Smartphones and your credit score

A nation of smartphone users

A nation of smartphone users

Britain is a nation of mobile phone users – it’s hard now not to agree with that. Figures vary but it seems that around half the population currently owns a smartphone – just look at people sat on buses, or in cafés glued to their smartphones.

And it’s highly likely we are going to use them even more in the future – for everything from booking hotels to making payments by simply tapping our phone against a sensor, with online sales via smartphone or tablet soaring all the time.

The mobile phone market is hugely competitive, which can be great for the consumer because it means there are all sorts of attractive deals available.

But with handsets worth hundreds of pounds included as part of a 24-month contract, they also need to be comfortable that you are going to make your monthly payments on time each month.

So applying for a mobile phone contract is not really 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 Experian credit report to give you a credit score.

Your credit report includes things such as whether you have kept up to date with payments on current mobile phone contracts and credit cards, the total level of credit that you already have, and whether you are on the electoral register, which proves you live where you say you do.

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.  After all, no-one wants to be left behind tapping away at a phone from ancient history!

You can find an updated version of this post here:
http://www.experian.co.uk/blogs/consumer-advice/credit-cafe-smartphones/

 

10 thoughts on “Smartphones and your credit score

    1. Darren Beach Post author

      Hi Dimos,
      If you would like to find out what your Experian credit score is you can do so using the CreditExpert service. We offer a 30-day trial to first time users – this allows you to view your report and score and see the factors that will be influencing it.
      If you just want to view your report you can also apply for a one off statutory report for £2.00, although this doesn’t include a score.
      You can see a comparison of the two services and find out how to apply here http://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/statutory-report.html
      Regards
      Neil (Customer Services)

      Reply
  1. Cheyenne Burt

    So my credit score said it was like 689 is that even a good enough score to try to get a contract phone. I would also like to know how you get your credit score up. I have never owned a credit card or anything besides my debit, so I guess my question is how did I even get a credit score

    Reply
    1. Emma Beardsley

      Hi Cheyenne, the score isn’t seen by a lender and they all have their own scoring criteria so we can’t say whether you would be accepted or not. In regards to improving your score, I can look into your report in more detail for you – Please email uksocialsupport@experian.com with your name, DOB and address along with your reference number.
      Kind Regards,
      CreditExpert Emma

      Reply
  2. Sharna

    Hi my credit score is 775
    Would I be able to get a contract phone ?
    I already have a credit card that’s building my score up hopefully I shall be able to get a contract phone or any kind of loans or anything ?

    Reply
    1. CreditExpert Neil

      Hi Sharna, an Experian Credit Score of 775 would be considered fair but it is always up to the lender themselves as to what decision they make.
      When applying for a mobile phone being registered on the electoral roll will help as this is often used to confirm that the applicant is genuine.
      To find out more about how credit scoring works take a look at our guide available here. Kind regards Neil

      Reply
  3. David

    Would it be possible to find out if a mobile phone contract (sim only) could help improve a credit report?

    I have a poor credit rating (I had a lot of financial problems in the past but no longer have problems). While I’m not looking for credit, I would like to make myself a bit more creditworthy, you never know when a small loan may be needed in the future.

    I’m on the electoral register, been at the same address for 4 years, have 2 defaults on my Experian report, one is settled but not marked as settled and the other was written off by the creditor but still remains with the balance due on my credit report. The defaults are due to end in 2 year.

    I also have 3 active accounts on my credit report which have always been paid on time – these are my bank account, credit card (I spend a couple of pound a month and pay in full) and a BT Mobile sim only contract that I’ve had for a few year which gets updated monthly on Experian, although doesn’t show on my other credit reports.

    My credit reports are slowly improving.

    Is there any advantage to having a mobile phone contract on a credit report?

    My reason for asking is that I don’t actually have a need for a contract phone anymore, if there is any advantage then I believe it may be worth keeping. Would a closed phone contract that’s settled and never been behind in payments have a negative effect on a credit profile?

    Reply
    1. CreditExpert Joe

      Hi David, open credit agreements show you are able to manage credit lines and as the account grows it shows you can manage over a longer period of time. If you close an agreement it can show you are able to complete agreements but they can have a negative affect when first opened and have no history yet. This page explains further.

      Joe

      Reply
  4. Anonymous

    I’ve been denied a contract by 3 mobile but have been accepted by Vodafone who I’ve been with for 3 years both cases credit was checked…..no complaints here.

    But I’ve seen all these questions and responses….looks to me like discrimination is the answer in most cases. “It’s up to the lenders wheather or not they will give you a contract or phone even if you have a good/great score” and if you’re on the electoral role (my guess the area which you live) As there are other ways of checking the validity of who the person is… seems like a bit of a pi*s take no? Policing at its finest.

    Reply
    1. CreditExpert Neil

      Hi, mobile phone providers will often check that their applicant is registered on the electoral roll as a way to confirm ID. If they can’t see that the electoral roll details then they may believe that the application is fraudulent and so decline at this point without asking for further documentation. Although there may be other ways to confirm ID, the lender may not feel that these are satisfactory for their needs and that they want to be able to give a yes or no decision at the point of application and not draw the process out. Kind regards Neil.

      Reply

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