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.