SIM-only deals when you have bad or no credit
Most mobile deals require a credit check before you sign up with them - but that’s not always ideal. If you have bad credit history, or a damaged one because of a challenging financial period, you may find it difficult to land a deal.
There are loads of reasons this may happen - a history of debt, being on a zero-hours contract, being new to the country, having moved homes frequently to name but a few. Even simply lacking credit history can mess up your chances of grabbing a good deal.
Regardless of your circumstances, there's no need to worry. There are mobile networks that offer deals without credit checks, and they're great value to boot.
What can I get with no credit check?
The good news is that those deals aren't half bad. Because they only last a month, they're nice and flexible, so you can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel whenever you want. And as well as that, they don't tend to cost a whole lot, so you needn't compromise on price.
What do I need?
To get a credit-check-free SIM-only deal, you will need:
- An unlocked phone. It's no use having a SIM if you don't have a phone to put it in. And make sure it's not locked to one particular network, so you can put in a SIM from any provider. Need a new one? Check out our guide to cheap phones.
- A debit account, so you can pay your bill.
Although the network won't do a credit check, it'll probably still do an ID check to prevent fraud - for which you usually just need to provide your name, address, and bank details.
Which networks offer SIM-only deals with no credit checks?
With a FreedomPop SIM, you'll get something no other network can offer: free mobile service. Every month you'll have 200 minutes, 200 texts, and 200MB of data to use, and you'll only be charged for what you use outside of that. Or, if you want a higher allowance, there are premium plans available to buy too.
Because you're not really paying for anything on a basic FreedomPop plan (besides buying your SIM card in the first place, of course), there's no need for a credit check. Just bear in mind that you'll need to download the FreedomPop app to use its network. The app's available on iOS and Android, so it's no good for a Windows Phone or a feature phone.
TPO Mobile (The People's Operator)
The People's Operator is a kinder business than most - 10% of what you pay on each bill goes to a charity of your choice. But as well as being socially conscious, it's also pretty conscious of your bank account. Its one-month SIM-only plans are cheap as chips, and because it uses EE's network you're guaranteed excellent coverage.
It's not just a place for good value groceries - ASDA offers good value SIM plans through its mobile branch too.
Once again its SIM-only plans work on a monthly basis. You'll get a free SIM card, to which you can then add 30-day bundles. These are sets of minutes, texts, and data to use within a month, and with prices ranging from £5 to £20, you've got quite a lot of choice. And it makes things very flexible too - or if you prefer the peace of mind of a monthly contract, you can set your favourite bundle to automatically renew when it runs out.
Its SIM-only plans work a little differently from most. Each month you can buy a 'goodybag' of calls, texts, and data to last you thirty days, meaning it's easy to change your tariffs around whenever you like. And, most importantly, it also means there's no need for a credit check.
If you're looking to avoid the hassle of a credit check, iD Mobile's pay as you go plan is a good choice. The operator is owned by Carphone Warehouse and offers affordable 'Value Bundles' of data, texts and minutes. You can get up to 4GB data, and you're not locked into any contract, so you chop and change at any time.
Once you've sorted out your mobile plan, why not also switch home broadband? A new plan could save you money each month - take a look at our exclusive guide:
When you've picked your provider and are ready to take the plunge, why not check out this week's best deals in our curated best sim deals page - where one of our experts have carefully sifted through the market and handpicked the best deals.Best SIM only deals