Glimpse of a debt counselling session
Glimpse of a debt counselling session

Debt counselling

The prevention and advice work offered by Caritas opens up new prospects for people in debt

People in financial difficulties have more health problems, struggle with tensions in the family, may lose their job and end up claiming social welfare. Caritas’ prevention and counselling work opens up new prospects for people in debt. 

In Switzerland, around 690'000 people, or 8.1% of the population,  live in a household with several payment arrears. People on a low income, single parents, large families and people with a migration background are disproportionately affected, according to the Federal Statistical Office. The causes  of over-indebtedness are often life-changing events such as a divorce, an accident or illness

Are you looking for support? 

Contact the Caritas debt counselling service.

Caritas’ prevention and advice work 

Jointly with its regional partner organisations, Caritas Switzerland is engaged in debt prevention as well as in providing information and advice to those affected.  

«Together with the clients seeking advice I draw up a plan to reduce the debts and a budget.  In this way, I help people to regain their courage and to have a vision of the future.»Lorenz BertschDebt counsellor 

Debt counselling 

The sooner debt problems are addressed, the better the chances of finding a way out of debt. The Caritas debt counselling service gives information about possible solutions and helps to put them into practice with the following offers. 

Debt  prevention as a school subject

youngCaritas offers school visits on the subject of debt. Over a period of two to three lessons, they jointly explore  possible debt traps with the students, how debts can be avoided, and reflect their own attitudes to money and consumption. 

Information material for government agencies and institutions 

Government agencies, institutions and enterprises can order information material about the «SOS Debt» hotline. By providing information about «SOS Debt», they offer a valuable service for people with debt problems.

Support for specialist agencies 

Employees of the members of the umbrella organisation for debt advice in Switzerland receive specialist legal advice on specific questions relating to their work with clients. With the "Neustart" project, there is also a fund in cooperation with Alternative Bank Switzerland that members can draw on to support clients with interest-free loans for debt relief and financing legal costs.

More information


Debt Counselling

Caritas SwitzerlandAdligenswilerstrasse 15
P.O. Box
CH-6002 Lucerne

Header image: Glimpse of a debt counselling session © Thomas Plain