What is SCHUFA : your credit record

SCHUFA Holding AG is the name of a private company keeping credit records of individuals in Germany.

What is schufa


What is SCHUFA : a somewhat intrusive credit record

The company will track all bills or  fines you might have left unpaid and put them in your credit record history. That’s why people say “SCHUFA” , they often mean the record held by the company.

Your record will be check by companies like Deutsche Telekom when opening a phone account or by your bank when you apply for a loan. They will then be able to tell if you have debts or not and if you can be trusted as a customer.

The company is basically rating your ability to pay your bills. This record (called SCHUFA Auskunft) will follow you everywhere as consumer in your everyday life, you‘d better keep it clean !

As a foreigner, it will be automatically created when you have completed your Anmeldung at the Bürgeramt, opened a bank account, and subscribed to a first contract like for an internet line for example.


What is SCHUFA : an efficient way to limit your debts

The cleanest SCHUFA score you get at the beginning is rated at 100% . If you don’t pay your bills, this score will decrease accordingly to how much you have been naughty. If it does, it can limit your ability to undertake other contracts which can be frustrating. However, this system is preventing that you become overwhelmed by debts overtime. However, even if you pay all your debts, your score will go down a few percents for some reason. It is completely fine to have score down to 92% for example.

Dont forget to pay on time !

That’s not all bad you see ?! Schufa actually stands for : “Schutzorganisation für Allgemeine Kreditsicherung” which roughly translates to “organisation for general credit safety protection”

As a foreigner, try to “populate” your record with positive entries by paying your phone bills, electricity and gas bills  and so on. It will come handy when you will want to apply to a loan in the bank. In my experience, even if you have been for a while in Germany, if your SCHUFA Auskunft doesn’t look clean, it will be hard to convince your bank.

Landlords ask also very often your credit record to be able to rent a flat.

What should i do if i get a negative entry in my SCHUFA record?

Their FAQs on the matter is not giving any magic formula unfortunately. The only thing you can do is try to resolve the cause of that negative entry as soon as possible and keep the rest of your financial related affairs in order. This mainly means paying all your bills and credits in time, and never use your overdraft possibilities if possible.

Negative records are impacting your score up to 3 years after you resolved your unpaid bills case and it can be kept as a “FYI side note” for up to 6 years overall. Here is a more detailed table.

Information entryHow long it stays in your record
Entries about credits / loans3 years after paying it back
Credit / loan requests12 months after request
Entries about your current bank accounts and credit cardsWhen closing the account
Requests from third-party companies12 months after request at the latest.
Entries about paying your bills late3 years or 4 years in case of unresolved disputes or longer sometimes.
Entries coming from the Amtsgericht concerning your possible debts3 years or sooner if debt has been declared resolved by the Amtsgericht.
Customer accounts with third-party companies3 years

How do i keep my score high?

To keep a good SCHUFA score (above 90%), those are the few recommended things:

  • Don’t open too many bank accounts in different banks and limit the amount of credit cards you own
  • Don’t switch bank account too often
  • If possible, try to keep healthy reserve in the accounts you own
  • Pay your bills on time
  • Check your SCHUFA-score once a year and correct any mistakes you might see

Help, i am stuck: I need a SCHUFA record to rent a flat, but i can’t get one until i’m registered somewhere

This is typical chicken-&-egg situation for many foreigners moving to Germany: landlords ask for a SCHUFA record for you to rent their flat, but you don’t have one since you are not registered (Anmeldung) and can’t open a bank account… because you don’t have a place yet. If you are in this situation, you might want to go for a flat share (WG) and register there until you find your own place. You can also turn to services like Wunderflats, which lets you rent furnished flats without a SCHUFA record.

Tip 1 : You can order a record from the company directly on the following website. It costs only 24,95€. (click on Bonitätauskunft on the homepage) : https://www.meineschufa.de/ . Some Postbank centers do offer to print one for you on the spot as well for the same fee. No need to be a Postbank customer.

However, you are entitled to one free record per year that you can also get from the same website here. On this page, click “Jetzt bestellen” on the right “Datenkopie (nach Art. 15 DS-GVO)” column. Enter your data on the page that follows. You will be able to upload a copy of your passport (“Dokumentupload” > “Kopie des Reisepasses”) and a copy your Meldebescheinigung with it.

Tip 2 : The SCHUFA will hold information about you long after you leave Germany and at a European level too. If you plan to leave unpaid bills behind and then come back to Germany, you might have to think twice before doing it. It could become harsh back fire in the near future.

Tip 3 : This system makes that your personal wealth, your personal property or yearly income doesn’t have any influence on your record ! You could be the richest man in the world but still have the worst record if you didn’t pay your bills. Just bear that in mind.


  • Reply Md Romel Hasnat 10/08/2016 at 23:49

    Hi, I have been order for a credit card but they denied me. They are saying I have a schufa issue. As far I know I have never been left any bills unpaid. I just registered for the house in Berlin for one month. But house owner used to pay the bills. It is so confusing and disappointing to me.

    Now how can I check and clear my schufa issue easily. Expecting a fruitful suggestion.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 11/08/2016 at 10:48

      It also happened to me even though my SCHUFA record had a good score. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of time, maybe one month of history is not enough for your bank. If you think there has been a mistake on your record, you need to order a copy of and check for false entries.

  • Reply shoaib 07/08/2016 at 18:19

    hi plz tell me my score in 91.02%. how can i get back 100% ?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 08/08/2016 at 09:58

      To my knowledge, an 100% score is impossible to achieve. A score between 90% and 95% is “satisfying up to increased risks” in the eyes of the SCHUFA.

  • Reply Peter Rof 03/08/2016 at 21:49

    Hi guys, I’d really appreciate some advise. I had a flat rented with another person in Berlin and we were both in the contract. It happened that I had to leave the country and this person agreed on assuming the two remaining months of the notice. So I did my de-registration from Berlin on December and formalized via email the responsibility for the flat being his for the 2 remaining months, which he agreed. On Frebruary, after the flat was given back I emailed him asking if it was all ok and he said so. Now, 6 months later, I went to the real estate company and discovered this person never paid the December and January rent, plus bills. The debt is over 2000 euros and he blocked me from any contact medium. I am concerned about my Schufa, should I assume this debt by myself? Is there any legal action that can be taken considering I have the email he agreed on this and the fact that I was not even registered in Berlin anymore?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 04/08/2016 at 11:19

      Just opinion, see a specialist for lawful advices: I think that being unregistered in Germany doesn’t hold any legal grounds and it doesn’t protect you from legal actions. The fact that you have a written proof that he agreed to paying the 2 months alone might help to convince the real estate company that you behaved in good faith. However, i think you are probably still tied to them by the tenancy contract and might not care about that. See what the contract says. It probably says that in case of unpaid bills, one of you has to cover for the other. Please see someone more qualified about this.

  • Reply Matt Devine 03/08/2016 at 21:28

    Hi, I’ve just started working full time in Berlin, just opened a Number 26 account but I don’t currently have a permanent address, just staying with friends whilst apartment hunting. What address should I put on my Schufa application? My friends place? the address of my work? Something else? Thanks!

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 04/08/2016 at 11:13

      If you have done your Anmeldung with either of those address, yes. Otherwise, wait until you have a more permanent one.

  • Reply Elias 02/08/2016 at 18:22

    I have a small question.. I was working in Dubai before I move to Germany and I lost my work there before I finish some credit payments, when I went to the bank in germany to open an account they said to me that my name is listed in SCHUFA because of somega reasons they don’t really know … is it possible to put my name in SCHUFA because of some missing payments outside Germany

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 03/08/2016 at 11:09

      SCHUFA AG is working with other institutions outside of Germany and can receive information from them in some EU countries. (see here for example). However, i find hard to believe information is exchanged with Dubai. Were you not able to open a bank account because of that?

      • Reply Elias 04/08/2016 at 18:37

        Yes I couldn’t open an account because of that

  • Reply Bridget 19/07/2016 at 06:56

    I wanted to check regarding the SCHUFA and residence permit correlation. Namely, i have a permanent working contract and my residence permit is expiring in few months. I have not been very accurate with paying my bills and i still have some that i need to see how to resolve. Could this impact the prolongation of my residence permit?


    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 20/07/2016 at 10:50

      I’m afraid i can only give you an opinion on visa related matters. They are really on case-by-case basis. I think that unless it’s written in the requirements for a residence permit, a sufficient SCHUFA score is not taken into account. I believe that sufficient means and a stable situation is what they look at (bank account & work contract). Also consider the amount of unpaid bills, if they are relatively minor, it should be fine.

  • Reply Jorge 09/07/2016 at 13:24

    Hi, if I have an unpaid bank debt since 2010, does it still show in my schufa report? If yes, how long does it take until it dissappears given no solution has been agreed with the bank?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 10/07/2016 at 11:35

      As mentioned in the article; yes it does probably show but the only way to be sure is to request your record with them.

  • Reply Milica 08/07/2016 at 13:59

    Hi 🙂

    As someone who s still outside of the Germany, but planning on moving as soon as i get my working visa approved in the next three weeks, what are my chances on renting an apartment? I found out that almost every owner demands Schufa, and I, due to situation still being outside of the country, not working at the moment I m asking for the apartment, dont have it 🙁 I dont know how to resolve this, is Airbnb my best chance in the first couple of weeks? also, for getting schufa i need to be registered, for registration i need an apartment, that i cant get without schufa … I m a bit lost, halp 😀

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 08/07/2016 at 17:42

      Yes, you might need to start with a hostel/couch surfing/AirBnB in the first couple of weeks. Then it’s usually easier to find a WG first to get all administration things settled, schufa included. Once you have a better “profile” for landlords, you will have better chances for your own apartment. Alternatively, solutions like Wunderflats rent furnished flats and don’t require SCHUFA, but it’s more expensive.

