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EE failed credit checks: why it happens and how to get a deal

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We explain EE's credit checking policy, why you might be declined for a contract and how to approach still getting a SIM only or phone deal. Last updated: 9th January 2023.

EE’s credit check policy

Credit checks on EE: what are they?

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EE get your credit score from credit agenciesRead privacy policy

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Whenever you take a pay monthly product on EE you’ll have to pass what’s called a credit check. This is where the network have a look at your credit history to see if you regularly make your payments on time.

They do this by sending the personal details you’ve shared with them to different credit agencies (Equifax, Experian, Transunion) to look through your payment history. They’ll always ask before doing this.

Anything from your history of making payments to your address details will be scored against certain criteria. If you don’t meet these criteria you will fail the credit check. But what can you do if you fail?

Here we’ll guide you through all the reasons why you might have failed a credit check and other options you have to get on a SIM only deal that works for you and maybe build up your credit score in doing so.

I wanted a: Phone Phone contract | SIM card SIM only contract

Phone contracts

Declined for a phone contract on EE

We’re here to guide you through the reasons why this might have happened and what you can do next.


Did you enter your information correctly?

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Spelling errors can cause you to failGo back now

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It seems like a silly way to fail a credit check, but a lot of people end up being denied because they’ve made spelling errors or entered incorrect information at the checkout. Make sure your details are 100% correct.

When you take a pay monthly plan, EE send your details to a credit agency. If even the slightest detail doesn’t add up then you might fail the credit check.

Before trying again to pass the credit check, we recommend contacting EE’s customer service or checking your credit score with an agency like Experian. Further failed attempts can harm your credit score.

Check again that all your details have been entered correctly. If you have and you’ve still failed, then there is something else that made them unconfident about giving you a phone contract. Keep reading to see what else you can do.

Useful link: Return to EE’s phone contracts

Is it possible to get another person to take the contract for you?

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People close to you can helpReturn to phones

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If you’ve tried and failed to be accepted for a credit check, there’s no harm in getting someone else to take out a phone contract for you. It is totally legal to do, but you have to make sure you trust each other.

Firstly, if they fail the credit check it could leave a bad mark on their credit history. If they succeed, remember your own credit score isn’t being improved. So either way it’s not always an ideal choice.

You’ll also have to make sure you keep up to date with payments, otherwise you’ll just end up damaging that person’s credit score and possibly your relationship with them.

It is illegal to take out a contract using someone else’s name without their permission. This is fraud. Instead you’ll have to get them to do it, or have them present when taking out your contract.

Useful link: See EE’s phone range

Think about taking out a cheaper model

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If you’ve not got good credit history, you will struggle to be accepted for a contract for the most up to date and expensive models on the market. The higher the cost of the contract, the more strict the credit check.

A network has to make sure you’re able to pay them back. So if you’re going for the most expensive model, that’s a lot of trust that the networks are putting in you. They have to make sure the risk is worth the reward.

You could consider looking at a cheaper model if you’ve already failed a credit check. The cheaper the model, the lower the risk to a network of people not paying. It’s not always an ideal solution and you shouldn’t keep trying until you’re accepted.

If you are accepted for a cheaper model, make absolutely sure you pay your bills on time. If you do that you might be able to try and get a superior model after your contract is up, if you’ve built up trust with the network.

Useful link: See all EE phone plans here

Take a SIM only plan to build up credibility with EE

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SIM only

a month

You’re more likely to pass a credit checkSee latest deals

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A great way of building up your credit score and reputation with a network is to take a SIM only contract. Since they don’t involve the network giving you a device, they’re easier to pass a credit check for.

You’ll still have to pass a credit check and there’s no guarantee you’ll be accepted. But if you are, SIM only is a great way to start on the journey towards upgrading to a contract for a phone, so long as you keep up with your payments.

If you want a new device as soon as possible, this isn’t the best option. It’s a slower process towards eventually getting a phone. Building credit history requires patience and discipline.

