How To Lease A Truck With Bad Credit?
If you’re concerned about how to lease a truck with bad credit, don’t despair. You can lease a truck without good credit but, when possible, check and correct your credit reports first.
Health problems, divorce, employment, bankruptcy, or special circumstances can result in late payments or credit defaults that equal bad credit. Unfortunately, bad credit is expensive.
Identity theft or unauthorized use of your accounts can also result in bad credit. Even when bad credit isn’t your fault, you must take the necessary steps to dispute the misuse of your name and credit:
• The top three credit reporting agencies (CRAs) do report errors that remain on your credit reports unless you take steps to identify and correct them.
• According to a 2012 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study, more than 25 percent of consumers had at least one error reporting on a TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax credit report.
• You have a legal right to review and dispute errors on your credit profiles.
• When you can, take these steps before taking out a bad credit truck lease.
To learn more about how to manage your personal or business credit, visit FTC.gov.
What You Need To Follow This Tutorial
• Credit reports, receipts, support documents and, possibly, a cosigner.
• Time and determination to correct credit report errors and pay down debts or liens.
• Basic negotiation skills to get a better truck lease rate.
• List of lessors to approach before submitting a truck lease application.
Since you want to know how to lease a truck with bad credit, we’ll discuss the impact of bad credit on the cost of your truck lease.
We’ll discuss the types of lenders to approach, strategies for getting a truck lease with bad credit approved and, finally, how to take control of your credit.
Bad Credit Scores
If you haven’t checked your credit in years, you may automatically believe it’s bad. Don’t assume. Know your FICO credit scores to determine your credit quality.
According to the Wall Street Journal, you’ve got bad credit if your FICO scores are 550 or below. The myFico.com site says that credit scores between 350 and 599 represent bad credit:
• Credit scores range from 300 to 850. It’s unlikely that all three CRAs will report identical credit scores on the same information.
• In some cases, the lender may use only one credit reporting agency to check your credit.
• It’s a good idea to know how your credit file reports on the CRA before submitting a lease application.
• Identify those lenders most likely to approve your truck lease before submitting an application. Too many applications can hurt your credit.
Let’s review the steps you should take to: 1) get your truck lease approved, and 2) pay a competitive rate on the lease.
Cost of Bad Credit
Bad credit might not prevent you from leasing a truck, but the lender will charge you more. Start with large dealers. Even if the large dealer’s captive finance company doesn’t approve your truck lease, the dealer may have the option to hold paper (like your truck lease).
Small dealers are likely to have a larger network of more flexible lenders than larger dealers but this isn’t always true.
Let’s say you’re in a hurry to lease a truck and aren’t terribly frightened of the 15 percent or higher rate the lessor will charge for a bad credit truck lease:
• If you contact alternative lenders on the phone or in person, it’s possible to come away with the conclusion that a bad credit truck lease might not be that difficult to manage. The alternative lessor may ask questions like, “How much money or collateral do you have today?” and says “We’ll work with you.”
• If you ask, “What will my payments be?” the alternative lessor will probably quote the “best” rate given to customers. He or she may feel there’s no obligation to explain the true costs of a bad credit truck lease.
• After you express interest in a truck, the lessor’s representative may explain that your truck lease will cost more than previously discussed.
Tip: It’s always best to plan for success. Unless you’ve got good credit, substantial collateral, a qualified cosigner, or cash in hand, your best course of action is to clean up your credit report.
This will take some time:
• Pay down existing credit card or loan balances as much as possible over a minimum 90 day period.
• Avoid slow pays now. Make payments as agreed and on time.
• Don’t request new credit of any kind during this period. New hard inquiries or credit accounts can lower your credit scores.
Tip: You probably won’t be able to soften the credit impact of a recent bankruptcy, vehicle repossession, or child support owed. Consult an attorney as part of your preparation if any of these conditions apply to you.
Bad Credit Truck Lease Strategy
Your bad credit truck lease strategy will depend on your credit profile specifics. For instance, if you’ve got slow pays or dated derogatory remarks on your credit reports but you’ve taken the steps mentioned above to improve your credit, it’s possible that a dealer’s captive finance arm will approve your truck lease.
Tip: Tell the prospective lessor about your credit report before submitting an application. Ask about dealer representative about your chances of getting approved.
• If you’ve got more recent slow payments or other derogatory remarks on your credit, you’re likely to need a qualified cosigner with good credit to get qualified by a dealer. Don’t wait for the dealer to ask. Have someone lined up.
• If you’ve gone through a bankruptcy (and the bankruptcy is aged) and/or you’ve got charge-offs on your credit reports, you may find that an independent finance company or a smaller dealer will agree to approve the truck lease.
• A current bankruptcy or recent repossession will probably disqualify you with dealers of all sizes and most independent truck finance companies. In this scenario, identify one or more private sellers or private transportation finance businesses now.
