Friday, October 16, 2009

How to get a Cell Phone Plan With bad Credit

There are two big no-nos in a lot of cell phone plan applications: bad credit and no credit. Either of these can sink your application for a cell phone plan pretty fast. Those with a bad rating can get around this problem in a few different ways.

Step 1

Shop around. Some cell phone companies have more stringent credit requirements than others, and the penalties for not having a good credit rating differ. Just like with price, you can get the best "credit deal" by comparing your big cell phone providers: Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint.
Step 2

Get a co-signer. This is something that people with bad credit do often. Credit-broke consumers ask someone with a great rating to put their name on the dotted line. In terms of practicality, it's really an issue of trust. A co-signer that knows their partner will be responsible regardless of credit history can breathe easy about such an endeavor, while someone sketched by a friend or family member's bad credit will have a harder time signing.
Step 3

Pay a deposit. Lots of companies offer consumers a way around bad credit. But the deal is sometimes not a very good one. A deposit for a cell phone plan applicant with bad credit can go as high as $1000 or more. Think about whether you want a cell phone company holding that much of your money.
Step 4

Go prepaid. There are lots of cell phone providers offering prepaid service, which really is a great service to those with bad credit. Not only will you be able to get a phone without a hefty deposit, but if you are worried about your own tendency to over-talk, you have more direct controls on your talk time, and you'll max out, rather than generating a mammoth bill.
Step 5

Look at alternatives like pagers or voice mail boxes. Pay phones may be on the verge of extinction, but for those who don't quite have the resources for a cell phone plan, there are still ways to be available nearly all the time through land lines. Evaluate pagers that will let you know when someone is calling or voice boxes that will conveniently store messages for a call back.

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