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 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
Instant loans, credit lines or fixed installment loans: Types of personal loans and credit in Germany
There are generally four different loan types in Germany to look out for. Those four 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.
Autokredit: Auto financing or car credit, generally a fixed installment loan with varying options for follow-up financing or the final rate (ballon payments)
Sofortkredit: Also a fixed installment loan, 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.
A fifth type is the “Immobilienkredit” which is a housing loan or financing when you purchase real estate. Housing loans are not in the scope of this article and differ quite largely from consumer loans and personal credit.
Personal loan application in Germany
We are a loan platform operating out of Frankfurt, Germany. As such, it is possible for foreigners to apply for a personal and instant loan in Germany on our platform. We have been operating as a loan and brokerage platform and offer loans that are financed by banks, credit institutions and private individuals. Whether you're looking for 500 Euro cash or larger loans of 10.000 Euro or more: The process on our platform is pretty much the same.
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.
Understanding personal loans and the German consumer credit market
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.
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 inbetween between 7.000,- and 12.000,- Euro. The duration can range between 12 and 120 months, but usually is aroun 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.
Personal loans that foreign nationals have received on our loan platform:
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)
Two examples of loans from foreigners, obtained via GIROMATCH.com; names have been changed
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.
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,-
Requirements to get a loan in Germany
As a foreigner living in Germany, getting a loan is generally not a problem. You do however need to fulfill a few legal and credit requirements. Before you start applying for a loan, make sure that you fulfill the following minimum requirements to obtain credit:
You have to be 18 years or older
You need a German address and need to be a resident here
Your income should be sufficient for the loan, generally at least 600,- Euros per month
You should have a clean credit history (“a clean SCHUFA”. SCHUFA is the largest credit agency in Germany)
For the actual loan application, you also need to verify some of the information. Independent of the loan amount, you will always need:
Identification document, either a passport or, if you’re a EU citizen, your national identity card
A mobile phone number and/or email
For larger loans over 5.000,- Euro, you will also need a proof of income, which could be a pay slip or a (digital) bank account statement.
Loan applications are usually done online or igitally and you do not have to walk into any bank branch or physical location. If you explicitly want personal support, then you will have to check with each bank individually whether they are able to even help you in English. If you’re in the larger cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt or Munich, larger banks such as Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank should be able to help you - but it might take some time and effort.
Do you need a student loan?
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!
Did you know? The rights you have when applying for a loan
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)
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)
Frequently asked questions regarding loans and credit in Germany
Can foreigners get a loan 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.
What are the requirements to get a personal 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.
How high are interest rates for credit in Germany?
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.
How can GIROMATCH help me?
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.
GIROMATCH.com is your credit platform. Our mission is to make credit and finance simpler and more accessible for everyone. For this reason, everything we do for you is free.
To keep it free, we finance our operations through so-called "affiliate links" and commissions. This means that if you conclude a loan, open a bank account through us or get a credit card via our platform, we may receive a commission for this.
The commission has no influence on the product or the price you pay for the product. Sometimes you may even receive benefits such as a cashback or rewards for completing it through us.
The commission allows us to continue to offer our platform free of charge to you and to improve our product portfolio.