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I Can’t Pay My Phone Bill | What Should I Do For Help?

Tom Hartford, Senior Editor

March 25th, 2020

Cell phones have become an essential part of our everyday lives. We depend on them quite a bit. And if you need to pay your phone bill, but are short on money to do it, you’re not alone. 


Thankfully, there are ways to hold onto your phone service when money problems strike. Can’t pay your phone bill? Here’s a timeline for when your phone service is on the line and how to turn it back on.


What Happens if I Don’t Pay My Phone Bill?

Depending upon your phone service plan, a variety of things may occur if your monthly bill is past due. With a prepaid phone plan that requires monthly payment but has no contract, you simply won’t have phone service when your prepaid service is used up.

However, if you make a monthly payment to maintain a 12, 18, or 24 month contract, your phone will likely not be turned off immediately. Rather, you may be charged late fees and the provider will work to help develop a payment plan if needed in order to retain you as a customer.


How to Set Up a Payment Arrangement

Rather than turn off phones immediately, phone companies are more likely to charge late fees. However, most phone companies allow you to make payment arrangements that suit both parties. This grants eligible customers more time to pay their phone bill without any service interruptions. If you foresee any struggles to pay your phone bill, perhaps you can begin by setting up payment arrangements with your carrier.


When Does My Cell Service Get Suspended?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for this question. Since there are many mobile providers, there are just as many timeframes for a past-due account to be turned off.

With a prepaid phone, however, cell service is terminated immediately when the prepaid monthly contract runs out.


When Verizon Suspends Your Cell Service

Having a late bill may mean dropped service and a $20 per line fee to get your services going once again. However, if you’ve been a faithful customer who hasn’t missed payments in the past, you may be able to convince them to waive the fee.

So talk with a Verizon agent, be kind, and explain your situation. You may be able to restart your service without additional cost. Here are more FAQs about Verizon payment arrangements.

When Sprint Suspends Your Cell Service

With Sprint, having a late bill doesn’t always mean you immediately lose service. If you don’t make proper payment arrangements, you will more than likely incur late fees. Additionally, once your service has been disconnected for non-payment, there is a $36 reconnection fee from Sprint to restore your mobile services.

When AT&T Suspends Your Cell Service

As with the other large carriers, you will likely have a short grace period to continue with your call and text capabilities. Once that period is over, your service will be terminated and you will have a reactivation fee to restart your service. Here is a bit more from AT&T on how to restore your cell service after non-payment.


How to Turn Your Phone Service Back On

Should your cell phone service be turned off, restarting your phone service—whether you use a smartphone or not—requires a couple things:

First, you will need to contact your service provider to request your service be restarted.

Next, you will need to pay your past-due bill and any fee required to get your service started once again.


Can I Get My Service Turned Back On Without Paying?

If you need to get cell service back after not paying your cell phone bill, you’re going to have to pay. Once you pay off your bill, be careful to enter into a new agreement you can afford each month. And if you don’t think you’ll be able to afford your bill in the foreseeable future, contact your provider before you miss a payment to ask for a way to get out of your contract before it’s too late.


Try Opting for a Pre-Paid Cell Phone Company

Our suggestion: If you’re having trouble making ends meet, try a prepaid cell service provider. With these prepaid plans, you pay for a month of cell service and receive a month of cell service. There is no contract and therefore as soon as you miss a payment, your phone service is immediately ended. You can restart your service by paying your bill when you have the means to do so. Popular providers include T Mobile, Boost, and Cricket Wireless, just to name a few.


How Can I Get Help With My Phone Bills?

In today’s world, not having a phone makes life difficult. But before you sign a long-term contract, look around for cell companies that offer discounted rates. And if you can’t afford a monthly cell phone bill, find a prepaid plan that meets your needs. There are some available that cost as low as $15 a month.


Seek Financial Solutions from Check Into Cash

In the event you get behind and you need help paying your cell phone bill, a couple options are available.

The first option is to contact family or friends. If they’re not able to help, a short-term Payday Loan can be just what you need to keep your phone line active. At Check Into Cash, our Payday Loans and other products give you the cash you need with a quick and easy process. Simply repay the loan plus fees on your next payday. It may just be the extra boost needed to hold you over.

Editor’s Note:

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, your service provider may make special accommodations during this unprecedented time.

Need More Money? Try an Installment Loan

 An Installment Loan may be the better option if you’re in need for additional funds. This loan offers more money with more time to pay it back. But these longer term loans are only available in certain states. Click below to learn more about Installment Loans and see if you’re eligible to apply.

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