The UK’s number 1
bad credit mobile specialist

Over 3250 contracts approved last month

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Top faq's answered

What if I've been refused elsewhere?

If you have poor or bad credit, or you have been refused a mobile phone contract elsewhere, can help. We specialise in helping those with bad credit obtain a new contract phone and we do not carry out credit checks.

Why do I have to wait 12 weeks?

We need to know you can pay before shipping a brand new smartphone. Prove you are a reliable customer and the handset is all yours after 12 weeks. During this time we will send you your sim, port over any existing number if need be and offer a starter phone to get you up and running.

Can I get a phone on any network?

At No Hassle Mobiles, when you choose our starter sim pack you are free to choose a handset from a number of reputable UK network providers. This gives you plenty of choice to find the best signal for you area and gives you the freedom to find the plan that suits your usage.

Do you offer no credit check phone deals?

If you have a bad credit rating, you do not need to worry. Our business models ensures there are zero credit checks carried out. All we require is that you make a few payments towards your contract first to get foot on the ladder and prove you can maintain monthly payments.

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Mobile Phones For Bad Credit – How To Get a Contract – The Ultimate Guide

Having bad credit is more and more of a problem in the current financial situation. Of course, bad credit scores can influence many areas of your life, but one that you might not have thought about is your mobile phone. Credit does affect your ability to get mobile phones and contracts. How? That's what we're here to find out. So if you've got a low credit score and you want a mobile phone, here's all you need to know!

Your Credit Score

Before we get into the nitty gritty, let's first deal with the financial terminology. What is a credit score exactly? In basic terms, a credit score tells a potential lender how much of a risk you are. Your credit score is based on how quickly you repay loans, if you've ever missed payments, declared bankruptcy, or been late in paying something. You can find out more about how your credit score is calculated here.

If you want to borrow money in any way, shape or form (including things like getting a credit card, or getting a mobile phone from an operator on a payment plan), you'll need good credit. Unfortunately, unlike in some other countries, in the UK there's no one system for calculating a credit score. This means that you don't just have one number to rely on. Instead, potential lenders look at how one of many other companies calculates your score, as well as possibly looking at things like your credit card history and court records.

So, good credit means companies are likely to lend you money, since you seem trustworthy, and bad credit means you're less likely to be lent money, since you have a history of not making timely payments.

And This Impacts My Mobile Phone How?!

Your credit score affects your mobile contract because UK operators want to run a credit check before giving you a phone. To be clear, this doesn't necessarily affect all mobile contracts. A SIM free contract, for example, might not require a credit check at all (and even when it does, approval rates are high). A Pay as You Go contract doesn't require a credit check either. But an incentive contract, one that comes with a mobile phone, will almost certainly require a credit check.

Why? Because when you sign a mobile contract that comes with a new phone that phone isn't free. You may pay a little money up front, but after that, the cost of the phone will be added in instalments to your monthly bill. Operators want to run a credit check to make sure that you're trustworthy before agreeing to let you pay for your phone in instalments, which makes sense, if you think about it.

Pro Tip: Signing a contract doesn't necessarily mean that you're credit approved. Most UK operator contracts will contain a clause about passing a credit check. If you sign but it later turns out that you don't have good credit, the operator has the right to renege on the contract!

Be Prepared for That Credit Check

Can you be prepared for that credit check? Yes and no. Since you don't have just one credit number, and since operators don't say what limit of credit rating they're looking for, there's no definitive way to know that you'll pass the check. On the whole, if you have a job, a bank account, and you've never missed any serious payments on loans then you should be fine. There are many factors that affect your credit score. The most common are:

  • Missing credit card payments
  • Late credit card payments
  • A prison record
  • Declaring bankruptcy
  • Late mortgage or loan payments
  • Being declined for a loan in the past

If you want to maximise your chances of passing a credit check when applying for a phone contract then make sure you:

  • Have a bank account
  • Are on the electoral roll
  • Are up to date on all credit card, mortgage, car, and loan payments

You might also want to check your own credit rating to see how you stand. This isn't a guarantee, but it can give you a good idea of how likely you are to be approved. The most popular UK credit rating agencies used by UK operators to run a credit check are: Experian, Callcredit, Equifax, UKCreditRatings, and Credit Angel. Be warned that you may need to pay for a credit report with these agencies.

What Do I Do if I'm Denied?

Sadly, if your credit score isn't great, the operator you've chosen may deny you the chance to get the phone you want on contract. So what do you do? There are both short and long term solutions here, but there is one big rule:

DON'T Keep Re-Applying!!!

As we mentioned above, being denied for a loan affects your credit rating. That means that if an operator denies you and you just keep reapplying (either with the same operator or with a different one), you're only making your credit score worse and therefore increasing the chances of being denied again!

Short Term Solutions

In the short term you can't improve your credit rating immediately. But there are a few options to get you calling and texting:

  • Get a Pay as You Go plan, which won't require a credit check
  • Opt for a SIM only plan, which may not require a credit check (but even if it does, your chances of getting accepted are much higher since you won't be “borrowing” money to buy a phone)
  • Pay a higher up front cost for the phone you want (discuss this with your operator first to ensure that it's possible) since this will mean “borrowing” less money to pay for the phone
  • Opt for a cheaper phone model on contract, since effectively this means “borrowing” less money
  • Pay for the phone up front completely

Out of these options, the preferable one is to opt for a SIM only plan. Why? Because this solution will help to build your credit in the long term. Pay on time and you'll improve your credit score, and this means that next time you want to sign a contract with a phone your chances of approval will be higher! On top of this, some operators will allow you to upgrade your contract once you've proven yourself (usually after around three months, EE and Three are both major networks that offer this possibility). So if you go this route, you might find that your operator allows you to get the phone you want on contract once you've successfully paid three instalments on your SIM only plan.

Long Term Solutions

The long term solution here is to improve your credit score, which sounds like a big deal, but may be easier than you think. There are lots of ways to improve your credit score, but the simplest thing is to budget wisely. Pay your bills on time, borrow as little as possible, use credit cards sparingly, and wait six months. If you've been financially responsible, then your credit score may have improved enough that you can go back and try that mobile operator again!

What About No Credit Check Contracts and Guaranteed Phones?

There are mobile contracts that come without credit checks. As we've already discussed, many SIM only contracts don't require a credit check. If you're looking to get a phone on contract then there are a few operators that will give you a hand set without a credit check, but these tend to be low level, cheap phones. So if you're looking for a new iPhone or top end Samsung Galaxy, you're going to be out of luck. Be warned that not all companies are reputable, and no credit check contracts can be very, very expensive with very strict conditions attached. If you choose to go for this kind of contract, stick with the major UK operators and go into a shop and ask about no credit check mobiles to see which phones you can get. Avoid companies that you've never heard of before!

Guaranteed phones generally do not exist, whatever you may see on the internet! A company that offers you a guaranteed phone is almost certainly a scam. However, again you may find that some cheap, older hand sets are available as a guaranteed phone. Again, stick with major brand name operators, and enquire in store to find out what options are available to you.

Bad Credit and Mobiles: The Bottom Line

Yes, having bad credit will affect your ability to get a new mobile phone on contract. However, it will not completely stop you from getting a phone or a contract. Plan wisely, shop well, and maybe lower your sights a little and you should be able to get service. Once you have that phone, then keep up with payments and pay on time to improve your credit rating and increase your chances of getting a better deal next time round!

Contract Phones for Bad Credit

Being turned down for a mobile phone contract because of your credit rating can be a frustrating experience. Let us help you find a phone that suits your needs and your circumstances.