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 J 01/08/2017 at 14:11

    First of all, thank you so much for all the helpful information on this website. I have some questions about the SCHUFA. I’m going to move and work in Berlin soon, since I’ve got a job there. Now I have found an apartment from an agency for the first a few months so that I can do the Ameldung and open a bank account as soon as I arrive in Berlin. For sure I will receive my salary and transfer money to pay the rent monthly using the bank account, but the apartment I’ve found is an all-inclusive, that means I won’t take electricity or internent contract by myself. And for the mobile, at the moment I think it’s better for me to stay with a prepaid SIM. So in this case, what do you suggest me to do in order to have some record on my SCHUFA?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 02/08/2017 at 12:44

      Hi Jie. Opening a bank account with enough money on it is already a good first step. If you keep it like this for a few months, it should be enough to build a good record but of course a little more bills is preferable.

  • Reply Alice 01/08/2017 at 13:28

    Thanks for your great site.
    Can you advise whether its ok to apply for a bank account online before registering for the Anmeldung? or will this mess up a Schufa?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 01/08/2017 at 18:31

      Hello Alice. You need a proof of residence to open a bank account so you will need to do the Anmeldung first.

      • Reply Nicole 02/08/2017 at 15:59

        I opened an account with N26 prior to arriving in Berlin. All you need is an address where you can receive mail for your debit card. You will need to do an online appointment with them where you show your passport,.

        • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 06/08/2017 at 22:44

          Good to know. Thanks.

        • Reply Hailey 09/08/2017 at 04:34

          Is it possible to get Schufa with N26 account?

          • Bastien - Settle in Berlin 10/08/2017 at 10:19


  • Reply maria 30/07/2017 at 23:56

    does shufa works with almeldung adress or last contract address?
    i mean, do I give the address or automatically shufa picks from some common base data?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 31/07/2017 at 10:05

      Hi Maria. I don’t understand the question. Can you elaborate?

  • Reply Mues 02/07/2017 at 06:56

    Dear Bastien,

    Let me first thank you for your great effort in helping people like us and I hope that you will be blessed with this.

    My story is simple, I lived in Germany from 2006 until 2009 and I left owing money to telkom, banks etc you name it not huge amounts like 20k.
    now I had a reason for that as I was married and my ex wife divorced me therefore my visa was expired and I could not come back to Germany.
    Now I am applying for a family reunion for a Minor German which is my daughter that lives in FFM.

    My questions are?
    1. Is there a possibility that I will be prosecuted in Germany upon my return because of my old debts?
    2. Is there a timeframe that credit offences will disappear like for example I am out of Germany since 2009 so after 8 years can the records still be there?

    Many thanks for your help.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 03/07/2017 at 09:57

      Hi Mues. 20K€ is a huge amount and it makes it still worth it for your bank to process your case and come after you. So even after all this time, you might still be in trouble (Just an opinion; please ask an expert on the matter for professional advice). Regarding the time frame for your SCHUFA record, please have a look at the table in the post for your answers.

  • Reply Roberta 29/06/2017 at 00:05

    So I’m registered in Germany, opening a bank account tomorrow. I haven’t got an employment contract yet and nothing on my name. The flat that I stay in right now is already paid for the 3 months that I agreed to stay. Except of getting a phone contract what else can I do to get a positive score for the SCHUFA so it will be accepted by the next landlord? Is for example, transferring money into the German account from my other EU account going to count as a good record?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 29/06/2017 at 10:03

      Hi Roberta, a healthy bank account and regular bills are a good way to make a good SCHUFA score.

  • Reply Guenter 23/06/2017 at 16:12

    Hi, I left Germany about 21 years ago and moved to Asia. I unregistered myself in Germany. At the time I moved, I lived together with my girlfriend, and we had some outstanding bills, under my name, and I am sure my girlfriend of that time did not continue paying it.
    Now I intent to move back to Germany. Would old debts from that time be still in the Schufa until now?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 26/06/2017 at 10:01

      Hi Guenter. If you refer to the table, it seems that records don’t hold that long. It should not appear.

