Cellphones have become more common than landlines of the past and in today’s advanced technological age, a cellphone plan is basically a necessity.
Unfortunately, this living expense can be costly and unaffordable for many people, especially low-income individuals who are struggling to pay for other necessities like rent or food.
Thankfully, there may be affordable cellphone plan options for families who are currently seeking housing assistance.
There are also other ways to find affordable cellphone plans that are affordable for everybody. Low-income families are recommended to find the best cellphone plan with cheap monthly rates.
The Importance of Affordable Cellphone Service
The number of United States citizens who have active cell phones is at an all-time high. In fact, over three-quarters of adults in the country own a smartphone, which is a more advanced form of cellphone.
In order to compete over a limited customer base, cellphone companies try to offer the best and most affordable prices through deals for data, minutes and text. Taking advantages of competitive prices is an effective method of reducing costly monthly cellphone bills.
Learn About Cheap Options for Cellphone Providers
Major Cellphone providers like T-Mobile, AT&T or Sprint provide most individuals and families with cell phone plans. In order to find more affordable cellphone service providers, you will likely need to choose between smaller, cheaper providers.
Some of the best options for affordable cellphone plans are Mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) because they operate off of the same networks are major providers. At the same time, they offer more affordable low-price options.
Learn About the Advantages and Disadvantages of MVNO Cellphone Plans
Mobile Virtual Network Operators are typically smaller, more localized phone carriers that will offer customers better prices on cellphone plans.
Additionally, these providers sometimes offer greater freedoms and less restrictions on their plans. MVNO companies are able to provide these more affordable prices because they share minutes and data from major networks in order to sell them back to their customers.
These companies also tend to be cheaper because they do not operate any physical structures for cellphone services. Instead, they rely on the physical structures such as cellphone towers, from major providers.
Since contracts with Mobile Virtual Network Operators do not require customers to sign contracts, good credit is not required to qualify for an MVNO plan. Having no contracts also allows MVNO companies to offer cheap and simple cell phone plans.
Note: Mobile Virtual Network Operators tend to have slower data speeds than major providers.
Learn About The Various Types of Cellphone Plans
While MVNOs may be a good option, there are a variety of other affordable cellphone plans available. Customers can decide between several types of plans including these primary forms:
- Contract plans.
- Month-to-month contracts or no-contract plans.
- Pay-as-you-go prepaid plans.
For contract plans, customers will typically be required to sign a two-year commitment on their cellphone plans. While this option is one of the most rigid and costly, it is beneficial because the cellphone company generally helps customers to pay for the purchase of a new cellphone when they sign up.
Unfortunately, these plans also have a few disadvantages. For example, most contract plans come with activation fees included at the beginning of the service. There are also termination fees that can be added if a customer attempts to cancel their contract before it expires.
Nowadays, certain cellphone companies no longer offer contract plans for their cellphone services.
The next option for cellphone plans are called month-to-month or no-contract cellphone plans. This option is a good choice because they come with a monthly fee without the contractually commitment of standard plans.
These plans are often highly customizable and allow customers to choose a variety of features such as unlimited texting or data. The negative aspect of month-to-month or no-contract cellphone plans is that customers will often need to purchase their own cellphones at full price and up front.
Prepaid or pay-as-you-go plans are those that do not require contracts, monthly bills or commitment. These types of plans require customers to choose a certain number minutes that they will be using over a certain period of time, generally a week or a month.
This option is best for individuals who do not want a cell phone contract or those that have poor credit scores. Many customers who opt for prepaid plans will typically be better for individuals who will use their phones only for emergency. Typically, customers who choose these plans will have to pay the full price of their phone up front.
How to Save on Your Cellphone Plan
After choosing which type of cellphone plan works best for your budgeting and communication needs, you may be interested in finding deals that will help to reduce your monthly payments.
For example, cell phone companies will often have agreements with certain institutions such as business, schools and agencies in order to offer customers discounts.
Another method for reducing your cell phone bills is to keep track of your data and minute usage. Overages can be a costly mistake for individuals who do not have an unlimited talk and data plan. Nowadays, there are numerous apps and devices available that can help you keep track of your cell phone usage.
Avoiding overage fees and limiting your usage can help you save money on your cellphone plan in the long run. Customers are recommended to stay realistic with their cellphone usage and habits. If you notice that you are paying for more minutes or data that you are using, cut down to a cheaper plan to save money.
Cellphone companies are businesses and are often competing amongst each other. As such, many companies offer discounts and deals to customers who are switching over from another company. Take advantage of these opportunities and be prepared to switch providers in order to save money.
In some cases, customers will offer to fund the cost of a new cell phone and others will offer to pay for the first month of service for customers who switch over. However, customers who are satisfied with their cellphone service can still request deals for savings.
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