How To Get Broadband When You Have Bad Credit?

Cheerful couple looking at computer while relaxing on the couch, woman holding a credit card

Credit checks aren’t just limited to loans, credit cards, or mortgage applications! If you’re looking to sign up for a new broadband contract, or switching providers, a low credit score could limit your options.

Many well-known Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are likely to use credit-scoring methods to check up on new customers. From their point of view, it’s a convenient way to assess a new application and the likelihood that bills will be paid on time. However, it can mean some people may not be able to sign up with certain providers.

How can I find out my credit score?

There are two different ways a company can check up on your credit history; a hard credit check or a soft credit check. A hard check could appear on your credit reference file and knock your score back even further (albeit temporarily). Broadband is usually a soft check, but it’s very difficult to tell the type of credit check a broadband provider will use in advance so it’s best to be cautious.

If you’re not sure of your credit status and want to check up on this before you apply for a broadband contract you can request your credit reference file from three different online agencies at no cost. This Personal “soft credit check” may appear on your credit history but won’t have any negative impact:

Your credit score is calculated using the content of these reports. Each of these three agencies use a slightly different scoring model. It probably won’t be clear which agency your broadband provider will use so it’s a good idea to check the information all three have on you is accurate.

Which providers accept customers with bad credit?

If you want to skip all this hassle completely and not risk a check further damaging your score then you’re best off opting for broadband with no credit check deal. This gives you peace of mind if you’ve got bad credit, CCJs or if you’re on a Debt Management Plan (DMP).


Although you’ll be asked to cover the cost of set-up the only financial confirmation NOW ask for is a 10p balance on your bank account. This will be taken out and then put back into your account to confirm your credit card details. 


With low set-up costs and contract lengths varying between 12-18 months, Plusnet doesn’t carry out a credit check on any of its broadband deals.

Direct Save Telecom (DST)

DST offers either a 12-month contract or no-contract broadband with no additional line rental cost. Both are available with three calling plans; Pay per use calls (£0 a month), Free Evenings & Weekends (£3 per month) or Free Anytime (£5 a month).

BT Home Essentials

Available to low-income customers on specific benefits (e.g Universal Credit or Income Support), BT Home Essentials is available for £15 per month on a 12-month contract. You’ll just need to be comfortable providing your National Insurance Number when you order to prove you’re eligible.

Does your credit score affect the service you receive?

Other than being a bit more limited on your options there’s no disadvantage to signing up for broadband with no credit check deal. You’ll still have access to the same level of support and benefits as a customer on a credit-checked contract.

Where can I find broadband deals for bad credit?

You can see an up-to-date list of broadband deals with no credit check using a Broadband comparison service.

There’s no sign-up and you’ll be able to view all relevant deals available to your postcode. Some comparison sites have dedicated pages for these deals, or you can use filters to select offers from specific providers.

Jon Edward

Happily married with two wonderful girls. Love cycling, curry, and when I get the chance - loud music! See Jon's Profile Page

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