  • Reply Joe Taylor 13/06/2017 at 13:06

    Hi there, great summary of information. I studied in Germany in 2010/2011 and had a bank account with Sparkasse. I have been asked by a US employer for a credit report for my time spent in Germany – is this possible? As far as I can tell from reading, no report exists unless you are a registered citizen – is this correct?

    Many thanks,


    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 13/06/2017 at 19:34

      Hi Joe, yes this is correct. You’d need to have been registered at the Bürgeramt.

      • Reply Joe Taylor 19/06/2017 at 12:02

        So even if I was previously registered (back in 2010/2011) when I studied there, I could not get a Schufa report now for time spent when I was there?

        • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 19/06/2017 at 20:48

          If you were registered, i guess it’s possible.

  • Reply ROSE 13/06/2017 at 00:32

    Hey, awesome article! I opened a bank account in November and applied for the free schufa in April. I got 01 “ohne score”. I’m not in debt but also my account is not linked to any company that takes money regularly. I’m concerned I won’t be able to get an apartment with that result. Do you think if I apply for a schufa now with the 29 Euro option, there’s a chance I will get a different result?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 13/06/2017 at 10:04

      Hi Rose. This is why i wrote that it makes sense to have some bills being paid by this bank account to populate the record. I don’t think it would make a difference no.

  • Reply Francesca 23/05/2017 at 17:21

    Hi, brilliant website thanks a lot. I am about to move to Berlin for work, so after having the Anmeldung, having opened a bank account and got a phone contract, can I go to a postbank and I will get a Schufa right away to present to landlords? Or do I have to wait to pay some bills before having a Schufa record?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 28/05/2017 at 12:10

      Hi Francesca. Yes it’s better to wait a little bit and have some bills already before asking for a SCHUFA record so it shows good data.

  • Reply Marie Laurence 16/05/2017 at 18:42

    Hi there,

    Thanks so much for the all the information. It’s incredibly helpful. I just received got a SCHUFA from the nearest Postbank and it turns out my score is 89.4% (although I have never even owned a credit card here – I am with N26 and every single payment and bill is automatically debited from my account, and N26 confirmed that I never had insufficient funds to cover a payment). Am I better off looking for an apartment without it or should I still upload it on ImmoScout?

    Thanks again!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 16/05/2017 at 20:50

      Hi Marie. Almost all landlords will ask for it anyway so you don’t have much of choice… but yeah, weird that it’s quite low. It’s normal to never have a perfect score but who knows how all of this works.

  • Reply Tahvo 05/05/2017 at 14:36

    Hello, great site.
    I opened an N26 bank account before I had an address. Afterwards I found a WG and have done Anmeldung. So I have no phone contracts, bills etc linking my N26 account to Anmeldung address.
    If I request a SHUFA now, is there enough information for it to come back OK?
    Is it useful to start a phone contract using N26 to get SHUFA “activated”? Or should I open a bank account at DKB using my Anmeldung address?
    Thanks a lot.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/05/2017 at 10:07

      Hi Tahvo, you can update your postal address in your N26 account and try to have bills going to that account if you can to “populate” to SCHUFA record positively. Opening another bank account might actually impact your score negatively, especially if both accounts are low on reserves.

  • Reply nox 08/04/2017 at 09:27

    Hey! I just wanted to ask if the free version can be considered completely enough regarding landlords. As I wasn’t sure if the paid version is gonna include more detailed informations and therefore the only “valid” prove for landlords.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/04/2017 at 13:45

      Hi Liz. Yes the free version has the the details for your landlord.

  • Reply Marcelo 02/04/2017 at 14:49

    Hi Bastien, do you know what is the best credit card to apply when one is starting to build their SCHUFA history? Thanks for providing this website!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 03/04/2017 at 15:40

      Hi Marcelo. Sorry, no insights on this. You are building history by not having debts; there are no credit cards that is forcing you to do this.

