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 does not work for everyone. You must verify your identity with your bank, and some banks are not supported. You pay 50% less if you have a premium membership.
  • 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

  2. GDPR Article 5 


  4., Reddit 

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

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