Need help getting out of bad car situation

I am trying to help a friend who 2 years ago got out of a bad lease situation by making it worse with a bad purchase decision to eat the negative equity situation on their lease due to excess miles.

In a nutshell she has ~$7000 negative equity on her purchase and almost 5 years left in payments on the vehicle.

I am looking for a deal that would allow me to eat the negative equity in 2 year(3 max) lease for under $500 a month including taxes. Ideally they would like to stay in a small SUV like they have but it is not an absolute requirement.

I have looked at terrains / equinox’s and so far the lease incentives aren’t good enough to get me where I want be.

Any suggestions on a vehicle to look at that might in a situation like this eat the negative equity and still keep the payment under the desired $500 per month?

Nobody is eating the negative equity. Nobody. You need something that is under $300 a month with a very low MF for a 36 month lease. 2 year lease would require staying under $200 a month. That isn’t happening.

Look into the Mazda CX-5. The MF is very low IIRC and it should be doable to stay under the budget of $500 on a Touring model.


What is the advantage of making yet another transaction where “your friend” who definitely isn’t you, tacks on new interest and taxes to the negative equity?

How is that better than “your friend” simply making extra payments on the principal? Why not actually fix it, by paying it down in its existing form than seeking out a $30k crossover to drive at an exorbitant payment? Why not just make the exorbitant payment on the current ride?

I’ll never understand this philosophy. I think my old man used to call it “chasing good money with bad.”



First off it is not me - But thank you for your kind words.

I know that no dealer can “eat” the negative equity. I am looking for a deal with a decent enough discount where it can be built in and still get to a payment that works.

The hope would be eat the negative equity in a new lease where she was off from under her situation in 2-3 years instead of close to 5

What is the current payment and vehicle?

I would be very hesitant about suggesting your friend take on another lease, given the fact they’re in this situation because they couldn’t stick to the terms of the last lease.


Still doesn’t add up. Make the equivalent extra payments on the principal, and one won’t be upside down sooner than the end of the note. Can’t give exact month it’ll happen, but one doesn’t need to have a car paid in full to not be upside down, at which point CarMax is a phone call away.


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Nissan Rogue - 2018 $450

Life situation changed dramatically since purchase and is no longer driving the 20k miles that got her in trouble. This is why lease option might work now if I can find her the right deal to build the negative equity in to.

Seems like a silly reason beside she wants a new car. She has a new, reliable car under warranty and trying to get out of it at the worst part of the depreciation curve. Not using the mileage isn’t really logically. Wait another year and she can likely come close to breaking even especially if she puts more towards the principle.


$7000 divided by 36 is $194, leave less than $300 for lease.
$300 can lease a Camry, but it’s not a SUV.

And that’s in a tax- and interest-free world.

Which is not where we live.



So she’s driving less now? Why does that mean she needs to get out of her current car? What happens when the new car smell wears off in 6 months and she realizes she’s paying 550/mo for a base Equinox? Is she going to try to do this again?

Seems silly to me to just kick the can down the road when her current car is still in good shape and operational.


Up the monthly payment to $500 on the current car. That’s an additional $50 a month toward the principal. Really only time can fix this. Putting her in a base SUV for $500 a month is just kicking the can down the road, IF you can find a captive lender willing to advance that much on an econobox.


CX-5 is doable. Low MF makes it easier to roll everything in

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How much LTV does Mazda/Chase allow?

She took an 84-month loan on a Rogue?

Honestly, I have a friend like this, and I know how it feels to want to help, but even if you “help” her fix the immediate automotive situation, there will be another.

And another.

And another.


How exactly did you figure out the amount of negative equity? Got quotes? from where?

I’ve seen only Toyota CH-R below $250 for a 36/12 in NorCal being offered by a broker.
Other SUV’s are only VW Tiguan but that’s 35/7.5 and Hyundai Kona for 36/10.

The rest as small sedans below $250pm to lease.

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If the car still functions well (and there’s been no mention that it doesn’t), I agree w/ everyone who is recommending your friend simply make bigger payments on the current car.

Why get rid of a perfectly good, pretty new car?

For the 3 weeks of new car smell, of course


problem solved.


Those econoboxes don’t smell that great anyway. We were at a Kia dealership recently and looked at 2020 Kia Soul. Smell reminded me our crawlspace where I leave mice traps and forget to check on them for a while.

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