  • Reply Dhira 23/06/2016 at 13:28


    Thanks for this info! SO GREAT!

    I have a question, do SCHUFA also take GEZ/ZDF into account in their tracking?

    The GEZ/ZDF was still a “grey” area back then and I still have some bills (hilarously big ones) coming to my registered address even my WG already paid for GEZ/ZDF.

    If SCHUFA also take GEZ/ZDF into account then I might have a bad SCHUFA rating 🙁

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 23/06/2016 at 15:20

      It probably does. Don’t forget that you can let GEZ know that your household already pays for it. It should then clear your case in their database. If you aren’t sure if it affected your SCHUFA score, maybe order a free Auskunft to check?

      • Reply Dhira 23/06/2016 at 19:41

        Yes, my flatmates told me that we’ve paid already for the flat. So, I’m going to try to clear this GEZ thing.

        Btw, how long does it take to receive the Free SCHUFA and the paid SCHUFA? I’m currently on the Flat hunt now and would like to have a SCHUFA as soon as possible.

        Cheers mate you’ve made my day!

        • Reply Dhira 23/06/2016 at 19:49

          Ah sorry just read the other comments, the paper result could take 10 days and if I look at immobilienscout24, it says only in 3 minutes 😀

  • Reply Anna Marie 22/06/2016 at 21:44

    Hi. Hoping you can help us. How do we get a Schufa without a German ID card? The verification process online requires and I’d card and we have only uk passports. Many thanks in advance. Anna

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 23/06/2016 at 15:18

      IDs from other countries are also accepted if you use the free option (order by post) with your Meldebescheinigung. Maybe it’s an online only requirement? If you need it right away, don’t forget that you can go to any Postbank and ask for it there (paid option). Alternative online solution is through ImmobilienScout24. Go to their homepage and scroll down to see the Schufa Auskunft option in the footer (Under Umziehen).

  • Reply Keith 14/06/2016 at 11:00

    Hope things are going well with you.
    I’ve got a Schufa record and I can see all history such as credit card application, credit check by other parties for monthly installment payment.
    Am now wondering it’d affect my credit score?
    Additionally in conclusion (Schufa-Basisscore), it says ‘ Ein Basisscore wurde nicht berechnet. What does that mean? Is it bad or negative?
    Just FYI, I moved to Germany a month ago.

    Thank you for your answer in advance.

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 14/06/2016 at 14:46

      It means that they don’t have enough history to calculate your credit score. It’s not negative neither positive.

  • Reply Brittany 06/06/2016 at 21:48

    Do you know how long it takes to receive the paper once you’ve paid? And where it is sent? We are currently in Canada and need the form here as soon as possible. Canadian credit checks can be done and the credit is seen immediately online, is there anything similar in Germany?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 07/06/2016 at 09:40

      It can take up to 10 days for people located in Germany, so i guess it will be a bit longer than that for you in Canada. If you click to ImmobilienScout24 here, and scroll down their homepage to “Rund um die Immobilie > Umziehen > Schufa Auskunft”, you can obtain something online right away..

  • Reply Ipa 03/06/2016 at 09:33

    Hi there .. If i have a negative entry in schufa .. Ow long does it take to have a clean score again?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 03/06/2016 at 09:47

      You answer is in their FAQ. It takes 3 years for a negative entry to be “cleared” from the day your credit/debts case was resolved but the incident/history this entry created is still visible as a note in your record for a maximum of 6 years. Have a look for more details.

  • Reply Mariya Lozanova 03/06/2016 at 00:26


    Two days ago I ordered a Schufa report from the site . I expected to receive an e-mail or some kind of confirmation…but I got nothing. Should I try one more time or that is normal?


    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 03/06/2016 at 09:37

      I think it is but maybe get in touch with their customer support to be sure it went through.

  • Reply Theodor 27/05/2016 at 18:41

    Hello friends! I have a question 🙂 . I live in Germany for 7 months, I have a bank acc in Post Bank, AoK health insurrance, I pay all of my taxes and I have a job for a 4 months. My question is: is this regular income from my job effect my SHUFA in a possitive? I ask because I have a plan to apply for a little loan to buy a computer, If the bank see that I have an adress registration and job is it possible to be aprove for this loan?
    Best wishes! 🙂

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 28/05/2016 at 11:05

      As i understand the Schufa scoring system, income doesn’t have an impact, only paid/unpaid bills. If you have paid all your internet, electricity, phone bills in time, then you schufa score should be good enough.

  • Reply Marouane 27/05/2016 at 09:10

    Hello and thank you for this article.
    When a new comer arrives, how much time does it take to “build” the schufa record?
    (Because, as far as I can see, some Banks refuses account opening for lack of Schufa inormation.)
    Thank you very much.

