Best Cell Phone Plans for People With Poor Credit
How to Get a Cell Plan with Bad Credit
Just because you have poor credit does not mean you are banned from owning a cell phone. There are still plans available to you. Here are a few options.
30% of Americans have bad credit. But, you need to have at least a stable credit score to get a cell phone. And in today's day and age, it's difficult for anyone to get through life without a mobile phone.
So what do you do?
Luckily there are cell phone plans for bad credit, so it doesn't have to limit you completely.
In this article, we'll talk about some of the options you have, as well as ways to get your credit score back into the realm of "good."
Why Do I Have Bad Credit?
There is a myriad of reasons why people have bad credit and need to use alternate cell phone plans.
Often, people fall on hard times and are unable to pay back their debts. This can mean they default on mortgages or are unable to pay off credit cards that they make regular payments on. Perhaps they're also unable to pay back other outstanding debts like their cell phones or have large credit card balances.
Some people have bad credit simply because they've made poor decisions. This is very common for young people who are just being introduced to the idea of a credit card.
Many young people sign up for store credit cards just to get the perks offered. Perhaps a store has sweetened the deal with a 50% off offer if they sign up for a credit card there. Before they know it, they've bought a lot of things they don't need, and they don't have the means to pay it off.
Poor self-control and unfettered access to spending is one reason why many people find themselves in this situation.
I Don't Have Bad Credit, So Why Would I Be Denied a Cell Phone Plan?
Not everyone gets denied for a credit card or cell phone plan because they have bad credit. Sometimes, the issue is not having any credit at all. This gets you stuck in the cycle of not being able to take out loans because you don't have a credit history.
This most often occurs for young people who are just starting out on their own. It can be incredibly frustrating, but there are ways to build credit.
How Do I Build My Credit So I Can Get a Cell Phone Plan?
There are many ways to build your credit so that you can get approved for a traditional cell phone plan.
As the name suggests, they have higher interest rates, but that doesn't make them all bad. It just means the institution loaning you the money is taking less of a risk with a higher rate of interest.
You can repair your credit, or start a line of credit, fairly easily with these loans or credit cards.
If you would like to build your credit, take one out and make a purchase on it. The secret is to make a purchase you can already afford. This enables you to pay off the purchase immediately without having to worry about hefty monthly credit card bills.
It also helps you build credit without having to pay any interest on the items. Interest on credit card purchases accrues over time. So, if you pay off an item immediately, you won't likely accrue much or any
What to Do If You Need a Cell Phone Plan and Have Bad Credit
1. Ask for a Co-Signer
Have bad credit? Luckily, if someone you know who has good credit is willing to help you out, you can have them do so in the form of co-signing your plan.
A co-signer can be a parent, friend, or another relative. They will co-sign the loan, saying that they will be responsible if you fail to make the payments on your bill.
Having a co-signer is a great way to help you build your credit as well, as you'll build up your credit score as you use your cell phone plan.
Unfortunately, though, many people are unwilling to co-sign for cell phone plans or other loans, especially if you have a history of skipping out on jobs or bills.
You'll need to be sure you're in a good and responsible place before asking someone to help with your cell phone bill. You don't want to ruin a relationship over something that, in the long run, isn't as big of a deal.
2. Join a Family Plan
You've probably heard of family plans that allow you to have multiple people on one payment plan. Most of the time, the members on the plan are all relatives, hence the name. However, you can often add in-laws and good friends to the list.
If someone you know well, or your parents, have family plans, joining one can be a great well to get cell phone service without the credit check.
You may not be responsible for the bill, as the person who took out the family plan will ultimately be.
But, you may work out a deal in order to pay the person who owns the plan a little bit every month for using the family plan. This won't affect your credit score but could strengthen your relationship.
3. Prepaid Cell Phone Plans for Bad Credit
Prepaid cell phones are the best bet for someone who doesn't have great credit.
Instead of paying monthly, you pay upfront for the cell phone as well as the talk time. Once you've used all of the talk time, you'll need to refresh your phone by paying again.
This way, cell phone companies aren't taking a risk on you. They already have the money and won't be chasing you for payment.
A prepaid cell phone plan doesn't help repair your credit, but it does allow you to have a phone with bad credit.
Most major cell phone carriers offer prepaid cell phones with a variety of different models. You may also be able to use an older cell phone if you have it unlocked or available to use on different carriers.
Simply go into any cell phone retailer and ask about the plans they have available.
Most larger stores like Target and Walmart also offer a selection of prepaid cell phones. There, you can purchase the physical cell phone as well as the minutes.
Often, you can recharge the minutes using the Internet, saving you the hassle of having to physically go somewhere to do it.
You can also purchase cards that allow you to buy minutes via the phone. These are also available at Target, Walmart and cell phone retail outlets.
Some of them will allow you to purchase minutes at the supermarket or through an ATM.
4. Security Deposit
Think of a security deposit as a way to prove to a cell phone carrier that your money is where your mouth is. In essence, it's a guarantee that you will pay your bill because they have a deposit they can use to cover it if you do not.
Many cell phone carriers will sign you up for a monthly plan if you give them a security deposit. If you pay your bills on time every month for a period of time (which is typically predetermined), you'll get your money back. It will also give your credit score a tiny little boost.
Using the security deposit gives you access to a cell phone line on a monthly plan, which is invaluable for many people. It also allows you to get the latest gadgets without having to pay for the entire thing up front. Because prepaid plans force you to purchase the cell phone first, it can exclude people with poor credit from getting some of the latest and greatest.
After all, the iPhone Xs costs a pretty penny, and most people can't afford to pay for one up front. That's why most of them opt for monthly plans in which they pay for part of the phone each month in addition to their talk time and data.
You Do Have Options
Don't fret if you have poor credit, there are options available. Cell phone plans for bad credit exist just for your ilk so that you can be sure to stay connected with your friends and family.
After all, you need a phone in most instances to get hired for a job, and you'll need a job to get yourself out of the trap of no or bad credit.
Need to get a loan with poor credit? Click here for our top tips!