Uprgrade status ok - but credit bad

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by zippitydoodah, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. zippitydoodah macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2008
    OK, I have a slightly complicated situation, and I was wondering if anyone here would know the answer:

    I have really bad credit, which isn't exactly my fault, but that's a whole 'nother story that's not necessary here. Because of this, I was never able to get a cell phone of my own. My ex-boyfriend eventually helped me get one years ago under his name, and I've had the same phone number ever since, and have always payed the bill myself. I've been able to upgrade my phone every once in a while since then, including last year with the iPhone, since I was with AT&T already. While my ex and I broke up a few years ago, I'm still "technically" on his account to this day -- which he doesn't mind, since I always pay on time, and won't ever have a problem doing so. We keep in touch and are friendly, but I would never want to use him for something like this again.

    So now I'm currently upgrade-capable for the new iPhone 3G. But the thing is...I don't exactly want it for myself. I want to get it for my current boyfriend. I want to get a new iPhone line for him as a gift, and help him pay for the monthly service. He also can't get his own cell phone contract (for reasons too long to get into here).

    I know I could get the new iPhone for myself, no problem. But do you think I would be allowed to get a 3G phone with a NEW line/number for my current boyfriend, that's NOT under my ex-boyfriend's name? Is that possible, even though I have bad credit? I'm hoping that the fact that I have an iPhone alone, and a good payment history, would be enough -- but I'm not sure.
  2. zippitydoodah thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2008
  3. JPIndustrie macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2008
    Queens, NY
    Sounds like more of a Tucker Max Message board story than a Mac Rumors Message board story. :D
  4. stlblufan macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2008
    New York City
    Try using the account you already have and upgrading it to a family plan. That might work.
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    You may want to read the OP's post again.

    She is the ex-girlfriend of the guy who is currently the true account holder for her current phone. She cannot get her own line so the ex-boyfriend has allowed her to remain on his contract. The ex-girlfriend found a new man and would like to get him a phone but cannot due to aforementioned bad credit. She could let the cat out of the bag and ask her new boyfriend to get the phone on his credit but she'll pay. Yet, he has bad credit. Seems like it would be slightly stupid to allow the ex-girlfriend to add her new boyfriend to the ex-boyfriend's account.

    OP, in truth it seems as though your ex-boyfriend has had you on his account for years. Certainly that was enough time to repair whatever binds you got yourself into, no? If not then it would seem to me that your new boyfriend, who you said has bad credit, will need to go without said phone. The money is better spent on a new gift that doesn't require good credit or paying off whatever debts are hindering you. In due time the three of you will be older and wiser and I'm thinking the ex-boyfriend won't be too prone to want to keep you on his account forever. Maybe he will, I assure you I'd do the same for an ex but I also consider myself a chump in that department. :D
  6. stlblufan macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2008
    New York City
    Do try harder to be more condescending next time, okay dear?
  7. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    Go to the store, ask them to run your credit and ask how much of a deposit it would cost. Tell them you want to move your phone line to its own account, and want to add a second iphone line.

    The deposit may be too much for you to do, or else it may not. But you won't know until you ask.
  8. NeoMayhem macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2003
    You should be able to convert your line on your ex's account to your own personal account without a new credit check. Then you could add a new line to your account and get an iPhone for it. Even if you did fail a credit check, dont they just make you pay a deposit instead?
  9. Sphere777 macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2008
    I'd suggest that you get off your ex's plan and get your own account before you start thinking of getting accounts for other people.
  10. Scott-n-Houston macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2008
    Houston (duh)
    Agreed 100%.

    It sounds like a mess, and it sounds like you know how to pick a winner there...

    Anyway, get your own line. If the guy can't afford his own phone and plan, should he have it? What if you break up... what about the 2 year contract? The whole thing sounds irresponsible to me.
  11. zippitydoodah thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2008
    I know it's easy to pass judgement since I'm giving very little details on my own credit history, and that of my current boyfriend's -- but that's not the point. It's "complicated," and not something that needs to be hashed out here, ok? Not everyone who has bad credit is a bad person, or irresponsible, or an idiot.

    I'm simply trying to find out if it's at all possible to get a NEW iPhone line in my name, in my current situation. Some people here are trying to help, and I thank you for it.

    As for paying down a deposit, I'm assuming it will be quite a hefty one -- not something I can really do at the moment. Maybe in a couple of months, but I wanted to get the phone as a gift for next week. (Assuming I can even find one in my area!)

