The truth about the Credit bureau: why consumers should check their data
Most of them have probably heard of the Credit bureau before. Often it is associated with negative thoughts. There are also some misstatements circulating about the Credit bureau, but the fact is that the facility, which collects a wide variety of data from German consumers and businesses, does not always have up-to-date information. Therefore, it is recommended to have your own data checked regularly.
What is the Credit bureau?
The term Credit bureau stands as an abbreviation for “protection community for general credit protection”. This is an institution in the German banking industry that has stored the financial data of more than 60 million citizens.
Credit bureau serves to provide its contract partners – such as banks, insurance companies or retailers – with information about consumers in order to protect them from losses from credit transactions. At the same time, Credit bureau also serves to protect consumers from over-indebtedness.
The Credit bureau stores various data – such as applying for and granting loans and accounts, as well as related behavior that violates the agreed contracts (for example, an irregular or discontinued repayment of loan installments).
If a customer has signed the so-called Credit bureau clause, he has consented to the disclosure of his data.
In addition to the contractual partners, consumers can also obtain information about their entries in the Credit bureau. Once a year written information can be requested free of charge.
Compare personal loans
Net loan amount in EUR: Running time : 12 months 24 Months 36 months 48 months 60 months 72 months 84 months 96 months 108 months 120 months
Credit bureau information in many cases outdated or simply wrong
The Credit bureau is actually a sensible institution, the companies and institutions on the one hand, and consumers on the other hand from financial difficulties. But for that, the stored data must also correspond to reality.
A study by the GP research group in 2015 showed that literally one in every four consumers, the stored Credit bureau data was wrong, incomplete or no longer up-to-date. According to a sample of the Stiftung Warentest, around 37 million data records were no longer up to date, and in 4.6 million cases, this was false information.
It therefore makes sense, as a consumer, to take a closer look at his personal Credit bureau data. Since the Federal Data Protection Act was amended in April 2010, several 100,000 consumers have already requested written information from the Credit bureau.
Get Credit bureau information also about companies
Not only consumers can be checked with the Credit bureau information – conversely, it is also possible to obtain information about companies. For example, private individuals can find out about their business partner and see how the creditworthiness of the construction company or the future employer is.