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Which personal loan or credit provider is the best in Germany?

TOP 5 German Personal Loan Providers

In Germany, there are many different banks that offer loans and credits for many types of purposes. Read our explanation on what you need to look out for and how to apply for it. Simply click on the offer that interests you to learn more about the terms.

 Loan ProviderInterest RateMaximum Credit Amount  
Personal loan in Germany applicationTARGOBANK – Personal Loanfrom 1.75% / year€65.000
Smava – Personal Loan Comparisonfrom -0.4% / year€120.000
Apply for a personal loan in Germanyauxmoney – Personal Loanfrom 5.40% / year€50.000
Apply for a German personal loanPostbank – Personal Loanfrom 1.95% / year€1.500
apply for personal loan or credit with santander germanySantander – Personal Loanfrom 1.99 % / year€60.000

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Loan ProviderInterest RateMaximum Credit Amount
Personal loan in Germany applicationTARGOBANK – Personal Loanfrom 1.75% / year€65.000
Smava – Personal Loan Comparisonfrom -0.4% / year€120.000
Apply for a personal loan in Germanyauxmoney – Personal Loanfrom 5.40% / year€50.000
Apply for a German personal loanPostbank – Personal Loanfrom 1.95% / year€1.500
apply for personal loan or credit with santander germanySantander – Personal Loanfrom 1.99 % / year€60.000

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See the following list for an overview of various personal loan providers in Germany. The prices indicate the minimum interest rate that you will pay, the actual interest rate depends on your individual loan and your credit score. We recommend to compare different banks and loan providers to find the best offer.

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 Loan ProviderInterest RateMaximum Credit Amount  
Personal loan in Germany applicationTARGOBANK – Personal Loanfrom 1.75% / year€65.000
Smava – Personal Loan Comparisonfrom -0.4% / year€120.000
Apply for a personal loan in Germanyauxmoney – Personal Loanfrom 5.40% / year€50.000
Apply for a German personal loanPostbank – Personal Loanfrom 1.95% / year€1.500
apply for personal loan or credit with santander germanySantander – Personal Loanfrom 1.99 % / year€60.000

Applying for a loan in Germany should not be particularly different to other countries. However, there are certain things you should look out for and of course the German terminology for loans and credits.

Sources for loans in Germany could be your personal bank, such as

or you could choose an online provider, such as

German credit options

Reasons for taking out a loan or getting quick credit

You might need to pay a larger amount of money for some unforeseen expenses, for example your car needs a repair, your computer breaks or you need an additional car for your spouse who just got a job. 

There can be plenty of good reasons why you need a loan at this very moment. However, you need to be sure that you are able to repay that loan and that you have sufficient future cash flows. Otherwise, that loan will just get you into a spiral of interest fees and more loans. 

Try to avoid loans for entertainment or consumption, such as going on vacation or getting a new TV. These expenses are not productive, i.e. they will not help you to pay back the money you borrowed. On the other hand, buying a car for your spouse could be very productive: Your spouse might now be able to get to work without a car and could not earn money without a car. With that new car, he or she can take the job and with the salary you will be able to pay back the credit in the future. 

financial planning

Alternatives for loans or credits

Before you sign a multi-year loan agreement with interest fees, consider some alternatives before you actually take out a loan:

  • Ask friends and family
  • Use your line of credit from your bank account or credit card
  • Try to defer the expenses
  • Use all funds you can make available from other accounts
  • Ask your employer for a loan or an advancement

These options could decrease the amount of your loan or save you interest expenses. The line of credit of your bank account or credit card can be a convenient option for smaller short-term expenses. For long-term loans it could be too expensive due to the high interest rates.

What to look out for when applying for a loan in Germany

The four most important elements of a loan are

  • credit volume (Kreditvolumen),
  • lent term (Kreditlaufzeit),
  • instalment amount (Kreditrate) and
  • interest rate (Zins).

These elements are interconnected and can influence each other. If you choose a longer lent term, you will pay smaller monthly instalments but end up paying more in interest. The credit volume can also influence the interest rate you are given. Additionally, the purpose of your loan is also important: loans for buying a house are usually cheaper than loans for buying a car. 

