What is Schufa?
The Schufa is your credit score in Germany. If you apply for an apartment, the landlord is going to ask to see your Schufa(among others) to make sure you can pay your rent. Also if you apply for a loan, the credit institution will automatically ping Schufa for your creditworthiness.
How is the Schufa score calculated?
The Schufa AG does not give all details about how they calculate scores. We assume there is a lot of statistical calculations that go into that. Part of the reasons for not being so transparent is also to prevent manipulation by criminals.
However, from the entries that are found on a Schufa document, one can deduce a few factors the Schufa takes into consideration in calculating your score. This includes:
- How often you move your residence
- How many bank accounts you open
- How many credit institutions you approach for loans
- If you pay your bills on time
- Changing your electricity company
- Financing a purchase
- Applications for credit cards
- Employment and Income status
What is a good Schufa score?
The Schufa score is a percentage that indicates how much of a risk you are to a service or credit institution. The higher your score, the better. Here is a break down of what the various ranges mean.
|above 97,5 %||very low risk|
|95 % – 97,5 %||low to manageable risk|
|90 % – 95 %||satisfactory to increased risk|
|80 % – 90 %||significantly increased to high risk|
|50 % – 80 %||very high risk|
|< 50 %||very critical risk|
How to request for your free Schufa
Every year, thanks to GDPR, you are entitled by law to a free copy of your Schufa.
You can read more about the Right of access by the data subject here.
This is how you go about ordering your copy.
Step By step guide to ordering a free credit score in Germany
- Visit the Schufa Data Copy Page
The Schufa does a great job in not promoting this page. Here is a direct link.
- Click on Jetzt Bestellen (Order Now) under Datenkopie
Click on Jetzt Bestellen under Datenkopie (nach Art. 15 DS-GVO). The meineSCHUFA kompakt option is not free.
- Enter your personal Information
Fill out the relevant personal information. If you have moved recently or have a second home, you need to fill the second and third sections as shown below.
- Upload your documents (optional)
To make it easier for Schufa to identify you, you can upload a copy of your ID card, passport and or residential registration(Meldebescheinigung)
- Enter Security Code
Enter the security code at the bottom of the page
- Confirm Order
Click Weiter and confirm. Your Schufa will arrive in 1-2 weeks in the mail.
Frequently Asked Questions
You have the right to ask the Schufa to remove anything. You will need to submit proof. Send them a letter with supporting materials to:
SCHUFA Holding AG
Postfach 10 25 66
Schufa alone should not stop you from opening bank accounts you need. Just do not open a bank account every month.
Negative Schufa will make it hard for you to rent apartment, get loans or even get a phone contract. Once you have negative schufa(usually after filing for private bankrupcy), you will remain in this status for 3 years.
Probably yes! If you call your bank to enquire about a loan, explicitly tell them you are making just an enquiry. Otherwise every time you call for information, Schufa might learn you are going from institution to institution seeking financial help.
Not yet at least.
Schufa is an abbreviation for Schutzgemeinschaft für allgemeine Kreditsicherung.