Having a cell phone is no longer a luxury — it’s something most people need. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean everyone has the money to pay for one. Basic plans that offer minutes, texting, and data cost an average of $114 per month. And that doesn’t even include the average cost of a smartphone, which is $317. So, what are the options for low-income individuals? There are government programs that can give you cell phones or plans completely for free. All you have to do is search online to sign up.
Each incentive has its own set of criteria you need in order to qualify. To find out if you’re eligible for a free phone plan, start an online search.
Here are some government programs that could get you a free phone.
TAG Mobile offers free cell phone service to residents living in 19 states across the U.S. It’s a Lifeline discount that caters to low-income families and individuals.
With the TAG Mobile program, you could get:
- 1,000 free voice minutes;
- Unlimited free text messages;
- 4.5GB LTE data every month, and;
- Free voicemail, caller ID, and call waiting.
TAG Mobile offers another incentive for California residents. In addition to free data, texting, and phone calls, you could also get a free smartphone.
Eligibility for this program differs from state to state, so make sure you search online to find out if you meet the criteria. Most applicants will qualify if they participate in government benefit programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You could also qualify if your income is at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty level.