Q: I'm thinking about signing up for a cell phone plan with Verizon. I know they will run my credit, but will they do a hard or soft credit check?
A: Verizon will do a hard check on your credit if you sign up for any of their post-paid plans. If you go with their pre-paid service, they will not run any credit check.
For those that do not know what this means, a hard credit check refers to when a company pulls your credit report or score with your permission, usually when you are trying to obtain credit. A soft credit check is when you view your own credit report or score, or when companies check it for pre-approved offers where you did not grant them permission. Unfortunately, this means that your score may drop a few points when you sign up for a new plan with Verizon, but it should not be more than about 5 points, so it isn’t a big deal and your credit should bounce back quickly.
The credit check is required so that Verizon will know how large of a security deposit they should charge. If they sell you a phone for $350 off its retail price and let you pay a $100 a month plan after the fact, they stand to lose a lot of money.
Security Deposit Calculator
Before applying for new service with Verizon or any other provider, you can estimate the required deposit with our Wireless Service Deposit Calculator. The calculator will estimate a deposit amount based on historical data and make recommendations for reducing your deposit. After using our calculator, check out CreditForum's guide to no deposit/no contract cell phones.
Your security deposit can be up to $400 per line, depending on your credit score. If you have an excellent credit score, you may not be required to pay a security deposit at all.
Even if you are stuck with a hefty deposit, if you pay your phone bill on time each month, you will get it back with interest in a year.
Looking for Cell Phone Deals and Offers?
If you are thinking about changing providers, check out our Deals page to find the latest bonus and offers from all the top cell phone providers.