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 27/05/2016 at 10:15

      I can’t give you a precise answer on this. Probably several weeks.

  • Reply Eze 25/05/2016 at 20:25

    I am wondering.
    i`ve just arrived in Feb in berlin. i came from brazil
    got a 2 years student visa, paid 40k for a uni course, got my address registered, got insurance, got bank account

    today i`ve tried to do a mobile phone plan, and it was denied by SCHUFA according to the woman at the vodafone shop! what does that means?? do i have a bad credit grade?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 26/05/2016 at 10:25

      Yes, this can sometimes happen. I mentioned it here on the page dedicated to mobile phone plans in Germany already. I assume that you wanted to have a phone together with the phone plan? Then Vodafone is making a credit for the phone that you pay back every month, this is where it stuck with your Schufa record probably. Maybe just have the SIM card for now and buy a cheap phone elsewhere like on AsGoodasNew for example. Is this your situation?

  • Reply Barbara 19/05/2016 at 17:05


    I have a question, does Schufa record also the credits of companies?


    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 19/05/2016 at 22:58

      What do you mean by this?

  • Reply reza 08/05/2016 at 12:07

    I have two questions about the free method that you have mentioned in your post. I downloaded the PDF version of the form and now my questions are:
    1- In “Other information” part in the paper form, should I check the “Current scores” or not?
    2- Don’t I need to fill “Bank account data” part if I want to take a free copy of the Schufa?


    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 08/05/2016 at 19:36

      1- yes
      2- no

      • Reply Fasih 18/05/2016 at 00:35

        Hey I have a question
        I need criminal record I was lived in germeny as Ayslum seeker so I get the Mobile contracts i was pay money the every month unfortunately I left the country because of my Mother was very Sick So now I want to get my criminal record, can you tell me if I get criminal record is it problems in my records let me know I’m waiting for your answer thank you

        • Reply settle_in_Berlin 18/05/2016 at 09:44

          Hi Fasih. I’m not sure if understood correctly. I think you are talking about your credit record and not your criminal record. I can only help with the credit record. :).
          In your case, if you paid your mobile contract every month, even after leaving the country, your record should be fine. If you stopped paying, it will probably show on it.
          (Advice: Leaving the country is enough to be able to stop a contract with a mobile provider)

  • Reply Ozren 07/05/2016 at 12:32

    I live in Berlin for six months. Now I am looking for apartment and I must have Schufa. I have anything that is need to get it. My question is, because I don’t speak German very well, is there an option, when you order Schufa online, that I can get in on my mail?
    Thank You.
    Kind Regards,

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 07/05/2016 at 13:50

      Yes, if you click on the link in the article and click on the English flag, you order it via an English form and receive it by mail. Not email –> mail.

  • Reply David Sanderson 28/04/2016 at 14:07

    Hi myself and my partner have moved to Berlin, we want our own flat, we need a schufa, first Shufa is free right?

    Q1. Joining up its free but then do we have to pay the twenty something euro fee down the line? or do we write to them stating we want to cancel our contract straight after we get our completed schufa back ?
    Q2. Coming from the UK and Canada we will be using our national bank accounts for our credit checks is this correct?
    Curveball Question, can you have a guarantor from north America for a flat in Berlin/Germany?

    thanks for responding

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 28/04/2016 at 14:25

      No need to subscribe to their service. You are entitled to a free report a year by filling up the form. Schufa company has access to a lot of records outside of Germany, impossible to know what data they have access to. You will likely get a blank schufa report back. For buying a flat in Germany, check this step-by-step guide i did.

      • Reply William 27/05/2016 at 17:01

        Please, the link for the English download (free order) does not work.
        The document that is downloaded upon clicking on it cannot be opened or accessed.
        Can you help.
        Thank you.

        • Reply settle_in_Berlin 28/05/2016 at 11:07

          It works fine on my computer. Maybe something wrong with your PDF reader ?

  • Reply marjan 12/04/2016 at 02:56

    a question: I’ll be going to Germany in summer, but how can I get Schufa if I don’t live yet in Germany (don’t have paid or unpaid bills yet) and to get a proper apartment I’ll need this credit record? It looks to me like a dead end – you cannot have Schufa if you don’t live in Germany but you cannot live in Germany if you don’t have Schufa. Can you help me with this?
    Thank’s in advance

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 12/04/2016 at 11:41

      You are right. It’s a bit of egg & chicken situation. Usually, subrenting or going for flat share is a way around.

      • Reply Filip 15/08/2016 at 23:33

        How is that for a solution? In a WG you also need a contract and therefore a SCHUFA-Auskunft!
        Let’s say I was studying in Germany for a year, living at dorm. Now, another year has passed. Can I use my over a year old Abmeldebescheinigung for the SCHUFA?

        • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 16/08/2016 at 10:05

          Although it has become more common, far from all WGs ask for a SCHUFA record. Maybe other people reading this comment can let us know if they are asked that every time. It would be interesting for have more data on this. As for your question: We know that SCHUFA is keeping your records for a few years so i’d give it a try yes. Did you have then a local bank account? Did you close it when leaving?

  • Reply reza 10/04/2016 at 14:05

    Hi. I have some questions about cancellation of my online ordered Schufa! The day after filling online form, I read your post completely and I understood that I can take one free copy of my Schufa instead of paying 24.95 euros!! So I decide to cancel my online ordering. how can I do that? does the cancellation process has cost? Somebody told me that within 14 days after filling the online form I have right to cancel my order. is that correct? If yes, how can I do that?
    The second question, if I cancel my online order and try to apply for hard copy procedure (filling a PDF form and sending this filled form + a hard copy of my passport and hard copy of my registration certificate to Schufa address), how long does it take to receive my Schufa record?


    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 11/04/2016 at 10:05

      Just get in touch with the support team to cancel the order. It takes anywhere between 1 to 3 weeks to receive the paper.

  • Reply reza 05/04/2016 at 18:45

    For how long is the Schufa paper valid? Does it have any expiration date?
    And my second question, I have taken student loan and I am paying back my installments monthly (according to my contract, the company is taking its money from my bank account as installment) , now my question is that this loan is recorded as a debt? or does it have any effect in my Schufa?


    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 05/04/2016 at 20:36

      A loan is a loan so if you pay it back in a timely manner, it’s not considered as a debt. It doesn’t have an expiry date per say, but it’s like for income statements; landlords wants to see the most recent one. Probably under 12 months.

      • Reply reza 09/04/2016 at 00:40

        Aha! Thanks 🙂

  • Reply 4 dirty tricks Berlin landlords might try to pull on you • 04/04/2016 at 16:01

    […] What is Schufa : your credit record […]

  • Reply Eva 23/03/2016 at 21:03

    I got a job starting 1st April in Berlin and a few promising apartments to rent.
    I opened a number26 german account and the card was delivered to my friend’s address in Berlin.
    So I have an bank account but not a registered German address. I’m an EU citizen.
    Can I actually apply for schufa without a German address or just use my friend’s address?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 24/03/2016 at 20:23

      I don’t there is any Schufa record on you in this case. You need to be registered in Germany.

      • Reply Eva 24/03/2016 at 20:33

        well I called Schufa today and they found me an English speaking guy. No need to have a German address but a German bank account is necessary. So they’ll post my schufa to Hungary in 10 days.

        • Reply settle_in_Berlin 26/03/2016 at 09:33

          Ok thanks for the extra details Eva. If Number26 doesn’t require an Anmeldungsbestätigung to open an account, then no need to be registered indeed.

          • Andrea 20/04/2016 at 12:20

            Hello, thanks for your precious posts and informations.
            I were curious if at the end Eva received her Schufa at her Hungarian address.
            I am in a very similar situation now and I could solve a problem with this information…
            Thank you.
            Have a nice day.

  • Reply Radu R 22/03/2016 at 19:44

    Hi, I have the following problem: I stay with rent and when I first signed the contract with the landlord (a immobiliar company) I forgot to send the direct debit for the electricity company. Meanwhile I tried to apply for a loan but was rejected. Now I know why, cause I have unpaid bills. I have to mention that neither the landlord or the electricity company sent me any bills. I will pay the bills asap but my question is will it affect my Schufa? Will I still be able to take a loan? Thanks!

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 23/03/2016 at 10:58

      The best way to answer that is to obtain a SCHUFA record and see if your score has decreased a lot.

      • Reply Radu R 23/03/2016 at 14:21

        I guess what I’m trying to say is can I fix the problem by simply paying what I owe or I will be seen as a debtor regardless.
        Thank you for the previous answer, I already ordered a Schufa record.

  • Reply Astride C. 16/03/2016 at 03:17


    My boyfriend and I don’t have any debts whatsoever here in Germany. However, there were times when we paid the phones a few days later. Does that count for a bad record or do you you think we should be fine since we don’t owe anything to anybody?

    Thank you for your help!

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 16/03/2016 at 09:46

      I think since it’s a minor offense, you should be fine. However don’t take my word for it and check it for yourself with by ordering a free record.

  • Reply Karine 28/02/2016 at 08:29

    Hey there! I just moved in Berlin in the beginning of January where I opened a German Bank account. Prior to that, I had been moving every 6-months ish around in the US. Since I am looking for renting a flat, I applied for a schufa. I finally got my schufa report with the statement “Es liegen keine gespeicherten informationen zu ihrer person vor”. Is that a good or a bad thing? Can they simply not find any track of me? Thanks !!

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 28/02/2016 at 12:02

      It means “There is no saved information/data about this person”. It’s in itself not a bad thing but not positive either to convince German landlords as they prefer to see a track record. But i guess a blank Auskunft is better than none at all.

