Broadband deals without a credit check

If you’ve got a bad credit history, it might be difficult to find a good broadband deal, but it’s not impossible. There are even some broadband providers who won’t check your credit rating at all.

Here’s what you need to know about finding a broadband deal without a credit check.

If you’ve got a bad credit history, it might be difficult to find a good broadband deal, but it’s not impossible. There are even some broadband providers who won’t check your credit rating at all.

Here’s what you need to know about finding a broadband deal without a credit check.

Written by
Sajni Shah
Utilities comparison expert
7 JULY 2021
5 min read
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Can you get a broadband deal with no credit check? 

If your credit rating isn’t that great, it could still be possible to find a broadband deal. While it’s always best to try and improve your credit score, there are some deals that don’t require a credit check.

The good news is that broadband credit checks aren’t as strict as they would be if you were applying for a new credit card, loan or mortgage.

The not-so-great news is that your choice of broadband providers might be limited.

Why do you need a credit check for broadband? 

Broadband is a financial product, so providers want to make sure you’re capable of making the monthly payments on time. By checking your credit file, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will be able to see how you handle your finances and decide if there’s a risk of non-payment based on your financial history. They’ll do this through one of the three main credit agencies: TransUnion, Equifax or Experian.

Do you need a good credit rating to get a broadband deal? 

Not always. In fact, there are some providers who won’t do a credit check at all. This means that they won’t look into your financial records before you can sign up. If you’ve got a low credit score, no credit history or a County Court Judgement, you could still get a new deal or switch your existing broadband provider.

Which providers offer broadband deals without a credit check? 

Providers offering deals without a credit check include: 

Plusnet broadband 

Plusnet, which uses BT’s network, offers a good range of broadband, TV phone and mobile deals. You can sign up for a 12 or 18-month contract without the need for a credit check. As well as offering value broadband, Plusnet also boasts an award-winning “we’ll do you proud” customer service. 

Now Broadband 

NOW TV offers a choice of unlimited fibre optic broadband deals with three average download speeds to choose from: 11 megabytes (Mb), 36Mb or 63Mb. As well as 12-month contracts, NOW TV also offers a month-by-month no-contract service. You won’t need a credit check, line rental is included, and there’s no activation fee. The only upfront cost is a 10p balance which will be put back in your account once your card details are confirmed. 

BT Basic 

BT offers a basic broadband service specifically aimed at people on a low income. If you receive benefits like Income Support, Pensions Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit, you may be eligible for BT’s broadband at a lower cost. BT Basic + Broadband is a ‘no frills’ phone and broadband package which includes 15GB usage a month. There’s no need for a credit check, but you’ll be asked to provide your National Insurance (NI) number and details of the benefits you’re on, so that BT can check with the Department for Work and Pensions.

Can I still get broadband with bad credit? 

Having a bad credit rating doesn’t automatically rule out your chance of getting a broadband deal with another provider. Even if you have to undergo a credit check, you might still be able to prove you’re a reliable customer if you have a long-term employment history, a long-standing bank account or a fixed landline phone, for example.  

Well-known broadband providers like TalkTalk, BT broadband, Sky broadband and Virgin Media do carry out credit checks, but don’t automatically reject customers with poor credit ratings. 

If you’re knocked back because of bad credit, there are alternative ways to get broadband:  

  • Put down a deposit – some providers, like BT and Virgin Media, will ask you to pay a deposit. If you don’t pay your bill on time, the provider will use the deposit to cover the payment instead.
  • Mobile broadband - rather than a fixed line router, you’ll receive broadband via a 3G, 4G or 5G mobile network. There are plenty of pay-as-you-go options that don’t need a credit check including mobile WiFi, data plans and MiFi dongles. A MiFi dongle is a wireless device which acts as a mobile hotspot, so the whole family can use the internet at the same time. Just be aware that mobile broadband can be more expensive than paying for a fixed line service. It can also be slower and less reliable. 

How do I compare broadband with no credit check deals? 

You can compare broadband deals for bad credit in the same way you would with any other broadband package. Use our postcode checker to see which broadband deals are available in your area.

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Frequently asked question

Will getting a broadband deal harm my credit rating?

If you choose a broadband provider that runs a hard credit check, it’ll be marked on your credit file. But as long as you don’t keep applying to lots of providers over a short period of time, it shouldn’t do much harm to your credit rating.

Where can I check my credit rating?

You can get a free credit check from one of the three credit reference agencies:

  • Experian
  • Equifax
  • TransUnion 

Even if you’ve found a cheap broadband deal that you’re happy with, it’s always a good idea to check your credit score every now and then. Even a simple spelling mistake on your credit report could bring down your credit rating. If you spot any errors, you can contact the credit agencies and ask them to correct the mistakes. 

Top tip

If you want to check your credit rating, it could be a good idea to use all three credit reference agencies – they all offer a free checking service. Each agency calculates your score in a different way, so it might not be the same across the board.

How can I improve my credit score?

There are few ways to improve your credit score

  • Make sure you’re registered on the electoral roll – providers and lenders use this to confirm your ID and address
  • Pay your bills on time
  • Close any unused bank accounts and credit cards
  • Break financial bonds with an ex-partner by closing down any old joint accounts – if they have a poor credit rating it could be harming yours
  • Get yourself a credit-builder credit card – used responsibly, it can help build up your credit score over time

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