If you have poor credit and thought installing a home security and home automation system was out of your reach, we’ve got some good news for you because nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, home security/automation systems are becoming more and more affordable by the day and many security companies now offer a wide variety of solutions that don’t require a credit check, a long-term contract, or even expensive upfront equipment costs. So let’s go over the top five home security systems for people with poor credit.
SimpliSafe has a different business model than most in the industry because they build their own security equipment. That means they can control the quality and pricing of their DIY wireless products. They also have five security systems to choose from and you can add additional equipment as you go. And, their alarms don’t require a monitoring subscription for them to work. The SimpliSafe equipment is very easy to install and can be done in about 30 minutes without any tools. In addition, they have very low monthly monitoring fees and they give their customers a 60-day trial to make sure everything is to their satisfaction. Here are the SimpliSafe pros and cons.
- Easy DIY Installation
- Low Monthly Fees
- 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee
- No Contracts
- Award-Winning Monitoring
- Cellular Alerts
- Environmental Disaster Protection (water, smoke, freeze, and carbon monoxide)
- Self-Monitoring Option
- Indoor Video Security
- Smartphone Controls Not Available With Self-Monitoring Option
- No Home Automation Options
- Proprietary Equipment
- Up-Front Equipment Expense
- No Outdoor Camera Options
SimpliSafe was founded by some students at Harvard Business School about 10 years ago in response to a bunch of apartment break-ins. This is when they discovered many renters found it difficult to get an alarm system because most of them at that time were hardwired systems that also required long-term monitoring contracts. So if you are looking for a wireless, DIY security system without a long-term contract or any monthly fees, you might want to consider SimpliSafe because they don’t require a credit check and there aren’t any monthly expenses you have to add to your budget. And, with their three-year equipment warranty, you won’t have to pay for repairs, at least for a while. In addition, because it’s portable, if you move, you can easily take your alarm system with you.
The SimpliSafe home security equipment packages range from approximately $229 to $499 and their indoor video cameras have motion detectors and night vision already included with them. Additionally, they also have environmental sensors available for smoke, water detection, and carbon monoxide if you are interested in those features.
Another great low-cost home security option is Scout. With Scout, there aren’t any long-term contracts, they have low monthly rates, which start at $9.99 per month, and they have a 60-day return policy. Scout actually manufactures all the devices it sells and their equipment is a DIY wireless installation so you won’t have to pay for professional installation. And as far as their equipment goes, they have some of the best designed highest quality home security equipment in the industry. Here are the Scout pros and cons.
- Low Monthly Rates
- Wireless, DIY Installation
- Exceptional Customer Service
- Wi-Fi Communication with 3G Cellular Backup
- Mobile Control
- 60-Day Return Policy
- No Contracts
- Compatible with Smart Home Devices
- Compatible with Environmental Sensors
- Easily Integrates with Amazon Echo, Nest, IFTTT, and More
- No Professional Installation Available
- Only a 1-Year Equipment Warranty
- Up-Front Equipment Costs
- Backup Power is Only 24 Hours
If you are looking for an alarm system and you have bad credit, Scout may be just what you have been looking for because there aren’t any credit checks, installation charges, long-term contracts, and their monthly monitoring fees are very low compared to other security companies.
However, Scout’s home security options are limited and they don’t offer any cameras or home automation equipment of their own. But, if you have a Nest Cam or a Nest thermostat, they are easily integrated. And because the Scout equipment is so easy to hook up to third-party equipment that makes their system even more valuable than other home security equipment on the market. In addition, because Scout’s equipment is wireless, it’s also portable, so you can easily take it with you if you move.
3. Nest Secure
Not only does Nest Secure offer some great home security equipment, they also have a wide variety of gadgets and home automation features as well. However, Nest is not the cheapest option out there ($399 for the equipment), but it is a great, easy to install DIY system that allows you plenty of room to expand and grow your security ecosystem. Another good thing about Nest Secure is that their system doesn’t require you to subscribe to a monthly monitoring plan in order for it to work. You can self-monitor the Nest system so that will keep you from adding to your monthly budget as well. Here are the Nest Secure pros and cons.
- User-Friendly Equipment
- Mobile Control Via App
- Easy Integration with Other Home Automation Equipment
- Self-Monitoring Option
- Professional Monitoring Option Available
- Lots of Gadgets, Features, and Functionality
- Multiple Arming and Disarming Options
- Easy Nest Cam Integration with Video
- Easy Installation
- Slightly More Expensive Than Other Starter Kits
- Monitoring is Expensive If You Don’t Opt for a Long-Term Plan
- Cellular Backup Option Has a $10 Per Month Additional Cost
- Nest Aware Is Also Extra But Is Included in the $10 per Month Cellular Backup Option Fee
- Slow Alert Notifications (only available via email)
One of the things everyone loves about the Nest Secure home security equipment is that it is very easy to install, to use, and even the mobile app is very intuitive as well. Nest also offers some of the best customer service in the industry. However, there are some things you need to watch out for as well. For example, Nest is owned by Google, and Google is notorious for collecting their users’ data. So who’s to say they won’t collect your Nest data, such as when you are at home, away, when your system is armed or unarmed, etc. then use that same data for advertising purposes.
Nest Secure has some add-on subscription options like their cellular backup and Nest Aware options; however, there is an extra monthly charge for them. So that means if you want to do specific things with their system, it will cost you extra. With that being said, if you already have a Nest ecosystem in place, then building onto that system makes perfect sense. If you don’t, starting out with the basic Nest system might be a little costly because you will have to purchase the basic system, then purchase all the add-on equipment you need to build it into something that fits all your needs and wants, whereas other home security packages might already include everything you need.
Canary is a popular all-in-one DIY security system that can be controlled via your mobile device. It comes with some great features which include a 90+ decibel siren, video recording, motion detection, environmental sensors for air quality, temperature, and smoke. Another great thing about the Canary system is that it can be used by itself or can be easily connected to multiple devices and controlled using an app. The Canary system is wireless, weatherproof, and only costs $199 which is about the middle of the road compared to other security options.
- Mobile Control via App
- Security Alerts
- Loud Siren
- Automatic Night Vision
- Environmental Sensors
- Free Cloud Storage Up To 12 Hours
- Optional Video Storage Options Above 12 Hours
- 1-Year Warranty
- Exceptional Customer Service
- Motion Detection
- Durable and Weatherproof
- DIY Installation
- Extra Fees for Storage Options Above 12 Hours
- No Battery Backup
- Can Only Connect Up To Four Devices In One Location
- A Bit More Expensive Than Other Basic Security Systems
The Canary system is a basic compact all-in-one security device with some attractive features even though what they have to offer is limited. Using their mobile app you can access, monitor, and control your system. The video can be streamed in real-time. And you can record the HD video and audio and have up to 12 hours of that video stored for free. And, they have three other video storage plans available for a very reasonable additional monthly fee. The only drawback is you can only connect up to four devices in one location and if you are trying to cover a large area or you have several closed rooms, this could be a problem. The Canary equipment is sleek, durable, wireless, and weatherproof. In addition, it has a very loud security siren and the system will send you motion-activated alerts when an event is detected.
Iris Home Security by Lowe’s is an affordable wireless DIY home security and home automation system and as the name indicates is offered by Lowe’s. Iris is an a la carte system that allows you to decide and pay for only the options you want and use. With Iris, you will have your choice of the Security Pack and/or the Automation Pack; however, neither of these comes with everything you need for it to work such as the Smart Hub which is priced at $69.99 and is sold separately.
- Easy To Expand
- Can Buy Components Separately As Needed
- Home Automation Easily Integrated
- Comparatively Affordable
- Free Self-Monitoring
- Self-Monitoring Available For Up To Six Users For a Fee
- Professional Monitoring Available ($14.95 per month)
- No Long-Term Contracts
- No Activation Fees
- Activity Monitoring (for loved ones) Available On Iris Premium Plan
- Comparatively More Difficult To Setup
- Limited Starter Kit
- Smart Hub Not Included with Starter Kit
- Only a Few Sensors Included with Starter Kit
- Disappointing Customer Service
- Only One User Is Free Without $10 Per Month Fee For Additional Users
Iris by Lowe’s is a great base system that you can build on by adding as many home security and home automation features as you want. However, the setup is a bit more difficult than other DIY systems in the home security industry. The beauty of this system is that you can design and build it based on your particular needs which means you are only paying for the features and options you want rather than buying a kit that might include things you don’t need and won’t use.
Unfortunately, the basic starter kit only includes a limited number of window and door sensors which means you will likely have to purchase more if you want full coverage. In addition, the Iris system doesn’t include the Smart Hub in their starter kit which is required before you can use any other components. Therefore, you will have that additional expense ($69.99) as well and if you don’t have much money budgeted for a security system, this brand might not be for you.
Features of Home Security Systems for People with Poor Credit
Many people scour the internet looking for home security systems for people with bad credit. However, before you begin, it’s in your best interest to understand what the different options and features are so you can decide which ones you really need and which ones you don’t.
Almost all security systems these days come with an accompanying mobile app which will give you access to your system. It will also send mobile alerts via that app and will send you a text, email, or phone alert when activity is detected.
Entryway sensors are placed on your windows and doors and are designed to alert you if those windows and/or doors are opened. When activity is detected, the alarm system will send you an alert.
An expandable security system usually comes with a base kit or starter kit and has the capability of being added on to. These are great for people who want to build out an extravagant home security and/or home automation ecosystem.
A wireless security system is one that doesn't require any hardwiring for it to work. Most wireless security systems are DIY installations and since there are no wires they are portable so you can take them with you if you ever move. In addition, a wireless system won't require you to drill holes in your ceilings or walls, which is perfect for those who live in a rental home.
A hardwired security system is one that needs to be wired into your home before that system will work. Most hardwired systems will require professional installation; however, if you are a do-it-yourselfer and have the necessary skills, this is something you might be able to do. Many security companies who sell hardwired systems offer professional installation either for free or for a fee.
Many security systems have built-in controls that allow you to access them remotely. These are controlled using keychain fobs, your mobile device, and other similar equipment that is used to communicate with your system to disarm it once you are within a certain range. This is a hands-free way to access your home without having to stop and disarm your system. It also helps protect you from being locked out because you have forgotten your security code.
Motion detectors work a little differently than entryway sensors in that they are triggered by motion and not by the act of opening a window or door. Some motion detectors are advanced enough to be able to distinguish specific threats and ignore others. For example, some technologically advanced motion detectors can be programed to ignore pets, family members, and even your family's vehicles so you aren't sent alerts if any such activity is detected.
The control panel is, in most cases, the centralized hub from which your system is controlled. It's generally installed on the wall near an entry door. Using the control panel you can arm and disarm your system and many control panels even have a two-way talk feature so you can communicate with a monitoring center should the need arise.
Self-monitored security systems are generally owned by the user. Alternatively, many security companies retain ownership of their equipment and provide the user with that equipment for free provided they sign a long-term monitoring contract.