What is a personal loan?
A personal loan is usually a small amount of money borrowed for individual needs. You must pay it back in monthly instalments. Almost anyone can get a personal loan in Germany and use it for different reasons, such as buying a new car, furniture, or even vacationing.
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 German banks, credit institutions, and peer-to-peer lending companies, as well as mini and short-term loan 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
In Germany, personal loans aren’t very common. Traditional banks prefer to give loans for a particular purpose that can be justified, for example, purchasing a house or 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||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|
How to get personal loan 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 of Germany or have a permanent residence permit
- Have a current bank account with a German bank or credit agency
- Have a regular net income
- Above eighteen years of age
Nonetheless, according to the law, foreigners have a right to get a loan in the country, but 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 bank loan approval and conditions will also depend on your employment and net 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
- Ability to show regular income
Read more about loans for foreigners in Germany in this article.
Compare the best personal loans in Germany by using the tool below:
Your credit score
SCHUFA or credit score is one element all banks will check in Germany, but it doesn’t play the most significant role for them.
Your credit score in Germany depends on a lot of things, such as:
- Annual net 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 monthly payments
- The number of bank loan approvals
SCHUFA or credit 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 SCHUFA check is made, the bank or credit agency will tell you if they would offer you a loan and under what conditions. The credit check can also be a factor in the actual interest rate you are given and the loan amount.
Loans with no or bad credit score – SCHUFA
Having a bad credit history or not having a credit score 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 or unsecured 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 personal loan in Germany, your best chance is to wait until you hold a settlement permit (PR).
- Apply for a loan that has a maximum loan duration of your residence permit in Germany.
- Establish a good credit history.
- Provide income and financial situation proof – you can support yourself and repay the money.
- Try to apply for a smaller loan amount at online banks – they have fewer requirements and easier processes for granting a loan.
- Select the right loan type. Apply for a loan within the specific category you qualify for to have the lowest interest rates. If you are cut out for a secured loan instead of a personal loan, apply for it to save money in the long run.
- Take your time to compare the different loan offers before settling for one. Pay attention to the annual percentage interest rates when doing so.
- If possible, take a loan with another person. Aside from reducing the risk for the bank, it also greatly lowers the loan amount interest rate.
- For the best personal loan offers in Germany, know your SCHUFA score and consistently work toward improving it. A bad credit history will always reduce your chances of getting a loan in Germany.
Moreover, getting a loan can be more difficult for young graduates with limited (temporary) 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 loan providers:
|Bank||Monthly fees||Card type||Cash withdrawals in EU/abroad||Payments in EU/abroad||Bonus|
|Barclays Visa card||Free||Visa||Free/Free||Free/Free||Absolutely free credit card; zero interest rate on spendings under 500 EUR|
|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%||–|
|Advanzia Mastercard Gold||Free||Mastercard||Interest rate 19,44%||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 to travel bookings|
Where can you 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 traditional 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, you can benefit from the lowest interest rates (2-4% interest rate) at the traditional bank. In many cases, an applicant must show a good credit score and a stable income.
Some traditional banks where you can get a personal loan in Germany:
Check out the best personal loans in Germany.
2. Loan comparison websites
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 no 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
Below are steps on how Smava works.
Smava will give you an overview of 70 loans from more than 20 leading credit institutions or banks, online, and peer-to-peer lenders. For any help, you can reach out to one of the 200 loan advisors.
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 from banks like Commerzbank, Postbank, Unicredit, Sparkasse, and Deutsche Bank.
Is the second place where comparing loans and mortgages in Germany is possible. The process is simple; just select the loan amount and the loan term duration, and you will see all options.
Is one of the largest German platforms to compare all sorts of things, including loans, car insurance, 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. Peer-to-peer lending
Peer-to-peer lending is growing fast in Germany. These are mainly online loan 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 borrow money 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 don’t have optimal or have 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
Read our full review of Auxmoney.
4. Mini loans and short-term loans
Mini loans are also common in Germany, especially among foreign nationals. It’s an easy credit 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. A mini loan may range from 500 EUR to 1,500 EUR.
