Why Do I Get Declined on other networks?
Like any form of credit, the provider has different ranges of customer that they are willing to accept. Taking a step back and choosing the lowest line rentals can help, yet credit checks are performed on all the UK networks in EE, 3, Vodafone and O2.
No Credit Check Mobile Phones, Do They Exist?
No they don't, at least with the mainstream networks anyway. The most likely way, if any, for there to be no credit checks is for a sim only deal, yet a simple address check will more than likely be performed at the very least.
Sim Only For People With A Poor Credit History
The highest guarantee on getting a contract is to take out a sim only deal, these offers do not carry the risk that bundling a £600 handset with the tariff does. Of course you will have to have a device to pop the sim card into, to take advantage of one of those offers.
What do I need to apply for a contract phone?
You will need a bank account with a direct debit and also in most cases a debit card to help with the credit check. Some retailers or networks take a token payment and pay it back, just to check against the card for fraud.
An example of what you will need to apply for these would be the following:
- You will need to be 18 years or older
- A UK resident for 3 years or more/Permanent UK resident.
- Able to make regular repayments by Direct Debit.
- In regular employment (minimum of 16 hours per week) including self-employment, or in a permanent residence with your spouse/partner who's in regular employment*
- Have a debit card or credit card in your name and registered to your address and have a bank or building society current account.
- Other conditions may apply and we cannot guarantee that your application will be accepted.
- * If you are retired and receive a pension, or registered disabled and unable to work, you may be asked for proof of sufficient income.
What is a deposit?
In some instances you may be asked to pay a security deposit. This is just a safeguard for the network, this is normally refundable and the timescale differs between networks, EG the Three network refunds the deposit if you have paid 6 months bills without any issues.
What does upfront cost mean?
The cost of the phone as part of the deal, this will need to be paid as the order is placed. If it is a free handset then there will be no fee at the time of purchase.
Do I get a decision straight away?
Generally an instant decision on your application is made. Sometimes you will find the retailer or network may have to refer the application, inwhich case extra checks will be made and a final decision givne to you later when they are complete.
How do phone contracts work?
When you sign up to a contract it is a financial legally binding contract, to ensure both parties understand the terms. In simple terms the retailer or network pay out 100's of pounds to buy the phone then generally offer it to you for free, meaning they supply the network for you in a monthly bill installment covering the cost of your tariff, extra bill and also the cost of the phone over the contract period, which is generally 24 months but in some instances it can be 30 months at present. So as you can see the risk to the retailer is high if you don't pay your bills. This is why there is not an option with no credit checks as the network would like to know if you have historically been a good payer to decide if they would like to offer you the option or not.
What is a credit check?
This is a check that is performed by the lender on information given by credit reference agencies, you can visit the Citizens Advice for more information. The length of time you have to wait can be instant, or if referred normally 24 hours depending on the criteria and process and if you have failed to fill the form in currently, which can just be human error. Upgrades don't normally carry much of a credit check, yet a long term relationship with the network and a good billing history with them would give you a great chance of being able to upgrade.
Affordability and Unemployment
The ability to be able to afford the bill is a major factor now. Many people think befcasue they have multiple contract phone agreemnts in place already that they automatically will be approved for more. A credit file now gives lenders the opportunity to take a look at if you can afford the item applied for or not, having more credit may mean you are 'over loaded' and maybe this extra bill will effect your chances of continuing payments as finances maybe stretched. As far as being unemployed is concerned, generally the employement question are not asked on a pay monthly phone, so this should not effect the result, yet for your own piece of mind being able to afford the offer is the best way forward.
Do Networks Credit check on upgrade?
Generally you are not credit checked for an upgrade, but there is situations where you would not be eligible for one. Bad payments to the network before or even on the way to debt collection could see your contract nullified, yet a decline on an upgrade to a new handset could be declined yet the originally agreement maybe able to run under the existing terms.
What are Prepaid mobile phones?
If you do not want a pay monthly or maybe have no choice as you have been declined, then the prepaid system is your option. Buy the phone outright and then top up as you go along. Many prefer this as you feel in more control of your bills, yet it is not perfect if you do manage to run out of credit and want to make more calls or use more data.
What About GiffGaff?
Contrary to believe GiffGaff do perform a credit check, the network is powered by O2 and their loans at the time of writing are performed by ratesetter. Like any other network sim card only packages they may have a softer financial history look up performed.
What are the Bill Frequency for pay monthly?
Many who look to pay weekly will find sign up for a pay monthly agreement is a monthly direct debit, you will be asked to put these details in online when signing up.
Can I Get A Contract Phone with a Guarantor?
You can't really be a so called guarantor with a pay monthly mobile application as a guarantor is a third party, such as a parent or close relative, who agrees to pay your rent if you don't pay it. Your landlord can ultimately take legal action to recover any unpaid rent from your guarantor. If you are looking for someone else to take out the contract for you, then that would be soley upto them, as it would be in their name. If you do have a family member or even friend whi is willing to do this for you, then they will be taking the agreement out in their own name without you, meaning it is upto both parties to agree payment terms with each other. If you fail to make a payment, then they have liabilty to pay the remainder as if it was their own.
How do I find out my credit history?
There is information galore now regards credit files and how to have a look at them. You can even get this information for free now, the top credit reference agencies in the UK are Equifax, Experian and Callcredit.
What is a soft search?
When applying for a credit card or loan, there maybe an option to do complete a soft search, this search doesn't then show up on your credit file as a search. Mobile phone contracts don't have this option as yet. The reason why soft search was created is that if you are seen to be applying for too much credit, accepted or not, then this would still be seen as a downside to your credit history, a soft search then doesn't leave a mark. So declined or not lenders will not be able to see that you was applying from a different source.
How do I improve my credit?
There are lots of things you can do to improve your credit file. Your score does not really exist, as you will see from different credit report agencies, your score is different with each one of them. Improving your own personal file can be achieved by paying your bills on time, and checking your file regularly for anything that looks like it should not exist. People with associations or finance you don't recognise, you should report, this is something that is easy to report when you look at your credit file with the main suppliers.
Where can I look at my credit report for free?
There are several places, her e are some main one.
- MSE's Credit Club - Offers for the first time FREE full access to your Experian Credit Report. You'll be able to see details of all credit accounts you have, searches made against your file, financial associations and linked addresses, plus much more. Visit Website
- Clearscore - provides free Equifax (the second biggest credit agency) scores and reports, updated once a month (note, Equifax and Clearscore are not the same company). It's not part of a free trial, and aims to give you your credit report free for life. VVisit Website
- Noddle - Is part of Callcredit, a large credit reference agency, offering a free service. Updates each month showing you the latest information it has collected. You can use it to improve your file with an extra chargeable service. Visit Website
- If you need debt help you can read the information at the national debt helpline you can even call them for free debt advice. visit website
Can I do anything to negatively affect my credit score?
Not paying bills and even having no credit history at all can be a problem in gaining credit, we have touched on the affordability issue now too. Ensure you get a copy of your credit file, this will then show you what is adverse and maybe you can contest it or you will have to wait for it to drop off your file before you can gain any form of credit.