    It's possible I can separate from my ex's account into my own -- I'll look into that. Though I'm guessing I'll need his signatures on stuff (he lives in a different state now), or involve him somehow. I'm sure he wouldn't mind, but I was hoping not to bother him if possible. Even if I was able to get my current number as my own account, would that necessarily allow me to open up a NEW line? I'm not so sure. I guess I was secretly hoping there was an AT&T insider around here who could help me. Is having a previous iPhone and a good payment history enough to get a new line, even with bad credit?
  12. e²Studios macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2005
    It all depends on how "bad" your credit is tbh. The best thing to do is to go in to a store and see what they can do for you. I have heard from friends that work at ATT stores the deposits range from $100 and go up to $500 but it all depends on your credit situation.

    The other thing is even if you paid a deposit and moved your account in to your name since you are paying a deposit they will not allow you to open up another line on the account until you have made 12 months of payments without missing one, same thing goes if you need international dialing/roaming enabled. Some states require them to return the deposit to you once you have paid on time for 12-18 months, but you will be told all the contractual details at any store.

    Good luck, thats one hell of a situation you're in.
  13. ottergal macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2008
    I don't work for AT&T, but I have worked in credit for a cellular company and if you'd come in to us asking for a phone the payments you were currently making wouldn't help you because the account isn't under your name. Just like if you stopped paying they would come after him, not you.

    YMMV and I hope that it does in this case. All you can do is ask, right?
  14. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    At the end of the day, none of us can tell you for sure. Everyone's credit report and situation is "complicated," and the criteria that cell phone companies use is equally complicated. Two people with the exact same credit score can get different results (one requiring little or no deposit, the other requiring a huge deposit), not so much because of their scores, but because of the types of things that make their score what it is. Even things like what region of the US a person lives, and sometimes even whether there's a need to meet a quota that month will alter things a bit.

    One thing is for certain: if you've skipped out on a cell phone account before, you can forget about it. Your deposit WILL be higher than the full price of the phone. Past history of forcing a cell phone company to write off a balance weighs heavily on their decision.

    The only way to find out if you can get your own account is to walk into a store and have them run a credit check. No one here, even if they work for AT&T, can definitely tell you what's going to happen.
  15. Sphere777 macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2008
    The thing is, I'm pretty sure your payment history is building up your ex's credit, and not yours. As the poster above me stated, if you decided to default on your payments it would be his credit that takes the hit. (I'm not positive about this, b/c I've never dealt with a family plan personally) So unless you've improved your credit in other ways, you're kinda where you started in terms of your ability to procure a cell phone account. I'm sure they'll let you open a new account if you pay enough of a deposit, but that's neither here nor there.
  16. lkeslinger macrumors member

    May 13, 2008
    Stanislaus County, California
    Just trying to look out for you, but it's always a bad idea to open a line for someone. It's easier to play it safe and not do this, but since you asked, I suggest you get off of your ex's line and try for your own. Since you said you got into a credit mess a while back, you should have repaired it by now and would be okay to apply for a credit check at AT&T. The worse they can tell you is that you have to put a high deposit down on your account, but you'll eventually get it back after a certain amount of time. It doesn't hurt to try.
  17. themagicman00 macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    Simple, they charge you a $150 deposit by ATT. that's what they did to me.
  18. michaelmaxwell2 macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2008
    Not exactly true the deposit can go up to $750.00. But no one on the forum cannot tell that person how much the deposit is. He/she needs to bite the bullet and go into the at&t store.
  19. ScottFitz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 3, 2007
    Time to find a new boyfriend with good credit? :D (That's what I would tell my own daughter... the three shuns... occupation, transportation and education)


    I wish you luck. That's a tough situation. The thing is though is to rebuild your own credit as best you can. The new boyfriend needs to have his own account. Give him a card with a photo of an iPhone in it and then let he and you figure out how to make it so.

    Just my two cents. (And start watching some Suzie Orman or Dave whatshisname.)
  20. islandtitan macrumors regular


    Jun 19, 2007
    USA/Daniel Island/ South Carolina
    Dave Ramsey ;)
  21. Aiphanes macrumors regular


    Jul 9, 2008
    South Texas
    Go to the store baby girl and have then run a credit check and see if you have to put down a deposit.

    Tell us how it went..

    Good luck!
  22. redsoxunixgeek macrumors regular


    Dec 1, 2006
    Salt Lake City YOOTah

    With the current race to get the most subscribers many cell phone companies have reduced their credit standards - so you just might be able

    Also: If you end up having to do the deposit - do it. It will help your credit. (or so I have been told - I am an IT Manager so I am not that keen on accounting that is what my SO is for hahahahah) - They wouldnt give me an account (decent credit, gainfuly employed for 10 or so years, college education) but they did give her one back during iPhone 1.0's launch (frsh out of Grad School, Only employed for 2 weeks at new Job )

    Like the iPhone tracking tool - the credit tool must be trusted and is all knowing.

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