Getting a Cell Phone with Bad Credit

Getting a cell phone with bad credit is actually quite similar to getting a credit card with bad credit. With a cell phone plan, you most often get a limit on how many minutes you can talk, just as a credit card has a limit on how much you can charge it. Your cell phone also might not get service everywhere, just as some credit cards are not accepted in every store. You can also get a prepaid cell phone plan, just as you can get a prepaid credit card. Here are some ways to get a cell phone with bad credit.

First, you need to research the major mobile network companies. In the US, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon are the four major companies, although T-Mobile is currently in the process of merging with someone. When you research the companies, pay most attention to cost of services in comparison to area coverage. Remember those commercials earlier in the year about iPhone customers who were excited about Verizon carrying the product? That’s because Verizon has the largest coverage range, meaning it will have the fewest dropped calls when you’re roaming. However, getting a monthly plan with Verizon may entail a hefty starting fee, possibly in excess of $500. T-Mobile seems to have the least expensive monthly plan, but coverage is not as wide as Verizon.

Just like getting a loan with bad credit, you can appear more attractive for a cell phone plan with some help. If you have a couple hundred dollars or so, you can make a security deposit. This can act as a form of collateral, and you may be reimbursed by the company after a year’s time of timely monthly payments. If you have a friend or family member with better credit, you might be able to have him/her as a co-signer for your plan.

A popular idea is to get a prepaid mobile phone. With this type of phone, there is no plan based on how high or low your credit score is. With a prepaid phone, you actually purchase the credit in advance of service use. You pay for how many minutes you need; therefore, you don’t have to worry about early termination fees or minutes rolling over or any of that contractual jargon. You pay for what you need, and, better yet, you can purchase more minutes whenever necessary. Retail stores, such as Wal-Mart or Kmart, sell the phones and the minutes, and they can end up being hundreds of dollars cheaper than a plan with a major company.

The type of cell phone you can get may be limited by your credit score, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get one. You can find a plan that best suits you by determining when, where, and how much you will use it.

David Pilley

David Pilley

David Pilley is a May 2010 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a B.A. in communication studies and a creative writing minor. He is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina.

He played clarinet for the Marching Tar Heels in 2005 and 2006. He also volunteered for STV, the student-run television station at UNC-Chapel Hill, in the spring of 2010. He shot video, wrote scripts, and acted for “Off the Cuff,” UNC’s longest running sketch comedy show. He has the rare distinction of having lived in a dorm all four years of his undergraduate college career. He was also on Franklin Street on the night of April 4, 2009. His future plans are to pursue a master’s degree in journalism and to one day work for the media as a sports journalist or broadcaster.

Being one of eight children, David realizes finance is an important topic to everyone, regardless of his/her knowledge of the subject. His interests are in personal finance, budgeting, and savings.

In his spare time, David enjoys watching sports and standup comedy, as well as doing crossword puzzles and writing in the first person. He also thoroughly enjoys trivia and, one day, hopes to participate on the game show Jeopardy!, where he will try to break Ken Jennings’ 74-game win streak.
David Pilley

Latest posts by David Pilley (see all)