Record number of Swiss reported to be in excessive debt

Men are significantly more in debt than women in Switzerland Keystone

The number of people overburdened with debt continues to increase in Switzerland, particularly in the French-speaking part of the country. While a large majority manage to settle their debts, a minority do not, finding themselves in a bad position. 

This content was published on September 19, 2019 - 09:15

Around 561,000 people are over-indebted in Switzerland, 118,000 more than in 2016, according to financial consultants CRIF and online price-comparison service At 6.5%, the rate is higher than ever, they said in a statement published on Thursday.

The situation is “particularly alarming” in French-speaking Switzerland: Neuchâtel has the highest debtor rate (10.9%), followed by Geneva (10.4%). In contrast, Appenzell Inner Rhodes reported 1.6% and Uri 3%. 

Men are significantly more in debt than women, although between the ages of 18 and 25 men and women are almost equally in the red. 

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“Debt is becoming commonplace for an ever-increasing number of adults. Many people would rather have everything right now than worry about what will happen tomorrow or the day after,” warns Michael Kuhn from 

The debtor rate includes all individuals residing in Switzerland who have ever had to declare bankruptcy, who have had assets seized, who hold a deed of default or who are in the process of having debts collected. 

According to Comparis, about 13% of Swiss have already been refused credit. Kuhn notes that “almost a third are unaware that unfavourable solvency is often a reason for rejection”. He adds that not being able to honour payments “also restricts the people concerned on a daily basis, for example when it comes to buying online”.

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