Getting loans in Germany as a Foreigner


To get a loan one needs:

  • a residency permit that covers the entire length of the loan or citizenship
  • positive SCHUFA report
  • stable, regular income or assets (usually shown using payslips or title deeds) or a guarantor i.e. a resident of good financial standing willing to co-sign

Aside from the details on paper, there are also some nitty gritty that no one will tell you about that you need to know.

  • First of all, most of those low interest rates are only for a chosen few, usually people who wouldn’t need a loan anyway.
  • Secondly, most banks won’t allow to give you a loan if the repayment rate is higher than 25% of your income.
  • Lastly, banks need to trust you to lend you money or atleast believe you’ll pay back the money.

As you try to get a loan you need to keep in mind:

  1. Categorically ask the bank to do a “conditional inquiry” (Konditionenanfrage) instead of a “credit inquiry” (Kreditanfrage). The Conditional inquiry simply checks your data without SCHUFA registering the inquiry on your score while the Credit inquiry demands for the data from SCHUFA, and this spoils your SCHUFA score thus spoiling your chances.
  2. It might be worth trying peer to peer loans e.g. SMAVA ( )and internet portal that connects people with money with those who require microloans (upto €30K) to be paid back within 3 to 5years.
  3. Another option is to get the loan from a Kenyan bank or from a Kenyan lender.


I am a Kenyan German (formerly Kenyan)now with a German Passport. My main issue is that I have been trying over so many years to get a loan  in a German Bank(s), until now I have completely given up. I used to work then in the Gastronomie industry as a waiter  and Verkäufer  although the jobs weren’t  stable every after 2 or 6 months within the probation period one would be sacked not because of poor performance but because the employers  didn’t  want to be bound by the German laws of having to employ one on a permanent basis after the  probation period.

Then I decided maybe it was because I wasn’t a German and the banks thought I would simply run away back to Kenya with their money loan so I decided to take up the German nationality  and luckily also got a stable job with an International Organisation where I have been working for the last 4 years  but still cannot get or qualify for a loan I don’t know why even  with a positive SCHUFA rating score of 98% 

Can someone help me? I bought a plot in Mombasa and I really need a loan to help me realise my dream of  building a 5 storey  apartment block of 2 bedroomed apartments for  rent.

I can’t get a  loan in Germany  and cant get a loan in Kenya  either because I’m a foreigner German 

In the first instance, you had no stable income in addition to a restricted visa thus no bank would have given you a loan.

Now that you’re a German and you have a stable job, why aren’t you still getting a loan?

The fact that the building is outside Germany puts the bank at a risk in case you default on payment because the bank can’t claim the building in Mombasa. (If you have assets in Germany, you could use those to secure the loan.)

A two bedroom apartment in Mombasa goes for 4million in Nyali, assuming it costs you 2million to build the unit. A block of 5 storeys will have 10 apartments each costing 2million each, thus 20million shillings invested i.e. €200,000. Most German banks will give you rates between 1-10% to build. For this calculation we assume 10% p.a. to be paid back in 10years.

The total to be paid back will be €247,158.95 (the original €200K plus €47,158.95 earned interest)

This gives you a pay back rate of €2,059.66 per month.

Remember most banks will only give you a loan if the repayment rate is higher than 25% of your income. Thus the only way you’re getting this loan is if you earn at least €8,238.63 per month.

(Mind you this is a hypothesis, most banks will require you take insurances in addition to the loan which will cost much more. Also building costs aren’t constant and could be much higher.)

The best option would be to get a loan from a Kenyan bank, not only does the land act as your security but in case you default the bank is sure they can get back its money. Most Kenyan banks have very good rates and the fact that you’ll be earning your income in Euros to pay a Shilling loan, puts you at an advantage. It would help if you have a down payment for the project, shows that you’re committed to it. Most Kenyan banks will require that you pay 15-30% of project costs upfront.

Another option for you would be to get loans progressively. Start small and work towards your final goal. Maybe borrow enough to build the ground and the first floor, get tenants and when you have enough money build further. As you do this progressively, you get the tenants “financing” your growth. Start small and grow with time.

Information offered with help from a financial adviser based in Munich.

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