Lease 4runner, Sacramento. Credit 660

Hi fellow hackrs,
With a credit score hovering around 640 to 660, I wont get tier one. What kind of money factor can I hope for? Any ideas? I did have a car financed that was paid in full 3 yrs ago. My student loans hurt my credit or else it would be good. When the dealer runs my credit, hope they use a credit union? Other than putting multiple SDs down to lower cap cost, what else can I do?

that credit score is pretty low, you’re prob multiple tiers below tier 1. The score is also not the only factor they consider when leasing to you. For example, your income has to be able to support the car as well. Most dealers in FL run Equifax, @Cody_Carter can prob give you a better idea who Toyota is using in CA.

IF you let the dealer know about your situation - especially about the recent payoff of your car, ask them to run an Auto FICO score instead of the regular credit pull.

Then with all the positive info given to the dealer, ask the finance manager to request contacting TFS for a tier bump.
This request makes the dealer specifically ask to vouch for you like a friend/family and the dealer goes to bat for you.
A tier bump will help “bump” up a tier 2 to tier 1.
Of course this relies on financing thru TFS.

I asked for this as I was a former TFS customer 15 years ago and they were able to quickly see that I was a great customer and gave me 2 tier bumps to 1+.

Not possible to bump to 1+. 1 is the highest you can bump. 1+ you need to earn on score alone.

Toyota uses the highest of all scores but at minimum I have to run experian

As mentioned above, you need to find out which bureau and version of that bureau Toyota uses in CA, and if they use any alternatives and under what circumstances. They can vary, sometimes quite a bit, from what you think your score is. If you’re not good at negotiating a car deal and understanding how leases are calculated, I would also recommend a trusted dealer like Cody Carter. You could either drive down to southern CA to pick up a car there or maybe Cody can ship one up to you for $300-400. I drove to Tustin a few months ago to pick up a Challenger.

Multiple security deposits don’t lower the cap cost, they lower the rate (MF) if the manufacturer offers that option. Usually worth doing regardless of your credit if you have the spare cash available.

I see Cody has chimed in after I wrote the above.

Where is 640-660 coming from? Credit karma? If so that can be wayyy off. Either use myFICO (paid) creditchecktotal (1$ trial) to see your actual FICO scores . It could be higher or lower then what you think . Especially your auto Fico scores, those can be higher then your regular Fico score

Use myfico or experian. It is just $19.95 to pull 3 credit bureau. My previous experience from diff brand, needs at least 680+ to be even considered for best tier. Of course salary and previous auto loan/lease in the history comes into play as well not just score. My score usually fluctuates by 80-100 points. When my lease ends and go car shopping and lease 2-3 at a time in a given month. I should probably spread out my lease end 4 months apart to give my score a chance to go up. Just leased 2 within 2 weeks apart and my score dropped 50 points for closing my prev lease and opening a new one. I got a tier 1 for both lease so doesnt really matter.

You can get a free credit report once a year from - which was set up by the bureaus themselves to provide a free consumer copy without showing an inquiry (I don’t know if the other ones show an inquiry- probably not). If you can answer the security questions accurately, you can get all three bureaus instantly.

See if there’s anything bad on there that’s not accurate. If so, you can dispute it, but it’ll take time. The one thing you can impact fairly quickly is if you pay your revolving balances down (5-10% of the limit is supposed to be ideal, better than a zero balance), when the next statement comes out from that credit card, that is what’s reported to your bureau and the percentage of limit affects your score. Another trick is to call you credit card companies and see if they’ll raise your limit without doing an inquiry (an inquiry will run down your score). If they do, you’re percentage of limit available will increase, raising your score. Make the payments before the statement date so the next statement will report the higher percentage of credit available.

@Cody_Carter says Toyota will take the highest of all three scores- that’s great. Don’t try to second guess what it’ll be- let Cody or your Toyota dealer run your application and tell you what the lender’s using. If you have time, pay down your balances and raise your limits. If not, find a dealer and let them run it. I’m sure Cody can tell you what your payment looks like at the various tiers. They may not even vary that much.

One suggestion- don’t drag Cody through the mud unless you intend to do business with him. Maybe get lease quotes assuming Tier 2 for example, then move forward with the dealer you want to use.


Hello Hackrs,

Pls clarify - if I can get say, 8% off MSRP, say $44K 2019 4runner down to $41K yet RV is still based on MSRP then why does getting price down matter to me when doing a LEASE? Even if I do a buyout the buyback price is based on RV not the price I negotiated right?
And the lease tax in CA is based on 36mo depreciation so again doesn’t matter what I negotiate MSRP to, no? What am I missing? (Other than brain cells?)

