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How SCHUFA works

About us

SCHUFA Building

SCHUFA helps people to achieve their financial aims easily, quickly and securely.

Our work makes it convenient and quick for people to perform transactions and for companies to trust them without knowing them personally. For providers of consumer credits, goods and services, it reduces the risk of default, which helps them do more business and offer customers better terms.

This is how we support growth and prosperity in Germany. Our solutions accompany business transactions all the way from identification and credit rating, to fraud prevention, to regulatory compliance. We do a lot to prevent money laundering, which helps to limit its economic damage.

We help people to achieve their financial aims

We are there to ensure that credit requests can be processed safely, quickly and smoothly. This might be for:

  • Financing a car
  • Paying for furniture or electronic goods in instalments
  • Purchasing something on account when online
  • Taking out a mobile phone contract with which calls can be made before the first bill arrives

We protect businesses

  • We offer single-source risk management solutions along the entire customer journey: from identification and credit assessment, to fraud prevention, to regulatory compliance.
  • Our Know-Your-Customer solutions help prevent money laundering, thereby limiting its economic damage.

Help and information for consumers

  • Transparency about the data SCHUFA stores in relation to you
  • Proof of your credit rating
  • Information about businesses (such as building companies and tradespeople)
  • Assistance in the event of identity theft (e.g. lost identity documents).

The idea behind SCHUFA

The idea of setting up SCHUFA in 1927 originated with an employee at “Berliner Elektrizitätswerke” (Berlin electricity company). Because its electricity meter readers knew who paid their electricity bills regularly and on time and who didn’t, he came up with the idea of offering “good payers” electrical appliances such as refrigerators on instalments. Those people, after all, were known to fulfil their payment obligations.

This meant that significantly more people were able to enjoy modern electrical appliances. Other companies became interested in the principle of enabling credit transactions on the basis of existing payment records. This is how the Schutzgemeinschaft für allgemeine Kreditsicherung – the General Credit Protection Association, or SCHUFA for short – was eventually founded, where companies could report and query information on their customers’ payment behaviour.

Our principle: mutual benefit

SCHUFA and contractual partners

SCHUFA’s activities are based on the common interests of all of the businesses involved: mutual protection against payment default based on sound, current data.

Businesses need to be able to assess risk reliably if they are to offer credit. SCHUFA can provide this information, based on the principle of mutual benefit. SCHUFA provides a platform with which to record and store payment records provided by participating companies – referred to as contractual partners – and to exchange these records within the network. SCHUFA uses its database for credit ratings and identity checks. This information is an important decision-making basis for companies and helps them to minimise payment defaults in retail and corporate business.

The benefit for consumers:

If SCHUFA holds information about you, it is usually easier to buy goods on account or on instalments.

The benefit for businesses:

They can sell more goods if they are able to offer them on instalments and similar.

SCHUFA in figures

As Germany’s leading solution provider of credit and information services for consumers and businesses, SCHUFA holds more than a billion details relating to six million companies and 68 million individuals. We supply an average of 320,000 reports every day to companies, which facilitates quick and uncomplicated business transactions.

For more than 90 percent of the persons, we have stored exclusively positive information. Our work has a stabilising effect on the credit business in Germany. The unchanged high rate of 97.9 percent of consumer credits repaid without a problem indicates the sustained effect of our work.

Feel free

to contact us

Your Contact

SCHUFA Privatkunden ServiceCenter

Postfach 103441
50474 Köln
Tel.: +49 611 9278-0
Mo. - Fr. 08 - 19 Uhr