Free Cell Phones, Free Minutes

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Thanks to a program called "Lifeline", many Americans who can not afford one are eligible to receive a free cell phone with free minutes.

(MONEY TALKS NEWS) – What would we ever do without the cell phone? It’s become a convenient but expensive part of modern life. Over 80% of Americans own a cell phone, and for nearly half, it’s their only phone.

For those with little income, or looking for a job, not having a phone isn’t just about missed calls from family and friends; it’s about missed opportunities from employers. There is help out there in the form of pre-paid phone cards and cell phones, partially funded by Uncle Sam.

“We provide a free cell phone, and free monthly minutes, to those who qualify by income or any other social service program from the state,” Jose Fuentes tells Money Talks News.

Fuentes works for Safe Link Wireless, one of many companies providing discounted phone services through a program called “Lifeline” funded by the Universal Service Fund. It’s one of the fees you may notice on your phone bill.

In the case of Safe Link’s program, it’s not a huge giveaway. Depending on where you live, you’ll get a free phone and about an hour of talk-time a month. Not much, but enough for a lifeline to family or potential employers. See if you qualify here:

“The majority of our customers are very savvy with their minutes,” Fuentes adds. So far, the Safe Link service is only available in 17 states. But no matter where you live, there’s some program that could help you.

Stacy Johnson

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