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How to get a mobile phone with bad credit

If you have bad credit, there’s always the risk of being rejected for any payment plan. A phone contract is no exception.

But even if your credit score is lower than you’d like, there are still ways you can purchase a new mobile phone.

In this article, we explain how to get a mobile phone with bad credit, as well as suggesting ways of improving your credit score.

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

Opting for no-contract plans is a good way to avoid being rejected based on your credit score. Try a rolling SIM only deal, or choose one of our pay as you go bundles.


Your 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 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!

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Asda Stores Limited (registered address: Great Wilson Street, Leeds, LS11 5AD) trading as Asda Money, acts as a credit broker not a lender, and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Asda Stores Limited only offers finance from a restricted range of finance providers. Finance provided by PayPal Credit. Terms and conditions apply. Credit subject to status, UK residents only. ASDA Stores Limited acts as a broker and offers finance from a restricted range of finance providers. PayPal Credit is a trading name of PayPal (Europe) S.à r.l. et Cie, S.C.A. 22-24 Boulevard Royal L-2449 Luxembourg.