How To Get a Personal Loan in Germany?

A personal loan is usually a small amount of money borrowed for personal needs. You will pay it back in monthly installments. Almost anyone can get a personal loan in Germany and use it for different reasons, such as paying unexpected bills, buying a new car or furniture.

To get a personal loan in Germany you can use the services of different financial organizations such as traditional banks, credit institutions, peer-to-peer lending companies, as well as mini and short-term loans providers.

So you are in need for money and want to take a personal loan in Germany? In this article, we will explain how and where to take a personal loan in Germany, especially if you are a foreigner.

Personal Loans in Germany

Personal loans can be used for different reasons, you might need to cover some unexpected expenses. Loans come in hand when you are in money need, even when living abroad, in Germany.

In Germany, personal loans aren’t very common, classic banks prefer to give loans for a particular purpose which can be justified, for example, purchase of the house, car, or to finance business or studies.

With that said, personal loans still exist in Germany, and you will have a decent choice when applying for one.

However, to be able to take a loan you need to make sure that you will be able to pay it back. Only take a loan as a last chance to get a financial solution to the problem.

Loans for Foreigners in Germany

Firstly and most importantly, loans, mortgages, and personal loans in Germany are possible for foreigners too. Banks don’t discriminate accordingly to your nationality but they might offer different conditions to different people based on their residency and citizenship.

Foreign nationals can get a loan in Germany if they fall under the following criteria:

  • Be a resident in Germany
  • Have a current account with a German bank
  • Have a regular income

Nonetheless, according to the law, foreigners have a right on getting a loan in the country, bus it will mostly depend on the bank and your life situation.

For example, your residence status has a large impact on how much you can borrow and for how long. The loan approval and conditions will also depend on your employment and income.

Overall, getting a loan as a foreigner is more difficult than it will be for a German citizen. EU citizens have better chances than non-EU nationals. Banks simply don’t want to take a high risk.

Ultimately, banks want to see that you are staying long-term in Germany, especially if you are thinking about getting a loan for an extended period of time. EU citizens and PR holders have higher success rates in getting a loan in Germany.

Nevertheless, all foreigners can receive a loan in Germany, assuming they fullfill basic requirements such as having:

  • Residency in Germany
  • Regular income

Read more about loans for foreigners in Germany in this article.

Your credit score

Shufa or credit score is one element all banks will check in Germany, but it doesn’t play the same role for all of them.

Your credit score in Germany depends on a lot of things, such as:

  • Annual gross income
  • Length of the work contract
  • The length of the overall stay in Germany
  • The number of loan applications already made
  • The number of loan refusals
  • Missed loan payments
  • The number of loan approvals

Shufa score will also depend on your disposable income, which is calculated by taking your monthly net income and deducting all recurring fixed costs, like insurance, rent, etc.

After the SHUFA check is made, the bank will tell you if they would offer you a loan and under what conditions. The credit check can also be a factor in the interest rate you are given and the loan amount.

Loans with no or bad credit score – SCHUFA

Having a bad credit score or not having is problematic but doesn’t mean that you can’t get a loan in Germany. Some banks and financial institutions offer credits regardless of SCHUFA – the magic German word.

For instance, bank Maxda is one of them. They have very straightforward requirements for both foreign and German citizens. Maxda offers loans without SCHUFA up to 7,500 EUR and a repayment period of up to 40 months.

The requirements are:

  • Regular monthly income of at least 1,130 EUR
  • Age between 18 and 60 years old

Yet, if your income is lower or your age is different, you can provide a guarantor to get a loan. Self-employed and freelancers also have a chance to get a loan without having SCHUFA at Maxda. You must prove that your business has been successful for the last three years.

Furthermore, Maxda also offers instant and car loans. The company has many positive reviews from customers, read here.

Info on loan with Maxda:

  • Apply – 100% online
  • Loan approval – within 24 hours
  • Payout time – after 2 to 4 days
  • Cancelation period – 14 days

In addition, loans without SCHUFA are available at Auxmoney and CrediMaxx. Or you can choose one yourself on comparison platforms like

Tips on getting a loan in Germany

To increase your chances of getting a loan in Germany as a foreigner, be sure to only inquire for loans with a repayment period that lies fully within the duration of your residence permit. If you are looking at getting a mortgage, your best chance is to wait until you hold a settlement permit (PR). 

  1. Apply for a loan which has maximum duration of your residence permit in Germany.
  2. Establish a good creditworthiness history.
  3. Provide income and financial proof – you can support yourself and are able to pay back the money.
  4. Try to apply for a smaller amount at online banks – they have fewer requirements and easier processes of granting a loan.

