Getting A Mobile Phone Contract With Bad Credit History In 9 Simple Steps


Have you been refused a pay monthly contract because of bad credit history?

Well don’t worry, here are some essential tips which if you follow, will help you greatly improve you chances of getting approved for a Pay Monthly contract.

Have you been refused a pay monthly contract because you have a bad credit rating?  Well, don’t worry, here are some essential tips which I guarantee will help you get approved with the UK networks in the next 5 minutes.

1. Register To Vote On The Electoral Roll

vote - electroll rollTo get finance or credit, whether it’s a mobile phone contract, credit card or loan it is extremely important to be registered on the electoral roll. Many people assume they’re automatically registered, or don’t bother doing it. However, not being on the roll will have a big impact on whether you can obtain credit or finance.


Whenever you apply for credit, credit agencies use electoral roll information to confirm your identity, which is then passed onto lenders when you apply for credit, to prevent fraud. So, if you’re not on the electoral roll when making an application…it won’t look too good.

If you’re not registered, or even if you’re just not sure, visit the AboutMyVote website and you can download and complete your local authority’s registration form.


2. Check Your Credit Report

300x250-dc85652411d7506e62bc3789e5b3b5d0 copyWhen you make an application for a Pay Monthly mobile phone contract, your personal details are passed through a credit check so that network operators can access whether you are able to meet regular repayments and to verify you actually exist to help prevent fraud.

Your personal credit report will be the main factor on whether you will be accepted or declined – so it is therefore very important that your credit report is up to date and accurate.

Studies have shown that many credit reports contain inaccuracies that can harm your credit rating, leading to rejections when you apply for loans, insurance, or a mobile phone contract. These errors are usually the result of human clerical mistakes so it is important that you check all your credit files and monitor them regularly.

There are now many places where you can check your credit report online, but only a handful of places offer them free of charge. Experian offer a 30 day free trial which enables you to check your credit report in minutes.


3. Remember That Begger’s Can’t Be Choosers!

animals-cat-kitten-cute-begging-kitten-wallpaperIf you are suffering from bad credit rating or have no credit history at all, you need to be aware that you do not have the same level of choices compared to someone with a healthy credit rating.

Credit lenders of products such as credit cards, loans, mortgages and mobile phone contracts, are understandably more cautious when it comes to providing finance to those who have bad or no credit history.

So, the first step to getting a mobile phone contract is to recognise you may not get the phone you want.

Although it is not impossible to get a mobile phone contract If you have a poor credit history, it does make it a little harder to be approved. You may have to make certain sacrifices before being accepted, so be realistic as to what can be achieved and roll up your sleeves as you may need to put some effort into getting accepted for a pay monthly contract.


4. Choose A Cheap Handset On A Low Monthly Tariff

man holding old phoneDid you know when you apply for a mobile phone contract, you are credit scored on the specific mobile phone and tariff plan you have chosen?

The more expensive the handset and the higher the monthly line rental, the harder it is to be approved.

If you are suffering from bad credit history it is therefore advisable to apply for a less expensive “no frills’ handset a cheap monthly line rental to ensure the best possible chance of being accepted.

Only those with an excellent credit credit history are likely to be approved for top of the range handsets like the Apple iPhone on a £40 per month tariff, so steer clear from such high value combinations and other packages which include expensive free gifts.


5. Become A Virgin….Customer

virgin mobile Did you know that each mobile network operator has a different credit scoring criteria?

Not many people know that some mobile networks are easier to get accepted than others. And whilst you may be declined with one company, you can easily be approved with another.

Although we do not know the exact credit checking requirements for each network, from our research we understand that Virgin Mobile are more sympathetic and have a higher acceptance rates than other mobile networks.

Although you are not guaranteed for approval by applying with Virgin, by remembering the golden rule of applying for a low cost handset on a cheap line rental, you should ensure you have the best possible chance of being accepted.

To make it easier, we’ve put together a list of the best recommended Virgin handsets you should apply for here.

If you are already a Virgin customer and subscribe to their broadband, TV or landline phone packages,  you can save an extra £10 off your monthly mobile phone tariff.


