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Mobile phone contract while unemployed

66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,883 Disability Gamechanger
I am usually against all forms of finance, borrowing etc. (apart from a mortgage). I'm of the opinion if I can't buy something outright I can't afford it. With that in mind I have been saving up for a new phone for 2 years while making do with my broken one and am now in the position to buy a new iPhone SE.

However, I found an incredibly good deal but it was on a contract. This meant they had to do a credit check, which came back as unsuccessful. They didn't say why but I am assuming it is because I am unemployed. I don't know what is checked during a credit check.

Does anyone here have any experience of phone contracts while being unemployed? Has anyone successfully gotten one? Or, is it normal for the credit check to be unsuccessful and is this because of unemployment or is there some other reason for the decline?

I have never had a credit check done against me in my life and this is a little bit of an insult as I am really disciplined with my finances and I am good at managing what little money I do have. :D


  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,361 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2020
    You can do a free credit check yourself via Experian etc.  That'll show your current rating.  

    I've got a very good credit rating despite never being employed (except a part time job 10 years ago!) so I don't think that's the issue here.  

    Do you have your own bank account or do your parents manage it?  

    Oh, I've never had a phone contract btw, still on PAYG...I barely use a pound a year of credit! :D Tbh the most I use is a few minutes of data at the BP garage to use their 'fill & go' system on the app. I do get though a tonne of Wifi at home though!!
  • 66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,883 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes I have my own bank account but my parents have third party mandate over it.

    Vey strange!

    I still live at home though and have no monthly direct debits and just one monthly standing order to my parents for rent - I do all my payments yearly if possible. Maybe that has something to do with it as it shows I don’t have any other monthly commitments that I have been able to keep up with.

    I’m going to look up my credit score to see what it is, really interested now! 

    Haha and I thought I used little credit, I topped up £25 in mid 2018 and only had to top up again late 2019 :D

  • 66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,883 Disability Gamechanger
    Just done it. My credit score is 990 / 999 which is “excellent”.

    Even stranger now!!! Hmmmmmm
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,361 Disability Gamechanger
    66Mustang said:
    Just done it. My credit score is 990 / 999 which is “excellent”.

    Even stranger now!!! Hmmmmmm
    Can't get much better than that then!  

    I don't understand why you'd be refused with an excellent score. :|
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,970

    Scope community team

    edited April 2020
    Hi @66Mustang, when you apply for a mobile phone contract, the provider will usually undertake a 'hard' credit check of your credit history. They'll look to see whether you have a history of paying back your credit on time, how much credit you currently have and how it's being managed.
    Based on your score, I'd say you shouldn't have a problem getting a contract, but it might be the fact you're unemployed and lack a steady income stream that means you're getting rejected, but I'd just be guessing at this point!
    Senior Community Partner
  • 66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,883 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks both for the posts.

    I have done some looking into it and it could potentially be because I have not had any credit before, so obviously have no history of paying it back on time. That said, how are you to build up a history if no one accepts you due to not having a history! A bit of a catch 22 situation haha.

    I've decided to just buy the phone from Apple and use my current pay-as-you-go SIM card with it. :)
  • SeanchaiSeanchai Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    edited April 2020
    Yep Mustang .....its weird how it works . I am like you , if I cannot afford it , I don,t buy it ...but I take that a stage further , I cannot afford to buy a house so I would not buy one . I,m against the sale of social housing . The money that went to the government was meant to buy more social housing ...of course that never happened . I,m glad that the SNP in Scotland have now stopped the sale of social housing ....and have actually reversed the process by buying back housing that was sold .
    My wife and I have a joint account and my wife uses our Visa to buy various things online ...but as soon as the Visa bill comes in , she pays it ( infact, she sometimes pays it before the bill comes in) .
    I cannot get anything on credit but my wife can get anything she wants , (she has a gold card )....and thats with a joint account ..weird. 🙄 Just remember that credit checks get recorded when applying for anything on credit , the more credit checks you have ( by companies) the less chance you have of getting credit . I,m no expert on credit but that's my experience with credit.
    As for what phone you decide to buy wife has a I-phone 6 and has to have a new connection port in hers. My daughter had an I- phone and said she will never buy another as she has had to have a couple of new ports installed in her phone .
    Good luck Mustang ... please let us know how you get on 👍
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,126 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2020
    No one has a credit score its a number made up by the credit reference agencies, what we all have is a credit history although @66Mustang  as you say you don't even have that, a mobile phone contract is usually one way of getting a credit history another would be to take out a credit building credit card (aqua is one) spend on it but pay it off every month, or you could try another phone provider we use Tesco and neither of us work, but we do have credit history.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • 66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,883 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for the posts. I really appreciate the tips.

    @Seanchai what do you mean about the ports on the phones? Do you mean they broke and new ones had to be installed?
  • SeanchaiSeanchai Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    yep, nine times out of ten it's the cable that needs replaced,  but the charging ports where the charge cable goes in , have a habit of going wonky and needing replaced ...that only my humble opinion ( and my families opinion ) ...we maybe have just been unlucky possibly 🙄
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,361 Disability Gamechanger
    Charging ports seem to be a weak point on any phone, I've had them break on both a Samsung slider and a Motorola Smartphone.  I'm not a heavy phone user either, only plug it in twice a week and never in he car where it might get joggled about.  The phones were a few years old at the time and not worth repairing due to their low initial cost, obviously not the same with an iPhone lol.

    My family all have iPhones and rate them but I've never tried one.  Are the ports covered under warranty?  How long is the warranty if so?
  • 66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,883 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2020
    Well what a really strange coincidence this is! I have had no issues myself with the Apple ports up until now - they always worked fine. However just this morning, after reading your post Seanchai, my iPad charger will no longer go in! It seems the port is wonky like you say...!

    Not a huge issue, as the iPad has been on its way out for several months now, and just 2 days ago I replaced it with a laptop (family member very kindly helped me out) so it happened at the right time I guess. I just thought that was very strange that it happened just after reading your post haha!

    The warranty on an iPhone is only 1 year but you can purchase AppleCare insurance to extend it to 2 years (as well as adding accidental damage coverage) for £79.
  • SeanchaiSeanchai Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    ah Mustang ....I must have put the curse on your phone 🤔🙄 wife reminded me that the i- pod I have had for years is still ok....but its one of the first I-pods,  and I never really used it much at all . I preferred my laptop.
    I cannot go past Samsung these days ....I also have a Huwaei mobile ( my son gave me it after a few months of using it...he was not to keen on it so he switched to samsung).
    I like the idea of charging pads where you do not need to plug it in ....I got one to try it but it never worked ,  so that was a waste of money. I sent away to ' wish ' for one of these new magnetic chargers does not work either .🙄🤔

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