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My device didn't pass a financial eligibility check. What now?


Last updated by Rod McRae

If you're trying to bring a Sprint-branded device to Ting, you may get the following error message:

"Sorry, this device can't be activated right now. Sprint says there's an unpaid balance associated with it."

This is a check on the eligibility of a device to activate on Ting (or a similar Sprint wholesale service) that was introduced on February 15, 2015. The goal of the check was to reduce the number of devices that were leaving Sprint from accounts with unpaid balances and unsettled contracts or had not met the time commitment on a prepaid service.

Click the link below for information that corresponds to your situation.

Device purchased directly from Sprint on a postpaid account


  • are the authenticated account holder of the postpaid Sprint account associated with this device.
  • have fulfilled your Sprint Service Agreement by either completing your contract term or paying an Early Termination Fee (ETF) to get out of your contract sooner. We can help you pay off your ETF.

Once you’ve fulfilled either of these two criteria and your account is in good standing with Sprint, then they will release their hold on your device within 2 business days.

If, after talking to Sprint, your device is still being flagged by our checker, then we're saddened to advise that you will need to contact Sprint again. We do not have a way to remove these flags. 

Please note:  Your device MSL/unlocking your device does not help with passing a financial eligibility check. Sprint devices do not need to be unlocked to work with Ting.

Device purchased from a prepaid carrier


  • are the original owner of a prepaid device Sprint, Boost, Virgin or Assurance Wireless.
  • have kept your device active with that prepaid carrier for 12 months before attempting to activate the device with Ting.

After 12 months have elapsed, some carriers will automatically unlock the device, thus making it eligible to move to another carrier. Others will require you to get in touch with their customer service team to lift the carrier lock.

If your phone is still showing as having a flag, then you will need to get in touch with them for another look. We do not have a way to remove the flag.

Please note:  Your device MSL/unlocking your device does not help with passing a financial eligibility check. Sprint devices do not need to be unlocked to work with Ting.

Device recently purchased from Sprint retail store or a big box store

This covers Sprint devices that were purchased at full price, (off contract), from a Sprint retail store or a big box store such as Best Buy, Target, or Wal-mart.

Return the device for a refund. These devices will not pass a FED check because they are treated much like prepaid devices and need to be active for 12 months before they can be activated with Ting.

Device purchased via a third party

Contact the seller and/or the marketplace directly to arrange a return and refund.

Only the "authenticated owner" (the person that bought it from the carrier) will be able to clear a financial flag with Sprint or the prepaid carrier so we cannot escalate this further.

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  • Avatar
    Katie Schramke

    I bought a certified refurbished factory unlocked phone that will not pass thr financial check, says
    " Sorry, this phone can’t be activated right now. This device has not reached financial eligibility."
    I'm then told to get a refund. The phone has no SIM card. Will this still not work if I buy a Ting SIM card? The phone currently activated with Ting has a SIM card that us too big for new upgraded phone.

  • Avatar
    Mitch Surprenant

    Hey Katie,

    If the phone hasn't reached financial eligibility, it can't be activated on Ting. I wouldn't recommend buying a SIM card for the phone, because our systems won't allow it to be activated.

    You should contact the seller for a full refund and try another device. You can always ask the seller to run the IMEI at to see if it passes financial eligibility.

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