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UK Demand for No Credit Check, SIM Only Deals is on the Rise

  • Uswitch experts assess how many Brits are searching for SIM only deals that won’t affect their credit rating
  • On average, demand for ‘poor credit check’ deals has risen by 18% compared to 2022[1]
  • Over 50% of Brits think it’s unfair that having no credit history has a negative impact on your credit score[2] 

Data from YouGov found that 12% of Brits were denied a financial product based on their credit rating between 2018 and 2021[3]. For many, a phone contract may be the first time they’ve had a credit search on their file, even if it’s for an affordable SIM only deal. Research by Opinium showed that 55% of Brits found it unfair that a lack of credit history could negatively impact their credit score and that acquiring a contract from a mobile network provider relied on such[2]..

Whilst most major mobile network providers will require a credit check, the Uswitch mobiles experts have found that demand for no credit check SIM only contracts has risen by an average of 18% in the past year[1].

In general, there are nearly 20,000 searches a month in the UK for advice on getting a phone contract with poor credit[1]. As average mobile plan prices rose by as much as 17.3% from 1st April, the use of credit also increased during the cost-of-living crisis[4]. So UK mobile phone users may be looking for an affordable SIM only deal that won’t harm their credit rating.

Provider Credit Check Terms Current cheapest SIM only deal
giffgaff No credit check required £6 a month, 2GB of data
VOXI No minimum credit score requirement £10 a month, 30GB of data
SMARTY No credit check required £6 a month, 5GB of data
Lebara No credit check required £1.58 (for 3 months), £3.95 after, 1GB of data

Whilst providers such as giffgaff offer low-cost options, be wary of how much data you may actually need. The lowest cost options are also data-lite, which means using TikTok or Netflix to stream while using mobile data could see you run out fast if you’re on a 2GB a month plan, for example.

VOXI’s cheapest offer at the moment is a £10 a month SIM only deal, which includes a solid 30GB of data. VOXI offer unlimited data specifically on social media apps, which are some of the most data-hungry – meaning that that 30GB could go far further if choosing a VOXI deal.

The current cheapest deal on Uswitch from a provider with no credit checks is from Lebara, which is offering 1GB of data for £1.58 a month for the first 3 months. Nonetheless, should you frequently find yourself on the move, travelling, or in locations with unreliable Wi-Fi access, you might quickly exhaust your data allowance.

How can a SIM only deal help your credit score?

Uswitch mobiles expert, Max Beckett, has shared insights on applying for a SIM only deal without credit checks, and what to look out for if you’re navigating the market:

“When choosing a SIM only provider, make sure to read its payment terms and conditions to see if it runs a credit check on new accounts. Providers that don’t run credit checks are a great option for those with no credit history, or who may have been rejected for a contract previously.

“Keep in mind the length of the contract, too. A rolling monthly SIM only plan is likely to be seen as lower risk, which means they don’t often need a credit check. Six, 12 or 18-month contracts are longer commitments, so some providers would want to make sure you can pay a fixed amount for that length of time.

“However, rolling contracts often come with higher monthly prices as a result. So if you’re looking for a lower-cost deal then you may have to commit to a longer contract, which means a no credit check SIM provider could still be your best bet.”

Lisa Baker is Group Editor for the Need to See IT Publishing Group. Lisa writes about HR, Technology, Health, the Environment and Business.
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