What credit rating do you need for a mobile phone contract?

Published Thu, Jan 17, 2013 Updated Tue, Feb 16, 2021

Technically, having a phone on contract is a form of credit because you are using the phone’s services each month and then paying for that usage at the end of month. Fortunately, getting a mobile phone contract is one of the easiest forms of credit that you can get, so it is a great idea if you don’t have a great credit history.

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The reason that getting a phone contract is easy is simple; the mobile phone industry is incredibly competitive and the profit margin that phone companies make on your service usage is very high.

How good does your credit need to be?

There is no set credit rating to get a mobile phone contract; being accepted depends on a number of factors.

Firstly, service providers like to see that you can afford the payments. If you have poor credit, but you can show that you have a good, consistent and above all reliable income, you have a good chance of being accepted. On the other hand, if you have a fair credit history but no income, you could actually struggle.

Improving your chances

The other risk factor for the phone company is the cost of the free phone. If you have very poor credit, it might be worthwhile to apply for a sim-only contract. These contracts are very low risk for the phone company, so even people with very poor credit should have a good chance of success.


If you do need a free phone, consider going for the cheapest model you can, and on a low cost contract; if you pay some part towards your handset that may also help.

Of course, some phone companies have more lenient requirements too. If you are struggling to get a contract, consider researching which operator currently has the easiest credit checking criteria and apply accordingly.