Credit Score in Germany (Schufa Explained)

Are you worthy? Well I cant say whether or not you’re worthy of lifting Mjolnir. But I can tell you about your credit worthiness in Germany. In this article I will be talking about Credit Score in Germany and explain what is Schufa, How to Check it. And How to improve your Credit Score or Schufa Score in Germany.

Credit Score in Germany compared to the US

Unlike the United States, where the most common FICO Credit Score ranges from 300 to 850. Germany uses a credit scoring system called the SCHUFA score, which ranges from 0 to 100.

Both scoring systems consider factors such as payment history, credit utilization, and length of credit history, but they weigh these factors differently.

Additionally, the information used to calculate credit scores differs between the two countries. For example, in the United States, rent payments and utility bills may be reported to credit bureaus and considered in credit scoring models, this is not typically the case in Germany unless they file formal charges against you for non payment.

So what Exactly is this SCHUFA?

Well SCHUFA stands for “Schutzgemeinschaft für allgemeine Kreditsicherung” . But whats important is that SCHUFA Holding AG is a company that collects information about you as a consumer from various sources, such as utility suppliers, banks, and internet providers.

They keep track of your bills and fines over time and use this data, along with their own algorithm, to create a credit score for all German residents. When people talk about “SCHUFA”, they’re referring to the record that the company holds about their creditworthiness in Germany.

What is SCHUFA Auskunft?

This company rates your ability to pay bills and creates a record called SCHUFA Auskunft that will follow you in your everyday life as a consumer. It’s important to keep this record clean, or there could be serious consequences.

SCHUFA receives data from almost every company in Germany, including about 10,000 cooperating partners in various industries such as finance, insurance, telecommunications, and retail. Your SCHUFA record is created as soon as you register an Address in Germany.

How to check Your SCHUFA Score?

In the US you can easily check your credit score for free with the help of you Banking app or some other apps. But here in Germany, like everything else. Its not that simple.

As a German resident, you have the legal right to receive one free SCHUFA record per year to see what data has been stored in the report.

How to get a Free Schufa Report

To get your free schufa report, visit the official Schufa website. Look for the section called Datenkopie (data copy). Click on “Jetzt beantragen” to start the process.

How to Get a Free Schufa Report
How to Get a Free Schufa Report (translated using Google)

On the next page you have to give your personal information and current registered address. You can also provide additional information like any additional registered addresses and previous residential details.

To make the process simpler, you MAY provide your German ID document, Your Passport and Your City registration certificate as well.

How to use a Schufa Report in Germany?

After requesting your free SCHUFA report, you’ll receive it via mail within a few days. It’s important to remember that this report is strictly for your personal use and should not be given to third parties, like a landlord, during the apartment searching process.

When renting an apartment, many landlords require a paid version of your SCHUFA report along with an official certificate that provides a comprehensive view of your creditworthiness in Germany.

Does SCHUFA record continue in other countries?

A Very Important thing to note is that your SCHUFA report is only for Germany. So it doesnt matter what Credit Score you might have in the US or any other country you are coming from!

To order a detailed report, called SCHUFA-BonitätsAuskunft (which translates to “creditworthiness report”), visit the official website and click on “Jetzt bestellen” (order now), then enter your data on the following pages. The report costs 29.95 euros and will also be sent to you via mail within a few days.

What is included in a Schufa Report?

In the Schufa report you can find your Credit Score in Germany and some other details.

Your initial SCHUFA credit score in Germany, called the “Basisscore,” starts at 100%, in theory. However, if you fail to pay your bills, your score will decrease proportionally. If you are getting value from this video please hit the like button and consider subscribing!

Here’s a breakdown of the different “Basisscore” levels and what they represent. This score predicts the likelihood that you will pay your bills, loans, and fulfill other contractual obligations.

Score valueRisk assessment – Level of risk
> 97,5 %Very low
95 % – 97,5 %Low to negligible
90 % – 95 %Satisfactory to elevated
80 % – 90 %Fairly elevated
50 % – 80 %Very elevated
< 50 %Critical
Schufa Score and what it means

What is a Good Schufa Score?

Having 97% Schufa Score is Very good and 95% Credit Score is considered good. However, the system is designed to prevent you from becoming overwhelmed by debt over time. So Even if you pay all your debts, your score may still drop a few percentage points for unknown reasons.

It’s totally okay to have a score as low as 95%. If your score is less than that, you should take a look into getting a paid version which provides further details

Please note that it is not possible to achieve a 100% score on the SCHUFA rating system. The maximum achievable score is 97.5%. This small reduction in score is due to the possibility of unexpected events, such as death, which can impact your ability to pay debts. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as SCHUFA’s primary purpose is to protect against credit risks.

So you got your SCHUFA report and you are no longer worthy! What can you do to Improve your Credit Score in Germany.

How to improve SCHUFA Score in Germany

Here are a few things you can do to improve your SCHUFA Score

  1. Pay your bills on time One of the most important factors affecting your SCHUFA score is your payment history. Late or missed payments can have a negative impact on your score, so it is important to pay your bills on time. Set up automatic payments or reminders to help you stay on top of your bills.
  2. Close unused credit cards Having too many credit cards can also negatively impact your SCHUFA score. If you have credit cards you no longer use, consider closing them. This will help reduce your credit utilization, which is another important factor in calculating your credit score.
  3. Keep credit utilization low Your credit utilization is the amount of credit you use compared to the amount of credit you have available. A high credit utilization can negatively impact your SCHUFA score, so it is important to keep it low. Try to use no more than 30% of your available credit at any given time.
  4. Never use the Overdrafting option: Many banks offer overdrafting at very high interest rates. But using this option has quite a negative effect on your credit score. So if possible, never use that option!
  1. Monitor credit reports regularly It is important to monitor your credit reports regularly to ensure they are accurate and up-to-date. Errors on your credit report can negatively impact your SCHUFA score, so it is important to correct any inaccuracies.

Effect of Negative Schufa on Credit Score in Germany

If you have a negative entry. The only thing you can do is try to resolve the cause of that negative entry as soon as possible.

For example, the most common things negatively affecting your Credit Score in Germany are unpaid bills from a telecom contract and Unpaid Gym member ship fees

There are other things that can have a negative effect like Changing bank accounts too often and a very weird one which is Moving too often.

Negative records can impact your score up to 3 years after you resolve your unpaid bills case and it can be kept as a “side note” for up to 6 years overall. Interestingly not paying your Radio Tax does not have any effect on your Schufa Score. But you should definitely pay that as soon as possible.


Schufa score in Germany what does it mean
Schufa score in Germany what does it mean


Having a good credit score in Germany is important as it can significantly impact your ability to obtain credit or enter into contracts. But many people struggle with that. You need to keep a good Schufa score to function properly. Having a low Credit Score can stop you from having a Credit Card in Germany. Not being able to Buy a House in Germany can also be a consequence of bad schufa score.

So do not try to cheat the system and always follow the law to keep a good credit score in Germany!

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Disclaimer: None of the content in this article is meant to be considered as investment advice, as I am not a financial expert and am only sharing my experience with stock investing. The information is based on my own research and is only accurate at the time of posting this article but may not be accurate at the time you are reading it.

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