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Briefly explained: What is the Schufa?

If you have a negative entry with the Schufa, it is difficult to get a loan, one hears again and again. What is the truth of this claim? And what is the Schufa actually?

Schufa is the abbreviation for "Protection Association for General Loan Protection". This private credit agency has existed since 1927 and is the largest of its kind in Germany. Schufa collects and stores information about payment obligations, account details and current consumer contracts. From this, she determines a point value that indicates the creditworthiness of the person concerned - the score. For example, credit institutes are interested in this if a customer wants to finance a car or furniture. However, the score is also important in online trading when sales are made against an invoice. Or with a mobile phone contract that allows calls to be made before the bill arrives.

What matters for lending

Practically every credit institution as a rule asks the Schufa about the creditworthiness of the customer when he applies for a loan. Whether or under what conditions the customer receives the loan does not only depend on his Schufa score. It is also essential to assess whether the customer will likely be in a position to meet the resulting credit obligations in the long term - in accordance with his or her financial capacity. In addition to the Schufa score, other factors are included in the credit decision of the institute, for example what experiences the customer has had in the past.

Important to know

You have the right to call up your data stored by Schufa once a year free of charge. To do this, you order the "data overview according to ยง 34 BDSG". Such Schufa information should be requested before applying for a loan. Because incorrect or outdated entries can lead to poorer credit terms. According to Section 35 of the Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG), the data can be corrected, blocked or deleted. An informal cover letter to the Schufa, in which you specifically describe what is wrong, is sufficient.