Moreover, getting a loan can be more difficult for young graduates with limited-time employment contracts and for self-employed consultants or business owners. 

Read more about mortgages for foreigners in Germany.

Alternative To Taking a Loan

The loan isn’t the only option if you are in need for money, as an alternative you can get a credit card in Germany. Some banks offer credit cards with minimal requirements for foreigners and even students.

Check out these providers:

  1. Credit card with DKB

By opening a free banking account with DKB, you will get a free VISA credit card with up to a 100,000 EUR disposable balance. All DKB cards include free cash withdrawals worldwide.

2. Mastercard Gold

Mastercard Gold is a very popular credit card in Germany. You can get it for free and enjoy the immediate credit opportunities it gives you without the need of taking a loan in the bank. Mastercard Gold also doesn’t have monthly fees.

Places Where You Can Get a Loan in Germany

There are various financial organizations providing loans in Germany. For example, online loans became more popular, since they are easier and faster to obtain than the classical banks. Below you can see the most common options for a loan in Germany.

1. Loan from a traditional bank

The first option is the classical one: you just go to your or any other bank and consult an office clerk about the loan possibility.

Banks are still quite old-fashioned in Germany and will prefer to talk to you personally or over the phone.

However, at the traditional bank, you can benefit from the lowest interest rates (2-4% interest). In many cases, an applicant will have to show a very good credit score and a stable income.

Some traditional banks where you can get a personal loan:

Our choice – private loan with DKB

Benefits of private credit with DKB

  1. Favorable conditions
  2. Effective APR: 3,19% p. a. to 3,69% p. a.
  3. Interest rate: 3,15% p. a. to 3,63% p. a. and it’s independent on your credit score
  4. Net loan amount: 2,500 EUR to 65,000 EUR
  5. Duration: 12 months to 120 months
  6. Monthly instalment: with a minimum loan amount of 2,500 EUR you can choose from 12 instalments of 211,93 EUR to 120 instalments of 24,88 EUR. When taking a maximum loan amount of 65,000 EUR choose from 12 instalments of 5,510 EUR to 120 instalments of 646,79 EUR.
  7. You can pay back the loan before agreed period

Immediate credit with DBK

Do you want to get a loan as quickly and conveniently as possible? Then the DKB instant loan might be a good option.

  • Loan amount ranges from 2,500 EUR to 30,000 EUR
  • From 3.19% credit-neutral APR (3.15% p.a. borrowing rate)
  • Apply online
  • Instant loan decision and payout

Requirements for getting a loan with DBK:

  • You are over 18 years old
  • You live in Germany
  • You are neither self-employed nor freelancing
  • You have a salary
  • You have a German mobile phone number

You can also open a free bank account with DBK, where you can enjoy free cash withdrawal from any Visa ATM, even abroad. DKB also provides a free VISA credit card with free cash withdrawals worldwide.

2. Credit institutions

Credit institutions are organizations specializing in providing loans and credits. The process of getting one is easier than with a traditional bank.

For a short-term loan, it has low interest rates and it comes with faster payment terms (4-10% interest). Some of them are:

Benefits of using credit institutions are:

  • low-interest rate for small and short term loans
  • faster payout for personal loans with small loan amount
  • between 4% to 10% interest on short-term loans

The possible credit with credit institutions lies between 500 EUR and 300,000 EUR and the period between 12 and 120 months. Loans without Schufa are also possible if you can prove a regular monthly income.

Personal loan with CrediMaxx:

CrediMaxx offers loans from 4,000 EUR to 60,000 EUR for 48 and 120 months.

Conditions for CrediMaxx:

  • Borrowing rate from 4,80% – 13,50% p.a.
  • Effective interest rate from 4,91% to 14,90% p.a.
  • Payout time: 1-10 working days (3 days on average)
  • Pauses in monthly payments: possible on request

3. Peer-to-peer lending

Peer-to-peer lending is growing fast in Germany. These are mainly online providers, offering a marketplace between lenders and borrowers.

Peer-to-peer lending companies often offer their services online and operate with lower overhead, allowing them to provide their credit services at a lower cost than traditional banks.

Because, you will be borrowing from private investors, your success rate will be higher. Another benefit of such a service, that your credit score won’t decide everything.

Hence, even if you have not optimal or a negative Schufa score, you can get money from this option, with interest ranging from 3-14% for these loans. 

Examples of peer-to-peer lending systems are Auxmoney and Smava.

  • High interest rate
  • Fast payout speed
  • For personal loans with not optimal or negative SCHUFA score
  • Loan between 1,000 EUR and 50,000 EUR

4. Mini loans and short term loans

Mini loans are also common in Germany, especially among foreign nationals. It’s an easy credit, which is made online and often received within hours.

