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Credit checks

What is a credit check?

Our mobile phone and internet providers use credit checks to look at your financial history before deciding whether to offer you a contract. We have to carry out a credit check every time one of our customers signs up to a pay monthly mobile phone contract, broadband contract or credit agreement. This helps protect you from identity fraud and stops you from running up bills you can't pay.

Each network provider uses various Credit Reference Agencies to obtain information relating to your address, identity and personal credit history. They then assess this information against their own set criteria, and the order is accepted provided they are satisfied it meets their minimum threshold.

To decide whether we can let you sign up to one of our deals, they look at information from:

  • The electoral roll
  • Court records such as CCJs (county court judgements) and bankruptcies but not criminal convictions
  • Your financial history - all your dealings with banks, building societies and other lenders

How does a credit check work?

We'll always ask your permission before we run a credit check. If you buy something in one of our stores or over the phone our advisor will put your information into a computer system linked to the network provider. The network provider will carry out a credit check using a Credit Reference Agency; they will assess this information against their own set criteria and will send back their decision electronically as soon as possible.

  • If you're signing up online we'll send you an email if your application has been declined  - if you don't hear anything you can assume your application has been accepted.
  • If buying in-store we'll let you know there and then if your application has been accepted, and if it hasn't we'll do our best to find a different product that suits your needs.

What if I'm asked to pay a deposit?

Sometimes your network might ask you to pay a deposit before you can sign up. Find out more on our deposits page.

What if my application is not accepted?

Don't try to buy a Pay monthly contract online again - taking lots of checks can harm your credit rating. We've loads of great deals on Pay As You Go, that don't require a credit check.

How do I build up a good credit rating?

A Pay monthly SIM only deal is the perfect way to build up your credit rating quickly and easily. It gives the networks a chance to get to know you, putting you in a good position to get a Pay monthly handset contract later down the line. You can sign up for just a month at a time, so it's easy to swap to a contract once your credit rating improves. What's more you still get great value on minutes, text messages and internet data.

A credit check is still performed for a Pay monthly SIM only deal, but with no equipment included, lower line rentals and shorter contract lengths, the networks will be more lenient. Whilst no guarantees can be given, your application would be more likely to be accepted for a Pay monthly SIM only deal than a Pay monthly handset contract.

Shop for a Pay Monthly SIM only deal now

Find out more about your options if your application is not accepted

If you'd like help buying something, give us a call on 0800 049 6248^

^Calls to this number may be free from a landline. Prices of calls from other providers may vary and from mobiles may cost significantly more. Calls may be recorded and/ or monitored. Visit this page for opening hours.


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Dixons Carphone PLC 2015