A low credit score can keep you from purchasing many necessities, including a new cell phone plan. Fortunately, there are plenty of great cell phone plans you can get, even if you have bad credit. In this article, I'll explain why a wireless carrier may check your credit score, and tell you about the best cell phone plans for people with bad credit.
When Will A Wireless Carrier Check My Credit?
Carriers will often run a credit check when you try to buy a new cell phone or sign up for a postpaid plan. If your credit score is too low, you might not be eligible to purchase a phone or plan. The carrier wants to know if they can trust you to make monthly payments for the duration of your contract, and many companies use credit scores as a measure of reliability.
Carriers typically won't check your credit if you bring your own phone and sign up for a prepaid plan. We generally recommend prepaid plans anyway, as they're cheaper and don't require users to sign a long-term contract.
Best Bad Credit Cell Phone Plans
The plans we recommend for people with bad credit are prepaid plans from carriers that allow new customers to bring their own phones. Make sure to check out our wireless coverage maps before switching to a new carrier, so you can be sure your coverage will always be reliable.
Verizon 5 GB Prepaid Plan
The Verizon 5 GB Prepaid plan allows you to save money while getting all the features you need from a cell phone plan. It includes unlimited minutes, unlimited messages, 5 GB of high-speed data, and mobile hotspot access. If you exceed the 5 GB high-speed data cap, you can continue using cellular data at reduced speeds for the rest of the pay period.
The price of this plan decreases the longer you stay subscribed. After 3 months, the monthly price drops by $5. After 9 months, the price drops another $5, bringing the monthly cost down to $25 when you enroll in AutoPay and paperless billing.
Tello Mobile Value Plan
If you're looking for an affordable cellular plan and only need a small amount of monthly data, consider the Tello Mobile Value Plan. For just $14 per month, you'll receive unlimited minutes and messages with 2 GB of 4G LTE data. Tello Mobile plans are extremely flexible, so you can add more data at any point if you decide you need it.
Tello Mobile doesn't charge for overages, and your data can be used towards mobile hotspot as desired. This is a no contract plan, which should help if you want to avoid a credit check. Another bonus to this plan is that it includes international calling to several locations in its starting price.
Mint Mobile 1o GB Prepaid Plan
This plan from Mint Mobile gives users a bit more data, and features flexible plan options to ensure you're paying for what you really need. Their 10 GB Prepaid plan includes 10 GB of cellular data, plus unlimited minutes and messages, all for just $20 each month. Mint Mobile customers can connect to 4G LTE and 5G data, no matter which plan they sign up for.
Mint Mobile's pricing is unique among cellular carriers, as they require users to prepay for plans 3 months at a time. If you go over your monthly data at any point during this period, your data speeds will be throttled to 2G. When switching to Mint, you can bring your own phone or purchase a new device directly from their store. The 8 GB prepaid plan also includes mobile hotspot, and international calling to Canada and Mexico.
Bad Credit, Great Plan
Bad credit shouldn't determine the quality of phone plan you're eligible for. Hopefully now you have a better idea of which phone plan will work best for you. If you have any suggestions for other cell phone plans for people with bad credit, let us know in the comments below!