So if you are in urgent need for a not significant amount of money, a mini loan is a good solution. Mini loans usually range from 500 EUR to 1,500 EUR.

These type of loans has higher interest rates (up to 15%), but they serve as emergency money which you might need until you get the next month’s paycheck.

Some options for mini loans are:

Quick loan with Vexcash

Vexcash is the solution if you urgently need money. Vexcash is by far the best provider for a mini and short-term loan. New customers of Vexcash can get 500 EUR in loans. If you pay back within 30 days, you can get a loan of up to 3,000 EUR next time.

Benefits of the loan with Vexcash:

  • Instant, quick loans
  • Short duration (from 1 month)
  • Small loan amounts, normally 500 EUR up to 3,000 EUR
  • Loans with low credit score

Requirements for mini and short term loans:

Consequently, with mini loans, you will have higher chances.

Best Personal Loan Providers in Germany

Here are our recommended providers for getting a personal loan in Germany, especially if you aren’t a German national.

1. DKB

Bank DKB offers loans, credit cards, and normal bank accounts for customers in Germany and Austria. It’s one of the best solutions for getting a loan in Germany.

Private loan with DKB:

  1. Favorable conditions
  2. Effective APR: 3,19% p. a. to 3,69% p. a.
  3. Interest rate: 3,15% p. a. to 3,63% p. a. and it’s independent of your credit score
  4. Net loan amount: 2,500 EUR to 65,000 EUR
  5. Duration: 12 months to 120 months
  6. Monthly instalment: with a minimum loan amount of 2,500 EUR you can choose from 12 instalments of 211,93 EUR to 120 instalments of 24,88 EUR. When taking a maximum loan amount of 65,000 EUR choose from 12 instalments of 5,510 EUR to 120 instalments of 646,79 EUR.
  7. You can pay back the loan before agreed period

Immidiate credit with DBK

Do you want to get a loan as quickly and conveniently as possible? Then the DKB instant loan might be a good option.

  • Loan amount ranges from 2,500 EUR to 30,000 EUR
  • From 3.19% credit-neutral APR (3.15% p.a. borrowing rate)
  • Apply online
  • Instant loan decision and payout

Requirements for getting a loan with DBK:

  • You are over 18 years old
  • You live in Germany
  • You are neither self-employed nor freelancer
  • You have a salary
  • You have a German mobile phone number

How to get a loan with DBK bank:

  1. Apply for credit online – Simply enter the desired amount and complete the application conveniently online.

2. Legitimize online – With Video-Ident you can simply confirm your identity online. Alternatively, the POSTIDENT procedure is available.

3. Receive the loan on your account – With a positive credit decision, the amount will be in your account in a few days.

You can also open a free bank account with DBK

Not only DBK offers loans to foreigners but they also have a great deal if you want to open a free bank account.

Benefits of DBK bank account:

  1. Online application and setup
  2. No ongoing management fees
  3. No minimum deposit amount
  4. Free VISA credit and debit card
  5. Interest paid on credit card balance
  6. Free worldwide cash withdrawals
  7. Zero foreign transaction costs
  8. Monthly credit card and bank statements online
  9. Ability to still maintain a German bank account once you move back home. Just inform the bank of the change of address and residence.

Many benefits (and even more) are offered particularly if you have at least 700 EUR a month coming into your account. DBK offers free credit cards, so it also might be a good solution to taking a loan in Germany.

And most importantly, any cash withdrawal from any Visa ATM is free, irrespective of the country or the currency. Therefore, DKB provides a free VISA credit card with free cash withdrawals worldwide.

Even if any ATM charges such as transaction fees, DKB will reverse these charges and issue a refund of these costs to your account.

2. 1822direkt

Bank 1822direkt is a part of the well-known Sparkasse bank in Germany. At 1822direkt you can get a loan between 2,500 EUR and 50,000 EUR.

The duration of the loan varies between 12 months and 120 months.

Here is an example of a basic loan with 1822direkt:

  • Loan amount – 15,000
  • Duration – 84 months
  • Annual interest rate – 2,99 %
  • Borrowing rate – 2,95%
  • You will pay 83 monthly installments of 197,70 EUR and 1 final installment of 195,65 EUR
  • Total – 16,604 EUR

Customers of the bank have a higher chance of receiving a personal loan and with better conditions. You can become a customer by opening one of the bank accounts with 1822direkt. In fact, some of them are free and provide great benefits!

