05-03-2012 02:34 PM - last edited on 05-03-2012 07:36 PM by MarineVietVet
I moved this to since it's not concerning the topic of the other thread- MarineVietVet, myFICO moderator
Its cool afbar we understand its hard to post from a phone.
Speaking of phones I know this should go in a seperate thread but this thread has already been hijacked in several directions anyway so might as well go ahead and ask but how do cell phone plans and credit work? I hear that if you try to get a cell phone the provider will run your credit. Why?
I know what I want, I want an iPhone, or other similar smartphone, primarily since I am starting to travel a lot and it would be really nice to have a mobile device where I can have a google map app. A phone with an app to answer questions like, "Ok I arrived here at Newark Airport, and need to get to the world trade center, what bus/train/subway do I take and at what time?" or "I am in the mood for some of that famous new york pizza. Where do I go and how do I get there?"
Google maps on a phone would be an invaluable feature when traveling, especially since I don't rent cars when I travel I take airport shuttles or public transportation.
I want a cheap monthly bill. I don't call or text all that often so a cheaper, limited plan would be best, so how does my credit come into play? If I have good credit I get a lower bill? I see commercials all the time for prepaid networks advertiseing it like it is the best thing since sliced bread. I am guessing a prepaid cell phone is a lot like a prepaid debit card, (Basically no point in anyone with at least semi-decent credit to ever have one)
05-03-2012 08:13 PM
In my limited experience with cell phone contracts (2 over six years or so, Sprint and Nextel), they do a hard pull and don't report.
The hard pull can directly impact any down payments, but won't affect your rates (that I'm aware of).
One option to consider would be a nice nav unit and a monthly phone (as to avoid the credit pull and 2-yr contract... yak.)
05-03-2012 08:31 PM
Permissible pull authority is based on the purpose of a legitimate business transaction initiated by the consumer, upon which they can assert a legitimate business need for information in your credit file. Permissible purposes are not limited only to application for credit or insurance.
Their legitimate business purpose is the chance their customer could become delinquent, and eventually cause a loss.
05-06-2012 12:29 PM
If you want a "halo" phone, like an iPhone or one of the premium Androids, you'll need to go postpaid, which will probably involve a hard inquiry.
If you're okay with a middle-range smartphone (which will still give you Google navigation, and whatever apps you want), it might be worth looking at prepaid. You can get a Samsung Galaxy somethingorother from MetroPCS and pay 50-60 per month for unlimited talk/text and a decent data allowance. That's probably about 30-40 per month less than what you'll pay at ATT or VZW (the text charges are where they get you).
One thing to bear in mind is coverage. Postpaid may end up being better. VirginMobile runs on Sprint, which is fine. But postpaid Sprint phones can also roam on Verizon. Virgin is limited to Sprint only. If you need your phone to always work, and you travel all over, postpaid might be the better option, regardless of charges, credit inquiries, etc.
05-07-2012 08:15 AM
I am still part of my parents family plan for another year, and I am going this whole year with no inquiries because when I app for the chase sapphire preferred I want 0 inquiries on all reports in the past year. Then after I get my CSP I will go for my own cell phone plan as well as rate shop for lower car insurance.
Data coverage is a big thing. My domestic trips can be Los Angeles and the pacific northwest, or the northeast US like Chicago, Philly, Washington DC, and New York. Since my domestic travel is in major cities there should be no coverage issues with any network, prepaid or postpaid. The deal breaker is international travel. Will be laregely to central america, the carribean, and europe. I would need a phone that can connect to google maps in London for example.
I still have about a year to research cell phone plans, but it seems like if you will be doing any international travel a prepaid network is out of the question.
05-07-2012 09:53 AM - edited 05-07-2012 09:57 AM
Figure out which netowrks are prominent in the countries where you'll be visiting, and choose your US phone accordingly. There are a few countries here and there that use CDMA (Sprint, VZW when not on LTE), but most use GSM (AT&T, TMo).
If you use your phone abroad, you'll pay much less if you purchase sim cards in the country where you're staying than you'll pay a U.S. carrier for using their overseas affiliate (e.g., Verizon and Vodaphone). You need a phone that uses sim cards to do that...which rules out most phones on Sprint and VZW. (there are a small number of smartphones at VZW that run on CDMA/LTE domestically, and have a sim slot that you can activate if you're traveling). If you want a VZW or Sprint phone that isn't sim-enabled, the best thing might just be to buy a cheapo AT&T "go phone" for 10-20 dollars.
Disregard all the above if you end up on ATT or TMo. In that case, just pop out your old sim card and pop in the new one that you bought wherever you are. If you're unlucky, yYou may not get max performance if your phone is customized for ATT or TMo, and is missing one of the radio bands used in the foreign country, but the phone will work, and you'll be ok for email and basic web stuff.
Of course, if you know at the outset that you're traveling abroad, it would be smart to get a phone with broad radio frequencies. You can find those on just about every carrier.
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