There are certain carriers that provide free phones and other free services to customers! This might sound far-fetched, but it is possible thanks to a program offered by the federal government. Cell phones used to be thought of as a luxury item at one time. They’ve now become necessary to everyday life. While having a cell phone and access to the internet is important for everyone, it can still be a pricey expense! If you struggle with the cost of communication services like phone services, you may have wondered, at some point, if you can get any support. Fortunately, there are opportunities for people in need to get help with these expenses!
How to Get a Cell Phone at No Cost to You
To understand how you can benefit from a free phone, you’ll need to know more about the programs that make it possible. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provides both of the programs that we are covering today. Both the Lifeline Program and The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) offer discounts and other benefits for communication services.
The Lifeline Program
Recipients of the Lifeline program can benefit from monthly discounts on services like telephone and broadband internet services. For recipients that live on tribal lands, the monthly deduction amount is $34.25 at most. The deduction for other recipients is up to $9.25. These discounts can also be applied to dual phone and internet packages! The goal of the Lifeline program is to assist low-income individuals with the cost of essential communication services.
Therefore, it makes sense that income is a main factor in determining eligibility. Applicants need to be at least 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines in order to benefit. However, that isn’t the only way to qualify. Households that are already participating in other federal programs may automatically be eligible for this assistance. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is responsible for administering the Lifeline program. Their duties include assisting people with the application process, recertification, eligibility, and more!
Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
Recipients of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) can benefit from monthly discounts on broadband services. However, qualifying households can also benefit from a one-time offer with this program! This includes $100 off of the price of an electronic device, such as a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer. When looking at the monthly discount amount, those living on tribal land can get up to $75 per month in deductions. Whereas, other recipients can get up to $30 per month off of these services.
Much like Lifeline, there are multiple ways that a household can qualify for these benefits. First, if one household member meets certain conditions, they may qualify. Some of those conditions include:
- Received a Pell Grant in the current award year
- Qualifies for an existing low-income internet program determined by a participating provider
- Currently a recipient of an existing federal assistance program such as SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, and more
Second, a household may qualify for the ACP based on income level. Households that are at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines may be able to qualify for benefits through this program.
These Carriers Provide Cell Phones at No Cost to you!
Now for the juicy part! Here is a list of the following carriers that provide free cell phones and other exclusive opportunities thanks to Lifeline and the ACP:
- True Wireless
- Assurance Wireless
- Safelink Wireless
You want to keep in mind that not all of these providers are available in every area. However, the USAC provides consumers with a tool that allows them to search what carrier is servicing in their area. You want to check this out prior to deciding which one you want to work with!
This carrier provides consumers with a free LTE Android device and unlimited phone service. Some consumers may even be able to get a free Android tablet, too! For True Wireless to provide its services to households in need, they have partnered with the Lifeline program and the ACP. True Wireless believes that everyone has the right to affordable communication, for reasons of safety, connection, and opportunity.
Seeing if you can get connected through TruConnect is as easy as entering your email address and zip code! You want to reach out because there is a long list of advantages to working with this company. If you qualify, you can get up to 14GB of data per month thanks to the ACP. This carrier has opportunities for free wireless internet services, in addition to a free phone! Customers can benefit from unlimited talk and text services through Lifeline, as well as international calling to a selection of countries. Lastly, you can get a free Android phone or Wi-Fi hotspot!
Assurance Wireless is able to provide various opportunities to low-income households because of the Lifeline program! A customer must meet federal or state requirements in order to be eligible. For example, some of the requirements include currently participating in other federal programs or meeting income criteria. Assurance Wireless not only provides the opportunity to receive a free phone but also a nice monthly plan. These plans include unlimited data, minutes, and text messaging for free! Not only that but 10GB of mobile hotspot data is also included at no cost!
The final carrier is Safelink Wireless. Some of the features that you can take advantage of with this carrier include 25GB of high-speed data and 5GB of hotspot data. In addition to that, they offer unlimited talk and text to Canada and Mexico. However, that’s not all! In addition to those advantages, you can also qualify for a free smartphone thanks to Safelink.
Having a cell phone and access to the internet is important. However, this can be an expense that some can’t spare. If that’s the case, you might be wondering what kind of assistance is available to help with this. Fortunately, you aren’t alone in that. This is why certain carriers provide free cell phones as well as additional services to households that need them. Some of the additional services are unlimited data, free international calls, unlimited talk and text, and more. You may finally be able to get connected at an affordable price!