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- Networks in order of acceptance:
SIM Only Contracts for Bad Credit
What are SIM Only contracts, and why am I more likely to be accepted for one with bad credit?
SIM only contracts offer a number of inclusive texts, minutes and sometimes data for a fixed monthly fee. You get all the benefits and lower call costs associated with a regular or poor credit mobile contract but you do not get a free or subsidised mobile phone included. So you will need your own handset to take advantage of these great contracts.
Since there are no free or subsidised mobile phones with these contracts the risk to the network is far lower and so the acceptance criteria is often far lower, usually a generic identity check is all that is required.
Another benefit of SIM only contracts is they allow you to build a good credit history not only helping repair your credit rating but allowing you to upgrade your SIM only contract to a free phone contract in as little as three months.
ID offer: Great Approvals On Phones & SIM Only Contracts
ID offer a wide range of affordable tariffs on a good selection of handsets and SIM's they have an excellent approval rate for customers with a less than perfect credit history, as always be realistic about which handset you choose in order to stand the best chance of being accepted.
Click here to apply with ID Mobile now
Vodafone offer: Very high acceptance rates for all
Vodafone offer very good acceptance rates on low to mid range smartphones and require only a basic identity check for their SIM only contracts. As we have mentioned before SIM only contracts are great for building your credit and provided you keep your account in order they are a sure fire way to a free phone contract deal.
Click here to apply with Vodafone now
BT offer: High Approval Rates On Phones For Poor Credit Scores
BT Mobile is a newcomer in the mobile phone world recently buying out EE they run on the UK's biggest 4G network but of course BT needs no introduction! Apply for an affordable smartphone (avoid iPhone 7) to get approved. Got BT broadband? Even better, as an existing customer you get £5 off your monthly mobile phone plan!
Click here to apply with BT Mobile now
Virgin Mobile offer: The best acceptance rates on phones and SIMs
Virgin Mobile have tariffs from as little as £5
per month with many free phone deals on all the latest handsets, 30 Day SIM Only have extremely high approvals.
Virgin also offer unlimited web browsing
from your mobile for just 30p a day!
Click here to apply with Virgin Mobile now
Tesco Mobile offer: Good acceptance on cheaper phones & tariffs
Tesco offer a great range of affordable tariffs and superb deals on all the latest phones. They have a reasonable connection rate on pay monthly phones and offer very high acceptance rates on their pay monthly SIM's. Tesco also offer capped contracts to keep spending down and have great coverage.
Click here to apply with Tesco now
Three offer: Great Approvals On Phones For Credit Scores Of 350+
Credit Score Of 350+ for Phone Deals Or Three Mobile offer SIM only contracts from just £10 per month. Three also have a range of reasonable tariffs and free phones from just £15 per month. Again you need to be realistic in your choices. (Read our full guide bellow)
Click here to apply with Three Mobile now
TalkTalk Very High Approval Rates & Affordable Tariffs
TalkTalk offer very high approval rates combined with their cheap tariffs makes them perfect for customers with bad credit or no credit history. Incentives are available for existing TalkTalk broadband customers too.
Click here to apply with TalkTalk now
GiffGaff: No Credit Check SIM ONLY deals
GiffGaff offer great SIM only deals that are not only good value for money they carry no credit check making them perfect for customers with bad credit or no credit history. With time they can also help rebuild your credit score leading you to a full phone contract.
Click here to apply with GiffGaff now
O2 offer: Clear & simple SIM only contracts with good acceptance rates
O2 offer a great range of SIM only contracts, Simplicity offers Pay and Go, 30 day rolling and 12 month SIM only contracts, all have very high acceptance rates. O2 also reward their customers every 3 months with high street vouchers and other goodies.
Click here to apply with O2 now
EE offer: OK approval rates for SIM ONLY Contracts
As the parent company of Orange and T-Mobile EE offer good acceptance rates for their SIM only contracts. As we have mentioned before SIM only contracts are great for building your credit and provided you keep your account in order they are a sure fire way to a free phone contract deal.
Click here to apply with EE now
Why is having bad credit a problem & how SIM Only Contracts can help
Mobile providers all have their own specific criteria when it comes to accepting you for a new contract. Being rejected by one does not mean another provider won’t accept you for a contract, that said applying to every provider isn’t the answer either, making lots of credit applications in a short space of time can actually damage your credit rating further.