EE don’t offer an upgrade system to go from a SIM only plan to a phone contract directly. If you need a phone right away the best way of going about that is paying the whole cost of the phone up front.

Useful link: See all SIM only plans on EE

SIM only plans

Declined for an EE SIM only contract

We’ll guide you through the next steps of getting onto a SIM plan.

SIM card

Have you entered your details correctly?

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Make sure you haven’t made any typosReturn to SIMs

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It’s actually very common for people to fail credit checks because they’ve entered their personal details incorrectly. This can be an easy mistake to make, and could be the reason you’ve failed a credit check.

When you try to take out a pay monthly SIM contract, EE check with credit agencies that you’ll likely be able to keep paying them every month. Any error can make you fail the check, so make sure everything is correct before trying again.

If you’ve checked that you entered everything correctly and it still hasn’t worked, you can contract EE’s customer service to ask them directly. Or you can check your credit score with an agency like Experian to see if that’s the issue.

Finally, if you’re sure everything has been put in correctly, don’t try and force it. Every failed attempt will have a negative impact on your credit score. If you’ve failed then there are other steps you can take.

Useful link: Contact EE Customer Service

You can get a friend or family member to take out a SIM for you

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Get help from a close friend or family memberJoin EE here

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If you made sure all your details were entered correctly and still failed the credit check, it’s perfectly fine to get someone you trust to take out a SIM only contract for you.

There’s no guarantee that they’ll pass the credit check in the first place. But if they do, they’ll be responsible for keeping up with payments, so any missed payments will have an impact on their credit score.

You also won’t be building up your own credit score, and you can’t transfer the account to your name at all. You could also end up straining your relationship if the bill isn’t paid on time. Overall, it’s not ideal.

But never take a contract out in someone else’s name without their permission. This is fraud and it is illegal. You should have the person take out the contract themselves, or be present when you do it.

Useful link: EE mobile phone contracts

Get a SIM only plan via other providers on EE’s network

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Actively re-build credit with your SIMLearn more here

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There are plenty of other cheap monthly SIM only providers that use EE but don't need you to pass a credit check. These let you enjoy the benefits of their quality network, whatever your credit history.

One interesting option is Boshhh. Their 12-month SIMs actively help you build your credit, by setting up a credit agreement for the cost of your plan, and informing Experian of successful monthly payments (full details here).

They're a little more expensive than the below but they could help you get accepted for a SIM / phone down the line, if you spend the year paying on time and following their credit improving tips.

Otherwise, for a cheaper pay monthly plan on EE with no credit check, have a look at 1pMobile here and Lyca Mobile here. They don't build your credit but they are cheap:

Useful link: 1pMobile review | Lyca Mobile review | Providers on EE

You can take a Pay As You Go bundle on EE

EE Jam packed pay as you go

Pay for everything upfront, no credit checksSee EE PAYG SIMs

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There’s no way of paying as you go in the traditional way on EE, but you can pay up front for a bundle of minutes, texts and data. These are similar to their pay monthly plans, but won’t require you to pass a credit check.

It’s a decent way of getting onto EE directly. However, these bundles tend to be worse overall value per GB of data than their pay monthly plans.

However, you get to keep the data you don’t get through after the 30-day period if you renew your bundle. This is called data rollover, and it’s something you don’t get on their pay monthly plans.

The major downside is that this won’t build up your credit score, as you’re not paying via direct debit. But it might build up EE’s confidence in you as a customer, which may help in moving onto a pay monthly plan later.

Useful link: EE’s pay as you go bundles

Compare all no credit check SIMs

Here are more options with no credit check to pass

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1p Mobile logo
Three logo
ASDA logo
Boshhh Mobile logo
Coop Mobile logo
EE logo
Genius logo
giffgaff logo
Honest logo
ID logo
IQ logo
Lebara logo
Lycamobile logo
O2 logo
Sky logo
spusu logo
Talkhome logo
Talkmobile logo
Tesco logo
Vodafone logo
VOXI logo


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