  • Reply Matt 30/03/2017 at 15:48

    Hi Bastien

    Brilliant site. My question is about timeframes from start to finish as I need a SCHUFA ASAP. So Tomorrow I have an appointment for my Anmeldung. Then I was hoping to almost immediately apply for a bank account (i.e. online with DKB or n26) and then follow that-up with an immediate telephone contract (I believe I need this so I get a score rather than a blank on my SCHUFA)? Realistically … following this process how long from the Anmeldung do you think it would take for me to obtain a Schufa with a score (suitable for a landlord)?


    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 03/04/2017 at 15:54

      Hi Matt, this takes a few weeks from what i read on forums and groups.

  • Reply Alice 19/03/2017 at 08:27

    Hi. I went on an internship for 6 months last year and missed about 4 months of my Vodafone Internet payment. I didn’t hear anything from Vodafone until January telling me a debt collection agency will claim the debt. Immediately, I received the letter from the agency, I paid my debts. My issue now is since i missed these 4 months payment, will it habe a huge impact on my SCHUFA score?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 19/03/2017 at 16:03

      Hey Alice. This is to hard to say for me as it works on case-by-case basis. Refer to the table in the article and order a SCHUFA record to see your score’s evolution.

  • Reply Matthew Gillespie 18/03/2017 at 19:12

    Hi Bastien,

    I’m currently in a sublet, have registered and opened a bank account. As I’m subletting, I don’t have any bills in my name, but I am paying the TV licence as required after registering. Do you know if this is enough to ‘kick off’ SCHUFA as the bill element?


    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 19/03/2017 at 16:02

      Hey Matthew, hard to say for sure but i tend to agree with you. I think it will be enough.

  • Reply Kate 16/03/2017 at 13:48

    have a question right here. My friend has a student loan in Germany , he is a German actually. But now had an accident, and he can’t work. He also have to stay in t he hospital for a while . what will happen to his loan? Will they make any adjustment to it? Will they give him consideration? Hope someone here can answer my questions.. thanks a lot in advance

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 16/03/2017 at 17:32

      Hi Kate. Your friend must look into the documents and contracts he signed. There are usually conditions attached to events like this. But it can go both ways; some contracts offer flexibility and some don’t. There are also insurances you can use for those cases (quite common for mortgages for example).

      • Reply Kate 17/03/2017 at 01:46

        Thank you for the information you have provided !! I’m waiting for my Visa right now, these articles right here are very helpful, for migrants like me.

  • Reply Hector 13/03/2017 at 18:10

    Hi Bastien,

    I lived in Germany 10 years ago and had some late payments with Deutsche Bank that I think might have incurred in a bad Schiff report. I currently live in NYC and will be moving to Germany again in the coming months. Is there a way to check the report from abroad and/or pay any potential debts if needed? Or it is only possible with a Meldesbescheiningung? Thanks in advance.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 14/03/2017 at 09:52

      Hello Hector. Paying back debts would only happen if you got in touch with Deutsche Bank directly. As for the report; i’m afraid you won’t be able to check yet/anymore, because you are not registered and don’t have a bank account in Germany. However, if we are only talking about late payments, there is a good chance that your SCHUFA score would be clean today.

  • Reply Angelo 10/03/2017 at 14:49

    Hey Bastien, I own a Gbr. I need to certify that the company has no debts. Is there such thing as a Gewerbe Schufa? Or, since a Gbr is a ‘person company’, I should just do my personal Schufa? Thanks in advance for any help you can give 😉

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 11/03/2017 at 12:46

      Hi Angelo. That’s an interesting question. Looking at this article here, something tells me that you might be right.

  • Reply Avinash 07/03/2017 at 10:53

    Hi Bastian,

    I have a situation where I have a credit card given by company for my business trips , and this sure has a impact of Schufa score. Now the policies of company have changed which makes use of company card for personal use impossible.

    Now when I apply for a personal credit card , then again my score will go down. How do I manage this situation?

    Secondly is score linked to a person? Because I have a mobile contract for my wife linked to my account.