      • Reply Karine 28/02/2016 at 12:10

        Thank you for your quick answer! Is it something normal that no reccord in found because I just opened a bank account, or does it mean they aren’t able to identify me properly?

        • Reply settle_in_Berlin 28/02/2016 at 18:19

          It’s normal. No worries.

  • Reply Layne Gray 26/02/2016 at 15:27

    Hi sorry to trouble you but I am really struggling with this. My husband has a job starting at the beginning of April and we will be staying in his woks accommodation for 2-4 weeks. I understand that we need a residence permit then to open a bank account, but how long after we open an account can we get a schufa? We need to get our own accommodation within the first 3 weeks. Do we need to get mobile contracts etc? As we won’t be paying electric or gas bills at our temporary accommodation. I am trying to understand all of this before we go!. Is it worth getting an online bank account with number26 or commerzbank soon so we have a good month before we arrive? Sorry but I am struggling with the moving process.

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 27/02/2016 at 10:48

      No problem Layne. In theory, you can ask for a Schufa record right away after opening your bank account and having sorted your Anmeldung at the Bürgeramt. What you will get back is probably a blank/clean record, although i can’t tell you for sure. If you aren’t sure about banks you might want to have a look at this, i always recommend DKB to my friends because it’s cheaper, but Commerzbank is a possibility too. Open an account as soon as you can i’d say.

      • Reply Layne Gray 27/02/2016 at 10:52

        As I have noticed, DKB and Number26 cannot be opened in the uk so we need to wait until we have our Berlin address. All this to rent an apartment. I haven’t even started with preschools car tax or insurance or anything else yet. This is just the first hurdle. Yikes!!!

        • Reply settle_in_Berlin 28/02/2016 at 12:00

          Good luck !

  • Reply Milla 25/02/2016 at 09:45

    Hi, just made request for free shufa and took 3,95 post service. Have somebody idea how long it will take before I actually get it? Thanks

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 27/02/2016 at 10:50

      Anywhere between 5-10 business days in general.

  • Reply marine vinsonneau 10/02/2016 at 10:30


    Very interesting, thanks!
    One question tough: on the first link to get it for 24EUR, it says there is a monthly fee of 3.95EUR. What is it?

    Thank you!

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 10/02/2016 at 17:13

      That’s for their subscription offer, which you don’t need to buy to get your certificate. Simply go for SCHUFA-bonitätauskunft.

  • Reply boyan 05/02/2016 at 11:41


    I’m living and working in Germany for 1 and a half year. Now I’ll have to rent an apartment. I haven’t left anything unpaid. Does that mean I have a perfect Schufa and is 1.5 year enough? I was living at a friends place until now.

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 05/02/2016 at 23:02

      Think about all the bills that are in your name in Germany. If nothing is unpaid, then it should be fine. Don’t forget you can ask for a record for free to check.

  • Reply Sophie 28/01/2016 at 16:02

    I am an Australian that has an unpaid bill from when I lived in London from than 9 years ago, will this affect my German Schufa?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 28/01/2016 at 18:03

      Good question. I guess you would be really unlucky if it did but there is always a chance. Do they have a equivalent of Schufa ratings over there ? If no, i guess you’d have good chances that you won’t impacted.

  • Reply Lorraine 11/01/2016 at 16:52

    Hello, I lived in Berlin for one year as part as a study exchange program, I had a German bank account and an anmeldungbescheinigung however I cancelled them both when I returned home after my studies ended. I then came back to Berlin a year later and have been back here for over 6 months now however I have yet to register at the burgeramt as up until now I have only been staying in temporary accommodation where it was not possible to register. Now my boyfriend and I are hoping to get our own flat together. He has a Schufa but I do not, I was wondering if that will be a problem for our applications for flats? I assumed that I cannot get a Schufa until I have an anmeldungbescheinigung, is that correct? This is a problem as I can’t get an anmeldung until I get a flat and I can’t get a Schufa without an anmeldung and I can’t get a flat without a Schufa…vicious circle of German bureaucracy!!

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 12/01/2016 at 10:26

      I suppose one schufa-auskunft is enough if you have one flat together. I just hope your boyfriend’s rating is good enough. As for your case, you will probably “re-open” your schufa rating from back then if you register with the same ID (not sure but probable). They don’t erase files when you leave the country.

  • Reply Seb 03/12/2015 at 18:58

    Do you have an idea how long it approximately takes to get the free schufa after sending in the form?

    I’m fairly surprised to see how much personal information germans are expected to (and willing to!) fork over to get an apartment. For people otherwise very concerned with their privacy…

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 04/12/2015 at 09:44

      Haha, isn’t it ironic. It took up to 2 weeks for me once but that’s just my case.

