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Getting a personal loan in Germany
As a foreigner living in Germany, an expat working in a large German city or as a student here for a Master’s degree: At some point you might want to obtain a personal loan in Germany. Whether small amounts like 1.000,- Euro for a purchase or a larger loan to finance your car: With a very advanced and regulated financial system and a high language barrier, obtaining a loan or credit in Germany can seem like a challenge.
GIROMATCH is a loan and credit platform operating out of Germany and we will show you
- how to obtain a personal loan online,
- what you should look out for when comparing loans and
- the requirements you need to fulfill.
We will also show you the typical personal loan in Germany including monthly payments, what fees, costs and interest rates to expect and ways to save money.
While Germany is a huge country with a large and developed financial system, many of the banks are still quite traditional, especially when it comes to English-speaking support and products. For this reason we are not just explaining how big banks and credit comparison platforms operate, but we will also show you alternatives you have when trying to get your loan and platforms that can help you in English – just like we do.
Feel free to apply for a cash loan on our platform:
- No costs or fees to you, the borrower. Our service is always free for you
- We will not call you, send you letters or bother you with SMS
- We operate online only. You won’t need to bother with paper or long waiting times
Personal loan vs. credit: What’s the difference?
The german word for loan is “Kredit” and it basically always refers to an installment loan that is paid out at once, and then paid back over a fixed period of time (anywhere between 1 and 120 months). Interest rates for these types are fixed, so you will now in advance what you will have to pay back.
When you look online, there are generally four different loan types in Germany. Those are:
- “Ratenkredit“: A fixed installment loan. This is by far the most common type of personal consumer loan in Germany and is generally what you will get when you’re looking for a personal loan. Those are your “go-to” offer when you want to borrow money.
- “Autokredit“: Auto financing or car credit, generally a fixed installment loan with varying options for follow-up financing or the final rate (ballon payments). For these, your car will act as a security and it is usually reserverd for new cars
- “Sofortkredit“: Also a fixed installment loan or a bullet loan for short durations, can be translated as “instant loan” with lower payout amounts, faster processing and shorter runtime. Sometimes also similar to how payday loans work.
- “Rahmenkredit“: Personal credit line, usually connected to a bank account overdraft or a credit card with a credit limit. Interest rates can change depending on the economic environment, and you are only charged for what you use.
A fifth type is the “Immobilienkredit” which is a housing and real estate loan or financing. Housing loans are not in the scope of this article and differ quite largely from consumer loans and personal credit (heads-up: prepare for some German bureaucracy with these).
💶 Personal loan in Germany
Your application process for any type of consumer loan will generally be similar in minimum requirements, however there are differences in terms of ease-of-use as well as requirement documentation.
For example, we are a loan platform and it is our job to make things easy for you. We have several partners and are not restricted to just one process or credit check, such as traditional banks.. Therefore, it is possible for foreigners to apply for a personal loan with us, even if you currently do not have a payslip or a German bank account. We do however have requirements, which are:
Minimum requirements for your application
- At least 18 years old
- Net income of at least € 500,- per month
- You need a German address and need to be a resident here
- Identity document, either passport or national ID (for European citizens)
- German mobile phone number
- Euro bank account (“IBAN”) for payout (cash payouts are not possible)
Depending on the amount you are requesting, the net income and the job requirements can get more specific. If you apply for an instant loan of 1.000 Euros, then these will suffice. If, however, you are in need of a larger sum, such as 10.000 Euros or even more, then you will also need at least around 1.500 Euros to 2.000 Euros net per month to be able to pay back.
We have been operating as a loan and brokerage platform and offer loans that are financed by banks, credit institutions and private individuals.
Our 3 step online loan application
1. Fill out the online application form
2. Pick your preferred loan offer
3. Receive your loan within 24 hours
To obtain a loan, you have to fill out our online loan application form. Don’t worry: Our services are always free for you. Generally, a personal loan involves the following steps:
- Apply for a loan: You need to fill out our online loan application. In our form, you have to provide us with information on the loan you want, such as loan amount, duration or purpose of the loan. We will also need some personal information on you, such as your current job and information on your financial standing.
- Choose your loan: You will be matched to a loan offer that you can choose. This will depend on your application, the amount you have requested, but we will also consider your status as a foreigner and not offer you loans that are not possible for you.
- Receive your loan: Thirdly, you will need to verify your information and identity. For this you will need to identify yourself and conclude the loan with an online signature. The loan will then be paid out to your preferred bank account.