These loans have higher interest rates (up to 15%), but they serve as emergency money 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 mini and short-term loans. New customers can get up to 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:
- Quick, instant loan
- Short duration (from 1 month)
- A small loan amount, 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 loan 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 institutions, online and peer-to-peer lenders. For any help, you can contact one of the 200 loan advisors.
Conditions and benefits of a 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 interest rate from 0,68% APR (annual percentage rate)
- 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.
Read a full review on Smava.
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 a 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 request. Application and the whole process at Auxmoney are made online.
The main requirements:
- You are a resident of 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 the best and easiest place to 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 differs 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 the 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
Read our full review of Auxmoney.
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 one final installment of 195,65 EUR|
Bank customers have a higher chance of receiving a personal loan and 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 up for one of their banking accounts, which has 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 visit the branch.
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
Targobank, a branch of the French Crédit Mutuel Bank Group, is a German retail bank headquartered in Düsseldorf. It’s evenly spread throughout the country, with about three hundred and fifty branches in over two hundred cities. It has about seven thousand and five hundred employees, ready to assist you in case of any inquiries.
Unlike most German banks, which offer loans only for specific situations like refurbishing a flat or a car loan, Targobank offers online personal loans. Small loans range from 1,500 EUR to 65,000 EUR.
Targobank allows loan repayment from installments as low as 50 EUR per month. What’s more, there’s no repayment time pressure. You can start paying back after eighty-nine days. It also helps you save money by allowing premature repayment without any additional costs.
Pausing repayment is possible with Targobank. The only restriction is to pause only once and after eleven monthly payments yearly.
Targobank personal loan average interest rate stands at an outstanding 1.75%, which is pretty lenient than other German traditional banks.
You can apply for a Targobank personal loan in the comfort of your home, as all the transactions are basically online. Calculation of the estimated loan costs, depending on the credit amount, is purely online-based.
Personal and job data submission doesn’t require your physical presence. You’ll receive your contract documents via mail.
Aside from the regular bank loan application requirements, Targobank requires you to be permanently employed in Germany. Being in the probation period disqualifies you from being an applicant.
You must also have no negative SCHUFA credit scores and a German bank account.
To apply for a Targobank personal loan, follow the simple loan application steps and answer all questions correctly. Afterward, you’ll receive a free, non-binding loan offer via mail or online.
The last step is finalizing the loan. To do this, you’ll have to prove your identity by either visiting a physical branch, via mail or through a Targobank video call.
Similar to Targobank, Postbank is a large German retail bank. It serves over thirteen million customers and has over a thousand branches throughout Germany.
Postbank personal loans start from 3,000 EUR to 50,000 EUR. The annual percentage interest rate ranges between 1.95% and 7.70%, depending on your personal financial standing.
Loan repayment periods range between twelve to eighty four months. The monthly payable interest rate starts from 39 EUR to 4,332 EUR.
Applying for a Postbank personal loan is quick. After logging into their website, follow the loan application instructions for a successful, positive experience. Questions touch subjects like personal data, financial liabilities, and occupational position.
Use the online calculator to find out the payable interest rate for your loan amount before finalizing the application.
To qualify for a Postbank personal loan, you must have a bank account and an online-Abfrage mit Postbank ID. A bank ID allows the bank to authenticate and finalize agreements online.
Santander is one of the largest retail banks worldwide. This credit institution has over one hundred and thirteen million customers and is found in more than forty countries.
In Germany, Santander has about six million customers and an outstanding loan portfolio of about thirty-one billion euros.
Santander personal loan amounts range between 5,000 EUR and 50,000 EUR. Its loan lifetimes start from twenty-four to sixty months, depending on your credit amount. This allows you to choose a loan plan that best suits you.
The annual Santander personal loan interest rate stands at 6.99%. Your annual interest rate depends on the credit term and loan amount. Although you have to pay interest, loans don’t incur any origination, prepayment penalty, or annual fees.
Current debt information, income, and income information are mandatory in the Santander loan application. You must also have a social security number to qualify.
Santander personal loans aren’t ideal for people with bad credit, basically anything below 700. Its lowest and best interest rates are reserved for those with impeccable or the best credit. Aside from the regular credit score, Santander looks at other factors, like your debt-to-income ratio, to determine your creditworthiness or general credit report.
