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Check your Schufa credit record free of charge
Recently one of my readers asked me if it would make sense to apply for a DKB account as he *thinks* he has a bad Schufa score and they would not accept him as a customer. Well… *thinking* and *knowing* are two different things… Therefore I’m going to show you in this blog post how to check your Schufa score in Germany free of charge.
What is Schufa and the Schufa score?
Schufa is a German private credit bureau with the objective to protect its clients such as banks or telecommunications companies from credit risks. They currently have records on more than 60 million people living in Germany, including foreigners with a German residency. The records contain for example all your bank accounts and mobile contracts and they track all invoices that are unpaid or were paid late (e.g. also bills from online shops). Basically Schufa tries to measure how reliable you’ve met your financial obligations.
So it’s definitely recommended to keep your Schufa credit record clean as the record is checked whenever you want to open a bank account or mobile contract. The following examples are occasions when your Schufa credit score will be checked:
- Opening a bank account
- Applying for a credit card
- Making a mobile contract
- Applying for a loan
- Pay by invoice in an online shop
Sometimes also landlords request a Schufa report from you in order to check how reliably you are paying your bills.
How to check your Schufa score
Once you have registered your address in Germany (Meldebescheinigung) Schufa automatically creates a record and your German bank accounts, mobile contracts etc. go into your record from that moment on.
You are entitled to one free Schufa credit record report per year. Just follow the below steps to get your report:
- Go to the Schufa website and click on “Jetzt beantragen” (Order now) under “Datenkopie (nach Art. 15 DS-GVO)”
- Complete all fields marked with an asterisk (*) and click on “weiter” (Next)
- Click on “Absenden” (Submit)
You will receive your Schufa report a few days later by mail.
How to interpret your score?
On the report that you have received from Schufa you will see entries for the bank accounts you have opened and credit cards or mobile contracts. You will also see scores for the different categories such as banks, telecommunications companies etc. See below for a summary of the scores and the respective Schufa ratings:
If you think there’s a wrong entry in your Schufa record you can get in touch with Schufa and resolve the problem with them.
How to keep your score healthy?
As mentioned above your Schufa score is very important for your everyday life as it shows companies if you can be trusted as a customer. Here are some tips how you can keep your Schufa score on a high level:
- Pay your bills in time
- Don’t overdraw your bank account too often
- Don’t open too many bank accounts or credit cards
- Do not change your bank account too often
I hope this article sheds some light into the myths around Schufa! 🙂 Should you need any further help or have questions, feel free to leave a comment or simply send me a message.
If you want to see an example of a Schufa report, check out this article.