You can sign for one of their banking accounts which also have an option for disposable credit:

In addition to the debit card, you can apply for a credit card. Moreover, the application and setup are made online, so you don’t have to spend time going to the branch.

3. SKG

An installment loan from SKG bank is another good financing option. SKG specializes in private loans for individuals and businesses.

The loan application is made entirely online and completed in just a few steps.

Personal loan with SKG – main benefits:

  • Loan amount – from 2,000 EUR to 65,000 EUR
  • Loan duration – from 12 to 120 months
  • Annual interest rate – from 1,89%
  • 100% online
  • Instant decision on the loan

4. Santander BestCredit

Santander is a large international bank. In Germany, it belongs to the top 5 banks in the country. They offer several loans and credit cards for private clients.

Private loan with Santander BestCredit:

  • Favorable interest rates
  • Quick credit decision
  • Non-binding inquiry and calculation
  • Loan amount – from 1,000 EUR to 60,000 EUR
  • Loan duration – from 12 to 96 months
  • Annual interest rate – from 1,99% to 7,98%
  • 90 days installment freedom
  • Easy application and convenient online identification with VideoID

With Santander’s private loan you can increase your credit amount during the term at any time. Moreover, you can also put your credit on pause.

Apply here.

5. Auxmoney

Auxmoney is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace based in Germany and was founded in 2007. It’s an online platform that eliminates the high cost and complexity of traditional bank lending.

We chose Auxmoney because the company has a very straightforward, fast, and easy process for lending money, making the process as easy and transparent as possible.

Over the company’s history, Auxmoney has given over 325,000 loans on more than 2 milliard EUR. Auxmoney is rated as 4,8 out of 5 in service and offerings.

You will also have a higher success rate. A loan borrowed with Auxmoney can be used for any purpose. The interest rate will be vary based on your credit score and other factors. 

  • You can get a loan with a low credit score (Intern or Schufa)
  • A stable income is not necessary, but you need to prove your ability to repay the loan
  • A co-signer/guarantor or an additional borrower cannot be declared to avoid administrative barriers
  • Your personal data are required for registration
  • To conclude the loan your identification (Postident) and the signed contract will suffice

Granting of credit

More than half of all loan requests are approved within 2 hours by private lenders. If your loan is not approved immediately, your request will remain on the market for up to 20 days for another private lender to take on the loan. 

Personal loan with Auxmoney:

  • favorable interest rates – from 5.40% / year for loan of 50,000 EUR
  • fast money from private and institutional investors
  • instant quote/offer
  • loans from 1,000 EUR to 50,000 EUR
  • length of the loan between 12 and 84 months
  • uncomplicated application
  • completely online process with no paperwork
  • very satisfied customers

You can apply for a loan even if a traditional bank refuses your loan request. Application and the whole process at Auxmoney are made online.

The main requirements:

  • You are resident in Germany
  • You have a current account with a German bank
  • You have a regular income

After fulfilling these requirements you will receive a loan from Auxmoney within 24 hours or the next few days.

From our research and experience, Auxmoney is by far the best and easiest place you can get a loan as a foreigner, the refusal rate is very low as well as the requirements. It’s a private organization powered by investors with their funds, which is different from the traditional bank.

Finance your studies or business in Germany

If you need money to finance your studies or business in Germany you can apply for one of the easy to get loans, such as Auxmoney. They provide money for different categories of people including self-employed, students, freelancers, and of course employees.

How to apply for a loan with Auxmoney?

  1. Create your digital personal profile 
  2. Fill out loan request – it takes a few minutes
  3. Quick review of financing options will be done
  4. Go through identification by VideoIdent
  5. Sign contract online
  6. The decision will be made and money will be transferred to you within 24 hours or a few days

6. Smava

Smava is another favorable solution for a personal loan in Germany. It’s the biggest online platform, where you can:

  • find
  • select
  • apply
  • and receive a loan in Germany

Smava will give you an overview of 70 loans from more than 20 leading credit banks, online lenders, and peer-to-peer lenders. For any help, you can reach out to one of 200 loan advisors.

To apply for a loan you have to meet at least the following requirements:

  • Majority age (= full legal age, minimum 18 years)
  • (Registered) Residency in Germany
  • Bank account in Germany
  • Sufficient regular income (Employment or self-employed or pension)
  • No negative entries in your SCHUFA (German credit score)

Benefits of personal loan with Smava:

  • decent and legitimate loan offers with favorable conditions
  • neutral SCHUFA request: your loan application does not affect your credit score
  • loans from 500 EUR to 120,000 EUR
  • loans for the self-employed
  • it’s 100% free!
  • no aditional or hidden costs
  • effective APR from 0,68%
  • fast processing time (max. 2 working days)
  • fast loan payment

Smava is Germany’s largest loan comparison website, which is offering quick, easy, and affordable loans since 2007.