Where to get credit in Germany

Your personal bank will usually be able to give you a loan, but these loans are often more expensive that other options. Online loans have become increasingly popular and offer better rates and smaller fees, as they do not have to pay for a local office branch and branch employees. A lot of the credit application is automated: Algorithms in the background will calculated your individual credit risk and decide on your creditworthiness within seconds. 

It is definitely good idea to compare some online offers, especially for smaller short-term loans. 

euros bill Germany

How easy is it to get a loan in Germany?

It depends on your employment situation if you will be approved for a loan and for how much. State-employed workers usually have no problems when applying for credit. It is much more difficult for young graduate with limited-time employment contracts and for self-employed consultants or business owners. 

Each time you apply for a loan in Germany, the bank or financial service provider will do a background check on you. This background check shows your financial situation, such as your monthly income, the amount of credit cards you have and the amount of different bank accounts. It also shows how often you have changed your registered address in the past, how often you have applied for a loan and many other things. Based on these criteria, the bank will decide on your creditworthiness and approve or decline your credit application. This background check can also be a factor to the interest rate you are given and the credit volume. 

My German Finances Information Pages
Glossary for German loan terminology
German termEnglish translation
AbsicherungsoptionOption on Payment protection/ insurance
AGB (allgemeine Geschäftsbedingungen)Standard business terms, the conditions of a contract
Antrags-, AbschlussgebührApplication fee: the fee charged by a lender to cover costs associated with processing the loan.
Anzahl kindergeldberechtigter KinderNumber of children you get child benefit.
Kindergeld = child benefit, an amount of money that the government gives to families with children
ArbeitslosigkeitUnemployment, job-loss
ArbeitsunfähigkeitSick leave, disability
Ausgabenexpenses
Auskunftei, SCHUFAOrganisation that review your credit information and create credit reports that can be checked by lenders to determine your eligibility for a personal loan. (In Germany, your creditworthiness is most likely tracked and recorded by Schufa Holding AG, Germany’s biggest credit agency.
BankverbindungBank account, bank details
Berufliche Angabenjob data
Berufsverhältnisjob, profession; Selbstständig: employee or self employed/ freelancer Arbeiter, Angestellter Arbeiter, Angesteller: Rentner, Beamter
BeschäftigungsdauerJob tenure; if less than 3 Years it will be sometimes necessary to give additional information
BonitätCredit history, financial standing. It is a record of all the borrowing and repayment transaction an individual has undertaken. It is one of the most crucial factors that determine an individual’s eligibility for a personal loan.
Credit History: It is a record of all the borrowing and repayment transaction an individual has undertaken. It is one of the most crucial factors that determine an individual’s eligibility for a personal loan.
Credit ReportA credit report is a report generated by a certified credit rating agency showing an individual’s credit history.
Credit Score; SCHUFAA credit score is an individual’s valuation and ability to repay a loan. It is computed based on his/her history of borrowing and repaying.
DarlehensnehmerA borrower is someone who takes a loan from a lender. Just you or an additional borrower (“zweiter Darlehensnehmer”)
Dauerauftrag (Automatic bill) paymentIt is one of the repayment options for your personal loan. By choosing automatic payment facility, your monthly EMIs will be deduced directly from your bank account on a particular day each month and you won’t have to do it manually each time.
DispokreditLines of credit  are essentially loans that do not require any kind of security or collateral and are usually offered at variable interest rates.
Effektiver JahreszinsThe Annual Percentage Rate  is basically the overall cost of credit. A loan’s APR is essentially its overall finance charge. It includes the principal as well as the interest component of the loan, and is shown as an annual rate. The APR enables customers to compare various loans with different charges and interest rates.
EinnahmenEarnings; the money that you earn from your work
Erste Rate fällig amThe first payment will be due in ...
Fester SollzinssatzFix borrowing rate
Fixed Interest Rates: Interest rates that remain unchanged over the tenure of the loan are called fixed interest rates.
