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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, for anyone with bad credit or a limited credit history 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.
It turns out you have choices!
With this guide, I compare the best plans for people with bad credit or no credit, for each of the four major wireless 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.
You could even argue that prepaid plans are better than contract plans in many cases
Here are the plans I currently recommended if you have bad credit or limited credit.
Verizon AllSet Prepaid Plans
- Basic Phones: $35 / month plan that includes unlimited talk and texts and 500mb of data.
- Smartphones: $45 / month with unlimited talk & text and 1gb of data.
- Choose from a variety of smartphones including the latest iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones.
- You can purchase additional data - pricing varies by plan.
- Verizon also allows you to bring your own phone.
T-Mobile Simply Prepaid
- All Phones: $40 / month for unlimited data, talk, and text on our network + up to 1GB of 4G LTE
- All Phones: $50 / month for unlimited data, talk, and text on our network + up to 3GB of 4G LTE
- All Phones: $60 / month for unlimited data, talk, and text on our network + up to 5GB of 4G LTE
- New Smartphone Equality program for people with limited credit history or bad credit. Make 12 months of on-time payments and qualify for a new smartphone at the lowest upfront-price.
- Choose from a variety of the latest smartphones
- Or choose T-Mobile Simple Choice Plan with No Credit Check - learn how here!
Looking for a Credit Card with Poor Credit?
If you currently have only limited, poor, or average credit, and are looking for a real credit card, we currently recommend the Milestone® Gold Mastercard®.
This is because the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® allows you to see if you're pre-qualified before you apply for the card - so you don't have to risk having your credit pulled, only to be denied a card.
The Milestone® card is a Mastercard® which means that it can still be used on Amazon and at millions of merchants around the world. And your application will be considered even if you have a prior bankruptcy.
Last Updated on September 10, 2019