Having bad credit does not instantly exclude a person from being able to obtain a cell phone. Some phone companies do not even do the credit check anymore, which is an obvious advantage for someone with bad credit. If a phone company prefers to do the check, and you have some blemishes on your credit, or your score is simply not very high, you do have some options.
When a company signs a customer onto a plan, he or she signs a contract, usually for 1 or 2 years. Basically a contract can be written up different depending on the customer's personal information. It is possible that when doing the contract, a person can request his or her credit not to be checked in exchange for more stringent rules in the contract.
Usually if someone's credit is not where the company likes to see it, they will insist on a down payment. This amount can range from a low of $ 200 to a high of $ 500, depending on how bad the credit information actually is. If the company does not require this money up front, they may simply assess more fees and penalties to the customer and be more strict on applying late fees.
If none of these options work for someone with poor credit and possibly not enough cash for the down payment, there is always the option of a prepaid phone. The actual phones are inexpensive and easily obtained from various stores. You can not use the phone unless you have prepaid minutes, so getting behind on payments is impossible.