Leasing has become a popular alternative to auto loans for many reasons, including the potential for a lower monthly payment. However, not everyone can qualify to lease, especially if they’re dealing with less than perfect credit. Even if you are able to lease a car with bad credit near Seattle, you can expect tougher qualifications, more restrictions on vehicle choice, and a higher interest rate compared to lessees with great credit.
What to Expect at the Dealership
Before you head to a dealership in Seattle, you need to know where your credit stands, have a budget, and have a security deposit and first lease payment ready to go. Knowing your credit gives you an idea of where you stand, and what your approval odds might look like for leasing.
Once you have all of these ready to go, here’s what you can expect if you do qualify for a lease with bad credit:
- Higher than average interest rate – To offset risk, lessors qualify lessees with bad credit at a higher interest rate (called a "money factor" in leasing) than lessees with good credit.
- Fewer car choices – A leasing company may only allow you to choose certain vehicles if you have poor credit. Make sure you're able to qualify for a car that meets your needs and fits your budget.
- Higher costs – Leasing companies often require the first month's payment upfront, in addition to the usual fees. Lessors may also ask someone with bad credit to provide a security deposit, which is returned at lease end minus any fees. In fact, leasing companies can even ask for multiple security deposits to approve somebody. On top of all this, lessees with imperfect credit may also be required to make a down payment, which is referred to as a capitalized cost reduction in leasing.
Auto Credit Express Tip: The more money you have to put down upfront, the higher your approval odds might be. It's also a smart idea to save up for the possibility of needing a security deposit.
How to Qualify for a Car Lease
Just like buying a vehicle with low credit in Seattle, you need to provide some extra documents in order to lease a car with bad credit. Lessors may ask that you bring in these three things:
- Proof of income – A recent computer-generated pay stub that shows your year-to-date earnings.
- Proof of residency – A recent utility bill in your name listing the address on your application.
- Personal references – Although you don’t need this right away, you may need a list of five to eight personal references complete with names, addresses, and work and personal phone numbers.
Auto Credit Express Tip: Ask the lessor what their specific requirements are when it comes to your income. Leasing programs are different, but subprime lenders typically ask for a minimum income of $1,500 to $2,000 a month before taxes.
Not Sure if Leasing Is Right for You?
If you can't qualify to lease a vehicle with bad credit near Seattle, you may want to consider financing your next car instead. There are many subprime lenders serving Seattle that know how to handle poor credit, and financing can give you that credit boost you’re looking for – so you can lease the vehicle you want in the future.
Auto Credit Express can match you with a local dealer near Seattle that has the lending resources you’re looking for. All you have to do to get started is fill out our free and easy auto loan request form!