A personal loan is usually a small amount of money borrowed for personal needs. You must pay it back in monthly installments. Almost anyone can get a personal loan in Germany and use it for different reasons, such as buying a new car, furniture, or even going on a vacation.
To get a personal loan in Germany, you can compare all options using online loan calculators. They give you an overview of offers from financial organizations such as traditional banks, credit institutions, peer-to-peer lending companies, as well as mini and short-term loans providers.
So you need money somewhat urgently? Taking a small personal loan might be your best solution. This article 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. Traditional banks prefer to give loans for a particular purpose that can be justified, for example, the purchase of a house, car, 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.
Best personal loan providers in Germany
|Loan provider||Interest rate||Loan amount (EUR)||Loan term (months)||Success rate||Bonus|
|Smava||0,40% - 10,90%||500 - 120,000||12 - 120||High||Fast processing time|
|Auxmoney||average 4,42%||1,000 - 50,000||12 - 84||High||Fast payout|
|1822direkt||2,49% to 7,31%||2,500 - 50,000||12 - 120||Average||Free bank account|
|Tarifcheck||0,68% to 5,99%||1,000 - 100,000||12 - 120||High||Best rates on the market|
|Verivox||From 0,0%; Average - 3,52%||up to 100,000||12 - 120||High||Find best rates through detailed comparison|
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 according to your nationality, but they might offer different conditions to 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 to get a loan in the country, bus it will mostly depend on the bank and your life situation.
For example, your residence status greatly impacts 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 fulfill basic requirements such as having:
- Residency in Germany
- Regular income
Read more about loans for foreigners in Germany in this article.
Your credit score
SCHUFA 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 you can’t get a loan in Germany. Some banks and financial institutions offer credits regardless of SCHUFA – the magic German word.
Some banks will approve a personal loan without a SCHUFA. Yet, if your income is pretty low, you can provide a guarantor to get a loan.
Self-employed and freelancers also have a chance to get a loan without having SCHUFA. You must prove that your business has been successful for the last three years.
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 about loans with a repayment period that lies entirely 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).
- Apply for a loan that has a maximum duration of your residence permit in Germany.
- Establish a good creditworthiness history.
- Provide income and financial proof – you can support yourself and can pay back the money.
- Try to apply for a smaller amount at online banks – they have fewer requirements and easier processes for 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 in Germany
The loan isn’t the only option if you are in need of 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:
|Bank||Monthly fees||Card type||Cash withdrawals in EU/abroad||Payments in EU/abroad||Bonus|
|Payback American Express||Free||AMEX||4%||Free/2%||Payback for each 2 EUR spent|
|Santander BestCard Basic||Free||Visa||Free up to 4 times||Free/1,5%||-|
|Free Mastercard Gold||Free||Mastercard||Interest rate 1,49%||Free/Free||-|
|DKB Visa Card||Free||Visa||Free/Free||Free/Free||Cash-back up to 20%|
|Awa7 Visa Card||Free||Visa||Free/Free||Free/Free||5% discount on travel bookings|
Places where you can get a loan in Germany
There are various financial organizations providing loans in Germany. For example, online loans have become 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 must show a very good credit score and a stable income.
Some traditional banks where you can get a personal loan:
2. Loan comparison platforms
1. Smava is Berlin-based and Germany’s first FinTech company, founded in 2007. It’s rated as 5 out of 5 in finding credit in Germany. With Smava you can apply for loans in banks like Commerzbank, Postbank, Unicredit, Sparkasse, Deutsche Bank.
2. Tarifcheck is the second 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.
3. 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.
Top pick – Smava
On Smava you can quickly find the right loan for your situation:
- Great interest rates
- Fast payout speed
- For personal loans with not optimal or negative SCHUFA score
- Loan between 1,000 EUR and 120,000 EUR
Smava compares offers from different German lenders and picks out the best conditions for you. You can:
- and receive a loan in Germany
Smava will give you an overview of 70 loans from more than 20 leading credit banks, online, and peer-to-peer lenders. For any help, you can reach out to one of 200 loan advisors.
Check out best personal loans in Germany.
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 is 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.
Auxmoney is the largest peer-to-peer loan provider in Germany:
- Great interest rate
- Fast payout speed
- For personal loans with not optimal or negative SCHUFA score
- Loan between 1,000 EUR and 120,000 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 a mini loan is a good solution if you need money urgently and in a small amount. Mini loans usually range from 500 EUR to 1,500 EUR.
These loans have higher interest rates (up to 15%), but they serve as emergency money that you might need until you get the next month’s paycheck.
Some options for mini loans are:
Top pick – 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 loans. 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:
- Be 18 years or older
- Have a place of residence/address in Germany
- Own a current bank account in Germany
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.
Smava is another favorable solution for a personal loan in Germany. It’s the biggest online loan calculator, where you can:
- 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.
Conditions and 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 additional 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.
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.
You will also have a higher success rate. A loan borrowed with Auxmoney can be used for any purpose. The interest rate will vary based on your credit score and other factors.
Personal loan with Auxmoney:
|You can get a loan with a low credit score|
|Favorable interest rates – from 5.40% / year for loan of 50,000 EUR|
|Fast money from private and institutional investors|
|Loans from 1,000 EUR to 50,000 EUR|
|Loan term between 12 and 84 months|
|Completely online process with no paperwork|
|You can apply for a loan even if a traditional bank refuses your loan request|
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 meeting 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?
- Create your personal digital profile
- Fill out loan request – it takes a few minutes
- Quick review of financing options will be done
- Go through identification by VideoIdent
- Sign contract online
- The decision will be made, and money will be transferred to you within 24 hours or a few days
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 EUR|
|Annual interest rate||2,99%|
|You pay 83 monthly installments of 197,70 EUR and 1 final installment of 195,65 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.
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.
Verivox is the largest German platform to compare loans, electricity & gas plans, car insurance, 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.
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
Requirements for getting a personal loan in Germany
As you have learned, getting a loan in Germany isn’t a straightforward 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 a higher chance of getting a personal loan here:
When requesting a loan in a 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 essential: 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)
- installment amount (Kreditrate)
- interest rate (Zins)
How fast can you 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:
- Health insurance for students
- Health insurance for expats, employees, self-employed and freelancers
- Best international health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Car insurance or find one here
- Best free credit card
- Best free bank account
- Compare providers and rates for various insurances, sim cards, internet, electricity, banking accounts, credits & loans, and more.
- Loan with minimal requirements
- Compare loans
- Best price & value sim card and best deal overall including high-speed internet
- Learn German on the best online platform
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