Sony Xperia M2
£14 per month
More Info

HTC Desire 510
£13 per month
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Samsung Galaxy S3
£13 per month
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Nokia Lumia 635
£12 per month
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Sony Xperia E3
£14 per month
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Nokia Lumia 735
£15 per month
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Samsung Galaxy S4 Refurb
£17 per month
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£18 per month
Samsung Galaxy A3
More Info


istock_000015603766xsmallMake sure you choose your handset wisely, as it has a big impact on your application. The type of handset and tariff you apply with, can determine whether you are approved or declined on your application.

Mobile phone manufacters, wholesalers and retailers often categorise handsets into bands based on their cost and release date:

  • Band 1 – Cheapest entry-level end handsets
  • Band 2 – Mid-range handsets
  • Band 3 – Most expensive and latest top-of-the-range models

Band 1 handsets are suitable for people for poor and average credit scores.
Band 2 handsets are suitable for people for poor and average credit scores.
Band 3 handsets are suitable for people with average and excellent credit scores.

Although this information is not usually displayed to the general public,

the golden rule of thumb is to apply with cheaper handsets on a lower monthly line rental to ensure the best chance of being approved.

Applying for a pay monthly mobile phone contract is similar to other types of finance such as a loan, credit card or mortgage – the more you ask to borrow, the harder it is to be approved.

What happens when you apply for a contract?

Your application will be forwarded to a credit referencing agency using an automated checking process that verifies your personals details such as name, age, address, employment status. Information on your financial history including any existing credit commitments such as bank loans, mortgage details and credit card repayments will also be checked.

All this information is then used to establish whether you meet the credit specifications determined by the mobile network.

Reasons why you may be denied a contract

The most common reason that may cause you to be denied a pay monthly contract is that your credit rating that is too low. This could be due to a number of reasons such as:

  • You may not be registered with the local council or electoral roll
  • You have defaulted on credit agreements in the past
  • You may be completely lacking a credit history because of your age or circumstances
  • You have CCJ’s (County Court Judgement) against your name

Mobile network credit scoring

_6024901_origDifferent network operators use different credit scoring systems and their own interpretation of what is their ideal customer. So whilst you may be denied a contract by one network, it is still possible to be approved by another.

The total amount of credit applied for can be a determining factor whether you will be approved or declined. For example, you may be denied a £45 monthly deal on a brand new smartphone but then qualify for a £10 monthly deal for a basic entry level model.  Credit scoring systems will differ among lenders as well as the items that are being sold.

Choosing contracts that are suitable for people with bad credit

If you have a bad credit history, you will need to consider your applications carefully. Though it can be really tempting to apply for the latest top end models, such contracts usually have the lowest acceptance rates.

Remember, the more expensive a handset is, the higher its credit scoring will be and the harder it will be for it to get approved.

If your credit rating is poor, the chances of landing a deal on a brand new iPhone for a £45 monthly contract will be very slim. You will stand a better chance of getting approved if you go for a more basic handset that charges a cheaper monthly tariff of £5-15 per month.

You should always aim for a phone that you can afford to pay back. The cheapest way to do is with a SIM only contract. Not only do they offer better value than traditional contracts, but they operate on a flexible 30 day rolling contract instead of the usual 18-24 month period.

Reasons for choosing a SIM Only contract

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 10.02.36SIM only contracts pose less of a risk to the network operators as no handset is being supplied, only a SIM card.

Since no handset is being given to you, they don’t have to worry about the risk of you not paying your bills and recovering the cost of the handset (handsets are incorporated into the monthly line rental and are never free).

This kind of contract will not only give you a better acceptance rate, but it will also give you a chance to establish a relationship with the network operator. Make your payments on time and you can upgrade to a standard pay monthly contract with handset.

If you are denied a pay monthly mobile phone, a SIM only can be a good alternative if you pair it with a used or new SIM free handset found on eBay or Amazon.