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Complete Guide to How To Get Off Someone's Phone Plan

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There's a certain thrill in becoming the captain of your ship, especially when that ship is your very own phone plan. 

But before you sign up for a new plan, you have to figure out how to get off someone else’s phone plan. That’s what this article is all about.

What Should You Consider Before Leaving a Phone Plan?

Untangling yourself from your current phone plan isn’t rocket science, but there are several factors to take into account before you commit to a new plan. 

Here are a few of the most important points to consider before leaving your phone plan and signing up for a new wireless phone plan:

  • Contract terms: Before you make a move, understand the terms of your current contract. Will you have to pay an early termination fee? Do you have to transfer ownership of a single line? The last thing you want is to pay for two phone plans at the same time.
  • New plan cost: Consider the cost of the new plan you're eyeing. Can you afford it on your own? Is it a prepaid plan? Shared family phone plans are often cheaper for each person, so make sure you’ve budgeted accordingly for whatever phone plan you choose. 
  • Data usage: Take a look at your mobile data usage. Are you a casual browser or a streaming enthusiast? Make sure that you know the amount of data you need each month. An unlimited data plan can give you all that you may need, but unlimited plans may also be more plan and cost than necessary. It all depends on your phone habits.
  • Coverage: Check the coverage of the new carrier. Do they have good phone service in your area? Not all phone carriers are equal in terms of coverage, so double-check that your new mobile phone carrier works in your area. 
  • Phone compatibility: Is your current phone compatible with the new carrier you’re considering? Some phones can easily switch between carriers, but your phone might not be one of them. Check out the website of your new plan provider–they normally have a tool to see if you’ll be able to bring your own device. If you have an incompatible phone, you’ll need to factor in the cost of a new phone and SIM card as well.
  • Number portability: When you switch to a new plan or carrier, can you keep your current phone number? While porting your number is often possible, in certain situations, it cannot be done. Before you make a switch, be sure to ask if you can take your number with you.

Why Would You Want To Get Off Someone's Phone Plan?

There are as many reasons to leave a shared phone plan as there are apps on your phone. Here are just a few reasons you might want to leave your current phone plan:

  • Desired independence: Much like getting your own car or moving out of your parents’ house, having your own phone plan may be a significant step toward personal independence. It's an opportunity to take charge of your bills and learn about managing your expenses. 
  • More privacy: Being on a shared plan often means that the primary account holder may be able to access your call and data usage records. If you crave more privacy in your phone usage, getting a new plan of your own can provide that.
  • Different needs: Sometimes, being on a shared plan can be more expensive if you’re paying for more data than you really need. Although multi-line plans often bring the per-line cost down, in some cases, you might find that getting your own plan can save you some cash.
  • More control: When you're on someone else's plan, you're generally subject to their choices regarding the plan features. Having your own account gives you control over your data limits, add-on services, and perks.
  • Changed relationship: Maybe you joined a friend's family plan when you were roommates, but now one of you is moving out. Or perhaps you're going through a breakup and no longer want to share a plan with your ex.
  • Better offer: You might stumble upon a different carrier offering an irresistible unlimited talk deal that’s not available on your current shared plan. There’s nothing wrong with pursuing a deal for new customers that fits you and your specific needs. 
  • Credit building: Having a phone bill in your name and consistently paying it can help build your credit history. This is especially beneficial for young people who may have just recently begun building credit. 

How Do You Get Off Parents' Phone Plan?

Whether you’re on your parents' phone plan or someone else’s phone plan, the process for making a break is the same. It starts with letting the account owner know your intentions. Note that even if you’re on a family plan, this is more than just a courtesy as family members also need the account owner’s explicit permission to make changes. 

How Do You Get Off Someone Else's Phone Plan?

Breaking up can be hard to do, even when it comes to phone plans. Whether you're part of a Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T plan, the process of leaving a group or family plan is similar across service providers. 

  1. The first step is to get the account owner's permission to leave the plan. After all, they’re the ones who have the authority to make changes to the account, including who is added or dropped from the plan.
  2. Depending on your provider, reach out to their customer service for assistance. Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T all offer a variety of customer service options, including phone numbers, chats, and in-person assistance. Explain your specific situation and request a transfer of service.
  3. Before the transfer can be processed, ensure that all outstanding bills or charges on your phone line are cleared. Depending on the specific language of the contract, there could be additional charges for leaving the plan.
  4. Once the transfer is done, you're free to choose a new plan that suits your needs and lifestyle, either with your current carrier or at a new carrier.

Remember, the specific procedures might vary slightly between providers, so it's always a good idea to check with customer service for any nuances. This is especially true when switching carriers and trying to keep your current phone number.

The Bottom Line

Leaving a phone plan and choosing a new one can feel like a big commitment, especially if it’s your first time searching for a one-person plan. That's where our free, unbiased Plan Finder can guide you. Just answer a few questions, and in a matter of seconds, we’ll help you compare cell phone plans from top carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Xfinity, Spectrum, UScellular, Cox Mobile, and Optimum Mobile. 

If you need a new phone to go with your new plan, our Phone Deal Finder is also at your service. Whether you’re team iPhone or Android, we’ll help you find the best phone deals you qualify for in no time.

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