T-Mobile’s new Smartphone Equality program will ditch credit checks – Here’s the deal (VIDEO)

By April Taylor , Jan 23, 2015 09:21 AM EST

T-Mobile's latest attempt to lure in more customers may bring good news to people with bad credit scores, as the Uncarrier is willing to ditch credit checks.

More specifically, T-Mobile has a new program that will do away with credit scores if customers pay their bills on time for 12 months. In other words, even if someone has a bad credit score, paying their T-Mobile bills on time for one full year will make them eligible for deals usually reserved for those with excellent credit scores.

"Here's one of the wireless industry's dirtier little secrets - half of Americans can never get the deals this industry spends billions shouting about," T-Mobile's John Legere said in a press release and video posted on Thursday, Jan. 22.

According to the post, one of every two people who walk into a store find out that they're not eligible for many offers because they're not "well-qualified," credit-wise. As many as 63 percent of Americans have a less than perfect credit score, which means that more than half of all U.S. citizens do not have access to the best deals. In this context, such consumers must either pay more, both upfront and over time, or keep dreaming of better chances that may never come.

T-Mobile now wants to include customers with low credit through a new program called "Smartphone Equality," which will not take bad credit scores into account if customers pay their bills on time for 12 months.

"With today's announcement, every T-Mobile customer who's paid their wireless phone bill on time for 12 straight months will qualify for our best device pricing on every smartphone and tablet we sell - including zero down with no interest and no credit check. This new approach puts the relationship we've built with loyal customers above their credit scores. It's a simpler, saner way to evaluate credit - our history with you. And it's more effective. Because the simple truth is that our relationship with that customer is actually a better predictor of future behavior than their credit history," Legere explains.

"Ultimately, this initiative will lower the barrier for millions more Americans to get a smartphone - the most transformational technology in our lifetime. At a time when mobile connectivity is sweeping the globe, the United States ranks a miserable 13th in the world in terms of smartphone penetration - behind a dozen countries including Australia, Ireland, Israel and Saudi Arabia among others. There are more than 100 million Americans who don't have a smartphone according to data from Pew Research and the US Census Bureau. That's 100 million too many.

T-Mobile's new Smartphone Equality program will finally include those numerous lower-credit customers, who so far have been mainly ignored and excluded from the best deals. For more details, check out the video below.

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