How to get a cell phone with bad credit and no deposit

By Izzy M
Modified on April 26, 2023
how to get a cell phone with bad credit and no deposit

It’s essential to have a cell phone these days for both business and pleasure. Cellphones keep us connected to others and allow us to communicate effectively. If you have bad credit, you may worry about your ability to get a cell phone. Keep reading to learn more about the process of buying a new cellphone or signing up for a plan. 

Types of Cell Phone Plans Available 

If you need a new cell phone, choose from two different types of cellphone plans. You may decide to get a prepaid cell phone or sign up for a monthly plan. There are advantages and disadvantages to each option. Your choice depends on your price preferences and how much you plan on using your cell phone. 

Prepaid Plan for Cell Phones

A prepaid plan requires you to buy minutes to use it. This type of cell phone plan is great if you want to avoid a long-term contract with a provider. Prepaid plans offer the same essential functions as traditional cell phone plans. Still, you can determine how much money you want to invest. 

If you want a prepaid plan, you will need to buy a cell phone and a separate prepaid card. You could even receive a discount if you buy the prepaid plan bundle from a retailer. Prepaid cards come in various price ranges and offer unlimited talk, text, and data. You can spend as little as $10 on a prepaid card, but the price range depends on the type of cell phone you buy. 

If you have a low credit score, you may prefer the convenience of a prepaid plan. You don’t need to undergo a credit check to get a new cell phone. While the cost of a new cell phone with prepaid plans may be cheaper, they may offer fewer features. You can get a prepaid plan from most major retailers or directly from phone companies. 

Monthly Plan for Cell Phones

A monthly cell phone plan requires an account with a phone company. To sign up for a monthly plan, you need to provide an unlocked cell phone or buy a new one through the phone company. An unlocked cell phone is not attached to a specific network, so you can choose to work with any phone carrier. 

Phone companies offer various monthly plans depending on your budget. The cheapest monthly plan is available through Visible. You can get unlimited talk, text, and data for as low as $40 monthly! 

If you don’t need an unlimited talk option, there are low-cost monthly plans based on gigabytes of data. If you don’t intend to use your cell phone daily, you can look for a cell phone plan that offers minimal data. For example, T-Mobile offers a $15 monthly cell phone plan that provides 3GB of data. The downside is that once you hit your data cap, you must wait until the next billing cycle to obtain more data. 

Can I Get Discounts on Cell Phones?

Most major phone carriers offer various discounts to customers. You can find cell phone plan discounts for veterans, students, seniors, and first responders. Suppose you fit into one of these categories. In that case, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare discounts before choosing a phone carrier. Take advantage of available discounts to save money on your cell phone service and keep more money in your pocket. 

Is My Credit Score Important When Trying To Get a Cell Phone?

If you are interested in getting a new cell phone, just about every phone company will require a credit check when you apply. Your credit score plays an important role when trying to buy a new cell phone. 

Most buyers intend on using a monthly payment plan to afford the high cost of cell phones. Retailers use credit checks to ascertain whether a person will be able to reliably make monthly payments. Individuals with bad credit scores pose a higher lending risk. If you have bad credit, there is a possibility that you will not qualify for a new cell phone. But what is bad credit

Most lenders consider any FICO score lower than 600 to be a bad credit score. Although, the exact score cutoff that phone companies consider bad credit varies by company. Credit scores are split into five ranges. Ideally, your credit score should fall into the good category, which is any score higher than 670. 

  • Poor — 300-579
  • Fair — 580-669
  • Good — 670-739
  • Very Good — 740-799
  • Excellent — 800-850

A bad credit score can make your life unnecessarily difficult. For example, you may be forced to explain your bad credit score to a potential employer. However, you may still find a phone company willing to work with you if you have poor credit! But keep in mind that you may get higher interest rates or require a security deposit due to a low credit score. 

How To Improve a Credit Score for Cell Phones?

Want a new cell phone with unlimited data, talk, and text? It’s a good idea to check your credit history before you apply to get a cell phone with a bad credit score. Knowing how your finances appear to a phone company can help you prepare for the approval process. 

There are steps you can take today to improve your bad credit score. It may even be possible to raise your credit score by 100 points in 30 days. Raising your credit score can work in your favor when a credit check is done. You will receive better terms for monthly financing plans if your credit score is high. 

Make Payments on Time

One of the easiest and fastest methods of improving bad credit is to start making all of your payments on time. Payment history is the most important factor for credit calculation, accounting for approximately 35% of your FICO score. 

If you forget to pay bills on time, consider signing up for automatic payments! Many financial institutions offer an automatic payment option, and some may extend a small discount for customers that sign up. To take advantage of this payment feature, you will need a bank account for direct deposit. You will need to prove your account number and routing number to have payments withdrawn from a checking or savings account. 

Reduce Your Debt 

Borrowers are meant to use credit cards, but having too much debt can actually contribute to your bad credit. The more debt you have, the lower your credit will be. Using almost all of your available credit lines can make you seem financially risky to lenders. Ideally, you should not use more than 30% of your total credit. 

If you have $8,000 available to spend across multiple credit cards, you should keep your debt below $2,400. Credit cards are helpful for costly expenses, but finance experts suggest only purchasing what you can afford to pay before the end of the billing cycle. 

Ask for a Higher Credit Limit

You can improve bad credit over time by limiting by simply reducing your debt. While you work on paying down your credit cards, call your creditor and ask about acquiring a higher credit limit. A higher credit limit can make managing your debt to credit ratio easier. 

A higher credit limit allows you to spend more money without damaging your credit history. Suppose you have a history of making monthly payments on time or paying more than the monthly minimum. In that case, you can use that as leverage to obtain a higher credit limit. 

How To Get a Cell Phone With Bad Credit and No Deposit?

It’s possible to get a phone with bad credit, but you may have to provide an upfront deposit. Phone providers often require new account holders with bad credit to provide a security deposit for their cell phones. 

The cost of a security deposit depends on the phone company, but it can be as high as $750! The exact amount of money you need to provide depends on your current credit. Even if the security deposit is refundable, you may not have hundreds of dollars to spend right away.

  If you have bad credit, you may ask, “Is it possible to get a cell phone with no deposit?” The answer is yes! There are various options available if you prefer to avoid the unnecessary cost of a deposit. You can enroll in a family plan or apply with a cosigner if you don’t have an excellent credit score.

Enroll in a Family Plan

A family plan consists of multiple phone lines and a primary account holder. Many cell phone companies offer this option. The main account holder can have numerous phone lines attached to the account. However, they are also responsible for paying for those additional phone lines. The maximum amount of phone lines for a family plan depends on the phone company. 

If you have a bad credit history, joining a family plan may be beneficial. You do not need good credit history to get approval for an unlimited data plan. Joining a family plan may also help you get awards that you would not get by signing up for a new account. The more phone lines an account holder has in their family plan, the less they pay for each phone line. 

Apply for a Cell Phone With a Cosigner

Individuals with bad credit history can qualify for a cell phone plan if they use a cosigner with good credit. A cosigner can be a family member or friend added to the account. According to the cell phone contract, the cosigner is financially responsible for payments if you experience financial issues. Ensure that your cosigner fully understands the financial obligations expected of them. 

The phone company may require the account to be under the cosigner’s name if they have good credit. After some time, the phone company may allow you to move the account under your name. By comparing your service options, you can find phone companies that will enable you to be the primary account holder right away. 

Use a Personal Loan To Get a Cell Phone With Bad Credit 

If you want to get a cell phone with bad credit, there are various options to consider. You can sign up for prepaid plans, join a family plan, or use a cosigner. However, there is an additional option available.

While prepaid plans are convenient, they may not offer the features you want. A monthly plan is preferential if you rely on your phone for daily use. Still, individuals with low credit may have to provide a security deposit to phone companies. The cost of a deposit can be as high as a few hundred dollars! Many people do not have that much money available to spend all at once. 

Luckily, financing options are available if you want to get a cell phone with bad credit. You can use online no credit check loans to obtain the money necessary for a cell phone deposit. However, ensure that your deposit is entirely refundable by the phone carrier before agreeing to pay upfront. 


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