You can do this against negative suffix entries.
06/10/2022, 11:48 am (updated)
Shufa & Co. serves an important purpose for companies: they calculate how creditworthy a customer is. However, negative entries can have consequences for consumers. What to do about it?
Landlords often ask for it, banks ask for it before making a loan, and it’s also usually required for new mobile phone contracts: a so-called credit report. Usually the security associations are from shufa for general loan security.
If the information is negative, it often means that the new mobile phone or loan contract does not arrive. So it is advisable to check the entries in time and raise objection if necessary.
Which are the top consumer credit bureaus?
Germany’s largest credit agency for private clients is Schufa, a public limited company based in Wiesbaden. Shareholders include almost all banks and credit institutions, but also online retailers, telephone providers and others. According to its own statements, it has collected data from more than 68 million private customers and 6.25 million companies, which it may release to its approximately 10,000 contractual partners.
But Shufa is not the only credit agency. Your competitors, for example, with 56 million stored customer data or Creditreform called Crif GmbH, which focuses on companies’ creditworthiness checks.
What do credit bureaus do?
“The point is to collect data from consumers and companies,” says Munich lawyer Daniela Bergdault, a member of the German Lawyers Association. From this data, a leading statistic with the so-called scoring is determined. Based on key data, reclaiming companies can decide “whether or not they want to terminate a contract with someone”.
“Data is stored about bank accounts, mobile phone accounts, credit cards, lease contracts, installment payments and loans and guarantees,” says Annabel Olman of the Bremen Consumer Center. “Payment interruptions or terminations are also saved.” The score may change over time.
How do I find out about negative entries?
“You can’t figure it out on your own,” says Birgit Vorberg of the North Rhine-Westphalia Consumer Advice Center. To do so, consumers must apply to Shufa – or another credit agency – for a data copy in accordance with Article 15 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). it’s free.
Shufa’s press spokeswoman Sabine Bernstein recommends getting a copy of the data regularly, “at least always before you want to take out a loan or sign a new lease”. Then there is the possibility that people can identify the wrong entries and correct them.
What can I do against negative entries?
Negative entries are often due to unpaid bills or credit installments as well as canceled checking accounts with unpaid overdraft facilities. Hence it is important to control the data copy properly. “There may be an unpaid bill that has been paid for a long time,” says consumer advocate Vorberg. It is also possible that the name was confused and therefore the data was entered incorrectly.
It is important to note that an unpaid invoice can only be noted if two reminders have been sent. Schufa spokeswoman Bernstein says the company that issued the reminder should be able to prove this.
If consumers think an entry is incorrect, they can call Shufa. This is followed by a consultation with the company that caused the admission, hence Bernstein. If it is indeed an error, the note will be corrected. In disputes, private individuals have the option of appointing the Lokpal.
Alternatively, affected people can also contact the company that made the false entry directly. Consumers can also contact an attorney if the company refuses to cancel the entry, Bergdault says.
Are negative posts ever removed?
Yes, they will do so, for this a time limit has been set. “If an open invoice is paid, the shoelace entry is removed to the day after three years,” explains Bernstein, a spokesman for the shoe. Notes on personal bankruptcy are currently stored for three years, even after the process is complete.
(This article was first published on Thursday, June 09, 2022.)
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