Looking at a high RV 66%? 4runner TRD Pro (36 mo/can do 10K or 12K, sales tax here is 7.5), but Myfico auto score is 651 or less (depending on version), am I crazy to lease?
Income has boosted to low 6-figures in last 2 years and Hyundai was financed and paid off on time in 2013. I do have large student loan debt and 2 credit cards. All current now. I rent. No other obligations.

If I cant get bumped into tier 2 then should I wait?
If my MF is over .00230 or say, higher than 5 or 6%, should I run? What’s the cutoff? I cant afford a finance.
There probably wont be any discounts on 4runners this year I heard. Does that make it a bad deal already? I’d like a fun 4x4 to drive, not necessarily with a truck bed.
Leasewizard says I can expect to provide a cap reduction and to provide a security deposit. I’ll do an MSD as it’s refundable. Idk, maybe I can cough up an extra $2500 (in addition to acq. fees, first month and the other doc fees and crap). Is that enough?
If my lease payment is over 500 I’d probably not do it.
(I have emailed a dealer on this forum, awaiting response.)
Thanks fellow hackrs!

The monthly payment is based on the adjusted capitalized cost which is a combination of the selling price plus any cap cost reduction and any drive offs you are not paying up front less the residual value. has a great article on how leasing works and breaks all of this down. I would start there.

Basically you’re paying for the difference between the residual value and the adjusted cap cost, which is why selling price matters. If sale price didn’t matter, they manufacturers would not include lease cash or lease incentives.

My buddy once had a Honda sales manager get mad at him during negotiation and say what does the selling price matter if you’re just making a monthly payment…


As StingerTT said, a lower selling price means you’re paying less to get to the residual over the term of the lease for the depreciation portion of your payment, so it matters.

The lease tax is charged on your down payment (CCR- capitalized cost reduction), $80 doc fee (sounds like you’re in CA?), and the base payment (depreciation and rent) on a monthy basis. So if your base payment is $400, your payment with 7.5% tax is $430.

Not crazy to lease at all. Let’s say your MF is 0.00230. Times 2400 is the APR equivalent of 5.5%. What APR would you get on a purchase, anyway? The only cutoff is what you consider reasonable.

Ignore Leasewizard. A discount from MSRP is like a down payment. Deposit may or may not influence a lender. Go with what your trusted Toyota dealer says. It’s the lender’s policies and the FICO scores that the lender pulls that matters. MSDs are by definition refundable. You probably will get a good return on them if you compare your payment savings vs the amount of the deposit, and it’s tax free.

@StingerTT - I was visiting a friend of mine (Chuck) many years ago when he was a sales manager at a Honda dealership. A salesman leaned into the sales office and said his customer just wanted a brochure. Chuck said “tell him we don’t have brochures- we have owner’s manuals.” Obviously smart ass, but I thought it was funny.

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That’s pretty funny! That’s thinking on his feet, haha. I’m just glad he didn’t try to pull a fast one and straight lie to the customer’s face about the important of selling price.

She was definitely a new-age manager though… brought up in training that teaches to always sell based on monthly, sale price doesn’t matter. Guess the finance manager would have to do all the work.

Hi hackrs
With my fico auto score of 651 I’m hurting.
36/10 lease on a 4RUNNER TRD Pro.
I can’t do 6750 in MSDs, maybe half that.
So this is through Toyota financial.
Does anyone know a good statewide CALIFORNIA credit union that does leases?
I live in Norcal, above sacramento.
$650 on a lease is high. Maybe I can ask for a 24 mo lease or try a cheaper 4runner?

Here are the numbers based on my score.
$1315.57 drive off
$6,750 MSDs
$687.01 plus tax
$736.82 with Tax

If we were able to bump to tier 2: .00253 (After MSDs)
$1230.40 drive off
$6,075 MSDs
$607.60 plus tax
$651.65 with tax

24 months will only make your payments go up even higher. If you can’t do MSDs, your payment will also go up.

MF is very high with TFS on 4Runners so it’s almost impossible to get a good lease deal.

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This is not a TRD PRO. Its a TRD Offroad Premium

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Most of the time they don’t even ask for your income proof. If you are paying your current debts somehow, money has to come from somewhere. I worked in the auto field for about 1.5 years, and boy, did I see b.s slide by (income wise). People would put random companies that were located in other countries, and no one ever checked. I had a dude literally google a foreign company and make up his income and rent. He got approved with a 620 experian. No income proof either for a 20+k car. Funny part he still pays for it just fine. Then another guy with “supposedly” 100+k income leases a car, and it gets repo’d 4 months later.

First guy was probably a drug dealer side hustle. Thing is I dont see it feasible paying 7% APR/MF or $650 a month for a lease 36/10K. I have to shop around a bit more.
I wonder if there’s a credit union in CA I can join that does leases but no one local I can find.

No, he was a student in college, trying to get his first car.