If you’ve got bad credit, damaged financial history and CCJs, you many find it’s more difficult to get broadband. But the good news is that broadband credit checks aren’t as stringent as checks for mortgages and loans. And some providers won’t check your credit rating at all.
Which broadband providers don’t do credit checks?
TalkTalk, Virgin Media, Sky and BT all check your credit rating before accepting you as a customer. All of whom are likely to use different rating criteria.
However, these checks aren’t as rigorous as the credit checks you’d have to pass to get a loan, mortgage or credit card.
So even if you have got bad credit, it doesn't necessarily mean you won’t be accepted.
How do I get broadband with bad credit?
The best and simplest course of action is to get broadband from Now Broadband and Plusnet, neither of whom carry out credit checks.
Evidence suggests that TalkTalk is more likely to accept customers with impaired credit than other household-name broadband providers.
If you’re not successful with your application, it may have a very minor effect on your credit score.
But as long as you don’t apply to lots of providers in the immediate period thereafter, you won’t do any serious damage to your credit rating.
Now Broadband bad credit deals
Now TV standard broadband and fibre broadband packages are available without a credit check.
However, it's worth noting that you’re liable to pay a set-up fee when you sign up for its one-month broadband packages.
Plusnet broadband bad credit deals
Plusnet broadband doesn’t credit-check potential broadband customers for one-month, 12-month or 18-month contracts.
It’s also consistently rated among the UK’s best broadband providers for customer service.
BT Basic broadband for people on low incomes
If you’re on certain benefits or deemed to be on a low income, you may qualify for BT’s Basic broadband package.
For a reduced monthly rate, this gets you a standard broadband service with an average connection speed of 10Mbps and a monthly usage limit of 15GB.
You’ll also get low-cost line rental, as well as a small calls allowance.
You can sign up to BT Basic via BT’s website.
Are cheaper broadband deals easier to get if you've got bad credit?
Anecdotal evidence suggests that's the case. So it's probably fair to say that the cheaper the deal, the more chance you've got of being accepted.
Value broadband specialist TalkTalk, for instance, is said to be less stringent about credit checks than BT, Virgin Media and Sky.
However, Now Broadband and Plusnet don't apply any credit checks at all. So they're probably still your best best for getting broadband if you've got bad credit.
Can I get mobile broadband with bad credit?
You can sign up for pay as you go mobile broadband and won’t have to pass a credit check.
However compared to home broadband, usage limits are restrictive and you’ll probably get much slower speeds.
Mobile broadband also usually works out much more expensive than home broadband.
That said if you really need the internet and would prefer a portable, flexible service, pay as you go mobile broadband is an option worth considering.
To get online, you need a dongle or a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, and a data SIM to put in it. You can then buy a 30-day bundle of data to use - which you can renew on a month-by-month basis.
How do I check and improve my credit score?
We’d recommend you check your credit rating with Experian, Equifax and Callcredit, all of which let you check your credit score for free.
You’ll also be able to see what has negatively impacted on your credit rating, so you can get an idea of what you need to do to improve it.
- Simple steps you can take to improve your create rating include:
- Register to vote so you’re on the electoral roll
- Pay all your bills on time - all of them - via direct debit if possible
- Avoid linking your finances to anyone who has worse credit than you - such as through joint bank accounts and utility bills
- Check your score once a year or so, and correct any errors you see