Having no credit or a poor credit score is one of the main reasons why one might seek an alarm company that doesn't require a credit check. Others are simply concerned that a "hard pull" inquiry might negatively affect their credit score, which is also a valid concern. But before we rank your options, let's take a hard look at why most companies require credit checks.
Why Most Alarm Companies Care About Your Credit
One important thing to remember is that when setting up a security system for new customers, most alarm companies are practically giving away hundreds of dollars worth of equipment while only taking a low upfront fee. Frontpoint is a great example. With a three-year contract, you can get over $400 worth of equipment for less than $100 upfront. Their loss is eventually covered by your monthly fee, which is why they require a long-term contract. It's also the reason why they'd like to pull your credit before selling you products and services— they want to know that you can be trusted to pay on time and regularly.
If you don't pass their credit requirements, or if you don't have a credit to begin with, you'll be considered a high risk, which may prompt them to turn down your application. However, some companies are more lenient and might give you alternative options. The catch is that you'll likely pay a higher upfront fee. In fact, it's the same case for companies that don't do credit checks. They will let you buy their products without running your credit first, but you'll have to pay the full price of the equipment upfront. That said, when ranking the options available to you, we compared which alarm companies offer the highest security value for the best price.
Simplisafe is currently running one of the best promotions we've seen. Check their website for full details.
SimpliSafe shot to popularity because of their unique and non-conventional sales approach. By cutting out the middle-man out of the equation—the sales reps, dealers, and door-to-door salespeople— they were able to offer security systems directly to consumers and provide security services for a significantly lower price than most other companies.
To get started with SimpliSafe, you don't need to speak to a sales rep or have a security expert assess your security needs. Simply go to SimpliSafe's website, choose a package most suitable for your needs, and place an order. Once the package arrives, you can ask SimpliSafe to send you a technician to help with the installation for a small fee or perform the installation yourself. They are also contract-free. You can choose to use the service without a subscription, although you'll lose many useful functionalities, or pay a monthly fee for their monitoring service without being required to use the service for several years.
Because the monitoring service is optional, you will need to pay the full price of equipment upfront. There is no financing option available either. Equipment packages start at $229. You can also build a customized security system starting at $199 and receive up to 15% off on equipment and a free camera. Despite the freebies, SimpliSafe won't require a credit check upon checkout.
How much will it cost me to set up a SimpliSafe security system?
That depends on the package you choose, but you can get started for as low as $229. Other equipment packages can cost between several hundred dollars up to over $1,000.
How much is SimpliSafe's monthly subscription fee ?
The monthly subscription is optional, but if you want professional monitoring, rates start at $14.99 per month. There is also a higher monitoring plan that will cost you $24.99 but it includes remote smartphone access.
Will SimpliSafe ever pull my credit?
No. From the start of the sales process up to the activation of service, SimpliSafe will never perform a credit inquiry. That's because they don't offer any financing option.
Does SimpliSafe require long-term contracts?
No. SimpliSafe offers professional monitoring, but there are no long-term contracts. If you get a subscription, you can cancel anytime.
abode is currently our top-rated self-monitored alarm company, but despite being advertised as self-monitored, abode also offers professional monitoring services. Just like SimpliSafe, abode doesn't pull their customers' credits because they don't have any financing option. Instead, you're required to buy a starter package and pay the full price so you can use their security system without worrying about a long-term contract.
abode offers two types of equipment packages. The first type offers abode Gateway, which is their older but still reliable hub. The second type is newer and includes an abode iota. iota is a hub that has a built-in camera for remote monitoring.
The abode Gateway package includes a hub, a door/window sensor, a motion sensor, and a key fob. It will set you back $179, but you can bundle it with one year of their monitoring plans and enjoy big savings. A starter kit with one year of professional monitoring will only cost you $279 instead of $469 if the equipment and services are purchased separately. The iota package will set you back $199, but if you add $100, you can get one year of professional monitoring service included. If purchased separately, professional monitoring services will cost you $20 per month.
How much will it cost me initially to set up an abode system?
You can buy a starter kit for $179 for a Gateway package or $199 for an iota package. However, because the packages are limited, expect to pay an additional $100 or more for add-on sensors and devices.
What are abode's subscription plans?
abode's Connect plan is a self-monitoring plan with smartphone access and cellular backup. The subscription is $8 per month. The Secure plan is a professional monitoring plan with a $20 monthly subscription fee.
Does abode's monitoring plans require a long-term contract?
No. If you purchase an abode security system, you're free to add or remove any subscription. You can even use the system without a subscription and still enjoy self-monitoring features such as smartphone notifications and remote access.
Nest Secure, made by Google's Nest, is another popular self-monitored system with optional professional monitoring. However, unlike the first two options, monitoring services for Nest Secure are provided by Brinks, a traditional alarm company that also offers their own security systems.
Brinks requires credit checks if you avail their financing option, but if you go with a Nest Secure system, you can bypass the credit check and go straight to the activation of the monitoring service.
A Nest Secure starter kit, if bought directly from Nest, will set you back $399. The package includes a hub, two multi-sensors, and two RFID tags for quickly arming and disarming the system. You can also buy a similar package from Brinks for the same price.
Of the three options in this article, Nest Secure has the most expensive equipment. However, thanks to Brinks' monitoring service, it also has the most flexible monitoring plan. You have the option to use the service without a contract and pay $29 per month, or sign a standard three-year contract and pay only $19 per month. Even with a contract, Brinks and Nest won't pull your credit.
For more information about Nest Secure and Brinks' partnership, check out our Brinks review. If you want to learn more about Nest Secure, you can read our comprehensive comparison guide that details the differences and similarities between Nest Secure and abode, as well as Ring Alarm.
Nest Secure FAQs
How much will it cost me to set up a Nest Secure system?
The starter package, which includes a hub, two RFID key tags, and two multi-sensors, are available for $399. Expect to pay more if you're in need of additional accessories and devices.
Who will monitor my Nest Secure system?
Professional monitoring is delivered by Brinks, a traditional home alarm company that offers security systems and services. You can set up service by contacting Brinks.
How much is the professional monitoring from Brinks?
If you sign a three-year contract, the monthly fee will be $19. Without a contract, they will raise the rate to $29 per month.
Will Brinks perform a credit check if I set up service with a three-year contract?
No. Because you already purchased the Nest Secure equipment, Brinks will not conduct a credit check. However, if you avail their financing option ($11.08 per month for 36 months), Brinks will pull your credit.