The search for an apartment can be challenging and a great administrative effort. Tenants must be able to present various documents: Among other things landlords almost always ask for a so-called Schufa-Auskunft.
The SCHUFA ("Schutzgemeinschaft für allgemeine Kreditsicherung") is the largest provider of information on the creditworthiness of private individuals in Germany. Through the Schufa-Auskunft banks, companies and also landlords can check whether a customer or prospective tenant reliably meets payment requests and is also solvent in the future.
The so-called Schufa self-disclosure/ Schufa-Selbstauskunft, with detailed information on all business transactions can be requested free of charge.
The Schufa credit report/ Schufa-Bonitätsauskunft, which you need to present to the landlord, on the other hand costs 30€. The Schufa-Auskunft also lists your credit score, which is the best at 100 percent.
To obtain a Schufa-Auskunft a form must be submitted. This can either be filled out directly online or requested from SCHUFA online or by phone. The form will then be sent to you by mail and must then be returned to SCHUFA Holding AG including a copy of your passport and certificate of registration. After a few days you will then receive the Schufa information by mail.
You can only receive a Schufa-Auskunft if you have been living in Germany for a longer period and have opened a bank account in Germany. Since there is nothing comparable to a Schufa report in most other countries, it is sometimes more difficult for non-Germans to prove that they are solvent. In order to prove solvency even without a Schufa-Auskunft, it is possible to submit a reference letter from your bank abroad or from a German bank account. Another option is a so called Bürgschaft. In this case, a person agrees to be liable for you in the event of a default in payment.