SCHUFA study raises question of trust
In a representative survey conducted in January 2021, the consumer protection portal selbstauskunft.de used a SCHUFA study to investigate the level of trust that the German population places in SCHUFA Holding AG and, in particular, its main product, the SCHUFA self-disclosure. According to the study, SCHUFA is failing to live up to its own claim that "we create trust". The cause seems to be poor data quality and outdated working methods in the information provided.
SCHUFA Holding AG presents itself as the leading German credit agency and thus influences the lives of all 69.43 million German citizens of legal age. The SCHUFA's brand essence, derived from its history and aspired to, is "trust". But is this still justified today? Do Germans really still trust SCHUFA? An empirical study was conducted to find out.
If one believes the research of the NDR, then the SCHUFA Holding AG develops more and more to the interest representative of private enterprises and leaves the role of the neutral observer and protector against fraud and bad payment morale.
According to NDR research , SCHUFA has a database whose contents make it difficult to change energy providers and electricity tariffs. In this "Schufa-E-Pool", the contract data of customers are stored and are to be made accessible to the energy providers. Against this background, can one still speak of a neutral SCHUFA and does this offer still correspond to the original mission of SCHUFA? How much trust do Germans currently have in SCHUFA? And does the self-image propagated by SCHUFA correspond to the population's assessment?
Germans' trust in SCHUFA at rock bottom
The result is sobering:
- One in 5 Germans completely distrusts SCHUFA (13.89 million people)
- More than 80% of Germans with negative SCHUFA experiences distrust the company completely
- More than 50% of the population (without negative personal experience with SCHUFA) distrusts the work of SCHUFA
- Overall, 50% of Germans (34.72 million people over the age of 18) trust SCHUFA little or not at all
- 21.1% of Germans have already had problems with incorrect or outdated SCHUFA entries in the past (14.65 million people)
No rental contract, no cell phone contract with a negative SCHUFA entry even if it is false!
What does that mean? In Germany, hardly anything is possible without a positive SCHUFA report: rental agreements, cell phone contracts, loans, and even car insurance policies are only concluded with a positive SCHUFA report. Conversely, this means: People with negative entries are effectively excluded from economic life.
The reasons for the extraordinarily negative attitude of Germans toward SCHUFA are probably to be found in the way SCHUFA works. SCHUFA seems to have a massive data problem, and the way it collects data dates back to a time when it was not technically possible to access data in real time.
Every 5th SCHUFA report wrong?! - every 5th German distrusts SCHUFA!
To the question "Have you had problems in the past due to incorrect or outdated SCHUFA entries?" one in five answered "Yes."
To this end, another study is underway in cooperation with a nationwide law firm that will clarify the question of how many SCHUFA reports actually contain incorrect or outdated data. In order to force SCHUFA to adhere to a minimum quality standard, each individual case must be legally examined, and legal deletion deadlines must be taken into account in order to achieve a scientifically reliable result. The result of this follow-up study is expected by mid-2021.
Anyone who wants to be certain about their SCHUFA data can request their data here: