Best Cell Phone Plans with No Credit Check or Deposit Required
Credit scores are usually the last thing people usually think about when they go to sign up for new cell service or upgrade an existing plan. However anyone with bad credit or a limited credit history that getting cell service can be difficult since many carriers will require a large deposit (use this tool to check) for hundreds or even thousands of dollars which most people simply don’t have to spend on a phone. With this guide, I want to highlight the best plans for people with bad credit or no credit, for each of the three major carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-mobile). Despite what customer service will tell you (since they often want you to pay the huge deposit and get locked into a contract plan) there are quite a few options that require no deposit and no credit check. In most cases, you will want to go with a prepaid plan. I think that when people hear “prepaid” they still think of the TracFones from 10 years ago… but most prepaid plans these days support the latest smartphones including iPhone and Samsung Galaxy. You could even argue that prepaid plans are better than contract plans in many cases – but more on that below. Here are the plans I currently recommended if you have bad credit or limited credit:
Prepaid plans don’t require a deposit because the phone isn’t subsidized, meaning that you pay for your phone upfront. Phones range from $50 up into the hundreds, depending on what phone you chose.
There are three major advantages to a prepaid plan:
First, you don’t have to pay a deposit and can often just buy the phone outright for less than half of the required deposit for a contract plan. Second, your monthly bill with a prepaid plan is usually much cheaper ($20 – $30 less per month per line) – simply because you’ve already paid for the phone. Contract plans are more expensive because you are paying off the phone that you *thought* was free. It actually wasn’t free – the cost is just baked into your bill each month. The third major advantage is that you can cancel service or change carriers at any time since you aren’t locked into a contract. In conclusion – if you have bad credit or limited credit it’s usually cheaper to just buy the phone outright and go with a prepaid plan. Many people are moving to prepaid and unsubsidized plans regardless of their credit scores, simply because you get more flexibility and many of the plans are just as good as their subsidized counterparts, for half the price.
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