Can I get a phone with bad credit?
The short answer is ‘yes’, but it can be more difficult to get a phone with bad credit. The likelihood of being rejected by your mobile provider depends on certain factors, such as:
Value of the handset
Lower-cost phones mean smaller instalments, so the credit provider is more likely to let you continue with the contract despite a bad credit rating.
If, however, 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.
Type of deal
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 for SIM plans, so you’re free to buy a monthly bundle without worry.
Paying a deposit shows commitment to the purchase and makes you appear more trustworthy. If you can do this, you’re more likely to walk away with your new phone.
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 involved can rest assured that they’ll be paid either way.
Some mobile companies may ask you to complete a guarantor form for this exact reason.
Ways of getting a phone with bad credit
In terms of actually getting a phone with bad credit, you could always:
- Buy the phone outright - choosing a more reasonably priced model, such as a budget-friendly handset under £100 or £200, means 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 your chosen mobile provider, as smaller bundles cost less money
- Go pay as you go - 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 an older phone or worry about being rejected, your only option is to try and improve your overall credit score.
There are several things you can do to bump your rating, such as:
1) Register to vote
You can boost your credit score by putting your name on the electoral register. If you use the same address for this and your phone contract, it indicates a sense of stability that providers approve of when checking your background history.
2) Check your history
Regular checking of your credit history helps you stay on track with finances. 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
Making too many credit applications at once can be seen as you experiencing significant financial problems. This could then damage the credit check for your new phone.
4) Address any errors or mistakes
Credit can be denied regardless of whether or not you’re at fault - even a mistyped address is grounds for refusal! If you notice something wrong with your account, report it immediately to avoid paying the price later.
5) Keep an eye out for fraud
Nowadays, fraudsters use sophisticated methods to obtain people’s personal information; they could even take out credit in your name without you knowing! Remember to check your credit report on a regular basis, and if you suspect any fraudulent applications, contact your bank and the police straight away.
6) Lower your credit utilisation
This is the percentage of your credit limit you actually use. For example, if your monthly limit is £1,000 but you only end up spending £500 one month, your credit utilisation for that month would be 50%. Try keeping your credit utilisation below 50% so lenders will look at you more favourably.
7) End unnecessary financial associations
Having a joint bank account or similar means another person’s credit rating is invariably linked to yours. Cutting financial ties with anyone who has poor credit history could very quickly see your own score improve.
8) Avoid frequently moving home
Moving house often, or only renting for a couple of months at a time, means you’ll be perceived as an individual who can’t manage their finances. This in turn could count against you when you’re trying to buy a new phone.
9) Show a long credit history
If you can successfully manage repayments, especially over a long period of time, this will look great on your credit history. Keep any old accounts open, too, so financial stability is clear.
10) Pay on time
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.
Become an Asda mobile customer
At Asda mobile, we offer no-contract pay as you go plans where we don’t perform any credit checks. This means you can enjoy one of our great value bundles no matter what your score is.
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, which suggests ways of keeping costs down, as well as our round-up of some of the best money saving apps available for download right now.
If you’re looking for a phone, take a look at the best Asda handsets online - you won’t be disappointed!