Schufa is the shorthand abbreviation of Schutzgemeinschaft für allgemeine Kreditsicherung, which roughly translates to “general credit protection agency.” Whenever someone refers to your Schufa score, Schufa report, Schufa rating and so on, they’re talking about the same thing — your “Schufa Auskunft” — credit information that will follow you for the remainder of the time you live in Germany.
What is SCHUFA ?
SCHUFA is simply a credit score to check how good you have met your financial obligations. It decides your worthiness to be granted further with other financial agreements for e.g. Bank loan, telephone contract etc. It measures how risky you are for a bank or your landlord etc. for e.g. When you apply for an apartment, the landlord can request you to provide your SCHUFA so that he can verify your financial stability to pay the rent on time.
How to improve my credit score (SCHUFA)?
The moment you register your address in Germany, your SCHUFA is too registered. Easiest option to maintain a good score would be to pay all your bills on time. To better maintain your SCHUFA score, it’s better not to have too many bank accounts or credit cards or switch them very often.
How to get your SCHUFA score?
- The best option is to order directly from meineSCHUFA.de. When you make the purchase, don’t forget to opt for an online download which you can further copy with a unique password. Further there are premium services like meineSCHUFA kompakt which you wont really need for your usual requirements like applying for an Apartment etc.
- Other options are through Immobilien sites like Immobilienscout24, Immowelt etc. with all the above online options, you will receive an email and then you can download the SCHUFA report with a unique PIN code.
- Some of the Postbank and Volksbank locations can also issue your SCHUFA report.
All the options mentioned above cost €29,95. As it is protected by German Data Protection law, you can stay assured that it won’t be shared illicitly to third party.
- Its always better to opt for Direct debit (Dauerauftrag) via online banking to pay your bills, so that you don’t miss any bills.
- While you request for SCHUFA report via Immobilien sites, make sure to cancel your subscription for SCHUFA report to avoid any unnecessary transactions in the future.
- As per German law, everyone is entitled to free SCHUFA report (Art. 15 DS-GVO) once per year. But, it’s a vague report which has only your SCHUFA score out of 100 and it may not be accepted by your landlord. If you are still interested, you can order your free SCHUFA report here with a copy of your passport and Registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung).