Switching wireless plans might mean having your credit checked

There always seems to be strings attached when it comes to your wireless plan. Perhaps one of the most frustrating is having your carrier perform a credit check. Now, some consumers are upset that they are being subjected to this process.

Sprint customer Steve McLeod of Clearwater, Florida told WZZM13 and ABC news channel that he was surprised when he tried to sign up for Sprint’s Kickstart Unlimited plan, that the carrier would not allow him to join until he gave them permission “to get a full copy of his credit report.”

As WZZM13 explains, this “detailed inquiry, often called a ‘hard pull’ and a standard part of getting a new credit card or loan, has become almost as routine in the wireless industry when signing up customers for traditional subscription plans.”

CreditKarma co-founder, Nichole Mustard, reiterates this point. She told WZZM13 that “cell phone companies pulling hard credit reports has become the norm. If you’re a new customer or buying a new phone on a monthly payment plan, companies could use your credit score to determine the type of payment plan options you’ll be offered and whether they’ll require a deposit.”

Mustard also assured that this method of credit check should not do long-term damage to your credit rating. However, if you’re switching plans often enough, repeated hard pulls can look bad “depending on the context.”

“For example, if you’re shopping for a mortgage, banks understand you’re going to apply for multiple loans in a short period of time to find the lowest interest rate,’ Mustard explained. “But if you apply for five credit cards on the same day, that’s another story.”

Carriers do credit checks to protect themselves from fraudulent and financially irresponsible customers. So having a credit check done when you sign up feels invasive, but actually isn’t that uncommon. If you’re worried about it, though, T-Mobile is one example of a carrier that offers a ‘No Credit Check’ plan.

Source: wzzm13.com – Sprint’s $15 unlimited data plan required a ‘hard pull’ credit report, and it’s not the only one
Published: June 21, 2018