Q:

How do you get cellphone service without a credit check?

A:

Quick Answer

Obtain cellphone service without a credit check by singing up for a no-contract program from a major cellular service provider such as T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless, or opt for monthly service from a prepaid cellular service provider such as TracFone as of 2015. Many major retailers, such as Walmart, also offer prepaid cellular services that do not require a credit check.

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Full Answer

Though most major cell service providers require customers to sign up for set-term contracts and submit to credit checks before being approved for coverage, they also offer prepaid services that do no require credit checks. These plans typically feature fewer rate options compared to monthly plans, with many plans including limits on voice minutes, text messages and a limited amount of mobile data usage in exchange for removing the credit check requirement. The plans typically do not offer discounts or subsidies on purchasing new phones, though they do function with unlocked phones or devices already configured for their respective networks.

Other companies work exclusively off of the prepaid model, wherein the user purchases a digital or physical activation card each month and applies it to her account to maintain service. These plans often place hard limits on usage amounts so that users who go over incur fees at higher rates, thus allowing the company to remain profitable without guaranteed contracts. Some store-exclusive prepaid wireless plans may also include discounts for shopping at the store.

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