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At a glance: Learn how to manage your mobile phone costs and avoid debt.
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This summary is not relevant in England and Wales
For a version of this summary that covers England and Wales, please click here.

Making the most of your mobile

Most of us have mobile phones, but choosing the right deal can be hard. It is important to avoid unexpected charges or paying for features you don’t use. This reduces your chances of going into debt.  

If you miss a payment on your mobile phone bill, your account will go into arrears. Your phone may be disconnected. Any missed payment will also appear on your credit file.  

There are things you can do to: 

  • Choose the right mobile contract for your needs. 
  • Reduce your mobile phone bills. 

How to choose the right mobile contract

There are lots of options. To find the best one for you: 

  • Think about your phone usage. Checking your past bills or using Bill Monitor can be helpful.  
  • Decide if you need a new phone. 
  • Ofcom offers a price comparison page to help you make the right decision.  
  • Make sure the contract fits your budget.  
  • Shop around for the best price. 

There are lots of different types of contract. For example: 

  • Pay monthly contracts usually include the cost of the phone, minutes, texts and data.  
  • SIM-only contracts can be cheaper and more flexible.  

How to reduce your mobile phone bills

There are ways you can cut costs: 

  • Use WiFi whenever possible to save on data usage. 
  • Check your bill. Are there features that you don’t need that you are paying for? 
  • Avoid in-app purchases.  
  • Avoid premium rate numbers.  
  • Cap your bill. This is a limit to how much you can spend on your bill.  
  • Some companies give discounts for paperless billing or paying by direct debit. Speak to your provider to see what discounts they are able to offer you. 
  • Try haggling.  
  • Switch providers to get a better deal. Find out more in our guide to mobile phone debt. You can also use Ofcom’s simplified switching process.

How to deal with mobile phone debt

  • Get free debt advice. 
  • Complete a budget. Use our Digital Advice Tool to do this. 
  • Contact your mobile provider and ask them if you can pay in instalments.  
  • Check to see if your tariff is affordable. Your mobile provider may allow you to reduce your tariff.  
  • Pay what you can afford. 

Learn more about this topic

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can read our in-depth guide.

Read in-depth-guide

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