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T-Mobile to Make Same Pricing Available to Those With Poor Credit

The company says its best offers will go to those who have paid their bills on time for 12 consecutive months, regardless of credit scores.

Asa Mathat

T-Mobile said Thursday that it will make its best offers available to all customers who pay their bills on time, regardless of their overall credit scores.

“Half of Americans can’t even get the deals that the carriers spend billions of dollars shouting about,” CEO John Legere said in a video blog announcing the “Smartphone Equality” pledge. “This is one of the wireless industry’s dirtiest little secrets.”

It’s the latest in a series of “un-carrier” moves the company says are designed to eliminate some of the biggest pain points faced by wireless carriers.

T-Mobile is still imposing rules on who can get its best offers, but says it will base the decision on whether customers have paid their T-Mobile bill on time for 12 months in a row. That, he said, is actually a better predictor of future payments than someone’s credit score.

“This isn’t just the right thing to do,” Legere said. “It’s good business.”

That’s key, because cellular carriers have been hit at times in the past when they have extended credit too far and taken losses on unpaid accounts.

“We don’t think there is increased exposure or risk,” T-Mobile executive David Carey told Re/code. In fact, Carey said, the move could help improve the risk picture given that customers have a greater incentive to pay on time.

T-Mobile executives said that the idea came from hearing from customers and store representatives who had been paying their bills on time but still weren’t eligible for advertised deals.

The offer won’t apply to new customers, who will still have to meet typical credit requirements, though T-Mobile notes it does give those that do switch the opportunity to get better pricing once they have paid on time for 12 months.

Here’s Legere’s video:

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.