    Thanks in advance

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 07/03/2017 at 12:22

      Hi Avinash. If the credit card was under your company’s account, it shouldn’t impact your score. A personal credit card request might decrease your score slightly in the beginning, but nothing major. The score is always linked to the contract’s owner; if you don’t pay your bills for your wife’s contract, her score will go down.

  • Reply Nanditha Vasudev 04/03/2017 at 16:44


    I paid 29,95 euro in immobilien scout.de and ordered for schufa and got the certificate by post, but when i show this to one of the landlord,he expects something called “basis score” but from where will i get this basis score? Can i get it online ? I just have verification code in the certificate i received.When i try to use that verification code in http://is24.de/bonitaetscheck , i get back the schufa certificate i received. Kindly help.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 05/03/2017 at 16:14

      Hi Nanditha, you can order it directly from the SCHUFA website as mentioned in the post. All steps to take are there too.

  • Reply dave 02/03/2017 at 12:14

    hi I left Germany in 2000, and left behind some credit card debt as stupid youngsters do , but it was in DM, i have a possibility of returning for a temporary period for contract work, would the schufa still have records of those debts? if so how would i try and resolve them? considering they were in DM and not euro

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 03/03/2017 at 12:09

      Hi Dave. As mentioned in the table in the post, it seems that 16 years would be enough to clear your name as far as SCHUFA is concerned, but that doesn’t mean the companies holding your debts have forgotten about you, even if the chance of that might be quite slim. I guess is also depends on the amount of debt. The real answer is with them i guess.

  • Reply Stefan 24/02/2017 at 16:21

    Thanks for putting the info on SCHUFA.

    I need a privatkredit upto 100000€. Since the amount is high, I will have to approach two banks as most banks limit to 50000€. I would like to take it over a 10 year period. My credit history has been good with a SCHUFA score of 97%. A 15000€ loan in took before was paid in time. My question is: Presuming that the first bank grants a part of the amount( 50%) on seeing a good SCHUFA score, what will be my chances of getting rest amount (next 50%) by another bank. Will my schufa score go down immediately after the loan is sanctioned by the first bank? Thank you in advance.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 25/02/2017 at 14:43

      Hi Stefan. It’s hard to say because this information belongs to the inner workings of the SCHUFA company. I guess it would be a matter of days or weeks. I wrote a dedicated post on loans in Germany and how to get good rates there if you are interested. Beware when doing a credit request, this can impact negatively on your SCHUFA score, even if you don’t take the credit in the end. Ask credit conditions instead, this has no impact.

  • Reply bazi 23/02/2017 at 13:44


    I studies in Germany in 2007, at the time of my study I used my credit card for paying my tuition fee and for my living, I left the country in 2007 with out paying credit card, internet and mobile bills, now I want to go back to Germany, how my previous defaulter will affect me,

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/02/2017 at 20:50

      Hi Bazi. This question is always hard to answer. It probably depends on the amount of debts you left behind, and how aggressive/persistent the companies are at pursuing people owing them money. Only you can find out.

  • Reply Khris 21/02/2017 at 03:44

    I lived in Germany 10 years ago & had a bank account with Commerzbank. When I left the country I had money in my account and used my card in the USA until I could withdraw no more money. I never received anything from the bank that I owed money but am now going back to visit. Can this keep me from entering the country if I overdrew my account?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 21/02/2017 at 09:57

      Hello Khris. If you are entering on tourist visa, i’d say that the chances are very slim that you will be stopped at the border. That’s only an opinion though.

  • Reply Jerry 18/02/2017 at 22:15

    My issue is a bit complex. I don’t have any credit issues, but my cursen who once leaved in UK had a problem with settlement with a phone company.
    Recently he was using my account to be receiving a minute job salary. Making the two of us using one account. I check my account and I was told I have a SHUFA.
    But I don’t owe anything.´Now I have stop my cursen from running is Salary from my account.
    My cursen has open his own account now.My question is
    Will the SHUFA on my account automatically go off? How long will it take to go off? If it will not what should I do?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 20/02/2017 at 09:53

      Hi Jerry. I suggest you read the post again. All your answers are there. I am under the impression you are still confused about a SCHUFA record is.

