New at this - apply alone or as co-leasee?

hi all - would appreciate thoughts based on our current situation. my partner & i share a car and previously leased a rav4 with help from a broker. we returned that car last month and are now interested in a mazda3 sedan. we’ve reached out to the same broker for help (while a bit more educated this time around, i’m not confident we could secure a good/fair lease on our own).

ultimately, we’re unsure whether we’re better off applying as co-leasees again or if it’s stronger for one of us to apply alone from a financial/lease standpoint.

currently, i’m unemployed (going out on my own but currently no income). i’ve maintain a ~780 fico score and recently checked my credit report, all looks good. my partner has slightly higher income than before, but it doesn’t cover our former combined income. their fico is lower than mine.

i’ve been researching and reading threads here but am quite confused about Tiers etc. any help or perspective would be appreciated. our broker just asked for current employment and income – we haven’t updated him as i was hoping credit inquires would be sufficient but i guess not. thank you in advance!

You won’t get approved with no income, so there doesn’t seem to be much of a choice.

You could apply together in certain circumstances if there’s some kind of benefit. My wife has no income but is currently a college student, so on my last lease I was the co-applicant with income so we could qualify for the college discount. But in general as long as the primary earner has a credit score over 700 you’ll probably be OK.

I was able to put my wife, who has no income, as primary and me as a co-signer with MBFS. The finance guy was surprised it got approved that way. Apparently he’s never seen that happen before. I wanted her as primary to build her credit history, so i specifically pushed them to put her name on the top line. Not sure what exactly they looked at, but it worked in our favor.

thank you all for your helpful responses.

If two people are on the lease, the lease trade line (account) will report on both credit reports.

FICO will score the trade line based on its presence on the report, and history reports for both parties.

It doesn’t matter whose name is first on the lease agreement.