Tip: Always prepare to support your bad credit truck lease with documentation, even when the lessor’s application doesn’t ask for or require it.
Bad Credit Truck Lease Support Documents
Your desire to know how to lease a truck with bad credit may be motivated by business demand. Perhaps you recently received commitments for new work that can only be performed with the truck to be leased:
• Bring letters of intent, invoices, or contracts that support predicted cash flow to the lessor.
• Letters of recommendation from existing commercial customers can also improve the lessor’s impression.
Tip: You can also negotiate an increased amount due at signing to lower the amount you’ll pay over the lease term, offer substantial collateral, or, as above, line up a cosigner with good credit before submitting a truck lease application.
Mitigate Impact of Bankruptcy on Truck Financing
It’s possible to soften the impact of bankruptcy or other serious financial shortfall by planning ahead:
• For instance, if you declared bankruptcy after a loved one’s extended health crisis, write a statement to the lender that explains what happened, when it happened, and how you did everything possible to pay medical bills with the resources available.
• Support your statement with documentation.
If you’re approved for a bad credit truck lease after a recently discharged bankruptcy, you will pay more. Since fewer dealers or independent finance businesses will agree to finance in these circumstances, it’s important to consider success in this context.
Tip: Provide a logical reason for why you filed bankruptcy. If any of the items discharged in the bankruptcy continue to report to CRAs, bring documents and the bankruptcy schedule to show the outstanding items were discharged.
Similarly, if you suffered a vehicle repo in extenuating circumstances, explain the situation to the lender:
• Let’s say your previous truck seriously malfunctioned and you submitted a claim to your insurer.
• Months later, the insurer hasn’t paid the claim and the lender is anxious.
• Although your credit scores reflect bad credit, it’s important to tell the new lessor about your successful past. Share correspondence with the insurer and/or lender, and support with documents.
Tip: When the insurance company pays your claim, satisfy the lender’s demands and advise your current lender. You may be able to renegotiate terms.
Now let’s review the basics of how to check your credit and dispute errors on your credit reports. While it’s always best to perform these steps before submitting an application for a bad credit truck lease, your business might not have the luxury of waiting for credit bureaus to correct disputed items.
According to the FTC, it can take six months or longer for some disputed errors to be removed from credit reports.
Step 1: Check Your Credit
FTC reports that about 30 percent of U.S. consumers have FICO credit scores of 550 or below. If you’re interested in learning your credit scores, open a credit tracking account with one or all of the CRAs.
• Although sites like CreditKarma.com offer you access to free credit scores, the scores you receive might not be identical to those computed by the CRAs. The scores presented are considered “educational.”
• Some experts refer to the scores as “FAKO” scores because, as noted, they differ from actual TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax scores.
• You can also open a myFico®.com account to gather more information about the credit score needed to qualify for the truck lease you want.
• The FTC makes it possible for every U.S. consumer to access their credit reports for free at least once a year. Note that your credit reports won’t include your FICO credit scores, however.
Tip: As we revealed above, lenders don’t make credit decisions based only on your credit scores. It’s important to remember that the time you spend to help your lender make a positive decision may save you money.
Step 2: Dispute Errors on Credit Reports
Review your credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com and dispute any errors—including name, address, loans, and credit card accounts—on each of your credit reports online:
• Removing even one error can improve your FICO credit score and make it easier to lease the truck of your choice.
• Regularly checking your credit reports is a good financial practice. Identity theft at some point in the past may have caused bad credit scores. Reporting and taking steps to correct the problem can raise your credit scores.
• If one CRA removes a disputed item, it’s more likely that all three will do so in the near future.
It’s also possible to contact one or all of the CRAs by telephone. You may need to contact Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax if some of the information reported in your credit reports is wrong. You’ll probably be asked to submit supporting information about the item in dispute.
After you dispute any item(s) on the credit reports, allow at least one to two months before submitting a truck lease application. You’ll need to check that each of the CRAs removed the disputed item or items.
Tip: In some cases, paid items might still report as open liens or unpaid accounts. In that case:
• Bring receipts of the payment(s) to the prospective lender to confirm your payment.
Your plan to lease a truck is a big decision. We hope that you benefited from the information presented because it’s based on real experience. Remember that your prospective lender wants to say yes, but it’s up to you to present and organize all the information at the start.
To sum it up:
• Review your credit reports on a regular basis. Don’t wait to correct errors.
• According to the Wall Street Journal, good credit saves you money. If you and a friend earn the same income—but you have good credit and he has bad credit—you will probably save about USD 4,000 a year less. Your home, car, and loans will cost less.
• An individual or business with good credit has more money available to reinvest or just enjoy life.
And, hey, leave a comment if you enjoyed this post. Please share it with your friends because almost everyone can learn more about how to manage their credit. Good credit is an asset!