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“Very satisfied due to the fast processing and payment”
Abou, Oct. 2023 bei Google
“Actually achieved something. Despite negative Schufa”
Natalie, Apr. 2023 bei Google
“Remarkable and consistently transparent process”
Tobias H., Sep. 2023 bei Google
“I am thrilled and completely satisfied”
Kerstin G., Aug. 2023 bei Google
💡Understanding banks and personal loans in Germany
Most personal loans given out in Germany are fixed installment loans. To give you a feeling for the typical personal loan in Germany, we’ve gathered statistics from public and private sources, including some of largest banks, loan comparison platforms as well as Germany’s largest credit bureau called SCHUFA.
|Typical loan type
|Fixed installment loan (“Ratenkredit”)
|Avg. disbursed loan amount
|Between 7.000,- and 12.000,-€
|Avg. loan duration
|Between 48 and 60 months
|Loan interest rate
|Between 4% to 6% annual percentage
The typical German personal loan amount is a fixed installment loan (“Ratenkredit”) where the monthly rate you pay back stays the same. The loan amount is anywhere between 1.000,- and 50.000,- Euro, whereas most loans paid out fall between between 7.000,- and 12.000,- Euro. The duration can range between 12 and 120 months, but usually is around 48 to 60 months (4 or 5 years).
The interest rates are currently at an all-time low. German consumers applying for a loan pay between 4% to 6% annual percentage rate, or “Effektiver Jahreszins” in German. Some platforms are even advertising for zero-interest rate loans or even negative-rate loans, only a few of which are paid out due to the high requirements for creditworthiness. The general interest rates in Germany range between 1,99% and 19,99% APR.
What are my chances? These foreigners have received money through us
The following are two examples of loans that foreign nationals residing in Germany have obtained on our loan platform and given out by Fidor Bank. Both loans represent the general national average for consumer loans in Germany. Both individuals had a clean credit history (SCHUFA), a net income higher than 2.000,- Euro per month and existing monthly loan rates of 200,- Euro and 140,- Euro respectively.
|Over € 3.000,-
|Existing loan payments
|Interest rate (APR)
Please also note our representative example in accordance with § 6a PAngV repr. calc.: APR 4,62%, borrowing rate 3,90% p.a., net loan amount 10.000 €, loan term 4 years, one-time commission 1,25% of net loan amount, creditworthiness assumed. Loan broker: GIROMATCH GmbH.
Loans with negative interest rate? GIROMATCH tells you the truth
It is already known that interest rates for a loan in Germany are quite low compared to other European countries, but what about a loan with a negative interest rate?
In the last years people looking for a credit bumped into loan offers such as:
A loan of 1.000,- € with a interest rate of -5%, where in the end you only have to pay 950,-€ back
Seems unrealistic? Actually, those offers exist and are usually obtained through loan platforms or brokers. In those cases:
- the bank offers the loan with a positive (low) interest rate
- the broker offers the same loan with a negative interest rate
- the broker will pay the difference between the bank’s rate and the offered one
And why would a loan broker spend his money in this way? Well, that’s how he will get more and more customers, that is why usually these offers are only temporary and for a limited number of customers.
What our customers are saying about us
At GIROMATCH we strive to offer you the best we can. How do we do that? After having analyzed the market deeply, we consider your initial economic situation and match you with one of our partners with the highest chance of approval. Do you need a loan without payslip? We will find an offer for you. Are you looking for a loan with bad credit? We will do our best to satisfy you, and if we can’t, we will find alternative products to help you with your finances in Germany.
Take a look at our customers’ reviews:
I must say that this site or credit company is the best I can rate for years as a borrower. Fast processing always helpful and without complicated processing.
MANY MANY THANKS”
Denise, April 2023
“Top. Although I have not completed my request, there were good tips. Would definitely go back to it again.”
Sascha, May 2023
“Initially a bit complicated but has worked despite poor credit rating. Gladly again nice that there are still banks that give us a chance…”
Dani, August 2022
Since our main business is based in Germany and our bank partners offer loans to customers based in Germany, the present reviews have been translated from their German original.
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How much money can I borrow in Germany?
Another perspective we want to give you is an answer to the question of how much money you can borrow. While all banks are different and there are many factors at play when deciding whether to give out a loan or not, this should be counted as a soft indicator for possible loan amounts you can obtain.
|Available budget per month (minimum)
|Realistic loan amounts
|€ 750,- to € 1.500,-
|Good or bad
|Maximum of € 1.000,-
|€ 1.500,- to € 2.500,-
|Up to € 7.500,-
|€ 1.500,- to € 2.500,-
|Up to € 3.000,-
|Over € 2.500,-
|Over € 500,-
|More than € 10.000,- possible
|Over € 2.500,-
|Over € 500,-
|Up to € 7.500,-
Are you a student? We have a separate guide for you
If you have just moved to Germany to start your studies, you may not have the necessary net income to apply for a personal loan. Do not worry! There are some options of student loans in Germany that you can find explained in our ultimate guide!
Know your rights: There’s a law for everything in Germany
Germany is a heavily regulated country with a focus on consumer protection. For this reason there are quite a few legal requirements that banks, lending platforms and peer-to-peer lenders have to fulfill to give out loans. This will help you understand the rights that you have, but also the requirements that you need to fulfill to get a personal loan in Germany.
Generally, every bank has the obligation to:
- Gather key information on the borrower, such as personal information, address, contact information (in this case, you)
- Identify the borrower with a proper identification document (passport or identity card for EU residents)
- Assess the creditworthiness of each borrower, including questions on income, job, existing loan obligations and the ability to pay back the loan
- Present all necessary information in regards to costs of the loan, interest rate, duration, monthly rate and secondary fees (e.g. overdue payments, costs for direct debit, direct debit recalls etc.)
