The Schutzgemeinschaft für allgemeine Kreditsicherung or simply Schufa is a record of your creditworthiness record created and maintained by Germany’s biggest credit agency; Schufa Holding AG.
Before you jump in to apply for Schufa, did you know that most furnished apartments in Germany ( listed in Spotahome, Wunderflats) do not ask for a Schufa? If you are looking for your first apartment, this can be an effective method.
What is Schufa or a credit score?
Schufa or how likely you are to repay a debt, is a major factor in whether you'll be approved for a credit card, an auto loan or a mortgage. It accounts for your debt, your credit history and your ability to pay back loans.
Generally, the banks will check your Schufa score when you apply for a loan or any kind of credit. In Germany, the landlords will always ask you to provide up to date Schufa information when you approach them to rent an apartment or house to make sure that you have a good reputation repaying the debts.
Your Schufa record is automatically created when you register in Germany.
Your credit score from the country you previously lived does not influence your Schufa score in Germany.
How to apply for Schufa?
The easiest way is to order a Schufa Bonitätsauskunft from meineschufa.de; the official portal of Schufa holdings AG.
Register on the meineschufa portal and create your account. You’ll then be able to request Schufa from the portal.
Additionally, you can also reach out to 0611 – 92780 and request the Schufa Bonitätsauskunft. They may ask you to send your visa or residence permit information to check the personal information and send you a link which you should open to make an online payment. You’ll then receive your Schufa Bonitätsauskunft in post within 2 - 4 business days.
When you order Schufa, make sure that your report is up to date and remember to opt in for an online download.
Additionally, real estate websites such as Immobilienscout24.de offers Schufa service. You can simply go to the website, fill in an online form and make payment using your credit / debit card and order your Schufa.
Schufa information usually costs 29,95€. However, the cost differs if you opt in for additional plans.
All your credit information is governed by GDPR (German Data Protection Act). Therefore, you can trust that your information will not be shared or sold to a third party.
It is an important task to maintain a good Schufa history when you live in Germany. As already stated, you’d require to present your Schufa information for many purposes.
On your way to Germany
You can find all the information you need about living and working in Germany at www.expatova.com.
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