How to Get a Cell Phone With No Credit Check

Want to upgrade your phone but got bad credit? Access your options

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Rob Webber

Rob Webber

Are you struggling with getting device financing due to credit problems? You're not alone - 30% of American consumers have poor or bad credit according to

With smartphone prices nearing $1,000 for most flagship models, carriers are looking at your credit score before offering you a device payment plan. You may have to put more money down upfront or you may not be able to finance your phone at all.

Thanks to tremendous growth in the used and refurbished cell phone market your credit no longer has to be a barrier between you and a high-quality smartphone, or you and solid wireless service, for that matter.

By purchasing a used smartphone outright you can save over half off retail, plus be free to take your device to any carrier you choose.

Key Considerations When Buying a Phone

Here are some factors you should consider while shopping for your pre-owned device:

  • Warranties: It is possible to buy a used phone with a warranty. Length will vary depending upon the site you buy from, typically ranging from 30 days to one year.
  • Certification: Some seller sites put their phones through a rigorous inspection in order to sell them as "Certified Pre-Owned", similar to the process used with cars.
  • Shipping: Most of the time shipping is included with your purchase.
  • Returns: Return policies vary - some only allow returns if the item isn't as described while others have a 30-day no-questions-asked guarantee. Make sure you read the fine print on returns just in case.
  • Insurance: You can buy third-party phone insurance to cover your used device.
  • Financing: There are a couple of companies that offer cell phone no credit check financing. The issue is that interest rates are high and refurbished devices are very affordable so it's best to just pay in full upfront.

Take Care of Your Investment With Refurbished

Another important thing to understand is the different terminology used in the pre-owned electronics market.

Used vs. Refurbished

You may see these two words used interchangeably sometimes but they're actually two different things.

Used: The word "used" typically describes a device that's being sold as-is. It may have cosmetic blemishes or wear and hasn't been put through any type of restoration process.

Refurbished: A refurbished phone has been repaired, the software cleaned out, and the device restored as closely as possible to original condition. This work may be performed by the manufacturer or by a third party, like a buyback company.

We've Scoured for Sites You Can Trust

When it comes to trustworthy sellers, we've done all of the hard work for you. Following are our top five picks for reputable phone sellers. Check out our reviews of the best sites to buy a used phone.

When you're ready to invest in a pre-owned smartphone we make it simple with our price comparison engine. Compare cell phone prices from many reputable retailers in one place in seconds.

Save More Money

Now that you know how to save hundreds on a no credit check cell phone, why not keep the savings rolling? No credit check cell phone plans are also widely available from reputable carriers with great service.

Consider Switching to an MVNO

MVNOs are smaller wireless carriers that offer cheaper plans on the same reliable networks as the big guys. How can they do this?

  • MVNOs lease space on the big four networks, eliminating the need to pay for towers and maintenance.
  • They operate online so they don't have the brick-and-mortar store overhead costs that the big four do.
  • MVNOs don't use huge marketing campaigns, which saves them a bundle.

Benefits of MVNOs

Why switch? Plenty of reasons!

  • Save up to 50% or more off your cell phone bill.
  • Get a prepaid phone plan with no credit check or contract - cancel or switch carriers any time.
  • Enjoy service on the same reliable 4G networks you know and love.
  • Customize your own plan so you only pay for what you actually need.
  • Easily bring your own phone and keep your phone number.
  • Get high-quality customer service, often 24/7.
  • Sign up without leaving home - simply order a new SIM card online.

We make it simple to find the best MVNO for you in just minutes.

Sell Your Old Phone

Once you upgrade to a refurbished smartphone, put more cash back in your pocket by selling your old device.

  • Make more than you would trading your phone into your carrier.
  • Quickly and easily declutter by shipping off the phones you no longer use.
  • Feel good about making an environmentally friendly choice!
  • Put cash in your pocket in just a few days.


Thanks to the wide range of affordable devices available via electronics sellers there's no reason that bad credit has to stop you from having a dependable phone.

Breathe a sigh of relief now that you don't have to worry about financing a cell phone!

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