SCHUFA: Germany’s largest credit bureau
SCHUFA is Germany’s largest an best-known credit bureau, supported by creditors. It has records of 67.5 million natural persons plus 5.4 million companies. Its’ purpose is to protect creditors from credit risks. Based on statistical analysis, SCHUFA will determine the creditworthiness of individuals.
In Germany, many banks cooperate with SCHUFA. As soon as you apply for a current account including overdraft or any kind of credit, there will probably be a background check with SCHUFA.
For different purposes, the SCHUFA calculates specific “scores”, called “Branchenscores” in German.
For example, a score value of 93,71% means that there is a 6,29% chance that you won’t pay back your credit without complications.
The higher your score, the the better your credit worthiness; you’ll probably get better conditions (lower interest rates).
How the credit scores will affect you
Your personal credit scores will most likely determine the rate of interest you have to pay your creditors. In cases of really bad credit scores or credit history, you won’t even be eligible applying for a credit.
Know your specific credit scores
Managing millions of records, the SCHUFA is not infallible.
Because erraneous data can potentially harm your financial lifestyle, it’s recommended that you check your data at least annually.
SCHUFA is required by law (§34 Bundesdatenschutzgesetz) to grant you the following rights:
- The right to access personal information an organisation holds on you
- The right to have inaccuracies corrected
- The right to have information erased
How to access the data SCHUFA holds on you:
If you request your personal records for the first time, be sure to attach the following documents to your request:
- copy of your ID card or passport (back and front).
- proof of address (“Meldebescheinigung”): only needed if your ID does not contain that information.
Klick here to find a template letter. Or just use the following text block:
Anforderung Datenauskunft nach § 34 BDSG
Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,
auf der Grundlage von § 34 I, IV BDSG bitte ich unentgeltlich um Auskunft über sämtliche
über mich gespeicherten Daten. Sollten Sie außerdem Scorewerte erfassen, bitte ich um die
Nennung meiner tagesaktuellen Scorewerte, sowie um nachvollziehbare und verständliche
Information über die für dieses Scoring genutzten Daten, Datenarten, das Zustandekommen
der Zahlenwerte und ihre Bedeutung.
Darüber hinaus bitte ich Sie um Mitteilung über die innerhalb der letzten zwölf Monate
an Dritte übermittelten personenbezogenen Daten, den Grund der Übermittlungen, sowie
die Benennung dieser Dritten mit Name und letztbekannter Anschrift.
Mit freundlichem Gruß
Send your request either by snail mail, telefax or email to:
SCHUFA Holding AG
Tel.: +49 611 – 9278-0
Fax: +49 611 – 9278-109
It will take approximately two weeks for SCHUFA to respond. Together with your personal credit scores, you will get a personalized record identification number (“SCHUFA-Datensatznummer”). Using that number for future correspondence with SCHUFA, you need no longer send proof of address or ID copies.
Structure of your §34 BDSG report
The letter you will receive consists of three parts:
- personal info including your names, past addresses, place of birth and your personalized record number
- part I) credit scores transmitted to business partners within the last 12 months
- part II) Your latest credit scores
Please make sure that you get all parts. If one part is missing, request it per email.
Klick here to see an example of a personal data record.
- Get your personal record annually. Check for errors, and let SCHUFA correct them.
- Before applying for current accounts, installment loans, credit cards etc.: know your credit scores.
- Some creditors provide installment loans which are independent from your SCHUFA credit scores, e.g. Deutsche Kreditbank AG. In case of bad credit scores, it might be a good idea to apply for that kind of installment loan.
- Only request data according to §34 BDSG. SCHUFA also promotes the so-called ‘SCHUFA Credit-report’. It’s expensive and worthless, as it doesn’t come with your personal credit scores.
- The ‘base score’ (‘Basisscore’) which you will find in your §34 BDSG report is meaningless for our purposes. No-one except yourself will ever see it.