  • Reply Hannah 16/02/2017 at 20:00

    I am thinking about moving back to Germany. I previously lived in Freiburg-im-Breisgau 5 years ago and was registered as a British citizen and had a bank account at Sparkasse. I had left Germany without paying my internet bill for three months as well as a newspaper subscription that I received bills for but did not sign-up for. I am nervous now about returning because of the outstanding debt. I was not able to order the SCHUFA score as I am in the U.S.A. Also, I have dual nationality and was registered as a british citizen. If I come back registered as an American citizen is it possible that I will start a different SCHUFA score? I appreciate your help.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 20/02/2017 at 09:43

      Hi Hannah. You can check in the post the table. It indicates how long your debts will affect your SCHUFA score. Your question is tricky. I think only the German administration knows the answer. It is mabye possible to avoid that problem by registering with a different ID (use your US passport?). But i don’t know if it will be enough. Good luck.

  • Reply Sunny 05/02/2017 at 09:12

    Thanks for a detailed description.
    I moved from one city to another after getting job. In previous city I studied in university. Before moving in didn’t cancelled my Internet contract. After 1 year I am notified about situation from a rechtanwalt of that Internet company. This rechtanwalt reported my case in court. Fromantic Amos ge right they sent me a heavy fine. Now just have paid it. How long will it take to improve my Schufa score. The total amount including fine is 550 Euros.
    Thanks in advance .

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 05/02/2017 at 15:57

      Hello Sunny, as mentioned in the table in the article, it can take up to 3 or 4 years but i suppose every case is different. The best way to check is to order a copy of your record once a year to see progress there.

  • Reply giada 10/01/2017 at 12:03

    will the free Schufa be enough for a landlord to rent an apartment or I have to get the one that costs 29.95 euro? ..if so, do i just need to fill the form with my personal data but leave the “alternative” part and the “bank account data” ? Also do I need to tick “Current Scores” on the same paper?

    thank you for your answer!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 10/01/2017 at 16:09

      Hi Giada. Yes, the free copy is enough for your prospective landlord. As mentioned in the post, no need to fill in the “alternative” part.

  • Reply Rohith 06/01/2017 at 13:49


    Thank you for the detailed article. It really helps.
    I am looking to buy my schufa from meinschufa.de. I have two questions. It would be great if you could answer them

    1. If I buy the schufa online from meinschufa.de, will I be able to download the schufa immediately or will it come by post?
    2. It says we can demand a reimbursement within 8 weeks. So, can we get back the amount (~30 euros) back.

    “Hinweis: Ich kann innerhalb von acht Wochen, beginnend mit dem Belastungsdatum, die Erstattung des belasteten Betrages verlangen. Es gelten dabei die mit meinem Kreditinstitut vereinbarten Bedingungen.”

    Thanks and Regards,

    • Reply Nikola 03/02/2017 at 13:27

      Hi @rohith, did you find answers to your questions? I also need it quite urgently..

  • Reply Mark 30/12/2016 at 20:26

    Will debts from other countries come up on my Schufa or is it specific to Germany?


    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 02/01/2017 at 09:55

      Hi Mark. On this page on their website, under “Produktinhalte”, they list the countries in which they have partners. It’s hard to know if those partners are as efficient and widespread as SCHUFA in Germany.

  • Reply Khwezi 20/12/2016 at 15:52

    Hi, I had to leave Germany very quickly because of a death in the family, I was a student, but had an outstanding cellphone bill of about 300Euro. 1 How do I pay the money back?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 21/12/2016 at 10:16

      Hi Khwezi. Get in touch with your cellphone provider to resolve the matter. Give them your client reference number if you still have it.

  • Reply Sue 19/12/2016 at 22:28

    Hi there, my question is one what condition my name goes in the SCHUFA list?
    Is it true that I must get three letters from a bailiff, and if I don’t answer none of them then my name goes in the list?
    I had problem with ZDF/ARD beitragsservice. No body was willing to talk to me in English although I called several times and I was treated very disrespectfully. It was after I got a letter from a bailiff that someone finally talked to me in English. More interestingly, the bailiff was refusing to talk in English and finally she sent me a letter. But I cannot figure out if it’s about SCHUFA or not. 🙁 Does she has the right to put my name in the list after only one letter? I already told her I’m in contact with Beitragsservice people to pay them….

