Get involved: We crack the Schufa!


    When applying for a loan, mobile phone contract, or even trying to rent an apartment in Germany, the Schufa score - Germany’s credit rating - is decisive. If you have a few “points” too little, your application is refused. (Computer says “No” to your new smartphone or apartment.) However, the calculation of these credit scores - done by the private Schufa company - is fully intransparent. The formula is a trade secret, and as such not open to the public.

    We want to change this intransparency with the project OpenSCHUFA. Together with AlgorithmWatch we want to reconstruct the Schufa algorithm with “reverse engineering”.

    For this purpose we call for data donations:
    Everybody can request their free SCHUFA-Score from Schufa under and donate the data to our project.

    If we gather enough data donations, we might be able to prove whether and how the SCHUFA score discriminates:

    • What effects does a person’s gender or place of residence have on the score?
    • Is the algorithm even reliable?
    • Does it reinforce injustice?

    Crowdfunding for the evaluation software

    Of the 70 million people who have a credit rating (a claim by Schufa) about ten percent have one or more negative entries. So far, these entries have hardly been checked, in spite of their significant influence on people’s access to the most basic services as mobile phones and housing. It is a possibility that such a negative rating is simply a mistake. In addition to possible errors and biases in the Schufa algorithm itself, there are about 9,000 contractual partners such as banks or telecommunications providers, who are prone to errors too (classic case: a bank is not reporting that a loan was fully repaid on time).

    In order to be able to develop such an evaluation software we are starting a crowdfunding campaign. Until March 15th we aim to collect 50,000 Euros to develop an easy-to-use interface in which people can scan their Schufa information via a smartphone and enter additional data. It has the hightest priority that this software respects data protection considerations - meaning that the transfer and storage of the data will be secure. Within the constraints of the Schufa-Data, we aim to anonymise the data-donation wherever possible.

    We are excited to launch OpenSCHUFA as our first “mydata” OKFDE project and we are curious if the personal data donations will be sufficient to answer the above questions and to achive more transparency in this sector. Down the road a comparison with other consumer credit scoring agencies like Boniversum, Bürgel, Deltavista or Infoscore would be really interesting as well.

    Get your Schufa data - make a data request in Germany!

    More information on the project

    Update as of 15.02.2018 16:00

    #openschufa statistics
    ![A good start](/files/blog/2018/02/hockeystick.png "upward trend")
    number of requests per company:

    936 Bürgel Wirtschaftsinformationen GmbH & Co. KG
    945 Creditreform Boniversum GmbH
    821 Deltavista GmbH
    819 IHD Service GmbH
    936 infoscore Consumer Data GmbH
    3132 SCHUFA Holding AG
    827 UNIVERSUM Business GmbH ehem. Producta Daten-Service GmbH
    7678 total (~24% Schufa)
    For more data take a look at!