Cell phones have basically become extension of our bodies — they’re our phones, computers, cameras, watches, alarm clocks, game systems and more. But getting one can be difficult if you don’t have credit.
Carriers want to prevent you from racking up a huge bill and not paying it off. To this end, many major cell phone companies will check your credit before selling you a plan to evaluate your financial responsibility and ability to pay each month.
If you have bad or no credit history, you may have to jump through some extra hoops, but there are still ways to get a cell phone plan.
1. Pay a security deposit
Many carriers allow people with no credit history to get a cell phone plan if they pay a deposit first. Deposit amounts will vary based on the carrier and your credit score, but they could cost up to several hundreds of dollars. Most carriers will refund your deposit after a year if you’ve paid your bill regularly and on time.
2. Get a co-signer
Similar to getting a loan with no credit, you can get a cell phone plan with no credit if you have a co-signer to vouch for your trustworthiness. Just make sure your co-signer has a good credit score, or you won’t get approved for the plan. If you fail to pay your phone bill, your co-signer will be held responsible.
3. Purchase a prepaid cell phone
If you can’t afford a deposit and can’t find a co-signer, a prepaid cell phone plan may be the way to go. Prepaid plans don’t require a credit check because their pay-as-you-go model doesn’t put cell phone carriers at risk. Many major cellphone carriers offer prepaid phones, or you can buy a prepaid plan from an alternative carrier such as ChitChat Mobile or TracFone Wireless.
4. Become an authorized user
Some credit card companies will allow someone, such as your spouse or parent, to authorize you to use their card. The other party would be obligated to pay off the charges, but your credit score will benefit from on-time payments and credit history just as much as theirs. On the other hand, if the other person doesn’t use their credit responsibly, your credit will take a hit as well.
This option doesn’t allow you to immediately establish good standing with the cell phone company, but it could help you develop good credit relatively quickly.
The bottom line
Although it’s possible to get a cell phone plan with no credit, you should still work on establishing good credit. Among many other things, good credit will give you the freedom to choose what cell phone plan you want, without having to sacrifice the features that make your phone such an integral part of your life.
Credit card interest is the principal way in which credit card issuers generate revenue. A card issuer is a bank or credit union that gives a consumer (the cardholder) a card or account number that can be used with various payees to make payments and borrow money from the bank simultaneously. The bank pays the payee and then charges the...
Corus Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CORSQ) operated as the holding company for Corus Bank, N.A., a United States company that offered consumer and corporate banking products and services. The bank's deposit products included checking, savings, money market, and time deposit accounts. Its loan portfolio primarily comprised commercial real estate...
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