Does T-Mobile Require a Credit Check?

Does T-mobile run a credit check on new subscribers?
Q: I'm thinking about applying for phone service from T-Mobile. Does the company require a credit check?

A: Today, you can expect to submit to a check of your credit when you apply for a job, sign up for auto insurance, take out a mortgage loan and, of course, when you apply for wireless phone service.

One exception though is T-Mobile.

If you are willing to pay for the full purchase price of your phone up front, you can get either a Simple Choice plan, or save a little money and choose their Simply Prepaid service without a credit check. Read this article to learn more.

If you do not want to pay the full purchase price of a new smartphone upfront, T-Mobile will require a security deposit.

The carrier wants to make sure that you have a history of paying for your bills on time. If your three-digit credit score is low, T-Mobile will know that you instead have the unfortunate habit of not paying your bills on time.

If your credit score is low, don't be surprised if you have to pay a security deposit. This provides protection to T-Mobile in case you fail to pay your bills; T-Mobile can simply keep your security deposit after canceling your service.

Even if you do have a low credit score, though, you don't have to panic. As we stated earlier, you can still apply for a T-Mobile prepaid plan. These plans don't require credit checks, contracts or deposits. Of course, you'll have to pay for your mobile service as you go, purchasing prepaid wireless cards or signing up for auto payment with your credit card. It's still mobile phone service, though, prepaid or not.

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About the author

Dan Rafter

Dan Rafter has contributed to such publications as the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and BusinessWeek Online. He's also a frequent blogger on credit and financial issues.