When you assume a lease, you are taking over the lease obligations from the original lease holder, who for whatever reasons can no longer make the lease payments. This is also called a lease transfer or a lease assumption. Taking over a lease is a responsibility to be taken seriously, so it is important that you understand the processes involved in assuming a lease before signing the paperwork. This article will help you understand what you need to do in order to successfully assume a lease.
The first step is to find the car you would like to lease. Some people will advertise their leased car in the newspaper. Others will advertise online; Swapalease.com and Leasetrader.com are popular sites for advertising leased vehicles. These sites will provide you with a lot of valuable information that will help expedite your search: photos of the cars, the current monthly payment on the vehicle, and how much time is left on the lease. You can also visit car dealerships to find cars available for lease assumption.
Once you have found a car or several cars that you are interested in, contact the lessors and follow up with any questions you may have, ie. about the condition of the car. Let them know you are interested in taking over their car lease.
The next step is to visit the dealer from where the car is being leased so that you can get approved for your lease assumption. The dealer will perform a credit check; typically, if your credit score is 680 or above, you will be approved to assume the lease. If your credit score is below 680, you may have trouble being approved. Asking someone with better credit to cosign is one way to improve your chances of being approved for a lease assumption with a low credit score.
Usually, the dealer will require that a lease transfer fee be paid before the lease assumption is approved. Decide whether you or the seller will pay this fee, or if you will each pay a portion of the fee.
It is now time to sign the lease transfer agreement. Make sure you read over all of the paperwork carefully so you are absolutely certain what you are agreeing to. Don’t be afraid to ask the dealer to clarify any portion of the lease transfer agreement that may be unclear to you.
Assuming a lease can be a great way to save some money. While you may have to pay a lease transfer fee (or a portion of that fee), you will not have to pay a down payment, as you would if you were purchasing a car. This could also be a great way to obtain a short term lease, if that is what you are looking for.