How do I lease a car with bad credit?

I have bad credit, and I can't afford a new car and am thinking about leasing. Is it possible to lease a car with bad credit?

Answer
Although a low credit score can impact you negatively, it is possible to lease a car with bad credit. Having bad credit can impact your financing options, and it may be more difficult to get approved—but there are things you can do to improve your chances.
You could save money to have a larger down payment at the start of your lease. Doing so shows lenders and dealerships that you’re financially stable. You could also ask a friend or family member who has better credit to see if they’re willing to be a cosigner.
Here are some additional options:
  • Lease-swap: You can try and take over someone else’s lease.
  • Pick a cheaper, older car to lease: People often want to lease the newest cars, but if you’re willing to get an older car, it might make it easier to finance and you’ll pay less.
  • Car sharing: With a car-sharing service, you can borrow a car for a couple of hours and return it, essentially renting a car for a short trip or time.
  • Pick a dealership willing to work with bad credit: Some dealerships have finance departments dedicated to working with people with bad credit or other financial problems.
No matter your credit, if you drive a car, you’ll need insurance. To help get the best deal, you should gather quotes and do some comparison shopping. Jerry pulls quotes from the top 50 companies in under a minute and delivers the best deals right to your phone for free.
Good luck!
Lauren Smith
Answered on Nov 02, 2021
Lauren has written for World Nomads, the Matador Network, Korvia Consulting, and once upon a time Three Fates Games. She graduated from Columbia College of Chicago with a BFA in Creative Writing. After graduating, she moved overseas and lived in South Korea where she spent her free time traveling and going on road trips with friends. She misses the rest stop potatoes and is trying to figure out how to recreate them at home. She's now based outside of Chicago and when she's not writing she spends her free time reading, playing video games, and exploring whenever she can.
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