If you need a loan, think of attractive interest rates, an uncomplicated application and a quick payout. But to make sure everything runs smoothly, you, the applicant, have to meet certain requirements. Which these are, what documents you have to present and what else you should consider.

The requirements at a glance

The requirements at a glance

The conditions for a commitment are almost identical for all banks in Germany. When applying, you must also submit some documents. The prerequisites for a loan at a glance:

Formal requirements

  • Age : between 18 and 75 years (maximum age may vary slightly depending on the bank)
  • Residence : permanent residence in Germany
  • Bank details : Bank domiciled / established in Germany (may also be a foreign bank)

Financial criteria

  • Permanent employment contract : In the case of fixed-term contracts, the loan must be repaid within the remaining period.
  • Income : Sufficient amount to cover the loan installment and livelihood may vary depending on the loan amount and term required.
  • Credit : the higher the Private credit score the better the conditions. Applicants with negative Private credit entries are mostly rejected (see exceptions )
  • Collateral : Usually the income is sufficient, in some cases a guarantor or second borrower is required. For real estate loans, a mortgage, for car loans the purchased vehicle is needed as security.

Required evidence

  • Employees : the last three pay slips + copy of the employment contract
  • Officials : the last salary statement
  • Pensioner : last pension notice
  • Freelancers : the last three financial statements and tax assessments
  • Self-employed : the last three income tax assessments, annual accounts, possibly current BWA

Other requirements

  • Use : A installment loan can be used for almost any purpose. As a rule, however, the financing of start-ups and purchases of securities is excluded. In addition, you may only use the money for yourself.

Who can take out a loan?

Who can take out a loan?

The most important requirement is that, as a borrower, you can repay the borrowed money on time and at the agreed rate. But also some formal conditions must be fulfilled. In detail:

Age, residence and bank details

An applicant must be fully capable of acting, which is the case in Germany from the age of 18 years. However, most banks also set an upper age limit. This is usually 75 years, but may vary depending on the bank. Most institutes also require residence in Germany. As a rule, the money is only paid out to a checking account at a bank with a branch in Germany.

Employment contract and income

Your income should be so high that, after deducting all expenses, enough money remains for the monthly installment. The amount of your income depends on how much credit you wish to take and the period during which repayment is made. As an applicant, you should always be in permanent employment. Some banks also give pledges if the fixed-term contract is at least 12 or 24 months old and there was no prior unemployment. However, you have to repay the money within the time limit.


In addition to a sufficient income, you should have a good payment history as an applicant. This is checked by the Private credit. Whether the information is good or bad depends largely on a key figure, the so-called Private credit score. The higher the number in percent of a hundred, the better your credit rating. The score decides not only whether you receive the commitment to a loan, but also on what terms. Please also read our article: How to Improve Your Private credit Score.

Tip : Customers with a good credit rating usually receive better terms and conditions than creditworthy applicants. Therefore, financial experts advise on average credit ratings to so-called fixed price loans – ie loans with excellent credit ratings un-related interest rates. A selection of these can be found in our installment loan comparison, see Offers with fixed interest.

Documents / evidence

To verify your application, the bank requires you to submit various documents. Usually copies are sufficient. Make sure that these are good readable. The evidence you have to submit depends on your professional status. Depending on the bank, this may vary slightly.

The process: in 4 steps to pay

The process: in 4 steps to pay

The following example describes how to apply for an online loan. Until disbursement principle 4 steps are to be completed. Important: Not all banks grant loans to the self-employed.

1. Compare providers

Before borrowing, you should benefit from the competition of the banks, and compare different offers. Nowadays, this is fast and easy with a comparison calculator:

2. Apply online

Once you have decided on a bank, you can put your application online directly from the calculator. Enter your personal data in the input mask. It is important that you provide the information truthfully, as you will have to fill in all the information later anyway. The following data is requested by the bank.

  • Your loan request: sum, duration, rate and purpose
  • Your personal data: name, address, bank details etc.
  • Information on employment contract and income

3. Credit check

Immediately after the data collection, your credit rating will be checked. For this, you must give your consent to the Private credit clause. The bank asks directly online and in real time your score. This tells you directly whether your loan is approved by the bank and what conditions you can expect.

4. Contract and payment

If the credit check is positive, your credit documents will now be created automatically. You can now print and sign them. Together with the application documents, you submit the required documents, such as a copy of your employment contract and salary statements. From application to payment, up to two banking days elapse for an online loan. The duration also depends on which method the bank uses to verify your identity. For this purpose, two methods have been established, the post-identification procedure and the video identification procedure.

Offers with easier conditions

Offers with easier conditions

Anyone who does not meet the above-mentioned credit requirements, but still has opportunities to get money. Offers with easier access conditions offer so-called Financial Technology. These include, for example, the vendors Neofunding, Cashexpress and other alternatives. Anyone who has only little income, or has a smaller entry in Private credit, usually gets a promise anyway.