When buying a new or used phone, there are always a few concerns that should be addressed before committing to buy.
There are plenty of people out there who are scamming others and even selling stolen goods to unsuspecting punters. It is always best to be a bit cautious and do some reading first.
One of the most important things you should check is to see whether or not the phone has been paid off. After all, you don’t want to be stuck with a bit of tech that turns out to be more of a liability than an asset. <
In the US, there are four carriers that account for most of the market share. In addition to this, their reach also spreads out throughout most of the world. These are Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.
So, to keep things simple and to prevent this article from going on for thousands of words, we are just going to single out these brands for this advice section.
Across these brands, there have been a lot of customers recently asking whether their phones are paid off or not. In addition, there are quite a few who don’t exactly know what it means when the phone is fully paid off.
With information on this a little tricky to locate, we decided to put together this little advice and information section to clear up a few doubts.
So, if this is the kind of information you have been looking for, you have come to the right place.
In this little article, we will run through the process of how to check if your phone is paid up. Doing so isn’t all that difficult. You will no doubt be glad to hear.
All you need to do is check the IMEI number. Follow the steps below, and we will show you how it’s done.
Why do I need To Check My Phone’s IMEI?
If you are considering selling your phone and want to buy a phone and switch over to another carrier, we have a small bit of advice for you.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you are required to check whether your phone has been paid off in full.
It is also really important to make sure that it isn’t carrying forward any network charges or even a positive balance.
And, if you are planning to sell your phone to another person, this phone will only work for them if all of your balances are settled.
So, as you can imagine, the person you are selling the phone to would not be impressed if you effectively sold them a dud phone.
The inverse of this transaction also holds true. When you are buying a phone from another network carrier, this phone must first be paid off by its previous owner to ensure that it works properly for you.
So, in summation – always check the IMEI!
How To Check If a Phone Is Paid Off?
Unfortunately, the process for checking whether a phone is paid off can vary pretty dramatically depending on which carrier it is linked to.
There is really no overarching set of instructions that works for all of them.
For that reason, we have chosen the four giants of telecommunications in the US.
With other carriers, you may actually notice that the process can be quite similar.
So, if you are not on any of the “Big Four” networks, these steps are still perhaps useful as a general guide. Okay, with that, it is time to get started.
How do I find my IMEI Number?
There may be some of you who are unfamiliar with IMEI numbers and what they do.
The International Mobile Equipment Identity number is a unique serial number that all phones have.
In pretty much all cases, this number will be 15 digits long. This number is found either on a sticker under the battery pack, on the box that you bought the phone in, or on a sticker on the back of the phone itself.
But, if you don’t find it in any of these places, don’t worry. There is also a way to display your IMEI on the phone itself.
Just dial in “*#06#” into your keypad, and a selection of numbers will automatically pop up. You will recognize the IMEI by the fact that it has 15 digits.
1. How to Check If Your Phone Is Paid Off With AT&T:
- Go to https://att.com/deviceunlock.
- Then, go into “Unlock your device.”
- Answer “No” to the “Are you an AT&T wireless customer” question on the form.
- Then, input your phone’s IMEI in the form.
At this point, if the phone hasn’t been paid up in full, you will receive a message that says:
“This device is not eligible to be unlocked now because all of the installment payments have not been paid.”
And that’s it, that’s all the information that you need to inform your decision not to buy or sell the phone.
2. How to Check If Your Phone Is Paid Off With Verizon:
- Visit http://verizonwireless.com/device-rec.<
- Choose the “Continue as a Guest” option on the pop-up.
- Click on your phone’s manufacturer, model, and memory size.
- Then, type in your phone’s IMEI.
Once you have done this, you will then get an error message if the payment on your phone is in any way dubious.
The content of the message will say something to the effect of ‘your phone is not eligible for a trade-in because of your low current balance.’
The only thing to do from here is to rectify that situation before you decide to complete the transaction.
3. How to Check If Your Phone Is Paid Off With Sprint:
- Go to this site: https://ting.com/byod.
- Input your phone’s IMEI number and submit the completed form.
- If there is an issue with the phone, you will then receive an error message.
4. How to Check If Your Phone Is Paid Off With T-Mobile:
- Go to this site: https://www.t-mobile.com/verifyIMEI.aspx.
- Open up the processed form.
- Find the section where you input your IMEI number.
- Input your existing phone’s IMEI into the “IMEI Status Check” form.
If your current phone still has some outstanding payment issues, you will receive an error message that will inform you of the situation.
How Do I Check Whether or not a Phone is Paid Off?
As you can see, buying and selling phones isn’t as easy as just simply arranging the transaction.
We would strongly advise that you make sure that everything is in order before committing to any purchases or sales.
Buying a phone without doing so can effectively render the phone you have bought totally useless.