First Time Leaser Need Help


Hey guys, Happy new year! I just recently joined and I am looking to lease a car but I have a credit score of around 600-620 and I was wondering how would I get the best monthly price possible. What tips and tricks can you guys give me so that when I go into a dealership to negotiate, I know what to be looking for and to know that I am not being killed on the price. I was watching videos on youtube and the majority of them said to not put anything down but try to sign and drive. I couldn’t find any tips or anything that would point me in getting the best deal. I am mainly looking at something cheap and reliable since it will be my first car. Anything will help and I just really need a way of transportation since I am moving from New York to Virginia soon. Thank you once again!

This is the worst time to lease in the history of leases. And your credit will only make the MF worse.

You’re better off financing a brand new car and refinancing when your score improves.


Part of your research can also include the financing arrangements of the funder…for example Chrysler Capital is offering credit tier ‘bumps’ currently, and others do too from time to time. Good luck!

How would I go about financing? Is there any tips or anything you can give to help me please? Thank you

Edmunds dot com is another good resource.

DCU specifically has a reputation for offering favorable auto loan rates even at lower credit score tiers.

Where are you getting these scores?

A number of leasing companies use an auto-enhanced FICO model that uses a scale that goes up to 900 (vs. 850 for some of the more common FICO score models that consumers encounter in every day life).

You may be more (or less) credit-qualified than you think when viewed through the lessor’s actual lens.

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Where can I check?

Credit is no bueno. Leasing is not your game. End of story.

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You can purchase a bundle of FICO scores from myFICO, or from (the latter is a newer offering that I haven’t used).

You need to know which score model your target lessor uses in order for the scores to give you any more info than you have now.

If you don’t know which bureau they’ll use, having the appropriate score from all three would further mitigate any potential surprises if/when you apply.

Except if OP is referencing fake useless scores from Credit Karma (or wherever) that are in the low 6s, they could be in the 400s or 700s on the FICO model that will be used to decision and price a car lease.

You know I’m always curious when people say this. Ok sure is it 100% accurate? No! Because there are many fico scores and some that ignore say ‘Medical Debt’. But if you know you are in the 600s isn’t it a bit not hard to imagine that you might not be able to pay back a lease?

CK isn’t a Fico score, I think is the point being made here.

OP doesn’t know this, that was my point.

Just because Credit Karma barfed out a number that starts with a 6 doesn’t mean the number is useful for anything.

The only score that matters is the one that will be used to decision and set pricing on a specific loan application.

Right now there’s a ~70 point spread between my FICO 8s and my mortgage FICOs, and that’s on perfectly clean credit files.

Are my “scores” in the 700s or the 800s?

Where did OP say they got it from CK, they just said it was 600-620? You asked and they didn’t answer. There are many places that give you a true score including the Car Dealer when you get denied for a loan. I’m just saying that if you ‘know’ you are 600-620, you know you are a bad credit risk, and saying different scoring models might give a 700 but slandering CK just because of that? I was just curious if you had some cases where someone had a CK 600 but FICO 8 would give them a 700+ because of a certain circumstance (Such as unpaid medical debt) would still get them a car at a good price.

Your example of a 70 point spread upon the top tier can be understandable…as you are top tier and having a 750 or an 820 should not really affect anything. But a 600? That’s a lot of reach.

I would expect to see a larger variation in scores produced by various models on a dirty credit file than a clean one.

BTW, I found a recent FICO 9. It’s 109 points higher than my most recent mortgage FICO and they were generated three days apart (12/28 and 12/31).

If all of these score models produced reliability similar results, there wouldn’t be a market for so many.

One higher-limit card with 50%+ utilization will knock 50-70 points off my Vantage Scores, but my FICO 8s just sit there yawning.

But none of that matters if I apply for a car lease this afternoon, because the lessor won’t use either of those.

Ok so you were just doing a generalization but I was EXTREMELY curious as there was a guy here to really didn’t like CK, but he had a 6XX, and said their report was bulls**t, but from the tone, he knew why he had a 6XX and was hoping that CK used a different score so he could say to the lender ‘See CK has me at 700!’. When you started bagging on them I was really wondering what was wrong with their score model…and the answer is, it’s not a ‘True FICO’. Ok I can go with that. But a ‘True FICO’ has now 9 variations so can’t even say a FICO is correct, because you don’t know which FICO.

There are way more than 9 FICO models, which is why I originally posted this:

Do we have any lists on which lender uses what?

I don’t have one, but I’d be open to maintaining a master list over in The Credit Thread if people are willing to post their experiences.

You may want to look at something like a Kia Rio, Forte or Soul.

They are actually reasonably priced at sticker, unlike some other brands where the entire point of the inflated sticker is to show you how “big” of a discount they can give you, like a mattress store. you may be able to get a modest discount depending on which model and trim.

The financing APR for these models ranges from 0.9% to 1.9% APR for 60 months for qualifying customers. Whether you’ll qualify for the best APR is TBD.