  • Reply Mark 06/11/2015 at 22:13

    Hellooo, more questions about schufa…plizzzz help..
    Well…I realise that situation in Germany is complitly differnet that in my country.., Croatia..
    My problem is next..I asked in couple of banks for loan..in my bank..where I first asked..they approve the loan..but I canceled the credit..because I found on check.de.. many better offers..so i send couple of them..and they didn’t approve my request..so i decide to go back to my bank..but I found out..that my schufa is not negativ..but I have a bad rating….?!?! what now..?! for how long I will have a bad rating..
    Thanks for answer..

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 07/11/2015 at 10:44

      Hi Mark, is it possible that you just arrived in Germany? Maybe your record history with the Schufa is not long enough to have a good rating ?

      • Reply Mark 07/11/2015 at 11:41

        I’m trying to find out..if does applications for the loan that are on my schufa..right now…can be removed..and for how long they will be there..it is very strange that I can not take a loan..because I have good salary..and not a negative schufa..

    • Reply Mark 07/11/2015 at 10:58

      I don’t know..I’m in Germany since last year..and they approve my request for the loan..

  • Reply Camilla 17/10/2015 at 17:40


    I am currently looking for a flat to rent in Berlin but I find it impossible without a proof of Schufa check. Is there a way to apply for Schufa for my current bank account, which is not a German bank but a Swedish one – as it is through that bank all of my bills etc are being paid through? I have applied for a German bank account and could presumably to a Schufa credit record on that account however it will be more or less empty for a while and to me, that wouldn’t look very good on paper either…


    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 18/10/2015 at 22:45

      Your schufa doesn’t get populated with the “data” provided by your bank account statement i believe but rather with your bills made by German service providers. I don’t know any means to get a SCHUFA record if you don’t have subscribed to any of those. Have you tried asking for paper back home from your previous landlord ?

  • Reply DieLAFrau 10/07/2015 at 00:33

    What about if a SCHUFA entry was made in 2008 and since then it hasn’t been paid? I have been out of the country for three years and was wondering what happens to the debt then? Will it still be on my SCHUFA report?

  • Reply Scott 29/06/2015 at 12:22

    We have just moved over from Australia and are struggling to rent a house as we have no address and can’t apply for SCHUFA to give to prospective land lords. Is there another way around this apart from say starting a contract with a mobile phone?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 04/07/2015 at 12:02

      It can be difficult for foreigners with no track record in Germany to rent their own flat right away. Have a look at this article there where i give a few tips.

      In your case, i would suggest the same solutions i gave in the comments of this article :

      I can see how difficult the situation can look. But despair not ! There are potential solutions.
      Solution 1 : You have money. In this case, when applying for a flat, let the landlord know that you are ready to give an extra 2-3 months worth of deposit to show good faith. Maybe that works. Try to get a paper from your previous landlord with a nice stamp stating you left the contract debt-free. Maybe that helps too even if in English.
      Solution 2 : Short term all-furnished flats. A number of agencies/landlord have furnished flats that they rent to exchange students or similar profiles. They usually limit the contract to 9 months and rent is a bit more expensive, but hey, it’s a foot in the door. At the end of the contract you can ask a Schuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung to conquer your more long-term flat.

      If anyone else has other ideas, do write in. 🙂

  • Reply meil07 02/03/2015 at 11:46


    I’m filling out a SCHUFA form to get it for free. There is a part where I have to fill out my bank details but along with a box to check stating I accept to pay the 25 euros.
    But since I want one for free, should I still fill out my bank details but without checking the box ?

    Thanks a lot for your help!

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 02/03/2015 at 18:54

      Are you sure that’s the correct form ?

      • Reply v1074137 11/03/2015 at 12:40


        I am in germany from couple of years. Due to delay in some debts my name is in negative schufa and now I repayed evrything 4 months back. I want to open a new bank account in german bank, for that they are checking for schufa entry and still it is showing negative.

        So can you please tell me how to get out of this and what I have to do exactly. I am having all the papers which I had repaid my debts.


        • Reply settle_in_Berlin 12/03/2015 at 17:44

          Here it says that in case of small debts, it is possible to do something about it. http://www.banktip.de/rubrik2/20425/schufa-eintrag-loeschen.html
          Otherwise, maybe try to reach out to the organisation you owed debts to before and ask them to remove the negative “Eintrag” they communicated to SCHUFA back then. Those are suggestions only and don’t replace the advice of a professional.

      • Reply ian 10/04/2015 at 10:17

        Hi. I have been working in Berlin since June last year and still have not managed to open a German bank account. I am getting killed by charges form my UK bank and need to sort this out. I need to get a Schufa but when I try to buy one on-line they ask for payment from a German bank account! Anyone else been caught in this circle? any tips on what to do. Thanks.

        • Reply settle_in_Berlin 14/04/2015 at 15:06

          Germany and its love for bureaucracy… The bank is asking for a Schufa record to open your bank account ? For a Giro konto, all you should need is an anmeldungbescheinigung and your passport.

