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I want to build some credit in case I ever need a loan for something. I have never had any debt except for my credit card that I now have for about a year. But I only used it for a single purchase in Germany to make sure it works and then when I traveled outside the Euro zone for a short period of time, so hardly any activity there. I don't feel comfortable using it for regular purchases for a variety of reasons.

My idea for building credit is to take out a personal loan such that the amount I have to pay each month is about how much I'd put into stocks or index funds anyway. I can then put money into the market for a bit longer and build credit. I also get to save the fees for buying stocks or index funds often / buying them via a monthly plan. Saving on those fees might very well be worth the interest payment. There is no way I will end up in trouble keeping the payments up because I have more money than I'd take out in an old bank account that I can cash out on at any time but don't do so because it's got pretty high premium that I get each year.

There is a "deals" (special offers) website I frequent that sometimes contains offers of personal loans that pay bonuses that can be higher than the interest you have to pay if you get the lowest-possible interest rate. Obviously I won't get that but I'd see whether what I have to pay extra is worth it to me.

However, other people in the comment section had the same idea (well, they talked about bank accounts, so they want to take less risk) and there were others commenting that that's a bad idea because (they claim that) a consumption loan actually reduces your credit score even after you paid it off.

I live in Germany and am a German citizen, in case that's important.

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    I find these credit score questions amusing. Where I live, banks look at your other loans, your wealth, your income, your monthly expenses, etc. But not whether you took 10 years ago a loan for consumption purposes. – juhist Dec 6 '19 at 12:55
  • What credit scoring system are you interested in learning about? I'm asking because many of the questions on this site focus on the US-based systems. In other questions you've mentioned US systems, German systems, and "around the world." You do mention here that you live in Germany, but you may want to clarify if you're interested only in advice that applies in Germany or not - because it sounds like you're taking bits and pieces of info about the American system and trying to interpret your results elsewhere with it, which may not make sense. – dwizum Dec 6 '19 at 14:06
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    @dwizum Those questions about the U.S. were either for things that actually still apply to me or pure interest. This is a practical question and I'm not interested in moving to the U.S. I mainly care about Germany and Switzerland (and a bit about Norway, but not nearly as much as about Germany and Switzerland). I added that inquiry to this question in case there is an overarching scheme. – UTF-8 Dec 6 '19 at 15:08
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In Germany, you don't really need to build credit by borrowing and repaying loans. You can get a mortgage just fine with just a rarely utilized credit card, no consumer debt and a steady income.

Source: Own experience. There is also my other answer which explains the Schufa Credit score in a bit more detail: Credit rating in Germany

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  • Important items that fall under "no consumer debt": having a pay-monthly mobile phone contract which you pay on time; paying your rent on time (if you are not living with parents etc); paying your utility bills on time (again, if you have any). – Martin Bonner supports Monica Jan 6 at 15:35
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Generally any loan that you make payments for on time and in full will positively affect your credit score. Banks tend not to care what you buy or how much it costs, they will likely also not have any insight into whether or not something was a good purchase.
Banks care about you paying back money that you owe.

Even if you get a loan to go gambling at the casino (arguably the worst thing you can do), if you pay it back on time in full it will be positive for the credit report.

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