The housing market in Germany is fiercely competitive and landlords often have a choice between many interested parties.
For landlords in German, an important aspect to consider when choosing is creditworthiness. To be on the safe side, many landlords require a SCHUFA credit report from potential tenants before signing a rental agreement. Read below on what SCHUFA is and what the SCHUFA credit report means for your chance of getting an apartment in Germany.
What you need to know about the SCHUFA credit report
- The SCHUFA credit report consists of two documents :
one for you and one for your landlord.
- The higher the SCHUFA score, the better
- The SCHUFA credit report only contains financial information
- Despite negative SCHUFA entries, you have a chance of getting an apartment
What is the SCHUFA credit report?
The SCHUFA (protection association for general credit protection) is Germany’s leading information and service partner for business and consumers. Your information forms an important basis for building trust between two business partners.
As a tenant, you will receive conclusive evidence of your own creditworthiness with the SCHUFA credit report in order to build trust between you and your landlord. The explanatory information of the SCHUFA credit report contains an orientation value and the so-called basic or industry scores . The higher the value, the higher the probability that payment obligations will be met. The calculation is based on the personal data stored by SCHUFA about you.
As a private person, you only receive a basic score , which you can use for self-assessment . The industry scores are sent to your business partners transmitted and differ from branch to branch.
What is credit rating?
The creditworthiness or creditworthiness describes, for example, whether you reliably settle outstanding bills.
The SCHUFA credit report summarized:
The SCHUFA credit report consists of a cover letter, the certificate and the explanatory information .
- The certificate documents the financial reliability.
- The explanatory information contains further information: The daily SCHUFA orientation value, the SCHUFA industry scores and the SCHUFA data on your person.
- All together for only € 29.95 including VAT.
What data does SCHUFA store?
The SCHUFA only stores basic data and financial information.
- Personal data such as name, address or date of birth
- Data on bank and credit card accounts and guarantees
- Data about existing leasing, credit or mobile phone contracts
- Possible payment disruptions or terminations
- Enforcement measures such as the submission of an affidavit or personal bankruptcy
The SCHUFA does not store data on your income, employers, marital status and your assets.
Who can see which data?
The SCHUFA credit report contains two documents. You give one to your landlord and you keep the other. Your document contains more detailed information.
1. For landlords
Depending on your current creditworthiness, your landlord will receive the following information:
- only positive data about you (no further information),
- Payment defaults to your person (defaults are explained),
- or no information about you from relevant sources (e.g. public directories of the district court).
2. For tenants
All personal data available to SCHUFA will be disclosed to you, such as information on:
- Customer accounts
- Cellular, telephone and internet providers
- Loans and banks
Can my landlord request SCHUFA information?
An independent SCHUFA query by the landlord or broker without the consent of the contractual partner is not permitted . Such consent is usually obtained in writing through the so-called SCHUFA clause, as is known from leasing or credit agreements.
Although it is possible to obtain verbal consent, it is difficult to prove in the event of a dispute. If you want to make sure that you get your dream apartment, it is best to give your SCHUFA information voluntarily when viewing the apartment.
When will the data be deleted?
Your data will only be stored by SCHUFA for a certain period of time and, with a few exceptions, will be deleted after 3 years.
- Inquiries from contractual partner companies of SCHUFA (e.g. online shops that check your identity): After 12 months
- Loans: 3 years after full repayment
- Guarantees : After the principal debt has been extinguished
- Data on the non-contractual processing of transactions: 3 years after the payment of the claim
- Giro and credit card accounts: Immediately after they are canceled by the customer
- Retail customer accounts: After 3 years
- Data from the debtor registers of the local court: After 3 years
As soon as all claims have been settled, it is possible to request an early deletion of the data. To do this, you contact the SCHUFA and your creditor and ask the creditor to agree to the deletion of the entry. Your entry will then be deleted.
SCHUFA credit report and tenant self-assessment – the difference
The SCHUFA credit report
- informs about the creditworthiness of the interested parties.
- ensures economic security for the landlord.
The tenant self-assessment
- provides information about personal, economic and family conditions and is filled out by the tenant himself.
- helps the landlord to select the most suitable prospect.
3 tips for a negative SCHUFA
Do you have a negative SCHUFA score? No reason to panic. The search for an apartment becomes more complicated, but not impossible .
- Offer to pay a higher rental deposit – Even if the maximum deposit is 3 months’ rent, it shows goodwill and willingness to pay.
- Prefer private landlords instead of housing associations – private rental of apartments often follows less strict rules.
- Concentrate on apartments that have been vacant for a long time – vacant apartments usually have a small “catch” and are easier to get.