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 20/12/2016 at 10:51

      Hi Sue. It’s likely not going to impact your SCHUFA score if you resolve this situation quickly from now on. However, the only way to know for sure is to order a copy of your record afterwards.

  • Reply Mun 05/12/2016 at 16:14

    Hi there,
    i wonder if anybody can help.
    what exactly does SCHUFA records? say for instance you purchased something from a shop, swipe your card for 50Euros, but that that transaction only get debited from your account 10 days later when there isnt enough money on your account. but then they try debit the next month when there is money and it goes through. is this considered a missed payment? and can this go onto your credit record?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 05/12/2016 at 18:23

      Hello there Mun. Those smaller operations have probably little impact on your record. Your answer on what is recorded here here.

  • Reply Limo 02/12/2016 at 13:33

    How long is a Schufa report valid for? I received mine 4 months ago but since then I am still looking for my own place. I send it when applying for every flat but I am now wondering if it being 4 months old, it’s making my application look bad. Hoping it’s acceptable as purchasing a report once a month will cost a lot of cash in the long run as it takes so long to find somewhere in Berlin.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 02/12/2016 at 17:25

      Hi Limo. That’s a good question and i think it’s up to each landlord to decide here. I think however it’s safe to say that anything less than 9 months old is pretty good.

  • Reply Jeffrey 15/11/2016 at 16:19

    If I fill the form for Schufa to request record, where should I put that I requested for free copy?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 16/11/2016 at 08:57

      Where to navigate and what to do is indicated at the end of this article.

  • Reply Jeffrey 15/11/2016 at 16:05

    I have negative Schufa I think for my credit card but I am now trying to set a new agreement with the credit card bank on the payment options ( to agree that I will still pay monthly until all settled. My credit card is now cancelled). If the bank agreed, do you think they can remove my Schufa entry?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 16/11/2016 at 08:55

      Yes, please look in the article in the table when it will probably be removed.

  • Reply Alana 10/11/2016 at 23:34

    I’m registered and I have just opened a bank account, will they send me a copy of my Schufa?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 11/11/2016 at 10:03

      Hi Alana. No they won’t. You always need to request it manually.

  • Reply Gabriel 09/11/2016 at 12:30

    Hey there,

    I’ve been in Berlin for 6 years and this is the second time that I’m moving and I will need a new schufa. I have to admit that I’m sloppy to pay my bills like GEZ and had some incidents with late payments of my Krankenkasse while I was a freelancer (I’m employed now). Do you think these incidents could bring schufa score below the acceptable?


    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 09/11/2016 at 13:23

      Hi Gabriel. Hard to say. The only way to know is to get yourself a copy of your record.

  • Reply Beth 05/11/2016 at 21:33


    [original comment edited by moderator for clarity. Beth and husband were in Germany 10 years ago. They thought they terminated their Telekom mobile contract when moving back home, which Telekom denies]

    10 years later, we are set to return to Germany in the early summer of next year. Is 10 years long enough that these debts may not exist on our schufa any longer? Or do we need to be prepared to deal with this before establishing a new home?

    I have reviewed the links that you provided for obtaining a copy of our schufa reports, unfortunately we never obtained a Meldebescheinigung while living in Germany. All contract type services either just used our U.S. passport or even our U.S. military ID. What can we do to obtain a schufa report?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 06/11/2016 at 11:47

      Hello Beth. If you never registered in Germany, does that mean you also did not have a bank account here? If not, then together with the time that passed, i don’t think it will be a problem for you since you probably never had SCHUFA record during your time here.

      • Reply Beth 06/11/2016 at 21:12

        Thank you for answering so quickly. No, neither of us had a German bank account. I really appreciate your input. If we discover anything otherwise, I will update you in case it is helpful for your readers. Thank you again.

