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.
1. 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.
2. Use No Credit Check Cell Phone Services
Many major service providers require a contract for 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. Single lines start at $50 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.
3. 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.
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 some one that you know well and trust.
For example, you could get a contract under your best friends name, you will be responsible to make 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 accounts credit will improve.
6. Try Pay As You Go
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. 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 the amount of features you can get with pay as you go plans, and also, they are generally cheaper then 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 very similar to a contract plan, with the main difference you having to pay ahead of time for the services on a monthly basis.
The downside with pay as you go is you usually have to buy your phone separately, then buy a pre paid monthly plan to go with it. Buying a phone separately can be very expensive, especially I Phones etc.
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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 Verizion, T Mobile, Sprint, etc and they might have no credit check plans, although some of the features might be limited. After these avenues have been pursued, you can then try getting a co signer, putting down a security deposit, or becoming any authorized user.