How do I get a phone contract with a bad credit score?

Hoping to get a phone contract but worried about a bad credit score? Well, we’ve created a guide filled with everything you need to know on the topic.

So, if you’ve got questions such as ‘can I get a phone contract with bad credit?’, ‘are there specific phone contracts for bad credit?’, or ‘what is the easiest phone contract to get with bad credit?’ we’re here to help you. Rest assured, we’ve got top tips on how you can secure a contract, as well as boost your credit score for a more financially healthy future.

Why does bad credit stop me getting a phone contract?

First thing’s first, let’s look at exactly what bad credit is. Well, your credit score is based on your financial history, and you may have bad credit if you’ve failed to meet re-payment deadlines in the past (on things such as mortgages, loans, or bills).

If you have bad credit, there runs the risk that you’ll be rejected from taking out a contract due to the lender’s inability to confirm you’re able to make prompt, timely payments.

Before applying for a phone contract, you should carry out a quick and easy score check online. Wondering how does a credit check work? Well, you can get a free credit check from one of the three core credit reference agencies:

  • Experian

  • Equifax

  • TransUnion

Multiple applications for contracts and subsequent rejections can damage your credit score even further. So, it’s important to check your credit score before making any rash applications.

Can I get a phone contract with bad credit?

While getting a phone contract with bad credit isn’t simple, it is certainly possible. The outcome will depend on a combination of different things, such as your unique financial situation, as well as the lender you apply with.

Also, it’s important to highlight that if you have bad credit, you may have more limited options than those with good credit. Nevertheless, there are ways in which you can secure a new mobile.

Easiest phone contract to get with bad credit

We’ve outlined some of the easiest ways to get a phone contract when you don’t have a great credit score:

  • Different value handsets: lower cost handsets will mean smaller monthly repayments, meaning the lender may be more likely to allow you to take out the contract. While you might not be able to secure the newest phone, this is a feasible option for many.

  • Different providers have different regulations: There are different policies when it comes to mobile deals and bad credit. For instance, some providers will have more lenient lending policies than others, so you should shop around before settling.

  • Deposits and guarantors: Paying a deposit can make it more likely you’ll get accepted. Likewise, some mobile companies ask those with bad credit for a guarantor (someone who will pay the money should you fail to do so). For more information on this, check out our guide: do you need a guarantor? Paying a larger deposit upfront (at a price which is still comfortable for you) may also help!

  • Consider offering extra details: Your income and affordability are also taken into account when applying for a contract. So, providing evidence of your income may mean you have a better chance of being accepted.

  • The type of deal: With a bad credit score, you’re more likely to get accepted for shorter term contracts, which are usually sim-only, or pay-as-you-go. These don’t usually involve a new handset, meaning lenders are more likely to be lenient in their lending process. With these options, you’ll need to purchase a budget-friend handset separately.

What contracts can I get with bad credit?

Each provider will have slightly different lending criteria, so it’s important to take time to shop around. You should carefully read the terms and conditions set out by the providers you’re considering.

Smarty and Voxi are examples of networks which offer no credit check SIM only deals, making them accessible to those with bad credit. Equally, TalkMobile carries out soft searches on your identity (ID confirmation checks), yet this doesn’t include an in-depth credit check. So, you may be more likely to get accepted even if you have a less than ideal score.

Are there any other alternatives?

If you’re still stuck, there’s always the option of asking a close friend or family member to sign up for you. Then, you’ll simply make the prompt monthly payments to them, and in the meantime work on boosting your own credit score.

While the above ways might help you get a contract in the short term, improving your creditworthiness should be a long-term priority.

How can I improve my credit score?

Boosting your credit score will not only mean you’ll be able to secure your desired phone contract, but it will also open up pathways to a more financially healthy future. So, below are four ways in which you can work towards improving your score:

  • Start the process of paying off any current debts: Ensure you’re making prompt payments to any debts you have. And pay things such as your rent, mortgage, and household bills on time.

  • Avoid over applying for credit/ opening too many accounts: Making too many applications for credit can signal to lenders that you’re struggling, and it may damage your credit score even further.

  • Regularly check your credit history: It’s important to remain vigilant when it comes to your credit score. Keep your eye out for fraudulent applications in your name, and if you notice any errors on your accounts, dispute them immediately. Many use credit repair services for this, but it can also easily be done yourself.

  • Register to vote: Signing up to the electoral register can help boost your credit score, as it means lenders can quickly confirm details such as your name and address.

There’s no denying that Improving your credit score can take some time, but it will be worth it in the long run. Our guide on how to improve your credit score could give you some helpful advice too.

With an improved credit score, you’re more likely to qualify for the best offers. And, once you’re accepted for a contract, making regular, timely payments to it can boost your score even further, so it’s a win-win situation.

Hopefully you now feel equipped with the necessary knowledge about how to get a phone contract with bad credit. Remember, before agreeing to a deal of any kind, make sure you’re going to be able to meet the repayment terms happily and comfortably.

Whichever option you go for, improving your credit score is something you should strive for. An improved score will help with future renting and mortgage prospects, as well as better loan term approval rates should you ever need one.

So, now you know how to get a phone with bad credit, why not boost your knowledge even further? We’ve got plenty more insightful guides such as: are payday loans the best way to get cash fast? And everything you need to consider before taking out a loan.

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