Since carriers have essentially done away with traditional two-year service agreements, you'll likely be on the hook for the remainder of your billing month, and then whatever you owe on your phone. Here's what you need to know.

How to cancel AT&T service

AT&T doesn't offer two-year service agreements anymore, which means you can essentially cancel at any time. If there is still time left in your billing month, then you'll have to pay that off, but that's it in terms of service.

If you're financing a phone through AT&T Next, then you'll have to pay out the remainder of what you owe on your phone. To see how to pay off your installment balance, you'll need to go on your AT&T phone to Manage device & features in your settings.

Is there any way around the fees?

There's no guaranteed way to avoid paying any of the fees associated with cancelling AT&T, but you could try going to your new provider and asking if they'll pay off what you owe in exchange for your business.

It's a bit of a long shot, but the competition is fierce and if you'll be signing up more than one line, it can definitely work in your favor.

Verizon and T-Mobile may actually pay your fees for you, so long as you trade in your phone and buy a new one on their payment plans. You might lose money on that deal, so do all the math before signing.

What's the easiest way to get out of a contract?

Plain and simple, just tell AT&T that you're switching providers. There's no need to pussyfoot around it, and AT&T might even try to sweeten the deal to keep you, especially if you're a long-time customer.

The bottom line

There are quite a few variables to consider when cancelling your service with AT&T, whether or not you're canceling early. If you really want to see what it will all cost you, you'll have to contact AT&T and have a customer service rep go through it with you.

Things to remember

All of the above-mentioned fees and policies are at the discretion of AT&T. Every cancellation scenario is unique, so the above are just guidelines and may vary on a case-by-case basis. If you're entirely unsure of your situation, your best bet is to go online and chat with AT&T directly, call them at 1-800-331-0500, or go into your nearest AT&T store.