Life is a lot simpler when you have a cell phone, but not everyone can afford one. People tend to think there isn’t any help for what they are dealing with, which isn’t true. There are actually many opportunities available for those who need cell phones. Particular carriers offer opportunities for people to get phones without paying a penny. There are also opportunities for individuals to get unlimited calls that they can make internationally, and more. The best part is that it is completely free of charge!
How to Get a Free Phone
It might sound fake that you are able to get a phone for free without someone scamming you. However, there is no scam and there are plenty of carriers that provide this option through the Lifeline Program. Additionally, the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) offers a lot of different support options too.
The Lifeline Program
Before you find out which carriers offer a free phone, you should probably understand the Lifeline Program more. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is responsible for the Lifeline Program. However, they do not manage it, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) does. The USAC is in charge of supporting people with the application process, the process of recertifying their status, figuring out whether they qualify or not, and so on.
Low-income recipients who are eligible will be able to better manage the expenses of communication services. Usually, eligible recipients can receive a discount every month on qualifying services. These include telephone and broadband internet services, or bundled voice-broadband packages. You are probably wondering how much the discount amounts to. It normally amounts to $9.25 per month. If you are currently staying on tribal lands, you can receive a maximum amount of $34.25 per month.
To be eligible for this program, your financial situation should be at or less than 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Furthermore, you can be eligible if you currently receive benefits from any of these programs:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit
- Specific Tribal Programs
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
The FCC also offers the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which helps families afford broadband services costs. With the ACP, eligible families have the opportunity to receive a maximum discount of $30 per month. If you and your family live on tribal lands, then you can receive a maximum discount of $75 per month. Additionally, eligible families can receive a discount of up to $100 to use towards purchasing an eligible device. This would include a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet. However, this is a one-time-only discount.
If you want to be eligible for this opportunity, families should be at or less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Furthermore, families could be eligible if one of the below conditions applies to at least one household member:
- They received a Pell Grant in the current award year.
- They receive benefits from federal programs such as Medicaid, SSI, SNAP, the WIC Program, and more.
- They meet the eligibility requirements of an existing low-income program for internet services that a participating provider sets.
Which Carriers Offer a Phone for Free?
While the more popular carriers may not offer this opportunity, there are carriers out there that do. Carriers that offer this opportunity are:
- Assurance Wireless
- True Wireless
- Safelink Wireless
These carriers might not be very popular, but they offer great phones on reliable networks. You might not find every carrier for every location which is why you should look up carriers that offer services in your area. Fortunately, the USAC offers an online tool to show you where you can find this opportunity near you.
One carrier that offers a free phone is TruConnect. They also offer wireless internet service for free. With ACP, people can receive 14GB worth of data per month. Additionally, recipients that are eligible can receive a free Android phone or Wi-Fi hotspot. Other than that, the Lifeline Program allows consumers to receive talk, text messages, and international calls to specific countries. Luckily, these services are unlimited! You will need to put in your email and zip code to find out whether you can get connected.
Assurance Wireless offers people the chance to get a phone for free with a great plan. The plan has unlimited minutes, texts, and data, all for free! Additionally, you can get free mobile hotspot data worth 10GB. The Lifeline Program gives Assurance Wireless the ability to offer eligible customers that have limited income all of the services mentioned. If you want to be eligible for this option, then you need to meet federal or state requirements. One of the requirements is currently receiving benefits from other federal assistance options such as the programs mentioned above or meeting income requirements.
Another carrier that offers a phone for free is True Wireless, which firmly believes that people deserve the aspects that come with affordable communication. This includes connection, availability, and security. Therefore, the partnership with the ACP and the Lifeline Program allows True Wireless to offer an LTE Android for free. You can also get unlimited service! Additionally, you may even be able to get an Android tablet for free!
The final carrier on this list is Safelink Wireless. You can receive unlimited talk and text messages, phone calls to Canada and Mexico, hotspot data that is worth up to 5GB, high-speed data worth 25GB, and a free smartphone! However, this only applies to people who are eligible.
Affording a cell phone is not always possible for everyone. If you are struggling to afford a phone, then you should know that there are assistance options available. These options come from the Lifeline Program and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Some carriers can offer eligible customers a phone for free, along with other benefits like free calls to other countries, unlimited data, and more.
If you want to take advantage of this, then you can find out which carriers are available in your area. The USAC makes it easy for you since they have a free online tool for this! This tool can help you figure out which carriers provide services from the ACP and the Lifeline Program. You never know, there might be support for you!