To get the best deal possible on any new phone, there's one straightforward thing you can do: Work on getting your credit score up. "If your credit report isn't it good shape, you may have to pay more," Rod Griffin, director of consumer education and awareness at Experian, tells CNBC Make It.
Many people don't know that your score can also affect your cell phone bill. "Credit reports are used for a lot more reasons than people realize," says Griffin.
If you have poor credit, you may be required to make a large down payment when you purchase your phone, Griffin says. You could also miss out on favorable deals only available to "qualified customers" with good credit. Nearly a third of the respondents in WalletHub's 2018 Credit Scores & iPhone Launch Survey didn't even realize cell phone companies perform credit checks.
Apple just unveiled its newest iPhones and their starting prices: The iPhone XR will cost $749, while the iPhone XS will go for $999 and the iPhone XS Max for $1,099. The iPhone Upgrade Program lets you pay off the phone monthly with the option to upgrade again after 12 months, but the program is only open to those with credit scores good enough to qualify.