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3G Phone Shut Off: Five Things You Must Know

Feb 3, 2022 | Personal Finance

What to Do if You Can’t Afford a New Phone and Don’t Qualify to Finance a New One

“Can you hear me now?” is about to become more than a half-remembered catch-phrase from the past. It’s about to become a reality for a number of Americans when their smart phones stop working later this year. This is because major cell service providers are going to initiate their 3G phone shut off.

1. Why Are They Shutting Down the 3G Signals?

Believe it or not, it’s old-fashioned and out-of-date, the dinosaur of technology and, like the dinosaur, it’s going to be extinct soon. This is to make way for the fifth generation of technology (5G) and even sixth generation (6G). This is to free up spectrum and allow the support of new services such as 5G.

Not only will your 3G be disabled from normal function, you’ll lose your capability of dialing emergency services (911) on it.

You can find out if you have a 3G phone by checking its IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) in your phone’s “About” settings. Once you have that, you can check your phone’s IMEI number with (1)

This has happened before, when some mobile carriers shut off their 2G services to switch over to 4G.

A lot of how this is going to affect your smartphone and even tablet depends on its age. If it was purchased sometime in the last 10 years, chances are they have 4G capability, which means you probably won’t see any difference.

But your car, on the other hand, might.

2. How Does the 3G Shutdown Affect My Car?

Dozens of models released between 2010 and 2021 stand a chance of being impacted by the shutdown. This means some cars will no longer be able to update your location and traffic data while navigating. Others will no longer be able to connect to your smartphone, emergency calls, or other voice assistance services. (2)

This can also affect some medical devices, security systems, smart watches, and vehicle SOS services. The medical devices that have the potential of being caught in the shutdown include Life-Alert, Fall Monitor, and Medical Alert. If you, or a loved one, have any of these monitoring services, you should contact the provider as soon as possible

Even ankle monitors could be affected by this.

3. When Are They Doing This?

Older style phones – Tracfones, flip phones – are likely to drop off the grid first.

Different providers have different projected shutdown dates. For instance, AT&T report their 3G network will be going away in February of this year.

Verizon has delayed their shutdown twice, but are on track to do away with their 3G service by the end of this year.

How Many People Will Be Affected by the Shutdown?

AARP officials estimate about 10 million people still use 3G technology.

4. What Should I Do About it?

There’s some good news. The FCC website reports that your mobile service provider may offers deals on new devices. This may be in the form of a new cell phone. They also say they have programs to assist eligible customers with the cost of phone or internet services. This does not extend to a new device, however. (3)

5. What If I Can’t Afford a New Phone and I Don’t Qualify for Phone Financing From a Carrier?

That’s where Minute Loan Center can help you. We say yes, even if you’ve been denied by other creditors.

Minute Loan Center offers a variety of loans designed to suit your needs.

What is an Installment Loan?

A Minute Loan Center Installment Loan is a loan that allows you to borrow money and pay it back in regular, equal monthly installments at a fixed interest rate. 

The advantage — and it’s a big one — of an installment loan is that you know exactly how much you’ll be repaying each month over the life of the loan. A portion of your payment is applied to the principal, and another portion goes toward paying the interest. With a credit card, unless you make more than the minimum monthly payment, you’re only paying on the interest, which is why you never seem to make any significant dent in the card debt. But with an installment loan, part of each payment goes toward paying down the principal. This can help shorten the life of the loan.

What is a Line of Credit?

A Line of Credit allows you to borrow money anywhere up to the pre-approved limit. Whatever money you actually use from your line of credit is the amount, plus interest, that you’ll pay back.

A Minute Loan Line of Credit works much like a credit card. With each, you can access a predetermined amount, and you’ll make monthly minimum payments based on your outstanding balance. When you use your credit card, you present it to the merchant or use it to complete an online transaction, but with a line of credit, you typically write a check or transfer money into your checking account from online.

Is An Instant Loan Right for Me?

Minute Loan Center offers those, too. Like our other loans, you can apply online in just a few minutes. If you’re approved – and 97% of applicants were approved for a loan in 2020 – you’ll have the decision almost instantly, and you can be funded within minutes of being approved.

Come see what we can do for you at



  1. Bowers, Lisa. “Certain cell phones won’t work after 2022.” ABC 10/CW5, 9 Sept. 2021,
  2. Huddleston, Tom. “3G Networks Will Disappear This Year – and That’s Bad News for Your Car. Here’s Why.” CNBC, CNBC, 17 Jan. 2022,
  3. Wong, Kenneth. “3G Devices Will Stop Working Soon as Companies Switch off Networks: Here’s What You Need to Know to Plan Ahead.” FOX 11 Los Angeles, FOX 11 Los Angeles, 29 Jan. 2022,

The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional financial advice. You should consult a credit counseling professional concerning the information provided and what should work best in your financial situation. And any action on your part in response to the information provided is at your discretion.

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