Broadband with no credit check

Last updated: 08 February 2023   By Samantha Smith

It's possible to get broadband and a home phone line without a credit check from a select number of providers in the UK.

People with a poor credit record may be worried or unsure if they'll be approved for a broadband deal if the provider requires they pass a credit check.

However, there are providers, including Plusnet, NOW Broadband, and Direct Save Telecom, who offer broadband, and home phone, with no credit check.

These deals can offer needed accessibility for those with past credit problems, however other providers may not be completely out of reach anyway, especially if the customer is able to pay a security deposit.

broadband and home phone

At a glance: broadband without a credit check

Plusnet, NOW Broadband, and Direct Save Telecom, all offer broadband and phone deals to customers without requiring them to pass a credit check.

Here is the latest pricing on those deals:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Super Fibre 63Mb average £24 £10 12 months
offer Offer: Now TV membership at reduced price for 12 months. Price may change again during the minimum term.
Unlimited Fibre 66Mb average £24.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Reduced price + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers
Superfast Fibre 35Mb 35Mb average £31.95 £8.95 12 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £50)

However, as we'll explore more throughout this guide, people with a poor credit history don't necessarily have to limit themselves to just these two providers.

Credit checks for broadband packages are not as strict as those undertaken when applying for financial products like loans or credit cards, so most people will have a good chance of being accepted.

In addition, even if someone fails a broadband credit check they may still be able to take the package by paying a security deposit. Alternatively, the provider may just limit the products available to them, for example, barring outgoing calls on a home phone line.


Broadband providers with no credit check

People who know they can't afford to pay a security deposit upfront may want to consider a broadband provider who doesn't run a credit check at all.

However, in this instance the options are fairly limited, with only two providers in the market offering fixed line home broadband with no credit check.

Direct Save Telecom

Direct Save Telecom are very clear that they don't carrying out credit checks on phone and/or broadband customers, although there are some caveats to be aware of.

First though, here is the latest pricing for Direct Save broadband deals:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Unlimited Broadband 11Mb average £22.95 £8.95 12 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £50)
Superfast Fibre 35Mb 35Mb average £31.95 £8.95 12 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £50)
Superfast Fibre 63Mb 63Mb average £34.95 £8.95 12 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £50)

The terms applied by Direct Save Telecom in order for them to offer broadband without a credit check include:

  • Customers need to pay their first invoice upfront and this usually includes a partial month, plus the next full month, as Direct Save bill every customer on the 7th
  • If a phone line needs reactivating, for example if it was cut off due to failure to pay a bill, there is a £50 security deposit
  • Broadband and phone bills must be paid by Direct Debit

These may be deal breakers for customers who need to reconnect their phone line but who can't afford any upfront fees, or for those who don't have the ability to pay by Direct Debit.

It's also worth noting Direct Save Telecom have a fairly strict debt management policy, that charges £14.95 if a payment fails, this is then attempted again 7 days later. If a payment isn't collected after 7 days Direct Save will suspend the account, and at 14 days the account is closed with any early termination charges added. At 35 days of non-payment Direct Save pass the amount owing to a debt collection agency with a 20% surcharge.

Overall, Direct Save Telecom do offer broadband without a credit check, but their non-payment terms are very strict and so customers should be sure they can afford the services.

Read more about Direct Save Telecom broadband in our review.

NOW Broadband

NOW Broadband don't explicitly say that they won't carry out credit checks in their terms and conditions, but from past user experience it seems that they don't.

However, NOW does require that customers pay for their broadband bill via a MasterCard or Visa card, whether that's a credit or debit card. They don't accept prepaid cards or Maestro cards.

Here are the latest prices for NOW Broadband:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Super Fibre 63Mb average £24 £10 12 months
offer Offer: Now TV membership at reduced price for 12 months. Price may change again during the minimum term.

NOW Broadband offer some of the most competitively priced broadband packages in the UK. Customers can save more by bundling NOW Broadband with a NOW TV membership if they wish, and the company is backed by customer service heroes Sky.

Read more in our NOW Broadband review.

Plusnet

Plusnet don't credit check customers signing up to one of their home broadband deals.

