Help if you’re struggling to pay your mobile phone, TV or broadband bills

What to do if you’re struggling to pay your mobile phone bill

If you don’t have a landline or broadband, your mobile phone is a vital connection to other services so it’s important to keep it if you can.

This might be your first experience of debt. Remember that it’s important to keep up with your payments. This isn’t just so you don’t lose your connection, but also because it could affect your credit score if you don’t.

If you need help, contact your provider as soon as possible to explain the situation.

Many providers have support in place to help you, including:

  • changing your bill date
  • setting up an affordable repayment plan
  • moving to a different tariff
  • lowering your spending cap.

It’s best to only use your phone when you need to.

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Switching to a cheaper tariff

If you’re on a mobile phone contract, you might be able to move to a cheaper pay as you go tariff or sim-only deal. But find out first if you have to pay a fee to end your contract early.

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If you don’t keep up with payments

If you can’t keep up with payments and ignore the problem, there are various ways mobile phone providers can recover the money. They might:

  • disconnect your phone
  • pass your debt onto a debt collection agency
  • issue a County Court Judgement (this gives your provider more options to enforce repayment of the debt)
  • as a last resort, apply for your bankruptcy (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland only).

Talking to your provider as soon as you know you have a problem will reduce the risk of any of these happening.

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Support if you’re struggling to pay phone bills

If your income has dropped during the contract term, you might not be able to afford your mobile phone bill.

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Coronavirus

Many mobile phone providers have given free calls or data to:

  • key workers
  • people doing home learning while schools are closed
  • those who are vulnerable, and
  • people over the age of 70.

If you’re in any of those groups, it’s worth checking to see if your provider has done this.

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What to do if you’re struggling to pay your broadband bill

If you need help, contact your provider as soon as possible and explain your situation. They might be able to help you out, such as:

  • changing your bill date
  • setting up an affordable repayment plan
  • moving to a different tariff
  • removing data caps on fixed broadband services.

You might also be able to buy packages that include data boosts at low prices, or free landline phone calls.

Coronavirus

Are you vulnerable or self-isolating, and your provider can’t make priority repairs in your home? Then they should make sure you have alternatives to broadband or a landline.

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What to do if you’re struggling to pay your TV subscriptions

BT Sport and Sky Sports allowed customers to apply for a pause in paying subscriptions while there was no live sport during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, with football, golf and snooker returning in June, subscriptions will restart. This is unless you have an individual package for a sport that hasn’t resumed.

If you don’t think you can afford to pay, contact your provider as soon as possible and explain your situation. Many providers can help if your finances have been affected by coronavirus.

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Your circumstances might mean you can get a lower price from your TV provider.

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What to do if you’re struggling to pay other subscription services

If you can’t afford services such as Netflix or Spotify, you might be able to cancel them without being charged a penalty. Check the terms of your contract.

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Next steps if you’ve missed a payment

If you’ve missed a payment on your broadband, phone or TV subscription, contact your lender to explain your situation.

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When to get debt advice

Have you already missed more than one payment and are not able to come to an agreement with your provider? Then it’s best to get advice as soon you can, especially if you’ve got other debts as well.

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Extra support if you’re struggling financially and with your mental wellbeing

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Having mental health issues might mean that you struggle to make the best money-based decisions for you, as well as act on them.

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Remember, if you’re struggling financially and with your mental wellbeing, it’s worth getting in contact with your bank, building society, lender or whoever you owe money to, to discuss your options.

However, picking up the phone and talking about your problems is often easier said than done when you’re struggling with your mental health.

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Most places that you owe money to have policies about supporting you if you’re vulnerable. But they can’t help you unless you ask.

For some general tips on how you can manage your mental health check out Rethink’s guide. It covers everything from setting a budget to getting help if you, or someone you care about, is having a mental health crisis.

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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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