Most mobile deals perform credit checks before they let you sign up to a plan... which can be a problem if you have a poor credit history. But don't fret - all isn't lost. Here's how to get a mobile plan if you have bad credit.
What can I get with bad credit?
Sadly, a poor credit history means you may have difficulty getting a mobile plan - but don't worry! There are still deals you can sign up to.
While the majority of mobile networks do perform credit checks, some are less strict than others. The first thing we'd recommend you do is to find a deal you like and try signing up anyway. If the network accepts you, great; if not, keep reading, and we'll give you some tips on getting a plan that works.
SIM-only deals with no credit check
Your best bet for getting a mobile deal when you have a bad credit history is a SIM-only deal. You're more likely to be able to sign up - and even more likely if it's a 30-day plan - and there are some networks who don't perform credit checks on their SIM plans at all. See below for more on those.
The vast majority of pay-as-you-go SIM plans are blissfully credit-check-free as well.
Mobile contract deals with no credit check
Unfortunately, most networks perform credit checks on anyone signing up for a mobile contract that includes a handset. The more expensive the phone is, the tougher it will be to pass a check - you'll have more luck with a contract on a cheaper mobile.
You may also have more luck buying a deal from a reseller, rather than direct from a network. (Which can also give you a lower price - win-win!)
If you try and fail to sign up to a contract because of your credit history, however, the best thing to do is save up and buy a phone outright, and get a SIM to put in it.
Which networks do SIM-only deals with no credit checks?
Here are a few networks that let you sign up to pay-monthly SIM deals without going through a credit check.
Improving your credit score
Folks with good credit history do have more choice over a mobile plan. But if yours isn't so great, don't worry - you aren't doomed to have bad credit forever.
Use a credit agency like Callcredit, Equifax, or Experian to see your current score. Most will let you see your rating for free, though you may have to sign up to a trial - remember to cancel it at the end of the month, in that case. You'll be able to see what your rating is, as well as what's affecting it, so you can see the areas you need to improve.
Some things you can do to help in the meantime include…
- Registering on the electoral roll
- Making sure you have a proper bank account
- Paying your mobile plan consistently and on time, if you do manage to sign up
- Paying all your other bills on time too, preferably via direct debit
- Avoiding linking your finances to people with worse credit than you - such as via joint accounts, utility bills, and so on