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How to get a mobile phone with bad credit

If you know you have bad credit, you may be concerned about being rejected for a phone contract. But even if your score is lower than you’d like, there are still ways you can purchase a new mobile phone. 

Can I get a phone if I have bad credit?

While it can be more difficult, the short answer is yes. You are still able to get a new phone if you have bad credit, but the likelihood of being rejected by the mobile provider is dependent on a few factors:

  • The value of the handset - the cheaper the phone you’re going for, the smaller the amount of instalments requested by the provider, and the more likely they’ll allow you to continue with the contract despite a bad credit rating. If you want a new, expensive phone, you’re more likely to be rejected because the provider may not trust that you’ll pay on time
  • The type of deal - if you opt for a rolling sim only deal or use pay as you go, you’ll have more luck as they are no-contract plans  
  • The provider - every mobile phone provider is different; some accept all customers regardless of their previous financial history, while others might be stricter. For example, at Asda mobile we don’t conduct any credit checks, so you’re free to buy a monthly bundle without worry   
  • Deposits - if you have to pay a deposit, you may stand a greater chance at picking a new phone, because paying in advance feels more trustworthy 
  • Guarantors - some companies may ask for you to complete a form for a guarantor. A guarantor is someone else who promises to pay whatever money is owed if you’re unable to. Guarantors are requested in some housing contracts so the landlords and companies can rest assured that they’ll be paid either way
  • No credit contracts - you may be able to sign up for a contract that doesn’t involve doing any credit checks

Ways to get a phone with bad credit

  • Buy the phone outright - by choosing a cheaper model, or a budget-friendly handset under £100 or £200, you won’t have to worry about your entire contract (handset + plan) being rejected because you’re not paying off your device over a period of months or years
  • Choose a smaller bundle - if you opt for a bundle with minimal calls, texts, and little to no data, you’ll stand a stronger chance of being approved by the mobile provider, as smaller bundles cost less money
  • Go pay as you go - as we’ve said, pay as you go deals mean you pay for your allowance each month, so there’s normally no credit checks involved
  • Improve your credit score - improving your credit score is a way to escape trying to buy a phone with bad credit, or a bad credit contract

How to improve your credit score 

If you don’t want to settle for a cheaper phone or have to worry about being rejected, your only option is to try and improve your overall credit score. There are a number of things you can do to bump your rating. 

  1. Register to vote - you can boost your credit by putting your name on the electoral register. If you use the same address for this and for your phone contract, it indicates a sense of stability that providers approve of when checking your background history
  2. Check your history - you can check your credit history online to see if there are any errors recorded in your file that you can remove
  3. Don’t over apply - as this could damage your credit check
  4. Don’t move often - if you move house often, or only rent for a couple of months at a time, you’ll be perceived as an individual who can’t manage their finances 
  5. Don’t skip payments - if you pay your credit card bills on time and keep on top of your rent or household bills, your credit score will start to improve, allowing you to be more flexible when searching for a new phone deal

Join the Asda mobile family

At Asda mobile, we offer no-contract pay as you go plans without performing a credit check. This means you’re welcome to sign up for one of our bundles regardless of your score. 

If you’re interested, check out some of the other benefits of a pay as you go deal with us. 

You may also be interested in checking out our blog on money saving tips.

If you’re looking to join us, you can take a look at some of the best phones we have available right now, or browse our full range online.


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