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Is Smava reputable: reviews of the loan brokerage

Those who are thinking about taking out a loan nowadays usually do not go to their house bank, but find out more online. The company Smava has been among the portals that have specialized in credit comparison for a few years. GIGA sheds light on whether Smava is serious and what the ratings are on the Internet.

Smava itself does not grant a loan, but presents you with a parallel comparison of different credit institutions in order to determine the most favorable loan for you. However, the company naturally also wants to earn money with its services and so it should not be surprising that the loan comparisons mainly relate to "partners" of Smava. In fact, such partnerships have resulted in Smava even Loans with "negative interest" offers - borrowers have to pay back less than they get.

How serious is Smava? Pros and cons

In February 2018, a colleague from Handelsblatt researched what was behind the offers from Smava and in particular the negative interest loan. What he ended up with were essentially two things:

  1. This type of loan works and is real. If everything is correct, you get the loan within a short time and Smava even pays on it.
  2. The colleague feared that these credit inquiries would worsen his Schufa score.

The only doubts that loans really exist where you end up paying back less than you got is really only doubted by those who didn't get it. Somebody has to foot the bill, however, and it looks like companies like Smava, Check24 and Co. It's about gaining market share and for that you have to pay advertising in some form - why not in the form of loan interest?

If you look at the Reviews of Smava looks, the result is interesting - and unhelpful. At Trustpilot, Smava currently (August 2020) has a rating of 3/5 stars. 56 percent of the votes give the grade “excellent”, but 39 percent rate the company as “unsatisfactory”.

As expected, the good grades come from satisfied customers, while the bad reviews mainly criticize the following points:

  • The large amount of requested data that does not make sense from the applicant's point of view.
  • Unsatisfactory loan offers.

And one reviewer only gave one star because he didn't like the company's advertising. Most negative reviews make unproven claims, but that doesn't change the fact that the votes are included in the rating.

However, the fact that Smava wants an extremely large amount of information from the applicants and even asks for the access data for the online banking in the course of the application was also determined by the colleague from the Handelsblatt. This may seem strange to some, but it is quite normal in the context of a loan application and not significantly different with the other intermediaries. In part, this has to do with the fact that the banks want different information and Smava has to cover all eventualities when collecting the data.

Smava and the Schufa score

In the reviews and various Internet forums it is claimed again and again that even a request for a loan from Smava has a negative effect on the Schufa score. However, something is confused here. In fact, one affects Loan request, so the binding application for a loan, on the score. Because this type of "banking" is one of the data that usually has to be sent to the Schufa.

The situation is different with a request for credit conditions - that is, the mere question of what kind of offers you could get. The Credit comparison as well as the Loan application review are "Schufa-neutral" according to Smava. In practice this means: A request is saved in the Schufa data, but is only visible to the applicant himself. Banks do not see this and the mere fact of a request is not used to calculate the Schufa score.

If, on the other hand, you get involved with a bank Loan offer different rules apply. In this case, this request is stored for 1 year, used for the score evaluation and is visible to other banks for 10 days. A corresponding explanation can also be found in the information provided by Schufa.

Once you have understood this, the following becomes clear: This entry is not a "mark that Smava has set". It is the indication that Smava had to obtain information from the Schufa to check the creditworthiness of an applicant. Neither of these provide any specific information about whether a loan was ultimately applied for and used. That would be a separate entry.

Conclusion and evaluation of Smava

Against the background of the research, Smava is as serious as a company that has to collect and pass on a lot of data in order to broker loans. The data protection declaration is transparent, but the TÜV test certificate has not been renewed. However, this is now where every company adheres to the rules of the GDPR got to, no longer meaningful anyway.

Something should be clear to anyone doing a loan comparison at Smava: The amount of data is not there to be collected by Smava. These are data that are required by the credit institutions. You also have to provide this data if you request an offer directly from the relevant bank. If you refuse, there is no credit - very simple. The fact is that if you are interested in loans you are in an emergency situation.

On the other hand, banks have to make sure that they get their money back. And if you are willing to hand in your wage slip, but don't want to give the employer's address (which is on it), you are simply thinking too short.

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