How to get a free Schufa

To apply for an apartment, you often need a Schufa report (SCHUFA-Bonitätsauskunft).6 This guide explains how to get one.

What is a Schufa score?

The Schufa report shows your Schufa score (Basisscore). The Schufa score is like a credit score. A good score shows that you pay on time.

If you are new in Germany, you might not have a Schufa score yet. Schufa has no information about you. You get a score when you open a bank account or a get a mobile phone contract for the first time.1

Example Schufa certificate
Example Schufa certificate

Why you need a Schufa

You might need it to apply for an apartment or to get a loan. Most landlords require a Schufa report.5 Applications without a Schufa are often ignored. Your Schufa should be less than 2 months old.6

Short-term apartments (from Homelike, HousingAnywhere, Spotahome, Wunderflats) rarely require a Schufa. They can help you get your first apartment without a stable job.

Look for short-term apartments

You should get a free report every year, and check if the information is correct.7 False information can lower your Schufa score. You don’t need the 29.95€ version for this.

How to get a Schufa report

There are 2 versions of the Schufa:3

  • The paid version (29.95€)
    The paid report (SCHUFA-Bonitätsauskunft) looks more official. You get it by post in 1 to 3 days. Most landlords want this version.5
  • The free version
    The free report (SCHUFA-Datenkopie) has the same information. They make it worse on purpose:2
    • It’s harder to read. Your score is mixed with your private information. You must censor it before you share it.4
    • It looks worse. Some landlords want the fancy certificate you get with the paid version.6
    • You get it slower. It arrives by post in 1 to 3 weeks.

The paid version is better for apartment applications.5 The free version is better for your own use.

There are other ways to get a Schufa report:

  • With ImmoScout24 (29.95€)
    It’s free with their premium membership. It does not work for everyone. You must verify your identity with your bank, and some banks are not supported.
  • In person at the bank (29.95€)
    You can get a Schufa in person from a partner bank. Go to the bank and ask for a SCHUFA-Bonitätsauskunft. There are no partner banks in Berlin.

What to do next

After you get your Schufa report, you can look for an apartment.

Sources and footnotes
  1. advocado.de 

  2. GDPR Article 5 

  3. kreditvergleich.net 

  4. immobilienscout24.de, Reddit 

  5. Christine Gerkrath, relocation consultant (March 2024), Elliot Herman, relocation consultant (January 2024), Graham Pugh, apartment search expert (January 2024), immobilienscout24.de, immobilienscout24.de 

  6. Graham Pugh, apartment search expert (January 2024) 

  7. verbraucherzentrale.de