How To Lease a Car With No Credit Score

FT Contributor
A graphic of an approved stamp on a car loan.

From commuting to work to running errands, having a vehicle of your own can simplify your life. If you’re not interested in owning a car long term, leasing is a great option. A down payment and monthly installments allow you to lease a car for a set period of time.

When the lease is up, you can sign another lease for another car. Leasing allows you to drive a newer car for less money with lower repair costs overall, but it can be difficult to do if you have poor credit.

Having poor or no credit makes many things financially challenging, from making large purchases, to trying to obtain a credit card, to receiving a loan, to leasing a car. However, while leasing a car with no credit score is difficult, it is not impossible.

Read on to discover the ways you can lease a car without having a credit score.

Table of Contents

A Bigger Down Payment

The more substantial a down payment you can make, the more likely you’ll be able to lease a car. This demonstrates the investment you want to make in the vehicle and allows the car dealership to feel more confident in your ability to make monthly payments, despite your credit history. In addition, making a larger down payment reduces the overall cost of the lease over its term.

Get a Cosigner

Just as you can get a cosigner for a credit card, you can get one for a car lease. Having a qualified cosigner is an easy way for you to get a car lease with no credit. However, both you and your cosigner should understand that if you default on a payment, the cosigner takes full responsibility.

A qualified cosigner who has good credit allows you to borrow based on their credit history. In the event that you default on your payments, your cosigner becomes responsible for paying back what you owe on the lease. If you do miss payments on your lease, you could be toying with your cosigner’s financial status. In some cases, you can damage their credit score and even make it more difficult for them to lease a vehicle or take out a loan in the future.

Consider Financing

Certain car dealers will allow you to lease a vehicle with no credit whatsoever. Before you sign anything, connect with the finance manager of your local dealership(s) to make sure you get a clear understanding of the terms of the lease. Is a cosigner required? Are you able to lease the vehicle of your choice, or are your options limited? How much of a down payment is required, and what kind of interest rate will you be getting?

Together, you two can work out a possible agreement, or simply determine whether or not an agreement can be made. Be wary of contracts with unnecessary add-ons, like loan insurance. Also, ensure that the contract is complete and includes information on your interest rate.

Show Alternative Documents

When you lease a car, showing your credit score helps to establish trust between you and the dealer. If you don’t have a credit score or your numbers aren’t that great, showing alternative documents may be helpful or even necessary.

Documents that can demonstrate your worthiness of a lease include:

  • Work history.
  • Bills paid on time.
  • Proof of income.

Shop Around

If you know the make and model of the car you want to lease, you can shop around at different dealerships for the best deal. Visit different car dealers and obtain lease quotes from each. Depending on your credit history, some car dealers may be willing to bend more than others.

Seeking loans from community banks and credit unions is also a feasible option for obtaining a car when your credit score is low or nonexistent. If you’re open to getting a loan from a financial institution, you’re able to shop around and compare the price of a loan, too. This allows you to get the best rates.

Be Honest

If you don’t have a credit score, know that you’re not alone. In fact, many Americans do not have a credit score. This can make it challenging to do a lot of things, especially when it comes to buying a car, but not having a credit score does not necessarily make you look bad.

If you are going to lease a car, be open and honest about your situation. Make your dealer aware of why you don’t have a credit score. It could be because you’ve just never taken out a credit card or a loan. Whatever your circumstances are, do not lie about important aspects such as your income or past history of paying bills on time. The dealer will run a background check and discover these things are untrue, making them less likely to want to work with you. Honesty is always the best policy.

If you don’t have any kind of credit or have a poor credit history, you can still lease a vehicle. On the bright side, doing so will help you establish credit or correct your poor history. Remember to shop around and only enter into a lease that you are capable of repaying to prevent your credit situation from worsening.

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