These days when you go to buy a new cell phone plan, there’s an endless number of options to choose from- and some of them lock you in a contract for years! Needless to say, this can be a tad daunting, so, if you need a little help picking the best solution for you, heed the below advice.

The pros and cons of longer installment plans

The primary benefit of an extended cell phone plan is that usually, your monthly payments are lower in comparison to typical 24-month contracts. Therefore, if you’re struggling to make ends meet each month, this could be an excellent solution for you.

Unsplash/ bunhiihi

However, if you do choose a lengthy plan, you commit yourself to the same phone carrier and device for longer – this may sound obvious, but sometimes in the excitement of getting a new cell phone, we forget that committing to a contract for as long as three years is risky! For example, if halfway through the contract you become unhappy with either the device or the phone carrier,  there’s little you can do unless you’re happy to pay off the contract outright (and not many of us can afford that option!)

The solution

Is there a solution to this issue? In short, partially. You’ll need to register for your phone carrier’s ‘early upgrade plan’- most providers offer schemes like this.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t help you if you want to switch carriers- however, you’re entitled to upgrade to a better phone before you complete the contract.

Who offers the best contract?

There’s no easy answer because it all depends on what you’re after. If paying a lower monthly bill is a priority, check out some of the 36-month or 30-month installment plans on the market.

For example, T-Mobile offers a few 36-month contracts for a variety of devices, whereas AT&T provides a few 30-month plans. Balance the pros and cons and see which best suits your needs.