Smartphones and your credit score: how they’re linked

The new iPhone SE officially goes on sale in the UK on 31st March, and marks a move to a smaller model, one that is designed to appeal to a broader range of customers. Intended as the new ’entry-level’ model, the 4-inch SE is actually the first one that isn’t a number.

Around half the population currently owns a smartphone, and the market is hugely competitive, with all sorts of attractive deals available.

But with expensive handsets on long contracts, providers need to be comfortable that you are going to make your monthly payments on time each month.

It may surprise some people, but mobile phone contracts are actually credit agreements. Applying for a mobile phone contract is not much different than applying to a credit card provider or a bank – they are normally going to look at the information on your application form and in your credit report to give you a credit score.

The credit score the mobile phone network gives you is a guide for them to decide whether to accept you as a customer or not – the higher your credit score, the better your chance of getting that brand new phone is likely to be.

So if you are thinking of applying for a new phone deal, you may want to check your Experian Credit Score, to get an idea of how you are likely to be viewed, and then start doing whatever you can to improve it.

Watch the video above for more tips, including ensuring your children don’t run up huge costs and making sure the personal information you keep on your phone is protected.

(Original post 21 Aug 2015, updated March 2016)

2 thoughts on “Smartphones and your credit score: how they’re linked

  1. Victoria Rudolph

    My credit score has dropped by 50 points and the only negative point on my credit report is Vodafone doing a credit check. Is this normal? It shocked and angered me that a £15/m contact should have such a bad effect on a score I was proud of and worked hard for.

    1. CreditExpert Neil

      Hi Victoria, a recent search can reduce your Experian Credit Score. It would depend on what other information is already recorded as to how much of a reduction this could be. If there are other recent searches already recorded then it can have more of an impact than a single recent search.
      The Experian Credit Score is a guide to how we believe lenders will rate the information. Lenders can be concerned that there is a risk of becoming over-committed if you have recent searches recorded, while it can be frustrating to see a score drop, for the score to be an accurate guide we need to reflect this. Kind regards Neil.


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