If you are struggling with bills and are below a certain level of income, then you may qualify for a free wireless service. While most service providers don’t offer a premium level of service like unlimited text messages and data, you’ll get enough resources for emergency calls and basic needs. Not only that, but there are some hidden benefits that you may not realize about these free wireless programs. If you don’t have much money, then this is the best way to get wireless service without breaking the bank.
The biggest and most obvious benefit is that you’ll save money. A common level of service, which typically consists of about 500 minutes and 2GB of data, will cost around $70 to $80 a month. This is a lot of money if you’re below the poverty line. At the same time, many people need mobile phones to stay connected to family members and work.
A free wireless plan allows you to get a basic level of service for free. There are no taxes or surcharges to worry about. If you qualify, then you don’t have to pay a cent.
Level of Service
The level of service is basic, but it’s really not that bad. If you watch your usage and conserve your minutes, then you should be fine. Most carriers will provide you with 250 minutes and 250 text messages every month. You’ll also get other services like voicemail, caller ID, 911 access and call waiting.
If you just use your phone for work or infrequently talking to family members, then this should be just enough.
If you qualify for this program and need a higher level of service, then the additional plans are quite inexpensive. For example, you can get an additional 250 minutes and text messages for about $5 a month. You’d often need to spend about $15 to $20 extra for each with a regular plan.
Many carriers that offer these plans don’t offer data, but a few will provide data plans. For example, Sprint will offer an unlimited talk, text and Web plan for about $30 a month if you qualify for this program. This normally costs about $100 or more a month.
At the same time, be sure that your device qualifies for the upgrade. You commonly can’t use iPhones or new Android devices with these service plans. They usually just accommodate 3G devices.
You don’t need to jump through hoops to get a free wireless plan. If you fall below the specified level of income, then you can qualify for a free plan by just proving your income. You typically ust need an income tax return or a pay stub.
If you live alone, then you must make $15,500 or less per year to qualify for this plan. You need to add about $5,000 for each additional person. This means that you need to make less than $20,500 for a family of two, and $25,500 for a family of three.
There are some restrictions, but they are easy to understand. You can’t have more than one phone with a free wireless program, and the address you provide must be your place of residence.
It might seem like a small benefit given the plan, but there are absolutely no contracts. This allows you to upgrade your phone or plan whenever you want without worrying about breaking the contract. Not only that, but you can easily transfer to another carrier if your job situation gets better.
Many carriers force you to sign a two-year contract. If you break the contract by upgrading your phone too soon or switching to another carrier, then you often need to spend several hundred dollars in fines. You don’t have to worry about this with a free wireless plan.
While there are some restrictions and you are just given a basic level of service, a free wireless plan is perfect for those who are in poverty because it allows you to stay connected with work and family without paying a monthly bill. You can now use that money for bills or other major necessities.
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