For most people, Schufa acts largely in secret: When a cell phone or credit contract is concluded, the credit agency is informed just as it is in the case of outstanding debts – however, customers only have direct contact with Schufa in rare cases. At the latest with a negative Schufa entry, however, there are unpleasant consequences in everyday life, because the granting of credit is made more difficult. How to have a Schufa entry deleted?
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How a Schufa entry comes about in the first place
Schufa is a so-called credit agency that stores creditworthiness data of all German citizens and makes it available to companies upon request. Positive entries are stored as well as negative entries and affect the Schufa score, which describes the creditworthiness of each person. Positive entries are made, for example, after a reliable and timely repayment of a loan; negative entries are made if you have not complied with payment requests permanently.
A low Schufa score means that you have poor prospects for loans or, for example, mobile phone contracts. Even when looking for an apartment, landlords are increasingly asking for a self-disclosure form.
Schufa-Score: How big is the influence on the credit granting?
The Schufa score is a percentage value that reflects the likelihood that you will repay a loan and generally meet your payment obligations. For example, a score of 95 would mean that you have a 95% probability of meeting your payment obligations.
By the way, there cannot be a value of 100, because Schufa has to take into account the theoretical risk of death. With a negative Schufa entry, this value decreases; from under 80, the risk of a loan default is already considered very high.
But even with a higher score, the consequences for you can be negative: Banks calculate the interest rates on loans based on your creditworthiness. So it is quite possible that you will receive another loan despite a negative entry or many current credit agreements, but the conditions will be noticeably worse. One more reason to have a Schufa entry deleted if the requirements are met.
What criteria creditors must meet
Here, of course, the question arises, from when you can get a negative Schufa entry quite concretely. The German Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) is clear on this point: if you do not settle an outstanding debt that you have not objected to and you also receive two written reminders at least four weeks apart, the creditor may request a negative entry from Schufa.
However, he must have informed you in one of the two reminders that a negative Schufa entry may be the consequence.
Have negative entries deleted: How to proceed with false entries?
Studies have shown that about one third of all negative Schufa entries are made without the criteria prescribed by law having been met. If you were also surprised by the negative entries, they could be false entries, which you may delete immediately. You have the right to view the information stored about you several times a year – and thus quickly identify false entries. You can request this so-called self-disclosure directly on the Schufa website.
Specifically, you should proceed as follows:
- Through the requested self-disclosure, you first check your creditworthiness.
- Check the so-called deletion periods in the case of possibly still open claims. This is the period until the entry is removed, which is usually exactly three years after settlement.
- If Schufa has stored incorrect address data about you, you should have this corrected as soon as possible. This correction must be made in writing; you should enclose a copy of the registration certificate to prove the correct data.
- If you find open debts in the self-disclosure that you believe are unjustified, you should first contact the creditor. If the creditor has already assigned his claim to a collection agency, you should contact it.
- If the debt has already been settled, you should submit the request for deletion in conjunction with the settlement notice. Both Schufa and the creditor must receive the request.
- Now it's time to wait: deletion takes about three weeks.
Low debt amount: New goodwill arrangement helps
If you are also affected by negative Schufa entries, then you know the unpleasant consequences only too well: concluding a mobile phone contract becomes just as difficult as obtaining a loan. Although interest rates are currently at a record low and loans are more favorable than ever, most banks pay restrictive attention to the creditworthiness of the debtor. For this reason, since 2012 there has been a goodwill arrangement whereby you can have negative entries deleted early.
The following requirements must be met in this case:
- The debt amount must not exceed 2000 EUR
- The outstanding debt must be paid in full within six weeks
- It must not be a foreclosure, affidavit, or titled debt
- The creditor must confirm that you have settled the claim
Titled claim: statute of limitations after 30 years?
A so-called titled claim is particularly sensitive from the point of view of the debtor: This case exists when a judge confirms the outstanding debt. As a rule, this is the case if a bailiff is called in after the usual dunning procedure. This step is taken if the creditor wants to use all legal means against the debtor. The titled debt is problematic primarily because the statute of limitations is usually 30 years – a long period in which, theoretically, the Schufa entry would also persist.
If you have such a titled claim in your Schufa files, you should act as quickly as possible: The debt should be settled as soon as possible. In the next step, the claim is removed at the local court, which in principle clears the way for you to apply for early deletion. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the creditor agrees. If a so-called deletion certificate is then sent to Schufa, the negative entry can be deleted quickly.
Delete Schufa entry ahead of time: Insolvency proceedings completed
In the case of private insolvency, this is a particularly strong negative feature, which makes it impossible to grant credit. Of course, you have a special interest in having such entries deleted quickly. Different cases must be distinguished here:
- Even in the case of private insolvency, it is a prerequisite that the outstanding claims are settled. If this is not the case, the statute of limitations applies as for titled claims.
- Private insolvency with discharge of residual debt is far more common. This means that any residual debt that you have not been able to pay off over the period of the private insolvency no longer has to be paid by you. In this case, the deletion takes place three years after the end of the private insolvency.
Have Schufa entry deleted: What are the costs??
In principle, the deletion of negative entries in the Schufa free of charge possible. Schufa is financed by the companies as well as customers who order an immediate credit inquiry for a fee. Of course, you must take into account that you will have to bear the costs for the correspondence. Requests for deletion of entries must be sent by mail.
How long does it take to have negative Schufa entries deleted??
You should note that the deletion of Schufa entries can only take place once you have settled the claim or the debt is time-barred. The statute of limitations for so-called titled claims, which have been confirmed by a judge, is 30 years. If you have paid the outstanding debt in full and applied for deletion of the negative entry, you must expect a processing time of about three weeks.
In the case of a private insolvency with residual debt discharge, you must allow for a period of around three years after the end of the insolvency proceedings until you can assume that the negative entry will be deleted. An exception is a small claim is a maximum of 2000 EUR, here the deletion can be done immediately – although "immediately" is not to be taken literally: Schufa will also in such a case take some time to process until the negative entry is deleted from your data.
The credit agency does not only store your address and current credit agreements. Even fully repaid loans are stored and can be viewed by companies. The same applies to credit inquiries over a period of 12 months.
All accounts that you have are recorded in your Schufa file together with the granted credit line. To have such Schufa entries deleted is unfortunately not possible, at least prematurely. Here it concerns in particular with a punctual credit repayment however also above a positive entry, which increases your creditworthiness even still.
By the way, additional financial information such as current income or account balance is not saved.
Bottom line: take action
There is no question that if you have outstanding debt to pay, you should do so as soon as possible. Once the last installment has been paid, you can make efforts to delete the negative entries – and this step is also strongly advised. If you have negative entries, the chances of getting a loan decrease or the conditions worsen significantly. Automatic deletion of negative entries is possible in principle after a period of three years. However, experience shows that you should do it yourself to speed up the process. Whether it's a completed personal insolvency or the settlement of a titled debt, no Schufa entry lasts forever.
In addition, Schufa has been proven to keep a few 100.000 False entries, which can also affect you sensitively. Take advantage of the opportunity of a free self-disclosure, which Schufa is obliged to provide. This way you can track down unauthorized entries, have them deleted and thus increase your creditworthiness quickly and easily.