  • Reply nabila 03/11/2016 at 18:57

    Hi i have a schufa record recently cause i did not pay my credit card bill on time .i really dont have any idea about it .i am a student and i need time to pay the money.what is the solution ? can you help me with some information?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 04/11/2016 at 09:51

      Hi Nabila. Try to contact the company that owns the debt to negotiate more time. Otherwise, ask friends or family to lend you money to reimburse it. If nothing else works, there are short-terms loans but i would pick this option as last resort, as i mention it in this post about loans in Germany.

  • Reply kerry D 30/10/2016 at 17:24

    I’ve just moved to berlin with my partner in august and we haven’t got a clue on what we need to do to get our own place. Were from London with british passports, and we’re currently renting a sub let apartment, which means the owners will return soon and we’ll need to find our own place.
    We recently set up a joint account with a bank, does that mean we already have a Schufa? if so do we need to do anything else to help our chances with getting our own place, and do we still need to register with Anmeldung? sorry completely new to this!

    Thank you

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 31/10/2016 at 09:26

      Hi Kerry. Yes you need to go through with your Anmeldung as soon as possible, in the current apartment if possible when the owners agree. You can request a SCHUFA record but it will probably show a blank one. Have you had a look at this page for your search?

  • Reply Tegan 22/10/2016 at 21:29

    Do we need a SCHUFA? or will a credit score from another country suffice? I’m desperately apartment hunting, I’m going to try and get a bank account on Monday and hopefully a phone plan after that but will it be enough? I have tonnes of credit back in Australia, is there a way to get that recognised?
    Thanks so much for your help, this site is incredibly helpful!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 24/10/2016 at 09:45

      Hi there Tegan. It’s good thinking but put yourself in the shoes of your future landlord: being used to SCHUFA records and having a lot of people applying who have this, why bother understanding a record from another system in another language than your own? It never hurts to try however. 🙂 Good luck!

    • Reply Kerry D 26/11/2016 at 14:42

      Thanks for the reply!

      With the Anmeldung, do we still need it if were not applying for a German visa? We’re planning to stay for 1-2 years tops


  • Reply TK 02/10/2016 at 12:17


    Thank you for the useful post. I ordered Schufa online about 2 weeks ago but I have not received any document from them apart from the bill. Will the Schufa be sent directly to my postal address or do they also send it by email?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 03/10/2016 at 10:34

      You will get it by post. I am surprised that it takes such a long time though. Maybe you should call them or send them an email to know what’s going on?

  • Reply Kris 02/10/2016 at 00:24

    I am married in Germany but I never got registered because I work in USA and was worried about the taxes here. The current apartment is rented by my husband who is a German citizen. I want to move bymyself in a smaller apartment but have diffculty because of all the paperwork and not working here is a big minus. I have a bank account for 9 years here, with regular income from my work place in the States, but have not paid any living expenses from it because this was taken care of by my husband. Any ideas if not being registered but having a bank account will allow me to obtain a Schufa ?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 03/10/2016 at 10:30

      Hi there Kris. Quite an unusual situation that lasted for an unusual amount of time! I’d say that you would receive a blank SCHUFA record (no score) since you haven’t paid any bills at all and you are not registered here.

  • Reply Fashola segun Samuel 28/09/2016 at 15:54

    Please I did a contract phone using schufa,in an online shop called smartphone-dealz.com,I really don’t understand the contract.what do I do?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 28/09/2016 at 17:56

      This website seems to let you buy smartphones on credit without a positive (or non-existent) SCHUFA score. I guess they must make you pay a premium price for this service. What’s there not to understand?

  • Reply Maria Victoria 28/09/2016 at 09:39

    Hello! I have ordered my SCHUFA through ImmobilienScout24, I paid EUR 29.95, I only received by e-mail the “SCHUFA-BonitätsChecks” but now they are asking me a Schufa including scooring!!!! what is that? Do I have to pay more or what? I’m completely lost with this, and I am going to live in the street VERY SOON. Thanks for any information.

