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Credit ratings and commercial credit applications might sound intimidating, but they don’t have to be.

Want to know if you can get a mobile phone contract with a bad credit history? Curious about contracts without credit checks? Read on to find out what you need to know about your credit application and how your personal finances might affect your next Vodafone purchase.

Vodafone credit checks: What are they and how do they work?

A credit check is an inspection of credit accounts you’ve had in the past, and whether or not you’ve made repayments on time. Your application for a pay monthly service – for example a mobile phone, tablet contract or Home Broadband, will probably involve a credit check. The process is easy; in fact, we here at Vodafone will do most of the legwork.

First, we’ll ask you for some financial and personal details, such as your current address, then verify that information by checking the electoral roll. Then we’ll use licensed credit reference agencies who’ll keep a record of our search and your application. These credit reference agencies will perform credit and identity checks on you.

When we’re considering your application, we’ll use both credit scoring and/or automated decision making systems based on the personal information we have and are allowed to collect from others. The goal is to make decisions as quickly, efficiently, fairly and correctly as possible, based on what we know. It can affect the services we offer you now or in the future.

To do a credit check, we’ll supply your personal information to credit reference agencies and they will give us information about you, such as about your financial history.

We do this to assess creditworthiness and product suitability, check your identity, manage your account, trace and recover debts and prevent criminal activity. 

We’ll continue to exchange information about you with credit reference agencies while you have a relationship with us. We will also inform them about your settled accounts. If you borrow and do not repay in full and on time, they’ll record the outstanding debt. This information may be supplied to other organisations by the credit reference agencies.

When credit reference agencies receive a search from us they will place a search footprint on your credit file that may be seen by other lenders.

Any information a credit reference agency may have about you could also be linked to existing records for one or more of your personal partners. So as a part of this process, you may be treated as financially linked to your partner. If you don’t want a search of a particular partner to take place, and you’re sure that this financial link won’t have any adverse effect on your application, let us know.

If you do share a financial link with someone, you should make sure you discuss this with them before lodging the application. Credit reference agencies will link your records together and these links will remain on your file and theirs until you or your partner successfully file for a disassociation with the credit reference agencies to break that link.

How to get a mobile phone with bad credit

No credit? No problem. You can still get one of our Pay as you go phones

Commercial credit applications

As part of the commercial credit checking process, we’ll look at both your personal and business credit records. However, the check that’s carried out against your personal credit file won’t be recorded by the credit reference agencies.

If you’re making a commercial credit application, we’ll also disclose information about your business and its owners to these agencies, who may create a record of the name and address of your business and its proprietors, if there isn’t already one. If you, members of your household, or business partners you’re financially connected to, make further credit applications then we or other organisations may use the information recorded on your personal or business credit file to help us make a decision.

It’s important that you’re aware that the information held about you by the reference agencies, or other business information providers, could be linked to existing records of your personal or business partners. So you should make sure you discuss this with them, and share with them this information, before lodging the application. Credit reference agencies will link your records together and these links will remain on your file and theirs until you or your partner successfully file for a disassociation with the credit reference agencies to break that link.

How we handle your data

Every now and then we may use the information you give us for statistical analysis or testing to make sure the products and services we’re creating are accurate, or for account management purposes. If we do use this information for either of these purposes, it won’t be recorded on your credit reference file. It won’t be viewed by other organisations and it won’t impact your chances of obtaining credit in the future.

We may share your details with other companies in our group as well as fraud and theft prevention agencies. Information held by fraud prevention agencies may be shared with other organisations to help them make decisions on other credit applications or insurance claims made by you, your business partners or anyone in your household. The information we hold may be used for debt tracing and claims assessments. If, for whatever reason, you’re unable to repay an outstanding debt in full and on time, we may inform the credit reference agencies who will make a record of the outstanding debt.

The only other times your details may be used are if you’ve given us very specific permission or, in very limited circumstances, when required by law or where permitted under data protection laws.

If you don’t become a customer of Vodafone Limited, we’ll continue to hold information about you for customer enquiries and for legal purposes. It also helps in the prevention and detection of fraud.

You can request a copy of your credit reference file by writing directly to the agencies listed on this page. There’s a small fee for this service and the files held by each agency may not be the same. Each of the agencies will be able to give you exact details of their charges when you contact them.

If we require more information

If we need more information relating to your application, we may contact you by email or phone. We’ll only use the following details when contacting you:

Credit reference agencies

Experian Limited
experian.co.uk/crain

Equifax PLC
equifax.co.uk/crain

Callcredit
callcredit.co.uk/crain