SCHUFA refers to SCHUFA Holding AG, a credit bureau based in Wiesbaden. It is an acronym that stands for Schutzgemeinschaft für allgemeine Kreditsicherung (General Credit Protection Agency).

SCHUFA is a credit bureau that pools data on all German residents from various sources and issues credit ratings

SCHUFA is a credit bureau that collects and collates data on consumers resident in Germany from various sources, including banks, utility companies and telephony providers.

Your SCHUFA-Auskunft – or SCHUFA record – is a general report on your creditworthiness and demonstrates your ability to pay bills. SCHUFA uses an algorithm to analyze your past credit-related activity and issue a rating. Missed bill payments, defaults and the like will be recorded on your SCHUFA record and remain there for several years.

As an expat, a SCHUFA record will be created for you when you officially register as a German resident (Anmeldung). From that point on, any and all credit-related information generated in Germany will be stored in your SCHUFA record.

Banks will use your SCHUFA credit rating to assess your eligibility for loans and credit cards. Landlords may consult your SCHUFA credit rating before deciding to let to you. And, as private health insurance is a commitment to make payments for years to come, private health insurance providers may also consult your SCHUFA credit rating. This automatic check does not damage your SCHUFA.


To get your social security number you need to contact Deutsche Rentenversicherung. They also provide English support.

If you are eligible for private health insurance and you are in Germany on a visa or a limited permit, we can offer you the Expat Tariff up to five years.

ottonova is fully regulated by the BaFin and therefore fulfilling the requirements (§ 257 7Abs. 2a Satz 1 SGB V and the § 61 Abs. 5 SGB XI) for you to be able to apply for a visa with your ottonova insurance, which also includes our Expat tariff of course.

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