          • ian 14/04/2015 at 15:24

            Thanks for your reply. I’ll certainly try them.

  • Reply i...b 15/01/2015 at 13:58

    I live in Germany for a while with my husband. I have registered my residence when I arrived, but since I don’t work, I did not open my own bank account nor did I sign any contracts/loans…
    Is it possible that Schufa does not have any record on me at all?

  • Reply Sally 28/12/2014 at 20:21

    Does the schufa only collect information about your financial state in Germany or in the whole of the European union and/or the rest of the world?

  • Reply Clement 09/08/2014 at 03:00

    Hi, I need to get Shufa, but was just wondering about a few things.

    Because I’m an EU Citizen for some things I am registered with my ID card,and for other my passport, does it make a difference which one I give them ?
    They have different numbers.

    The only “debts” I can think of, are 1 from BVG because I got caught without my semester ticket,but they insisted on getting my details, I never received any letter so I never bothered to pay anything.

    The other was a dispute with ama zon .de, after I created a German account and made a purchase they automatically signed me up for some premium service, and charged me 25 euros for it, I called them, complained about it so they cancel this premium BS. So I booked my money back. 1 week later they deposit 25 euros, and later billed me for 35 because I had booked that initial payment back… I sent them their 25 euros back, but refused to pay any penalty fees for booking my money back, couldn’t reason with them so they gave this case to some debt collectors firm.. at this point I just ignored all their emails because I felt I was being extorted.

    Would any of this things get me a negative Shufa score ??

    Thanks !

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 10/08/2014 at 18:28

      Hi Clement. I can unfortunately only give you an educated guess on this one as it is difficult to have insights in the company’s grading system. I would assume that for small debts (e.g under 100€), your score will not likely be affected, unless the offenses are repeated. The best thing to do is to ask for a record, as described in the post, and see for yourself.

  • Reply Vittal 24/03/2014 at 13:48

    I am requesting my SCHUFA score today. How long does it take for them to revert?

    I am in Stuttgart

    Some say they got it in 3 days and others say they have not received it since months.

    I have also thought of registering online

  • Reply Mauricio 13/02/2014 at 02:02

    Hi there, I’m moving to Berlin in a few days.

    My particular case is that I found a room in a flatshare for a month while I find something long term. Recently I found a friend who will rent a flat (april 2014) and he asked me for Schufa to give it to the landlord. My question is, arriving late february, after getting a german bank account on early March and doing the Schufa stuff, would give me what my friend has requested to rent the flat?

    Should I need more time? I understand I can get a mobile contract but it would be like one month before giving the Schufa to the landlord. Would that help me to get a flat?

    Thanks a lot.


    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 13/02/2014 at 18:21

      Hard to say, that may give you enough time, depending on how patient the landlord is. The landlord wants to check that you are good payer basically. Another serious proof of that will probably be enough, try a bank statement or maybe a statement from your previous landlord saying that you didn’t leave any debts behind. Also possible if you can afford it, offer to pay 2-4 months in one go, that usually builds trust. 🙂

  • Reply Skittles 20/11/2013 at 21:08

    Hi There!
    I have been living in Berlin for almost 2 years, but I still do not really understand the Schufa process. My apartment block got taken over by a new company a few of months ago, but they did not update the bank details and now I find myself 2 months behind in rent. I can cover one of the months now but I cannot cover 2, I’m worried that I am going to get evicted. I share my flat with another person and they can cover their share. I don’t want to affect their Schufa score.

    Does late rent show up on the Schufa? I don’t see rent as being ‘credit’ in the same way I would a credit card.

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 23/11/2013 at 13:04

      Have a look at what your contract says, if it’s your hausverwaltungs fault then it should be something you can clear out with them. Also, if you haven’t paid rent for 2 months, the money should still be in your account right ?

  • Reply adriana 10/11/2013 at 16:19

    After a few hours of research on various blogs, websites, and even the terrible Schufa website itself, I am still a bit confused about the process. I understand the concept of credit reporting and how a potential landlord would request this information, however I can’t figure out how the website works. Do I need to first register an account and then purchase some sort of “product” that allows me access to this information as a subscription? Than can I simply print out as many copies/reports as I need if I am applying for multiple apartment leases? This is probably a ridiculously stupid question but I would appreciate any insight as this type of practice is totally foreign to me and not used in my home country (US.) Thanks in advance for any information!

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 19/11/2013 at 19:44

      Your credit record is created depending your consumer activity. I only have an assumption to offer here, but i suppose the record is created as soon you register in germany. As stated in the article, you can obtain a copy of your current record, which you can freely copy for whatever purpose.

  • Reply Svetli 06/09/2013 at 10:39

    Hey there!

    we have never lived in Germany but we are planning on moving in a week (exciting!)

    but is the Schufa really created automatically?
    how exactly does that work?

  • Reply Juan Tejeda 03/09/2013 at 03:57

    can you ever fix it if you went into serious debt?

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