Data protection: Schufa transparency offensive - More information for consumers

Which factors play a role in my creditworthiness? How is my score - the evaluation - created at the Schufa? A score simulator on the credit agency's website is now supposed to provide answers.

Data protection: Schufa transparency offensive - More information for consumers

Which factors play a role in my creditworthiness? How is my score - the evaluation - created at the Schufa? A score simulator on the credit agency's website is now supposed to provide answers. "This makes the scoring principle of Schufa understandable for the first time," said CEO Tanja Birkholz on Thursday. "We want consumers to understand what we do."

The Schufa rating is important for consumers. With a good credit rating (creditworthiness), for example, you can get loans on more favorable terms. Consumer and data protection advocates have been criticizing the data collection and scoring by Schufa for a long time.

How is the score calculated?

The free simulator does not calculate an actual score, but it comes very close, reported Birkholz. The simulator asks for seven different characteristics that influence creditworthiness. These include checking accounts, credit cards, installment loans or online purchases on account. More than 1800 different combinations of features can be tried.

The rating can deteriorate, for example, through several installment loans. A real estate loan, on the other hand, has a positive effect, partly because the loan is accompanied by security. The simulator is a simplified model of the base score that includes more features and provides information about the actual creditworthiness of consumers.

In 2024, a Schufa app is planned to give consumers free insight into their own data. Users should also be able to provide the credit agency with additional information via the app if this improves their personal score.

According to its own statements, the Schufa does not use any information on income, assets, age and gender, or in principle not on the residential area. Address data is only used if an online retailer makes an inquiry about a customer who otherwise has no Schufa data. This affects about 0.3 percent of cases.

Information transfer by contractual partners

According to the information, the credit agency receives an average of more than 300,000 creditworthiness inquiries every day. Schufa receives data on loans, contracts and people’s payment behavior from contractual partners such as banks, online retailers or leasing providers. It also obtains information from public registers such as debtor directories.

Further information is transmitted by companies that are affiliated with the Schufa. This includes, among other things, payment defaults or open, sufficiently reminded and undisputed claims. The Schufa calculates the score from all of this. When making a decision about a loan or a mobile phone contract, companies usually also take their own data into account.

Score-Simulator

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