Can A Bad Credit Score Stop You From Getting Cable?

You know that bad credit can stop you from receiving the best interest rates, getting approved for loans and credit cards, renting properties, and even getting approved for jobs. But do you know how much bad credit can affect your everyday life? It turns out that bad credit can even hinder your ability to get cable, Internet, or television service. 
A credit check is routine when applying for these major services, because cable providers want to insure that you are financially responsible. When you sign up for a service, you receive some pricey equipment, like a cable box and modem. You then have to pay for the service each month. If you are unable to pay, the company will have to try and collect. So, the cable providers want to know that you will be able to keep up with your payments. By checking your credit report, they will know whether or not you are a liability.
Here are some of the major companies that check your credit score prior to approving you for cable:
  • AT&T: A credit check is required for all AT&T products. AT&T pulls your credit score for all major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). If you do have bad credit, you can speak to a customer representative to determine your options. In some cases, you may be able to receive service, but others may turn you away due to your credit.
  • Comcast: Only certain products or services require a credit check, and Comcast will notify customers before requesting their credit. Comcast uses Experian and Equifax to screen these customers.
  • Cox Communications: According to Cox Communication’s website, “a credit check and/or deposit may be required.” So, consumers with bad credit should be aware that they may be turned down from obtaining services.
  • Time Warner Cable: Time Warner Cable has just started requiring credit checks for all new customers. Although the inquiry is a “soft inquiry,” meaning it will not lower your credit score, it is used to determine what amount of deposit is appropriate. Time Warner uses Experian to check potential customers.
  • Verizon: A credit check is required for all new Verizon customers. Verizon looks at each of the 3 major credit bureaus, and it is a hard inquiry into their credit report. Consumers will not be turned away based on these credit checks, but the amount of the deposit is affected.
Bad credit can affect your ability to get approved and get good deals on cable, internet, and TV. Luckily, customers with bad credit will normally be able to get some sort of service. But it may be very pricey. And if you have bad credit, you probably don’t want to get started with an expensive service that may take you more into debt. As always, work on improving your credit score, and you won’t have to worry about your cable!