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7 Ways to Get a Cell Phone Contract With No Credit Check

7 Ways to Get a Cell Phone Contract With No Credit Check

In today’s world everybody needs a cell phone, and if you have bad credit it can be difficult to be approved for a cell phone contract.

Many cell phone companies run a credit check before approving you for a contract, as they want to ensure you have the ability to make regular payments on your monthly bill.

However, rest assured as if you have bad credit there are some ways that you can get a cell phone contract with no credit check done.

First Know Your Credit Score

The first thing you should do before trying to get a cell phone plan without having a credit check is to know your score.

Your score might not be as bad as you think and you might be able to qualify based on your current credit. Also if your credit is just average and you are accepted for a contract, this can be a chance to raise your credit score by making your cell phone payments regularly.

See how your credit score is calculated

Your score might not be as bad as you think and you might be able to qualify based on your current credit. Also if your credit is just average and you are accepted for a contract, this can be a chance to raise your credit score by making your cell phone payments regularly.

You can easily (and freely) check your credit score by signing up with Credit Sesame which lets you check your credit score for free with no credit card, monthly fee, or any payment on your part.

1. Use No Credit Check Cell Phone Services (like T-Mobile)

Many major service providers require a contract for a good reason. When you enter a contract you are essentially getting the newest phones for no upfront price, which means you will have a monthly bill. What many do not realize is that you are slowly paying for the price of the phone over time with your monthly bills.

Over the course of a contract, you will have paid for the service and the price of the phone itself. You are basically receiving a loan which is why you need good credit.

Fortunately, many major service providers have special plans that do not require any sort of credit check. The downside to these plans is they will not have all the features you will see with a normal contract.

For example, T-Mobile has a few different plans that require no credit check. They are called ‘Simple Choice No Credit Check Plan Options” (or some variation).

You can find this T-Mobile plan here (it’s advertised as no credit check).

Single lines start at $45 and family plans start as low as $80.

Contact your service provider if you have one, and ask about no credit check contract plans. If you do not have a service provider, call all the cell phone providers in your area. If T-Mobile has no credit check plans, then chances are many other providers also offer something very similar to this.

2. Get a Cosigner

Some companies will allow you to use a cosigner to get a cell phone contract. A cosigner is someone who signs onto the loan with you, and if you fail to make payments, it falls under the cosigner to make the payments for you.

You can choose anyone to be a cosigner for you, as it can be family or friends. When the approval process is performed, the company will run a credit check on the cosigner and not yourself. Keep in mind that the cosigner puts their credit score at risk by signing onto the loan with you, so ensure they know the risks, and choose someone that trusts you.

3. Join a Family Plan

If you can’t get a cell phone contract on your own, another method is to join someone else’s family plan — say your parent’s or a relative’s.

You can completely bypass the credit check AND save a pile of money (cell phone family plans tend to have discounted rates for the members).

Family plans range from the low end of $25 to about $50 per month.

4. Pay A Security Deposit

Some companies will allow you to pay a security deposit upfront in order to get a cell phone contract with no credit check. The security deposit will range anywhere from $50 to $300. If you show over time that you are making payments regularly you will get your security deposit back. However, if your account is not in good standing with you missing payments, then the deposit can be held by the company for as long as they like.

5. Become an Authorized User

Another option that is possible for you to try is to become an authorized user on somebody else’s account. How it works is, some cell phone companies will allow you to put your account under someone else name, which will use that person’s credit score to award you a contract. The person that owns the account then can allow you to make changes to the account. This should be done with

The person that owns the account then can allow you to make changes to the account. This should be done with someone that you know well and trust.

For example, you could get a contract under your best friend’s name, you will be responsible for making your payments, but if you miss payments it affects the owner of the account which would be your best friend. It is similar to a cosigner as they are putting their credit at risk.

Keep in mind, if you are making regular payments, your credit in no way will be increasing or improving, as the owner of the account’s credit will improve.

6. Try Pay As You Go / Prepaid Carrier

If you have tried all the above options and still have yet to get a cell phone contract, you might have to use pay as you go (also called prepaid carrier).

Pay as you go plans allow you to purchase a prepaid plan up front which include a specific amount of minutes, texts, and data that can be used.

There are different plans available depending on how much you will use your phone. You will be surprised at a number of features you can get with pay as you go plans, and also, they are generally cheaper than contracts. So this could actually benefit you if it can save you money while providing all the features that you need.

Many of the pay as you go services are designed to be very similarly to a contract plan in terms of how they work but with the main difference, you having to pay ahead of time for the services on a monthly basis. Prepaid plans are usually more expensive and lack some of the extra perks as a contract.

Prepaid plans are usually more expensive and lack some of the extra perks that you get with a contract.

The other downside with pay as you go is you usually have to buy your phone separately, then buy a prepaid monthly plan to go with it. Buying a phone separately can be very expensive, especially I Phones etc.

Best Prepaid Cell Phone Carriers  & Prepaid Plans

Here’s a comparison chart of the 4 major carriers and their Contract vs Prepaid Plans.

TraditionalPrepaid
AT&T$55 for 2GB$45 for 2GB
Sprint$40 for 1GB$35 for 1GB
T-Mobile$50 for 2GB$40 for 3GB
Verizon$55 for 2GB$45 for 2GB

7. Repair Your Credit Then Apply

Finally, you can always work to improve your credit for 6 months to a year, then apply/reapply with a phone carrier.

Just increasing your credit score slightly might be enough to pass a cell phone carrier’s credit check.

The Final Word

To sum things up, always check your credit score first to see if it is good enough to be accepted for a cell phone contract. If not, then ask around all the usual major cell phone providers such as Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc and they might have no credit check plans, although some of the features might be limited.

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After these avenues have been pursued, you can then try getting a co-signer, putting down a security deposit, or becoming any authorized user.

About The Author

Ben Todd

Ben was a seriously broke graduate student with bad credit who after finding himself rejected for any sort of credit card or loan for most of his adult life, finally decided to get his financial life in order. 'He spent several years reading as many financial advice books and blogs as he could.And suprisingly, Ben found he actually LIKED the topic of personal finance; after fixing his own finances, starting his own successful work at home website business, and using his earnings to get out of debt, created echeck.org to help others do likewise!

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