Fremdverpflichtungen, die man ablösen will.Replacement of old debt by new debt
GebührFee
Gesichertes DarlehenIt is a loan that requires the borrower to pledge assets as security or collateral
Garantiegeber / Bürgschaftsgeber A guarantor is essentially an individual who guarantees that you will repay the loan in full. Lenders usually require guarantors when the credit history of a borrower is not up to the mark. In these cases, guarantors become legally liable for the repayment of the loan.
Interest RateInterest rates are basically the cost paid by the borrower for availing a loan from a lender. It is a percentage of the loan amount that will have to be paid along with the principal amount every month.
KleinkreditThese loans are unsecured personal loans that can be availed based on your job. They are ideal for financial emergencies. In case you run short of money towards the end of the month,  payday loans  can be taken for a few days and the repayment can be done once your salary is credited to your account.
Kredit-/ DarlehensnehmerA borrower is someone who takes a loan from a lender.
KreditantragBorrowing request, request for a loan
Kreditgeber: BankA lender is usually a bank or a financial institution that lends money to borrower
Kreditgebührensee effektiver Jahreszins
Kredithöhe, KreditbetragThe principal amount of a loan is the amount you borrow, exclusive of fees or interest
KreditrahmenIt is the official document representing the terms and conditions of a personal loan. It also includes the rights as well as the obligations of a lender and borrower.
Kreditsicherheit, Pfand, SicherheitSecurity as it is also called, a collateral can be any asset that backs your loan. In case you fail to repay the loan on time or continuously default on payments, the lender has the right to repossess the asset you pledged as collateral for the loan.
KreditwürdigkeitA credit score is an individual’s valuation and ability to repay a loan. It is computed based on his/her history of borrowing and repaying.
LaufzeitIt is the tenure of the loan – the time frame given to you to repay the amount borrowed
NachweispflichtObligation to produce proof, e.g. copy of an employment contract
Nettoeinkommennet income; the amount that remains after everything has been taken away from it ( e.g. taxes) = monthly net income
Persönliche Angabenpersonal data
Persönliches Darlehen, ungesichertes DarlehenIt is a loan that does not require the borrower to pledge any asset as collateral.
Prepayment  FeesIn case you wish to  repay your loan  ahead of schedule, you will be charged a prepayment fee. Not all lenders charge this fee, but those that do levy a charge in order to recover some of the money they were expecting to collect as interest on the loan.
RatenschutzversicherungPayment protection
Ratenzahlungrepay a loan
SCHUFAIn Germany, your creditworthiness is most likely tracked and recorded by Schufa Holding AG, Germany’s biggest credit agency. See also Bonität.
Sicherheit (dingliche -), PfandSomething (physical) pledged as security for repayment of a loan, to be forfeited in the event of a default; collateral
SozialversicherungssystemThe social security system in Germany is funded through contributions paid by employees and employers. The contributions are paid on all direct wages as well as indirect wages up to a ceiling.
Todesfall, Unfall, Arbeitsunfähigkeit, Arbeitslosigkeit (Wartezeit 3 Monate, (ausgenommen Unfalltod))Death, Accident, Inability to Work, Unemployment (special fees for these incidents)
UmschuldungThese are loans that can be taken to combine all your debts into one. These loans come with lower interest rates and are ideal if you have multiple loans to repay in addition to credit card dues to clear. They club all your debts under a single umbrella, thereby effectively ensuring that you have only one loan to clear.
UnterlagenDocuments, records
Variabler ZinsAs opposed to the working mechanism of fixed interest rates, floating interest rates are those that keep changing over the tenure of the loan.
Vertrag/ unterschriebener Vertragcontract, deal, here: loan / signed in person
Verzug, verspätete Zahlung, SäumniszuschlagWhen you delay your monthly payments, it is called late payment and lenders usually charge a late payment fee to customers who do not make their payments on time.
WohnartRental flat = Mietwohnung; Wohneigentum = home ownership; living with your parents = bei den Eltern wohnen
Wunschkreditcredit amount
Wunschlaufzeitlife/period of a loan
Zahlungsverzug, Säumnis, AusfallIn case a borrower does not meet the legal obligations of a loan, he/she is said to be defaulting on the loan
ZinsenInterest rate: refers to the annual cost of a loan to a borrower and is expressed as a percentage