Every time you make a credit application be it for a mobile phone, credit card, loan or mortgage a record called a footprint is left on your credit file. Whilst rejections are not registered on your credit file lenders or in this case SIM only contract providers may still assume you have been rejected or even suspect identity fraud.
How to get a SIM only contract with poor credit
As we have already said each provider has different criteria for approving customers and their criteria varies depending on the risk attached to each contract apply for the latest smartphone on contract for instance is not the same as applying for a 12 month or 30 day rolling SIM only contract.
Every persons credit history is also different so it is important to know where you stand, check your credit file (see below) and be realistic about your situation only apply for the contract you are most likely to be accepted for.
Once you have your SIM only contract, provided you pay your contract on time each month and in full you can upgrade to a mobile phone contract in a short space of time, this is usually 3 - 6 months depending on your credit history.
Consider a SIM only contract that doesn’t require a credit check
The Peoples Operator (TPO) are great network offering pay monthly no credit check sim only contracts with a wide range of tariffs to suit most peoples usage.
Asda Mobile uses EE’s 4G network and also offer 30 day rolling SIM-Only plans without any credit check at all. They have a number of good plans with inclusive minutes, data and texts to suit most users at a really low monthly rental.
SIM Only deals for bad credit
Only taking a SIM card without a new phone greatly increases your chances of being accepted for a new contract as the credit checks are far less stringent. Having the choice of 12 month and 30 day contracts is also useful, especially for those looking to upgrade to a full phone contract within a short space of time whilst improving their credit record along the way.
SIM only deals are also very good value as you are only paying for the bundled Minutes, data and texts you often get generous allowances compared with phone contracts. You will have to insert your SIM into an old mobile phone or purchase a new one outright in order to use your contract, that said over the course of your contract this still works out cheaper than a phone contract more often than not.
Why does your credit history matter?
Every consumer has a credit report and score each credit reference agency scores you on a scale from low to high. When you apply for any sort of credit or finance your score and credit history is accessed by the lender and this ultimately determines how much you can borrow or if you can even borrow at all.
When applying for a mobile phone contract you are effectively financing your new phone alongside your tariff or plan. You will have to sign a contract be it in store or elecnorinicly online agreeing to the payment terms of the provider. If the network or retailer believes you are unlikely to meet your monthly payments based on your credit score and history it will view you as a high risk customer and you are unlikely to be accepted.
Improving your credit record
Paying your current credit commitments on time and in full each month is the best place to start. Take stock of your finances, having a clear picture of your income and expenditure is all important you will be amazed just how many people don’t know what their monthly outgoings are.
Check your data is correct and up to date
Look at your credit report is old debts that have been paid off are still showing as outstanding or any entries are out of date contact the provider and ask for it to be corrected.
Any information you don’t recognise such as a credit agreement or even an application (search / footprint) could be a sign that someone is applying for credit in your name. Contact the provider immediately and ask them to investigate. Don’t forget lots of credit applications can damage your credit score.
Register on the electoral roll
Lenders use the Electoral roll to check your identity this helps prevent identity fraud, not being registered on the Electoral roll can have a negative impact on your credit rating, check with your local council to find out if you are registered.
Strange as it may seem having no credit history can also cause you to have a credit application declined. Lenders look at your past credit history having never borrowed before means there is no record of you paying anything back, this makes lenders uneasy as they don’t know what kind of customer you will be.
Some people recommend applying for a credit builder credit card with a small limit, used wisely this can be a good tool for building credit spend a small amount each month and repay it in FULL every month and your credit score will soon climb.
Joint credit applications create financial ties if your partner has a poor credit rating this can negatively effect your own. If you see financial ties to people you are no longer connected with contact the providers in question and ask they are removed otherwise look to improve your partners credit score in the same way you would your own.
Bad credit may limit which mobile phone deals you can and should apply to, but this doesn’t mean there isn’t a deal out there for you. Knowing your own personal credit score and history and using our guides will help you determine which deals are best for you and hopefully help you improve your credit score in the near future.
Best current SIM only deals: