Loan in Germany: Smava

Loan in Germany: Smava titlecard

Smava is one of the best places to get a loan in Germany for both foreigners and locals. Here is our review of their services and what you can expect when applying for a loan with Smava.

Personal loans in Germany

Personal loans can be used for different reasons: purchasing an expensive item like a car, refinancing another loan, or even going on a vacation. Loans are a very convenient tool many people use at some point in their lives.

Yet, personal loans aren’t very common in Germany. 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.

That said, personal loans still exist in Germany, and you have a wide 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.

Firstly and most importantly, loans, mortgages, and personal loans in Germany are accessible to foreigners too. Banks don’t refuse lending only because of their nationality. There are some more critical factors that determine the success of getting a loan, e.g., SCHUFA (credit score).

Nonetheless, foreign nationals can get a loan in Germany if they fall under the following criteria:

Besides, 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.

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

Your credit score

SCHUFA or credit score is one of the most important factors that play into when getting a loan in Germany. Your credit score in Germany depends on a lot of things, including:

  • 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

SCHUFA 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. Use this online tool to check your SCHUFA.

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

Smava is one of the few providers that offer loans with bad or weak SCHUFA. Yet, they aren’t direct loan providers but cooperate with dozens of German banks.

1. Smava

Screenshot of Smava's landing page on their website

Smava is our favorable solution for a personal loan in Germany. It’s a loan platform giving you access to offers from over 20 German banks. With Smava, you can apply for any loan, whether you want to buy a new car, do some home renovations or even go on a vacation.

Term durationLoan (EUR)Interest rateSuccess rateHighlights
12 – 120 months500 – 120,0000,40% – 10,90%HighFast processing time

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 the 200 loan advisors.

Conditions and benefits of a personal loan with Smava:

Loan amountFrom 500 EUR to 120,000 EUR
Interest ratesEffective APR from 0,68% to 9,99%
Loan termFrom 12 to 120 months
Processing timeMaximum 2 working days
Benefits:Overview of loan offers from over 25 German banks
Neutral SCHUFA request: your loan application does not affect your credit score
Loans for people with bad creditworthiness
100% free for the customer
No additional or hidden costs
Loans for the self-employed
Cancellation is possible within the first 14 days

Advantages and disadvantages of the loan with Smava:

Financing even with bad creditworthinessWorks only online
High loan amountsA loan agreement is conducted with the individual bank, hence can vary.
Depending on the lender, fast payout and flexible repayment

The company was launched in 2007, has its base in Berlin, and currently employs over 450 people. Smava’s goal is to make loans transparent, fair, and affordable. So, you will be in good hands.

Smava doesn’t offer loans by itself but provides a detailed overview of loans from over 20 banks in Germany. Besides, it has loans for people with weak credit scores (SCHUFA), which are rare in Germany.

Yet, it’s not a place where you can get a loan with no credit score at all.

Which loan can you get with Smava? Smava offers financing for the following reasons, among others:

  • Loans for self-employed
  • Modernization loans
  • Installment loans
  • Civil servant loans
  • Car loans
  • Instant loans
  • Business loans

Loan types

Besides, Smava offers different types of loans:

  • Mini loans: loans from 500 EUR for free usage
  • Loans for civil servants: up to 120 months, amounts up to 100,000 EUR
  • Instant loans: loans with a fast payout
  • Small loans: amounts up to 7,000 EUR
  • Instant loans: with immediate payout

. The way the loan broker works is as follows:

  1. Smava compares offers from various lenders and picks out the best conditions for the customer.
  2. The application is simple and straightforward; you only have to answer a few questions, including the loan amount, term length, and purpose of the loan.
  3. Additionally, you will need to fill in some personal data.
  4. After that, you will see an overview of various loans from banks that suits your choice.
  5. Keep in mind that Smava itself doesn’t offer loans but only provides an overview and comparison of different offers.
  6. In total, you can compare the offers of over 20 banks.
  7. Whether you get the loan will depend on your creditworthiness.

Smava is a legitimate provider that has served thousands of customers.

  1. Smava has received several awards. Among other things, the customer’s data protection is particularly good.
  2. Customers leave positive reviews about Smava.
  3. Their services are free of charge for you.
  4. In the end, you should always compare loan offers from various providers before picking one. Hence, Smava is the best solution.

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 required information, such as term and loan amount.
  2. Enter your personal data. After, you will receive loan offers from different banks in Germany.
  3. Select the bank and apply for a desirable loan direct from the platform.
  4. If your documents are complete and all requirements are met, you will receive your money within a short time.

Requirements and documents

When it comes to getting a loan, you must meet various requirements. The same applies to loans from Smava.

The main requirements include:

  • Age of 18 and above
  • Residency in Germany
  • German bank account
  • Regular income
  • Employed or self-employed
  • Sufficient creditworthiness


To meet the requirements, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • Salary slips
  • Bank statements
  • For employees: copy of the employment contract
  • For self-employed: tax statements

Since Smava cooperates with many different banks, requirements and documents might vary.

Loan with a bad credit score (SCHUFA)

Smava is one of the few places where you have a chance of getting a loan with a weak or even bad credit score (SCHUFA). SCHUFA is crucial for banks to determine whether they will or won’t lend money to the applicant.

You can get a loan with a bad credit score at Smava if:

  • you aren’t in private insolvency
  • you don’t have open warrant of arrest
  • you have a regular income

Applicants with a negative Schufa entry and a medium credit rating can get a private loan from private individuals. The private lender decides whether to agree to grant a loan.

In some cases, applicants with bad credit scores must prove collateral, for example, a vehicle for a car loan.

You can increase your chances of getting a loan by providing the following:

1. Second borrower or guarantor: By having a second borrower or guarantor in the application form, you can get a better interest rate. If two people are responsible for a loan, it’s a lower risk for the bank.

Stating a second person is also highly recommended for self-employed people and young professionals. Banks always consider self-employed as people with higher risk and grant a loan at more expensive terms. The second person could compensate for this by providing information on their job.

The second borrower or guarantor will be very helpful for foreigners with residence permits in Germany. Especially who have been living in Germany since recently.

2. Stating existing loans: When applying for a loan, you should provide information on whether you have other existing borrowings. You can do it via an online form on Smava.

When it comes to your SCHUFA, all existing credits are considered. It will be indicated on your SCHUFA report, so you better be honest about this from the beginning.

Ultimately, when applying for a loan with existing debts, you should be sure about your budget. It must be enough to cover all loan payments and afford adequate living.

German banks calculate the financial capacity of the customer in a straightforward way – all income minus all expenditures, which includes existing loans minus new loan instalments. The remaining amount is allocated to your living expenses. If it’s not enough, the bank won’t grant a loan.

If this amount is enough for a living – the bank uses a blanket model, which considers children, among others. The final amount will determine whether you get a loan or not.

How fast is the loan payout?

How quickly a loan can be granted depends on the type of loan. An instant loan or express loan can be approved a short time after the application. The application is processed digitally; you don’t need to go to the bank.

However, you must submit all documents in a digital form and go through an identity check, which is made via Video-Ident.

The process takes longer if the documents are submitted by mail and the identity check is carried out via the PostIdent procedure (through the post office). In that case, you can expect the entire process to take up to one week.

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