Another Santander downside is that they allow you to check your loan interest rate only after completing the loan application process. A calculator helps you calculate the interest rate on the website.
Despite being mostly online-based, you must finalize your Santander personal loan application in one of their physical branches. Ensure you book an appointment online before visiting any of the bank branches for quick consultations.
You will also need to set up a checking account to opt into the automatic payment option. Good thing, opening one is absolutely free.
N26 is a German bank founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Berlin. Despite below is an illustrting new in the German financial sector, N26 has more than eight million customers. N26 is purely online-based and thus ideal if you aren’t a fan of in-person transactions and consultations.
Before applying for an N26 personal loan, you should determine how much money you need. Aside from convenient payday loans, N26 offers overdraft credit, which allows you to overdraw up to 10,000 EUR from your bank account. The bank charges interest on only the amount used. The website explains how to set up an overdraft fast.
Source: N26 Overdraft
To qualify for a personal loan you must prove your identity by submitting a passport in Germany, proof of residence, or an ID card.
N6 personal loans range from 1,000 EUR to 25,000 EUR. They have one of the widest repayment plans starting from six to sixty months.
N26 is also huge on checking your credit report to determine in you are qualified to borrow money. The bank will request varying information from one individual to another. The requested information may include profession, properties, or even profession. SCHUFA information will also be assessed.
A good credit rating increases your chances of qualifying for a loan.
The bank may ask for additional loan securities if you’re considered a risk due to your credit ranking. You can obtain loan securities through a cosigner, which is ideal if you have no property in Germany.
Once you’ve completed the application process, send it to the bank within ninety days to avoid expiration or disqualification. Signing a contract to finalize the process is mandatory. You can do this via a video call or SMS message.
After a successful application, N26 will credit the loan into your account within five to seven working weeks.
N26 charges annual interest rates starting from 1.99% to 19%. No charges are added to the repayment. However, incase you change your credit plan or default on your payments, you might incur some fees.
N26 allows premature payments. However, some contracts include fees incase of early payments. Therefore, before repaying the loan before the due date, ensure you go through the contract to avoid incurring any fees.
The bank of Scotland is a clearing and commercial bank headquatered at Edinburgh, Scotland. If you have a bank account in this bank, you can get a personal loan, regardless of your location, as you can access all their services, including credit inquiry, online.
Bank of Scotland personal loans range between 7,500 EUR and 25,000 EUR. Repayment periods of loan lifetimes are between one and seven years. The lowest annual personal loan interest rate is 5.9%.
You can apply for two loan repayment holidays yearly. However, you must first get the bank’s approval to do so. These loans also allow you to make additional payments with zero extra charges.
In case yu randomly get a large amount of cash, your can repay your bank of Scotland personal loan in full amount. The bank makes early repayment adjustments of up to fifty eight days of interest.
Full time students and persons with bad credit history don’t qualify for Bank of Scotland personal loans.
You can get a bank of Scotland personal loan for auto financing, to consolidate debt, or for home improvements. However, the bank may decline your loan application if you intend to gamble, invest, use it for illegal purposes, or share purchases.
Bank of Scotland allows you to manage your loan online. Via internet banking, you can view the loan statement, get repayment holidays, and make premature payments.
Overdraft are also possible in Bank of Scotland. These can be a good choice if you don’t require a ridiculously large amount of money like car loan, housing loan, or a real estate loan urgently.
Source: Bank of Scotland
Requirements for getting a personal loan in Germany
Getting a loan in Germany isn’t a straightforward process; in any case, you must fulfill the minimum requirements to obtain any amount of money.
To get a loan in Germany, there are a few requirements you must fulfill. You need to:
- be registered in Germany (have an address)
- be able to provide proof of steady 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 request 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, repayment period, and the applicant’s credit score. It can start already from 1.99% p.a.
Additionally, the purpose of your loan is also essential: a loan for buying a house is usually cheaper than a car loan.
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 which you apply to. 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 about a week’s period.For the fastest and instant loans, you can visit Cashper. This online financial service is highly rated and offers up to 1,500 EUR instant loans with a period of thirty to sixty days. What’s more, if in urgent need, you can get the loan within twenty four hours.