Steps to get a loan with Smava

  1. Submit all information, after you will receive loan offers from different banks in Germany
  2. Select the bank and apply for a desirable credit direct from the platform
  3. If your documents are complete and all requirements are met, you will receive your money within a very short time

Fill out the form below to find the perfect credit in Germany

7. Credimaxx

Credimaxx is a trustworthy Swiss financial institution that was founded in 2014. They offer special loans without a credit score (SHUFA), such loans are hard to find.

Benefits with a loan with Credimaxx:

  • Flexible credit terms and loan amounts
  • Loans from 3,500 EUR to 60,000 EUR
  • Loan duration from 48 to 120 months
  • Payment within 24 hours
  • High success rate
  • No hidden costs

The loan request with CrediMaxx is done super easy and quickly online. After application, the employees of CrediMaxx will search for a suitable lender and send you a non-binding offer.

To increase the chances of a positive loan commitment, we recommend that you take the loan with a second person.

Requirements for a loan with Credimaxx:

You must meet the usual requirements for Credimaxx to pay you the loan, such as residence in Germany and the age of majority.

Exact requirements will depend on the type of loan you have selected and your personal situation. After you have submitted the request for a loan you will receive a list with the required documents.

Anyway, we would recommend having the following documents:

  • Bank statements
  • Proof of salary (if available)

Read reviews about CrediMaxx.

Compare loans and mortgages in Germany

Before signing for the loan, we recommend you check all loans and mortgages options on the comparison websites such as TarifcheckVerivoxSmava, and Loanlink24 (for mortgages). 

1. Tarifcheck is the first place where you can compare loans and mortgages in Germany. The process is simple, just select the loan amount as well as the term duration, and you will see all options.

2. Verivox is one of the largest German platforms to compare all sorts of stuff, including loans, car insurances, internet deals, and electricity & gas plans.

There you can choose the type of loan and the conditions. Loans up to 100,000 EUR with a duration of up to 10 years are available. All inquiries via Verivox are SCHUFA-neutral.

3. Loanlink24 is a comparison tool for mortgages in Germany. You can see offers from over 400 German banks. The best thing about this platform is that it’s 100% in ENGLISH

2. Verivox

Verivox is the largest German platform to compare loans, electricity & gas plans, car insurances, and internet deals. 

Here you can choose the type of loan and the conditions. Loans up to 100,000 EUR with a duration of up to 10 years are available. All inquiries via Verivox are SCHUFA-neutral.

Verivox turbocredit

You can sign for a Verivox turbo loan:

  • Interest rate starts from 0.0% p. a.
  • 100% digital, no submission of documents
  • Same-day processing incl. money withdrawal is possible
  • Special repayment
  • Payment pauses possible

Requiremets for getting a personal loan in Germany

As you have learned getting a loan in Germany isn’t a very easy process, and in any case, you will need to fulfill the minimum requirements to obtain any amount of money.

In order to get a loan in Germany, there are a few requirements you must fulfill. You need to:

  • be registered in Germany
  • be able to prove a steady and sufficient proof of income ( 3 – 6 months of pay slips for employees, up to two years of balance sheets for freelancers)
  • be presenting a decent SCHUFA score

Requirements vary depending on the bank and credit institution, hence, traditional banks will demand the most amount of paper. Yet, places like peer-to-peer lending, mini loans, and short-term loans will demand the least from you.

You will have higher chances of getting a personal loan here:

When you are requesting a loan in the traditional bank you should apply for a loan conditions inquiry (Kreditkonditionen Anfrage), instead of a loan request (Kredit Anfrage).

The former won’t impact your SCHUFA score, whereas the latter can negatively influence it.

Interest rates in Germany

The interest rate of a personal loan is based on the loan amount, the repayment period, and the credit score of the applicant. It can start already from 1.99% p.a.

Additionally, the purpose of your loan is also important: loans for buying a house are usually cheaper than loans for buying a car.

When selecting a loan pay attention at:

  • credit volume (Kreditvolumen)
  • credit duration/term (Kreditlaufzeit)
  • instalment amount (Kreditrate)
  • interest rate (Zins)

How Fast You Can Receive a Loan in Germany?

The speed of receiving a loan decision and the eventual payout will depend on the financial institutions where you apply. It will surely take more time at traditional banks.

Online financial institutions will tell you the decision immediately or within hours. The loan payout can be done on the same day or in the coming days.

Recommended products and services in Germany:

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