6. Consider SIM Only Contracts

VirginSimSIM only contracts are actually  the easiest way to get connected to a Pay Monthly contract.

This is simply because no handset is being supplied to you, so mobile networks view these contracts as less ‘risky’ and are more flexible in providing these to people with less than perfect credit ratings.

Although a credit check is still required, the credit scoring criteria with SIM only is considerably lower than standard contracts that come with a free handset.

If you already own a handset you like, then SIM card only contracts are ideal and in the recommend way to get accepted for a Pay Monthly tariff. You can just pop the SIM card into an old existing phone and start using it straight away.

If you are declined a normal Pay Monthly contract with handset by (after you made sure to apply for a low cost handset on a cheap monthly line rental), it is highly recommended you apply again for a SIM only contract. More often than not, you will find yourself being approved for these contracts, as they have a much lower acceptance criteria.

After making regular repayments of your monthly bill, you will establish trust with the networks who will often allow you to upgrade to a free handset after a regular payment history is seen.


7. Get A No Credit Check Mobile Phone

Payg-Phones1-277x300Since all pay monthly contracts require you to undergo a credit check – wouldn’t it be great if you could apply for a mobile phone without the need for a credit check?

The idea of ‘no credit check mobile phones’ may sound ideal for those with bad credit, however, they only exist in the form of Pay As You Go handsets and SIM-free variety.

Pairing a SIM only contract with a Pay As You Go handset is an excellent combination. Although you will be pay upfront for the cost of the handset, you will benefit from huge savings as SIM only deals offer excellent value for money. You receive more inclusive minutes, texts and data allowance compared to both standard Pay As You Go and Pay Monthly tariffs.

The other major benefit is that after a few months of regular bill repayment, it’s possible to upgrade your contract to a standard one which come with a free handset. Once you have proven to the mobile network operator your ability to repay, all it usually takes is a quick phone call to the customer services department and asking what deals they can give you.


8. Be Prepared To Pay A Deposit

deposit - twenty pound noteIf you are declined for a Pay Monthly contract phone, network operators sometimes will ask you for an upfront deposit before you are approved for your application. This is usually the case for Pay Monthly phone contracts, but rarely for SIM only contracts.

This is a understandable request by the mobile operators, and if you can afford it, it is recommended that you pay the fee which is then returned 6-12 months into your contract depending on which network you apply with.

The deposits required will vary between mobile operators but are usually worked out by multiplying your monthly line rental cost by 6 – 12 months.

Deposits are usually only required when you opt for a pay monthly contract with handset. Whether you are required to pay a deposit or not will depend on your own personal circumstances and the package you apply for.


9. Phone A Friend

phone a friendIf you have exhausted all of the options above and still find your application being turned down, your last resort is to ask a friend or relative to sign up on your behalf.

You can easily do this by setting up a direct payment or debit to this person’s bank account each month for the amount of your bill.

But be careful when choosing this option.

The person who signs the contract is ultimately responsible for paying the charges. So if you rack up your phone bill, make sure you can afford to pay it. Otherwise it can affect the other person’s credit rating and perhaps your relationship too.



If you have a bad credit rating it is still possible for you to get a mobile phone contract but it may require a little work and sacrifice to achieve it. Although there are fewer options available, it is entirely possible to get approved. Ultimately, whether you are get accepted or not will depend on your own unique circumstances, but following the tips above will help you  improve your chances of being accepted.

If you manage to get a contract, try to keep hold of it! As long as you stay in a contract you will be in a better position to upgrade your phone to the latest models after your contract expires. You will also be in a much better position to negotiate more competitive tariffs once you have demonstrated to the network operator you are a loyal customer and can repay your bills on time.

Hopefully this guide has helped you see that you can still find a mobile contract no matter how poor your credit rating may be. You just have to be persistent and a little creative.


OK, Now What?

  1. Register your details on the electoral roll here
  2. Check your credit report for free here
  3. View recommended Virgin Mobile handsets here
  4. View Virgin Mobile SIM Only tariffs here
  5. Leave a comment below and let us know how you got on! 🙂

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