Out of the seven billion people in the world, it is estimated that six billion have access to mobile phones. To put this in perspective, only 4.5 billion have access to working toilets.
However, with this in mind, if you don’t have a mobile phone, you may want to know how you can get one. Unfortunately, many modern companies base access to their phones on your credit. If you have less than stellar credit, this could prove to be problematic.
Today, it’s hard to get through a day without using your cell phone for some purpose. Also, with the diminishing use of landlines, the cell phone is becoming an even more important fixture than ever before.
If you are wondering how to get approved for a cell phone with bad credit, you are in the right place. Here you can learn about the options you have and how to find cell phone plans for bad credit.
First Things First: Know Your Credit Score
Before you attempt to get a cell phone without a credit check, you need to know what your credit score is. Your score may not be as bad as you think it is.
Additionally, if your credit is average and you are approved for a cell phone contract, then you can build your credit by making your cell phone payments on time. Unfortunately, this isn’t an option for everyone.
If you are unable to be approved for a traditional cell phone contract, you will have additional steps. While this may seem tedious, it doesn’t have to be. There are a few things you can do to get the cell phone you want and need. Keep reading to learn more.
Take advantage of Buy now Pay Later
One option for customers with less than stellar credit scores is to utilize a buy now pay later retailer like Fingerhut or Horizon Gold. These retailers provide guaranteed approval for you to utilize within their proprietary store, and often will have good bargains for you to take advantage of.
Fingerhut Credit Card
- Get $25 off your order of $100 or more. Enter promo code: NC256 at checkout.
- Find out quickly if you're pre-approved for a WebBank/Fingerhut Credit Account.
- Shop Great Brands at Fingerhut.com
- With a WebBank/Fingerhut Credit Account, buy favorite brands with low payments.
- Apply for a WebBank/Fingerhut Credit Account today. Fill out our easy online application.
Regular APR Annual Fee Credit Recommended Our take 0% No annual fee Bad, Limited or No Credit History Extensive catalog provides option for customers with damaged credit historyRegular APR0%Annual Fee No annual feeCredit RecommendedBad, Limited or No Credit HistoryOur takeExtensive catalog provides option for customers with damaged credit history
Horizon Gold Card
- Guaranteed $500 Unsecured Credit Limit.
- Must have Active Debit Card or Credit Card to qualify.
- $500 Credit Limit.
- No Credit Check.
- No Employment Check.
- Reports to a Major Credit Bureau.
- Fast Online Application.
- Bad Credit accepted.
Regular APR Annual Fee Credit Recommended Our take 0% No annual fee Bad, Limited or No Credit History Good option for customers with damaged credit history looking for a guaranteed approval cardRegular APR0%Annual Fee No annual feeCredit RecommendedBad, Limited or No Credit HistoryOur takeGood option for customers with damaged credit history looking for a guaranteed approval card
Choose a Prepaid Carrier
If you opt for a prepaid cell phone plan, there’s no credit check required. That’s because, with these plans, you are going to pay in advance for the service. In most cases, these bills are paid monthly, so there isn’t any risk for the cell phone provider.
There are four major carriers that provide prepaid cell phone plans, which include T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon. In most cases, these plans are much more affordable than contracts. However, this will depend on the user and features you choose for the plan.
There are also some carriers that only offer prepaid carriers. These include Straight Talk Wireless, Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless, to name a few.
A downside of this option is that since there’s no commitment with prepaid plans, you can’t pay for your phone in installments like you can with traditional plans. This means you may have to pay more than $500, depending on the phone you choose. If you don’t have the money upfront, you might consider an online payday loan to pay for the phone. These can be obtained very quickly, and with very low credit scores.
While the upfront costs may be more, in most cases a prepaid phone is going to save you money over time.
Join a Family Plan
Another option is to join a family cell phone plan. Most carriers offer this, and some allow up to 10 lines per plan.
While the main account holder has to pass a credit check to establish their service, those using the additional lines, don’t.
If you opt to use a family plan, you won’t just be able to bypass the credit check, but you may also be able to save quite a bit of money. Traditional plans for a single person range from $40 to $50 based o the carrier, but a family plan split four different ways can cost as little as $25 per person.
Additionally, once you’re on the family plan, most carriers will allow you to buy a new phone utilizing an installment loan to repay over time. This can be a perfect plan, as it may only cost you $20 per month to repay the phone, and you’ll be eligible for an upgrade in a year or so.
Put Down a Security Deposit
In some cases, putting down a deposit will let you get a cell phone plan if you don’t have any credit history (or bad credit). The amount of a deposit required will vary based on the carrier you choose, and your credit score. However, those could help you save several hundred dollars – or more.
Also, deposits are usually required per line. This means if you want several phones on your account, you have to pay several deposits. The majority of carriers will refund the deposit you put down after 12 months if you pay your bill on time.
Find a Co-Signer
Similar to acquiring a no credit check loan, you may be able to get a cell phone plan with no credit or bad credit if you have a co-signer who has good credit.
Unlike the personal loan, though, the account will be in the co-signers name, which means that person is on the hook if you fail to pay the bill.
Eventually, the co-signer can move the account to your name. Most carriers are going to run your credit when this is done, but it means you don’t have to pay the deposit.
Repair Your Credit and then Apply
If you have exhausted all your resources, you can take steps to try and improve your credit. Do this for about six to 12 months and then reapply with the phone carrier you want to use.
The fact is, increasing your credit score – just slightly – may be enough for you to pass the credit check from the phone carrier.
How to Get Approved for a Cell Phone with Bad Credit: There are Options
If you are wondering how to get approved for a cell phone with bad credit, the options here are a great place to begin. There are options that will allow you to get the phone service you need.
If you have questions about your credit, need a personal loan or are interested in learning more about your credit, let our team help. At Bonsai Finance, we are dedicated to helping you get the credit you deserve. Here are some other articles that you might find interesting:
Payday loan reviews: Which payday loans are best?
Is Credit Karma a good free credit checker?
Top Credit Cards for those with bad credit
Payday loans with a prepaid debit card: How to get one when you only have a Debit Card