There are many myths about SCHUFA – especially when it comes to getting a loan.
We clarify the six most important questions on the topic. So you can look forward to the SCHUFA exam calmly.
Before that, however, a quick look at SCHUFA and its relevance for your everyday life.
What is SCHUFA actually?
The name “SCHUFA” stands for “Protection Association for General Credit Protection”. It is not an authority, but a German private company, a so-called credit agency. There are other credit agencies, but SCHUFA is the best known and at the same time the most important.
Since it was founded in 1927, the company has been informing its contractual partners, such as banks, mail order companies and telecommunications companies, about people’s previous payment behavior.
SCHUFA is also part of your everyday life
For example, when you order from a mail order company, open a current account at a bank or apply for a loan, a SCHUFA query often takes place in the background.
You agree to this query by accepting the general terms and conditions. Because the so-called SCHUFA clause is often hidden in the terms and conditions: This allows the company to pass on your data to SCHUFA.
The company receives information about your payment behavior from SCHUFA and concludes on your creditworthiness. Because it wants to know how likely it is that you will also pay your bill. This is how the company protects itself against possible payment defaults.
If your SCHUFA information turns out to be rather poor, you will either be rejected as a new customer – this would be the case when opening the current account or when taking out a loan – or you cannot pay by invoice in the case of a mail order order and have to choose another payment method – for example the prepayment.
What is the SCHUFA score?
The SCHUFA gives an assessment of the creditworthiness of a person – this is done in the form of a so-called “score”.
If you want to apply for a loan, the credit score takes effect: SCHUFA calculates a percentage that indicates how likely it is that you will repay your loan. The higher this is, the more likely it is.
The score is given in points and contains information about your previous payment history and also takes into account whether and how often you have taken out a loan in the past and, if so, whether you have repaid it in full.
Instructions: Get your own SCHUFA status free of charge
You can view all the information that SCHUFA has saved about you. This service normally costs, but you can use it once a year for free.
What you need to know:
The query itself is not possible online, but only via a form. You can find the form at https://www.meineschufa.de/index.php?site=11_3_1
“Personal details” are mandatory and must be completed in full. “Other details”, on the other hand, are voluntary.
For a free query, do not tick “Alternative: Order credit information”. Otherwise the query will cost you just under 30 euros.
Then follow the instructions for sending (page 2 of the PDF form).
The free SCHUFA information has no effect on your SCHUFA score.
Why does the SCHUFA score not exist?
In order to make the credit report as precise as possible, there is not just one, but various and industry-specific scores.
For example, SCHUFA determines a score that expresses how likely it is that you will repay your mortgage loan, and one that shows the likelihood of paying for the shoes that you recently ordered online.
As you can see, there is a big difference here. Because it’s not just about different areas of life, but above all about different financial burdens.
In addition, some companies request an individual scoring calculation from SCHUFA or they use their own scorings as a basis.
For these reasons, it can happen that the score for one and the same person, depending on the category, is different.
If you ask SCHUFA about your individual score, you will receive the so-called base score. This is made up of the different scores and serves as an orientation value that is not passed on to companies.
SCHUFA only stores the data that has something to do with your creditworthiness.