Will My Unpaid Pay as You Go Mobile Phones Keep Me Out of the UK?

“Dear Jon,

I am a Sri Lankan. While in University in the UK I had obtained 2 phones on a pay monthly scheme. I returned home a month before my Visa expired knowing that my monthly payments would be defaulted and that I could do nothing about it. I had never checked my credit file while in the UK or after, so I am unaware if any CCJs have been directed at me or what the ramifications for my defaults are. Now I am employed and advancing and may have to visit UK again sooner or later, either as a tourist or as a representative of an organization.



As immigration laws in the UK and around the world are always changing, you may wish to query this with who would be sponsoring you for a Visa, or who is assisting you in preparing the forms.

Currently to my knowledge, having left debts in the UK does not impact the majority of Visa’s to enter the country. For citizenship in the UK, there is a good character section, but having or leaving debts behind in the UK is debatable as to if this impacts one’s good character.

Leaving unpaid accounts or debts in the UK, in themselves, is not a reason to be refused entry. So no worries there.

If you want to try and settle or pay off the accounts, you can simply contact the companies in question, and inquire as to the balance and paying them off.

When did you leave the UK? How much in total are we discussing?

I ask as the accounts may have been passed on to a collection agency, in which you could contact them to inquire about settling the accounts or making payments.

For some jobs and positions, credit checks can be done by an employer. As to if these unpaid accounts would cause an issue I cannot say, you could always get a copy of your credit history and see how the accounts may or may not have been reported.

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4 thoughts on “Will My Unpaid Pay as You Go Mobile Phones Keep Me Out of the UK?”

    • Dear Jon,

      The pending balance of them together could be anything between £400-£800 and I left UK sometime in 2013. I’m not certain if any interest has gathered to this sum and I am uncertain of the procedures to check my credit file.

      I have no intention of becoming a citizen of UK, but my current occupation may require me to travel to the UK for work purposes. So citizenship can be ruled out. However, I am considering furthering my studies and completing a doctorate at some point in the near future, for which the university could quite possibly be located in the UK. This may require me to open a bank account in the UK again even though I won’t be residing in UK over long periods of time if I do enroll myself as a student again. I wish to know whether the pending accounts would have a negative impact on this.

      I am prepared to settle all accounts upon entering the UK inclusive of all the interest rates, whether as a tourist or any other capacity. I shall also inquire if the process of settling the debts from my country is possible.

      As for financing my visit to the UK, if I am there as merely a tourist, I would gladly fund myself. My organization or any other donor organisation would likely fund my tour if I came as a representative of the organization. If I were there for the purposes of study, then I would most likely be there on a scholarship funded by an organization in the UK.

      I would like to know the impact of these debts and negative credit score on my application to a University or a bank account or even simply visiting the UK. I would like to affirm that I am of a generally good character with these debts being my only black mark.

      • Faiz,

        From what you have said, I think you will be fine, relax.

        You are prepared to pay what is due, and it is not a huge amount by many standards.

        The accounts should have no effect on going back to university,or visiting the UK, however, they may have an impact on opening a bank account. That is where getting a copy of your credit history is important.

        You’ll be fine.




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