When you have a cell phone, it makes life so much easier to deal with. Although having a phone can make life easier, some people cannot afford to have one due to their financial situation. Sometimes, people feel hopeless about their current situation. If you are one of these people, there are options available if you need a phone. These options are available thanks to carriers that offer free phones! Other than free phones, there are support options that offer unlimited data, calling internationally, and so on at no cost.
Getting a Free Phone is Possible
Getting a free phone might sound too good to be true, without knowing all the details. Fortunately, it is a real deal and there are many carriers that provide this option. If you are wondering how they are able to do so, they offer this option from the Lifeline Program. Additionally, a lot of people can gain from other assistance options because of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
The Lifeline Program: What is it?
Before you understand which carriers offer a free phone, you should know more about how this opportunity exists. The Lifeline Program is available through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Even though the program comes from the FCC, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) administers it. If you need help with applying, recertification, and so on, the USAC can help you.
The aim of the Lifeline Program is to make communication services affordable for eligible recipients who have limited resources. Usually, this option offers a discount per month on qualifying services. This includes services for telephones, broadband internet, or bundled broad-band packages. The amount for the discount is worth $9.25. However, the maximum amount is $34.25 to those who reside on tribal lands.
Those that want to be eligible for this option, then applicants need to be at or less than 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Individuals can also be eligible in the case they currently receive benefits from the programs below:
- Governmental Public Housing
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit
- Particular Tribal Programs
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP): What is it?
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) exists because of the FCC. The ACP’s aim is to help families with broadband services and its expenses. With this program, eligible families can receive a monthly discount with a maximum amount of $30. Families on tribal lands can receive a maximum amount of $75. Other than receiving a discount per month, eligible families can also receive a discount of up to $100 to buy eligible electronic devices. This includes a desktop computer, a laptop, or even a tablet. However, this is only available once!
To be eligible for this support option, families should be at or less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Furthermore, families might also be eligible if at least one family member meets one of the following criteria:
- Was awarded a Pell Grant during the current award year
- Met the requirements for an internet assistance program that exists for low-income individuals that a participating provider set up
- Receives benefits from a federal assistance program such as SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, Supplemental Nutrition for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and more
Which Carriers Are Offering Free Phones?
You might not be able to get a phone for free from popular carriers, but there are other options. Carriers that offer free phones are:
- Assurance Wireless
- Safelink Wireless
- True Wireless
Despite the fact the carriers above might not be very popular, they can offer a phone on a reliable network. You might not find every carrier available in every location. This is why you should look for carriers that offer services in your area. Fortunately, the USAC offers a tool that consumers can use to find out which companies provide this kind of opportunity near them.
Through this carrier, consumers have the chance to receive a phone for free and with a great plan. This plan has unlimited data, minutes, and text messages at no cost! Additionally, the plan also includes 10GB of mobile hotspot data for free. Assurance Wireless offers eligible customers with limited income all of the above components because of the Lifeline Program. To be eligible for this support option, a customer needs to meet the federal or state requirements. This could mean currently receiving benefits from other federal programs or meeting income limits.
Safelink Wireless is another carrier that offers a phone for free! Along with a free phone, this carrier offers unlimited calls and texts, phone calls to Canada and Mexico, 5GB of hotspot data, 25GB of high-speed data, and a smartphone. This is all for free! This option is available for those who are eligible.
You can receive a phone and wireless internet for free through TruConnect. The ACP offers consumers the chance to use 14GB of data per month. Additionally, if people are eligible, then they can receive an Android phone or Wi-Fi hotspot for free. Other than that, those who participate in the Lifeline Program can receive unlimited calls and text messages, along with international calls to certain countries for free. To find out if you can get connected, you just need to put in your zip code and email address.
The final carrier on this list that offers a free phone is True Wireless. True Wireless understands that people should use the benefits that come with communication they can afford. This includes connection, safety, and opportunity. Because of that, True Wireless joined the Lifeline program and ACP, offering a free LTE Android phone with unlimited service. True Wireless might offer an Android tablet for free, too!
The Final Verdict
Buying a phone can be really expensive. If you find it hard to pay for, you should know that there are support options available to help you. These support options are available from the Lifeline Program and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Some carriers offer eligible consumers with a phone for free, along with other benefits. These benefits include unlimited data, international calling services, and so on at no cost.
If you want to benefit from this support option, you can look to find out which carriers are available in your location. Fortunately, the USAC offers a free tool online to look for these carriers. The tool allows you to find out which carriers provide services with the Lifeline and the ACP program. Who knows? You might come out of this with a free phone!