How To Get New Phone With Bad Credit

How To Get New Phone With Bad Credit

If you are looking for a way to get a new phone with a bad credit score, you have stumbled upon the right article.

Having a bad credit score is not a good thing, and I learned that a very hard way when I needed a phone but had no money to buy a new one.

So, I decided to finance a phone but learned that my credit score was insufficient to get financing from any provider.  Luckily, I found out that there are some ways to get a new phone without a credit check.

This article will provide you with ways to get a new phone even with a bad credit score, and I will also provide you with some ways to build your credit score for a better future.

So, without further delay, let’s begin.

What Do Cell Phone Companies Look For In A Credit Check?

What Do Cell Phone Companies Look For In A Credit Check?

Most companies conduct a credit check to identify whether you can pay your bill on time. A low credit score on your credit report reveals your inability to cover all your monthly expenses. In such a case, the company may consider you a risky customer.

The good news is some mobile carriers conduct a soft credit check while few conduct a hard credit check.

Under soft checks, mobile carriers check one credit bureau over another.

During hard checks, mobile carriers check your credit score from all three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Here is a list of which bureau’s major phone carriers look for your credit scores.

Wireless Carrier Credit Bureau(s)
AT&T Equifax
Sprint Experian and Equifax
Verizon Equifax
T-Mobile TransUnion

How To Get A New Phone With Bad Credit

Companies check your credit score before allowing you to finance a smartphone through them. Thus, it’s important to maintain a good credit score.

Still, there are a few ways to buy a new smartphone with a bad credit score, and we suggest that if you have a bad credit score, you should try getting a free government phone from a participating service provider, as there is no credit check for them.

In the next section, we discussed several ways to have a new smartphone with bad credit without any deposit.

Four Ways To Buy A Phone With Bad Credit


There are 4 ways to finance a smartphone if you have a bad credit score.

Get a prepaid plan

One of the best ways to get a new smartphone with bad credit is to opt for a prepaid plan. You must pay a certain amount before using any services in this option. This method does not need a credit check because you pay monthly in advance. You can get various prepaid plans from many carriers in the country.

Enroll in the Buy Now Pay Later plan

You can enroll for a “buy now, pay later” plan to get a new smartphone with bad credit. You can have the phone first and then later pay for it in monthly installments.

There are many No Credit Check Buy Now Pay Later Apps and Websites where you can buy a phone and pay off your credit in 12-24 months.

Get added to a family plan

You can use a family plan for a new smartphone with bad credit. You can join family plan offers if any family member has good credit. You may also enjoy the features not generally available to people of your credit score.

Get a Co-signer

If you don’t have a good credit score, you can get a guarantor who is a co-signer to get a new smartphone with bad credit. A co-signer with excellent credit signs on your behalf to help you get a new smartphone without a deposit.

However, if you purchase a new smartphone using a co-signer, you must make timely payments because if you don’t, your co-signer will be held responsible, affecting their credit reports.

What Are Your Options For Getting A Cell Phone With Bad Credit?


Getting expensive items like a smartphone with bad credit is difficult. At the same time, having a smartphone is becoming necessary to lead a purposeful life. But the question is how to get a new smartphone with bad credit.

The answer is to get a prepaid or monthly plan from a renowned mobile carrier. Many major mobile carriers today offer new phones even to bad credit holders with their prepaid plans.

For example, the country’s largest network operator and mobile phone provider, Verizon, offers unlimited prepaid plans for $50 per month in addition to the bring-your-own phone service.

Although you may get a T-Mobile free government phone and an AT&T free government phone, but if you are not qualified, they also allow an as-you-go plan to get a phone without a credit check or deposit.

Some mobile providers also offer you a new smartphone if you have a co-signer with good credit.

Carriers offering New Phone With Bad Credit

Below are a few mobile carriers you can choose from.

  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile
  • Assurance Wireless
  • Life Wireless
  • Boost Mobile
  • Consumer Cellular
  • Cricket Wireless
  • Metro by T-Mobile
  • Mint Mobile
  • Republic Wireless
  • Visible Wireless

However, the other option to have a new phone with bad credit includes the following.

  • Become a legal user of someone else’s plan
  • Join a family plan
  • Opt for pay-as-you-go or prepaid
  • Work on your credit

How To Build Credit So You Can Qualify for Phone Financing

How To Build Credit So You Can Qualify for Phone Financing

A good credit score is necessary to finance a new smartphone from any company. Good credit especially plays a key role when you purchase a mobile without any deposit. But how do you build credit to qualify for smartphone financing?

Here are some simple ways to build your credit.

Establish credit responsibly

This is for someone who still needs to establish a credit account. It would be best to establish your credit first, and below is a guide.

  • Open credit accounts ( you can start with a credit builder loan or secured credit card)
  • Apply for different types of credit like credit builder loans, credit cards, authorized users, certificate of deposit loans, etc. It is recommended to start with three or a maximum of four lines of credit and not multiply them.
  • You must ensure you make timely payments for your monthly bills. Setting up payment reminders may help you.
  • Keep your credit card balances below 30%.
  • It would also help if you learned to read your credit report and keep a watch on it.

Rebuild credit responsibly

Suppose you have a poor credit history; you may be required to do the above steps and fix your credit report’s issues.

  • Pay your loans or credit card balances.
  • Pay any due money on delinquent accounts
  • Reduce your debt into one loan and use other debt management strategies
  • You may work with a financial expert
  • You can apply for secured credit lines and start rebuilding your credit once you clear the bad impression of your credit report.

Work on your credit rebuilding

It is said that nothing comes easily without some endeavours. Credit building is such a process. Though you must put yourself in to build a good credit history, the benefits you have as a good credit score bearer are numerous.

With little effort now, you can enjoy expensive items like iPhones, vehicles, electrical gadgets, etc., on credit without any deposit in the future. Hence, you must work on rebuilding your credit.

Please note that the time required to build or rebuild your credit depends on your current credit score and the items on your credit. It may take as little as 3 to 6 months or as long as 1 to 2 years.


Can I get a new phone with bad credit?

Yes. You can get a new mobile with bad credit in the following ways.

  • Get a prepaid plan.
  • Get a buy now, pay later plan.
  • Get added to a family plan.
  • Use a co-signer.

What is a good credit score?

A good credit score checks whether you are a good borrower. It depends on your credit history. The higher the credit score, the better your chances of getting loan approval.

What credit score do you need for a new phone?

The score you need depends on the phone type you want and the carrier you choose. For example, if you wish to have a new iPhone AT&T, you must have a credit score of 700 or higher. If you want a phone from Sprint, you will require a score of 650 or higher.

Why do companies check credit scores?

Companies conduct credit checks to determine your ability to pay your monthly bill.

What is a soft credit check?

A soft credit check is one where your credit record is not maintained and reported to any credit bureaus.

What is a hard credit check?

A hard credit check is one where your credit records are reported to any of the three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

About the author

William Smith

William Smith is a dynamic editor at World-Wire, covering a wide range of topics including health, technology, travel, and events. Known for his ability to simplify complex subjects, he engages readers with his insightful FAQs and articles. His diverse expertise has earned him accolades, including the "Excellence in Diverse Journalism" award in 2022.

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