Can I Lease a Car with Bad Credit and No Money Down?

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Even with poor credit.

By

Megan Foukes is a recent graduate from Indiana University who graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism. Megan works as a content writer for Auto Credit Express and contributes to several automotive and finance blogs.


, - July 25, 2019

You might be wondering if you can lease a car with bad credit and no money down. Leases are typically reserved for consumers with good credit, but some leasing companies offer deals to those with less than perfect credit. In these cases, it may be possible to lease a vehicle with bad credit, but you may need to come up with money down in the form of a security deposit due to your bad credit – in addition to the first payment and the usual fees needed upfront.

Qualifying for a Lease with Bad Credit

Before you head to a dealership, you need to know exactly where your credit stands and have an idea of what your budget is. You can use our car loan calculator to get an estimate on what you can afford. From there, you can see which vehicles fit into your leasing budget.

Once you get to a dealer, you can expect these three things to happen if you want to lease a car with bad credit:

  1. Make a security deposit – Regardless of credit, lessees are required to make an upfront payment that includes the first month’s payment plus title and license fees. If a lessee has bad credit, it’s not uncommon for lessors to ask for those costs plus a security deposit – or multiple deposits – to cover any possible damages during the lease.
  2. Qualify for a higher than average interest rate – The interest rate a lessee with bad credit may qualify for varies, but you can expect it to be higher than somebody with good credit would qualify for.
  3. More documentation needed – Bad credit leasing is similar to bad credit auto financing in the sense that these lessors are probably going to ask for additional documents in order to approve applicants, including proof of income and residence.

The only way you’re going to know if you qualify for a lease deal or not is to apply at a dealership that offers them to non-prime customers.

Leasing Alternatives

If you’re unsure about getting approved for a lease, or you’ve been turned down due to your credit, you could choose to finance your next vehicle instead. You most likely aren’t going to get the car of your dreams, but taking out a bad credit auto loan is a great way to help improve your credit over time.

With time and regular loan payments each month, you should see your credit score improve. This way, you may be able to lease a vehicle down the road.

Need Help Finding a Dealership?

It’s no guarantee you can lease a car with bad credit and no money down. In many cases, it makes more sense to finance first and consider leasing sometime in the future.

Regardless of what you want to do, we want to get you started down the road to better credit by connecting you to a local dealer that can help. At CarsDirect, we work with a nationwide network of dealerships that know how to handle unique credit situations.

All you have to do to get the process of getting matched to a dealer near you started is fill out our free and easy auto loan request form.

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It only takes a minute.

Megan Foukes is a recent graduate from Indiana University who graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism. Megan works as a content writer for Auto Credit Express and contributes to several automotive and finance blogs.


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