Sprint - as well as the other three US carriers - use a credit check to see what to charge a customer upfront when they want to buy a new phone. Many carriers have a $0 down program for those with good credit, and those with not so great credit or "building credit" as many call it, will need to pay roughly half or more upfront before getting the phone. However there is also an option to get a phone without a credit check. Most carriers will only sell a phone to those people at full retail and not in installments. However, Sprint has found it difficult to sell phones at full retail to those that don't want to have a credit check ran. And is enlisting Progressive Finance for help.
Progressive Finance is providing loans to Sprint for those that want to buy a phone but don't want their credit ran and don't want to pay the full price upfront. The reason behind this is to help reduce the risk of bad debt. This way Sprint is also protected from customers that may default on the payments of said device. And the company won't be out that money, because Progressive Finance will handle it all. According to a report, dealers are supposedly positive on this offer. As the risk is all assumed by Progressive. Which, as we already stated, it means the dealer isn't at risk of "chargebacks" if the customer defaults. However, customers do need to have a job, legal ID (driver's license, State ID, etc) and a checking account, to qualify.
Bad debt can be an issue for carriers, especially those that are deep in the trenches of a price war like T-Mobile and Sprint. As they are mostly getting customers that don't make a ton of money, and likely have less than stellar credit. Which means there is a higher possibility of them defaulting on their payments of their phone and phone bill. This is something that Sprint is looking to adjust by enlisting Progressive Finance. And T-Mobile has already tightened their credit policies in the past few months after their bad debt continued to rise in the second half of 2015.