Here are their latest home broadband deals:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Unlimited Fibre 66Mb average £24.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Reduced price + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers
Full Fibre 74 74Mb average £26.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Reduced price + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers

Payments for Plusnet broadband can be made by Direct Debit, credit or debit card, with the provider accepting Visa, Delta, Electron, MasterCard, Switch or Maestro.

If customers do go on to miss a payment, Plusnet will send reminders at five and ten days. After 14 days they will suspend internet access to just their payment page, and charge customers a call bar charge of £5.76 plus an administration fee of £7.50.

After 49 days of non-payment Plusnet will close the account, and customers may be subject to early termination charges added to the amount they owe.

Overall, Plusnet are less strict than Direct Save Telecom for late payments, but it's still vitally important to be sure you can afford to keep up with payments for the length of the contract period.

Read more in our review of Plusnet broadband.

Alternatively, no contract home broadband, or even pay as you go mobile broadband, could be a better option. Which we'll explore more below.

No contract broadband

NOW Broadband, Direct Save Telecom, and Hyperoptic, all offer broadband with a short one month rolling contract.

This means customers can cancel their service with just one month's notice and avoid any early termination charges if they become unable to pay for their package.

Here are some of those deals:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Super Fibre (No contract) 63Mb average £24 £70 1 month
offer Offer: Price may change again during the minimum term.
Fast 50Mb (Monthly Rolling) 57Mb average £30 £39 1 month
Superfast Fibre 35Mb (No contract) 35Mb average £41.95 £33.90 1 month
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £50)

While NOW Broadband and Direct Save Telecom don't credit check new customers, Hyperoptic make clear in their terms and conditions that they may carry out a credit check on new customers.

However, one-month contract terms don't involve the provision of credit by the provider, and so there is an implication that signing up to a one-month contract plan wouldn't necessitate a credit check since a customer isn't taking credit in those circumstances.

It's worth being aware broadband without a contract often comes with upfront fees, as well as potentially more expensive monthly costs.


Credit-check free broadband alternatives

Pay as you go mobile broadband is an alternative option for people wanting to get online without passing a credit check, or paying an upfront fee or security deposit.

It's also much more flexible, with customers able to vary their data use each month and therefore how much they're spending, as well as pause the extra outgoings if they need to.

However, pay as you go deals will require either that a customer already has a working dongle they can use, or they'll need to cover the upfront cost of purchasing one.

SIM-only plans are also available credit check free from a number of mobile providers including Lebara, GiffGaff, Smarty, ASDA mobile, EE, and VOXI by Vodafone.

Read more about mobile broadband for the home and how SIM only plans work.


Why broadband providers carry out credit checks

Credit checks are designed and carried out to help protect a lender, or other provider, from financial risk by allowing them to make a more informed decision about a customer's likelihood to pay their bills.

Credit reports generally include information on how much debt and credit a customer has, alongside a record of any missed or late payments, and whether they've ever had a County Court Judgment for non-payment of debt, or even if they've filed for bankruptcy.

For some people, having to pass a credit report if they've had problems with debt in the past can be incredibly frustrating. Especially for services like broadband which has become such an essential home service.

In addition, while there are options for people in receipt of means-tested benefits like BT Home Essential, even this package requires customers to pass a credit check or they may need to pay an upfront security deposit.

It's worth being aware that while policies between broadband providers vary, and as such, one provider may accept a customer another declines, each application could result in a search footprint being left on a credit record. Too many searches could impact a customer's ability to be accepted.

If you are worried about your credit file, the first step is to access your credit report from one of the leading credit reference agencies.

If your credit report needs improvements, we've a full guide on how to repair a credit rating in 30 days that's worth a read.


Summary: credit check free options available

In sum, there are options available for people who don't want to risk needing to pass a credit check and offers from NOW Broadband and Plusnet are some of the most competitively priced deals in the UK.

However, do remember, even providers who carry out credit checks these are much less stringent than applying for financial borrowing, and in many cases may just require an upfront security deposit to be paid.

Services like broadband with specific monthly costs may well be more accessible to people with a poor credit history than services that can run up additional costs like mobile phones or home phones. For this reason, some providers may limit outgoing calls on a home phone plan.

The most important thing to keep in mind is ensuring affordability over the length of the contract. Non-payment terms can be strict and so it's better to opt for a more flexible deal, be that no contract broadband or a pay as you go plan, if you think you may need to cancel it at any point.

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