  • Reply Alias 03/09/2016 at 10:15

    Hello. I am moving to Berlin to study, but I’m also moving out for the first time. In other words I’ve never paid any bills myself, nor have I had any bank accounts or rented anything ever. I’m guessing my SCHUFA will be pretty blank, but I guess I need it to rent a room (so that I can register at the bürgeramt). Would the score of a blank SCHUFA be closer to 100 or 0?
    p.s. thanks for an awesome site.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 03/09/2016 at 15:12

      I don’t remember the exact words but it will say something like “there isn’t any data for this person” and you won’t have a score just yet.

      • Reply Maria Victoria 28/09/2016 at 10:07

        I’m really sorry I’ve pasted the wrong information in the Reply!!!! . It only says: ” Mit dem Verifizierungscode XXXXXXXXXX können Sie die Echtheit dieses Zertifikats innerhalb von 60 Tagen ab Ausstellungsdatum online unter http://is24.de/bonitaetscheck überprüfen.
        Für die Prüfung der Bonität ist die Aktualität der Informationen wichtig.
        Achten Sie daher auf das Ausstellungsdatum des SCHUFA-BonitätsCheck. “

    • Reply Maria Victoria 28/09/2016 at 10:02

      It only says: ” Mit dem Verifizierungscode XXXXXXXXXX können Sie die Echtheit dieses Zertifikats
      innerhalb von 60 Tagen ab Ausstellungsdatum online unter http://is24.de/bonitaetscheck überprüfen.
      Für die Prüfung der Bonität ist die Aktualität der Informationen wichtig.
      Achten Sie daher auf das Ausstellungsdatum des SCHUFA-BonitätsCheck. “

  • Reply Cornelia 17/08/2016 at 16:22


    I just arrived in Berlin a week ago and am having trouble, like many others working out the bureaucratic system here. I am renting a sublet in Wedding for two months and have been told by the person I am renting from that she doesn’t want me to do the Anmeldung in her flat/why would I want to when I’m only staying for two months. I assume this is because she would not want her landlady finding out that I am subletting from her even though she officialy did tell her landlady that I would be staying. I don’t quite understand.

    On your Anmeldung info page you say that a letter from a friend or the person you are staying with should be enough to register. I assume this is still not the case now? So many people have said that I need a landlord/landlady to sign papers and that that was a new law brought in this year?

    I guess this will now mean that I have to find a new flat before I can do my Anmeldung? I’m just aware that I don’t want to be waiting for two months to do my Anmeldung and find a job. Do you know any way around this at all? Also I am half German and have German citizenship. German being my second language but not fluently. Is there any benefit of this for the Anmeldung at all? My head is spinning a bit!

    One last question, can I get a shufa record without my Anmeldung? I would maybe need shufa for a new place so I would hope I wouldn’t need an Anmeldung as I wouldn’t have anywhere to live!

    Any help is much appreciated and sorry if these are super basic questions but I did not expect such complicated loop holes!

    Thank you.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 17/08/2016 at 20:33

      Looooong comment. Don’t hesitate to send me an email for such a long request. ;). In this anmeldung article, i do mention that you need a confirmation from the landlord as well as word from your main tenant (or contract). Best case scenario would have been to make really clear to her that you need to register but i guess that’s too late now. You are in a typical evil circle of bureaucracy that i also mention in this article; you need a SCHUFA record to obtain a flat, but as long as you can’t register somewhere and open a bank account, there is no way for you to obtain one. German citizenship doesn’t help much is my opinion unless you can register at a relative’s place. Try WGs or sublets that will allow you to register or if you have a bit more money, try Wunderflats. You can access flats with no SCHUFA records. Good luck.

  • Reply Mike 16/08/2016 at 11:34

    Hi , I order my schufa by net and pay, when and how I get the answer? By post or mail.. Thank you..

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 16/08/2016 at 12:05

      If you ordered via the MeinSCHUFA website, you receive it by post. If you ordered through ImmoScout, it’s via email.

      • Reply Mike 17/08/2016 at 23:13


    1 2 3 4

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.