The bank is forbidden to:
- Give out the loan without assessing creditworthiness or identifying you
- Without giving you all required information in writing beforehand, including costs and fees, right of withdrawal, SECCI (“Standard European Consumer Credit Information”) and more. This is usually sent to you via email, some banks (Sparkassen, Volksbanken) might still use traditional email
- Charge fees for handing out the loan (“Bearbeitungsgebühren”, which is a handling fee / processing fee)
- Charge you interest rates way above market. There is no hard limit, but generally is said to be more than 5% higher in comparison to competitors. As of 2021, we are not aware of any bank or platform giving out large installment loans with an APR higher than 19,99%
Lastly, you, the consumer, always has the right to:
- Withdraw from a loan within 14 days of concluding it (“gesetzliches Widerrufsrecht”, right of withdrawal)
- Pay back the loan at any time you wish (although there is an additional fee of up to 1% of the outstanding loan amount the bank can charge you for this)
- Request information on why you were rejected for a loan application
- Ask for all the information and data the bank, credit institute or credit agency has on you (this is in accordance with § 15 of the GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation)
Loan application and credit score: What you need to know
In the past, when applying for a loan in Germany, your credit score could be influenced negatively.
This was given by the fact that applying for a loan was considered as a warning signal from banks: Customer A needs money. Let’s now imagine that customer A applied for 10 loans in a row: he does not only need money but has also difficulties in finding it.
With the emergence of online platforms and credit comparison tools, customer can apply for a loan at dozens of banks with one single application. That is why banks have progressively refused to register your loan applications to credit bureaus and these have lost they predictive character.
Nowadays, you can apply for a loan online without fear: your credit score in Germany will not change and other banks will not know anything about your application.
💬Key terms regarding loan, credit and financing in Germany explained
|English with explanation
|Personal loan, credit
|Loan amount, net loan amount
|Duration (typically in months)
|Effektivzins, effektiver Jahreszins
|Annual percentage rate (APR)
|Regulatory requirement for pricing transparency
|2/3-Beispiel, Zweidrittel-Beispiel, §6a PAngV
|A representative example of the interest rate that 2/3 of all customers receive at the bank offering the personal loan, see PAngV (regulatory requirement)
|Germany’s largest credit bureau, a private company with financial data over around 65 million consumers in Germany
|Instant credit or instant loan
|Payday loan, small loan
|Auto loan, car financing
|Housing loan, real estate financing
|Identification (legal requirement for identification with passport or ID card)
|Loan obtained through pawn shop. Also see cash for car title
Frequently asked questions regarding loans and credit in Germany
Yes, it is possible to obtain a personal loan or credit in Germany as a foreigner. This counts for expats as well as students. You do however need to have a residence in Germany and need to be registered here (“Anmeldung” or “Meldebescheinigung”).
The required qualifications include a fixed monthly income, a clean credit history (“SCHUFA”) as well as proper identification and ability to pay back the loan.
For personal loans ranging between 1.000,- and 25.000 Euro, which is the most common amount for credit in Germany, you will need to have
- a monthly net income of at least 600,- Euro
- a permanent residence and address in Germany
- identification documents (passport or ID-card if you’re a EU citizen)
- mobile phone number and email address
Furthermore, a clean credit history is recommended, otherwise your options will get a lot narrower and interest rates increase.
For personal and consumer loans, interest rates are at an all-time low. Most consumers are paying between 4% and 6% APR. Some credit platforms such as Smava, Check24 and Finanzcheck are advertising negative interest rate loans where you are effectively paying – 0,99% APR – in other words: banks are giving away money for free.
Looking at the wider market, especially for online loans, the standard interest rates are ranging between 1,99% APR and a maximum of 19,99% APR for peer-to-peer platforms. With good credit you will be in the expected 4% to 6% APR range whereas lower credit scores and incomes will yield a higher interest rate.
Credit cards are still the most expensive in Germany with interest rates ranging between 14% and 19% APR for overdrafts and revolving credit limits.
We are a loan platform operating out of Frankfurt, Germany. As such, it is possible for foreigners to apply for a personal loan in Germany on our platform. We have been operating as a loan and brokerage platform where loans are financed by banks, credit institutions and private individuals.
To obtain a loan, you have to fill out our online loan application form. Don’t worry: Our services are always free for you.
Your loan application with GIROMATCH will not affect your credit score. Also, GIROMATCH won’t check your credit history, but some of our bank partners will. Still, a loan application will not influence your credit score in Germany.
We do not offer a calculator as such. We believe that it is much better to make you calculate your eventual loan according to your actual situation: by applying for a loan through our loan platform you will get a loan offer from one of our partners. You will actually see loan conditions calculated basing on your profile. If you accept, you can go on with you application. In the case that you would like something different, you can just choose one of the alternative products that we offer to you.