internal credit score. There are very few people who actually meet these criteria. For this reason, most home owners will be offered interest rates of between 5.9 and 6.9 per cent instead, while those in rented accommodation are looking at rates of 7.9 to 9.9 per cent. 

Cashgate from 4.9 per cent

The Zurich-based company specializing in loans and leasing stipulates a minimum income of 4,500 francs in addition to the general criteria described above. Additional requirements are a loan amount of at least 20,000 francs and ownership of residential property. In other words, the 4.9 per cent loan is only available to home owners, which only represent 14 per cent of all loan applications. This means that this offer is only aimed at a minority of applicants as well.

bob Finance from 4.5 per cent

To be eligible for the advertised rate of 4.9 per cent, the Fintech subsidiary of the kiosk operator Valora requires a minimum income of 4,500 francs net and the taking on of an existing loan with a residual debt of 5,000 francs – in addition to the general criteria. The applicant will also need an excellent credit rating. To determine this, the company calculates an internal score, which must be extremely high. Accordingly, following a Comparis analysis, this low-rate offer is likely to be a possibility for very few applicants as well. 

Conclusion

It’s not just the advertising campaign of eny Finance that comes with “cosmetic problems”. This analysis shows that other lenders are also only offering rates that are realistically achievable for a minority of applicants. And if that wasn't enough, if you unknowingly apply for a loan online, you run the risk of receiving a negative entry at the Central Office for Credit Information (ZEK) if you are rejected. This entry has a negative impact on your credit rating and will reduce your chances of being approved for a loan in future.

This is precisely where comparis.ch and its comprehensive loan comparison service comes in. Thanks to the team of experts at its partner service Credaris, comparing lenders at comparis.ch ensures easy and risk-free access to personal loans. With no dazzling smiles, and no gaps.