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Best bad credit phone deals this month

Best bad credit phone deals this month

Bad credit phones icon

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.

Compare deals
Handset Name Data Amount Monthly Costs
Galaxy A10 32GB Black 1GB data £10.99
P Smart 64GB Black 3GB data £18.00
iPhone 7 32GB Black 500MB data £19.99
iPhone 6s 32GB Gold 4GB data £20.00
iPhone 8 64GB Space Grey 100GB data £42.00
iPhone 7 32GB Black 100GB data £41.00
  • Galaxy A10 32GB Black
    Galaxy A10
    • Exclusive
    • 1GB of 4G data
    • 250 minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £9.99 device cost
    • Free Data Rollover
    • £10.99 per month
    24 month contract From iD Mobile
  • P Smart 64GB Black
    P Smart
    • 3GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • Swap 12 - Upgrade after 12 months
    • £18.00 per month
    24 month contract From Sky Mobile
  • iPhone 7 32GB Black
    iPhone 7
    • Exclusive
    • 500MB of 4G data
    • 500 minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £9.99 device cost
    • Free Data Rollover
    • £19.99 per month
    24 month contract From iD Mobile
  • iPhone 6s 32GB Gold
    iPhone 6s
    • 4GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • Priority ticket booking for O2 venues
    • £20.00 per month
    24 month contract From Affordable Mobiles
  • iPhone 8 64GB Space Grey
    iPhone 8
    • 100GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £42.00 per month
    24 month contract From MobilePhonesDirect.co.uk
  • iPhone 7 32GB Black
    iPhone 7
    • 100GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £41.00 per month
    24 month contract From MobilePhonesDirect.co.uk

How to get a contract phone with bad credit rating

Naturally, the pricier the phone, the higher the risk of refusal. To that end, we don’t recommend you choose a high-value phone like a brand-new Samsung Galaxy. Also, when thinking about buying a mobile phone, ensure you have a proper bank account with a credit or debit card.

To be honest, though, there’s no quick fix. You may have to work on your credit score for a few months – perhaps paying off any loans etc, before you apply for a phone.

Bad credit SIM-only deals

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.

Bad credit mobile contract deals

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 offer bad credit SIM-only deals?

Here are a few networks that let you sign up to pay-monthly SIM deals without going through a credit check.

Smarty

Smarty prides itself on hassle-free and straightforward SIM-only plans - none of which require a credit check. As a SIM-only mobile network, Smarty’s plans are all one-month contracts which focus on data and rewarding customers for any unused data each month. You won’t be able to get a handset with Smarty, but the plans they do offer are very competitive and they all come with unlimited minutes and unlimited texts.

Giffgaff

Again, giffgaff's SIM plans also work on a pay-as-you-go basis, so there are no credit checks. When you sign up, you can pick a 'goodybag' - a 30-day bundle of allowances to use - and choose a new one when it runs out, or set it to renew automatically. As a bonus, giffgaff's services are also very low in price.

Pay-as-you-go

Nearly all networks let you get a pay-as-you-go SIM without a credit check. Many of them have a handy system where you can buy those 30-day bundles too, so it's better value and not too much different from a standard SIM-only deal. Vodafone offers this, for instance.

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
Frequently asked questions

What phone 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.