Modern life requires the flexibility that comes with technology. For this reason, people can benefit from having a phone. Unfortunately, some people still find it hard to afford a smartphone. If you can relate, then we have some good news for you! Some carriers offer qualifying people an opportunity to get a phone for free! In addition, they provide free minutes, gigabytes, and more.
How to Get a Phone for Free?
At first glance, getting a phone for free might sound like a scam if you are not familiar with the specifics of how it is possible. Fortunately, it is legally possible and there are many carriers who provide this chance. This opportunity is available thanks to the Lifeline Program. Additionally, the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) can provide extra assistance with the costs of broadband services and maybe even more.
Understanding the Lifeline Program
It is crucial to give some context before talking about which providers offer free phones. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offers the Lifeline program to help American citizens. However, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is the authority that administers the program. It is the USAC’s duty to assist customers with the application process, recertification process, eligibility requirements, and other things.
The purpose of this opportunity is to help low-income people who qualify manage the expense of communication services. This chance typically offers a monthly discount on qualifying services like phone services, broadband internet, or voice-broadband bundles. Recipients can get a discount of up to $9.25, however, those who live on tribal lands can get a discount of $34.25 at most.
If you are interested in this program, you can expect to qualify for it in one of two ways. The first way is to have an income that meets 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or less. You may also be eligible if you are currently receiving benefits from one of the following programs:
- Federal Public Housing
- Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Certain Tribal Programs
Understanding the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
In addition to the Lifeline program, the FCC also provides the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). ACP aims to provide assistance to households so that they can better manage the cost of broadband services. Qualifying households can receive a maximum monthly discount of $30 through this program. For households on tribal lands, the discount can get up to $75. In addition to receiving a monthly discount, households that qualify can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 when they buy a qualifying electronic item. A qualifying item could be a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
Households must be at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines to be eligible for this program. However, if at least one member of the household satisfies one of the following criteria, the household may also qualify:
- Managed to get a Pell Grant during the current award year.
- Participates in one of the many government assistance programs already in place, such as SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, WIC, and others.
- Meets the requirements established by a participating provider for an existing low-income internet program.
Who Offers a Free Phone?
You can get a free phone from one of the following service providers:
These carriers might not be the most popular in the U.S., but they still offer a decent phone on a reliable network. You should look for carriers that serve your area because not every carrier serves every region. Fortunately, the USAC has provided a tool that allows customers to see which carriers nearby are providing this aid opportunity. There are more opportunities than just the ones on this list!
With Assurance Wireless, customers can receive a very giving plan in addition to a free phone. This plan will give you:
- Free unlimited internet
- Unlimited minutes for free
- Free unlimited SMS
- 10GB of free mobile hotspot data.
All of these amazing advantages are available to eligible people through Assurance Wireless under the Lifeline program. However, consumers must fulfill either federal or state requirements to be eligible for this offer.
According to True Wireless, everyone has the right to benefit from the advantages of low-cost communication, including connection, opportunity, and safety. For this reason, this carrier provides consumers with a free LTE Android with unlimited service through a collaboration with the Lifeline program and ACP. You might even get an Android tablet for free from this provider.
TruConnect is a carrier that can offer free wireless internet access in addition to a free phone. Customers can obtain up to 14GB of monthly data from this carrier through the ACP. Moreover, if they meet the requirements, they may receive a free Android phone (or Wi-Fi hotspot). Participants of Lifeline can also enjoy free international minutes to a specific number of countries along with unlimited minutes and texts. To check if you can benefit from this opportunity, simply enter your zip code and email address.
Lastly, Safelink Wireless is a service provider that can offer eligible people a free phone. This provider offers free smartphones, unlimited calls and texts, calls to Canada and Mexico, 25GB of high-speed data, and up to 5GB of hotspot data.
People sometimes have a difficult time affording the expense of purchasing a cell phone. If this expense is causing you trouble, you should know about available support options. In addition to many benefits like unlimited data, free international calls, and more, some carriers are able to offer qualifying customers a free phone. This is an option thanks to the Lifeline Program and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). If you want to take advantage of this opportunity, you can check to see if any carriers operate it in your area. You can look for them using the USAC’s free search tool. It never hurts to see what is available in your area! You could be in for a pleasant surprise to find out you may be able to get a free phone.