When you sign up to join Bulb, we'll check your credit score before you become a member. This article explains our credit checking process, and why we might ask for a deposit.

If we’ve asked you to pay a deposit, but you think your credit score may have represented you unfairly, contact Equifax on 0800 014 2955. They’ll explain what may have influenced your score.

Bulb will check your credit score before you join

Like most utility companies, Bulb will check your credit score before you become a member. Your credit score is a good indication of your ability to make regular payments for things like energy. So we use it to decide which payment methods we can offer you when you sign up. We use Equifax as our reference agency to check your credit score.

We perform a soft credit check when you get a quote

We perform a ‘soft’ credit check when you get a quote to switch to Bulb and you share your contact details with us. A soft credit check means we leave a footprint on your credit history that only you can see.

We perform a hard credit check when you start your switch

We perform a ‘hard’ credit check when you accept your quote and start your switch. A hard credit check means we leave a footprint on your credit history that will be visible to other credit lenders. 

These lenders won’t be able to see that you’ve signed up to Bulb specifically. But your credit file will show that a utility company has looked up your score. 

Credit checks from utility companies are common, and rarely give lenders cause for concern 

If a utility check causes any change to your credit score at all, it will be minimal. 

Signing up for any utility, including energy, is just one part of the big picture that makes up your credit history. Lenders consider all the activity on your credit file as an indication of your borrowing behaviour. 

Everybody uses energy at home, and there’s no reason that switching suppliers would give lenders cause for concern. That said, if you've switched energy suppliers lots over a short space of time, it may be interpreted as unusual behaviour to a lender reviewing your credit history.  

Your payments to Bulb will affect your credit score 

We share your payment history with Equifax, a credit reporting agency, on a monthly basis. Like any utility, timely payments can help you to improve your overall credit score. Missed payments can bring your score down. 

If your credit score is below a certain threshold, we’ll ask for a deposit before you sign up to a pay monthly plan

We check your credit score with Equifax when you get a quote for your energy. And we use your score to decide which payment methods we can offer you.

If you’d prefer to pay monthly for your energy but your credit score falls below our threshold, we’ll ask for a one-off deposit when you switch to Bulb. Your deposit is twice your estimated monthly payment amount.

If we’ve asked you to pay a deposit, but you think your credit score may have represented you unfairly, contact Equifax on 0800 014 2955. They’ll explain what may have influenced your score.

We’ll send you a receipt for your deposit when you sign up

We keep your deposit separate to your Bulb account balance, which is exclusively used to pay for your energy.

We’ll refund 100% of your deposit once we’ve received full energy payments for 12 consecutive months

If you decide to switch away from Bulb and you joined us with a deposit, we’ll refund it in full, providing you have no outstanding balance on the day you switch to another supplier. 

If you switch away from Bulb and you have an outstanding balance with us, we’ll use your deposit to pay off your debt. We’ll make sure you can see this on your final bill. 

We may also use your deposit to reduce your debt with us if your account is referred to our debt collection agency. We’ll always let you know when this is the case.

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