A poor credit score can make it hard for you to apply for practically anything that involves financial contracts, from buying a big-ticket purchase like a house to a far smaller one like a cell phone. However, just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You can opt for cell phone no credit check financing if your prior applications have been rejected too many times.
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How a poor credit score gets in the way of getting a phone
The credit score represents just how financially trustworthy a person is. Because it’s based on their whole credit history, it’s an accurate gauge of their capacity to pay in the future. If they have a high credit score, it means they’ve kept their debt low, settled their bills on time and in full, payed off all of their loans, and are likely to continue doing so. If they have a poor credit score, it means they’ve kept their debt high, settled their bills late and only partially (or maybe even not at all), and are also likely to continue doing so.
Yes, it can be unfair. People end up with poor credit scores for many reasons aside from irresponsibility. But to lenders and service providers, you’re considered a high-risk borrower/subscriber if you have a poor credit score. Just based on your credit history, there’s a big chance you’ll default on payments, so they’d rather not approve you most of the time.
Where to get cell phone no credit check financing
Of course, there’s always a way, and that includes getting approved for a cell phone contract without credit checks. In fact, there are service providers who don’t do a credit check for some of their plans, like T-Mobile’s One Plan. Fees start at $70 USD for one line to $160 for four lines. In exchange for the no credit check, a deposit is required.
Sprint also offers a plan with no credit check, but it’s available only in-store or by phone. You can be approved for up to five lines when you apply. Note that T-Mobile and Sprint are merging, so whether that will have an effect on these existing plans or not is yet to be seen.
How to get a cell phone in other ways
There are a few approaches you can take aside from going for cell phone no credit check financing. First, you can pay a higher amount upfront when buying a new cell phone. Your monthly payments will be lower, and you may even get a better deal than people with higher credit scores but lower upfront payments. If you can wait, save up at least half the amount for the cell phone you like to get a good deal.
Another thing you can do is to get a co-signer when you apply. The co-signer should have a good credit score because they will serve as your guarantor. The idea is that if you can’t pay, they’re going to pay for you (but of course, don’t let that happen).
You can also skip postpaid plans altogether and instead go for prepaid plans which don’t require credit checks. In this arrangement, you pay first before use. Verizon’s prepaid plan is one example. Their rates range from $35 to $65 a month depending on the amount of data.
Want more bang for your buck? Buy a secondhand or refurbished unit then stick a prepaid SIM card in it. You pay for the cell phone in cash so you don’t have monthly fees to worry about. You refill your prepaid account when you can, and don’t when you can’t.
Cell phones are no longer a luxury. They’re already necessities of everyday life, so don’t let a poor credit score get in the way of buying one. But be smart about it. Get cell phone no credit check financing only when you’re sure you can pay the monthly payments. If not, go for lower risk options like what’s mentioned above.