A car lease is effectively a large loan, so your credit score will certainly come into play. Generally, credit scores range from 300-850, with a higher score signifying less credit risk. So the higher your credit score, the more likely you’ll be approved for the lease, and the better financing terms you’ll receive.
For this reason, it’s recommended that you check your credit score prior to applying for a new car lease. If you go in blind, you could find that after all the negotiating, your credit score kills the deal entirely.
Generally, the dealership will only pull a single credit score from one of the three credit bureaus. While this may seem like an advantage, it could actually backfire, as credit scores always differ among bureaus. For example, you may have a score of 740 with one bureau and 690 with another. If the dealership pulls credit from the bureau with the lower score, you could end up with a higher monthly payment or no financing at all.
That’s why it’s important to know all three of your credit scores prior to car shopping. There are a number of credit reporting options out there that offer free trial periods, you just need to look around. Typically, they allow free access to your credit report for 30 days so long as you cancel before the trial ends.
Just be careful they don’t throw in any other hidden charges. Often times, you may have to sign up for another “free service” to get access to your free report. So make sure you cancel each and every service you sign up for once you’ve seen your score and you longer need access.
* Also note that the free credit report over at Annualcreditreport.com does not provide actual credit scores, but simply your credit history. While this can be beneficial, most consumers will need to see their actual scores to get a good idea as to where they stand.
Generally speaking, a credit score above 720 will result in an approved lease application and the best financing terms. While credit score alone won’t necessarily result in approval, a score in this range will be enough on the credit front to get the ball rolling.
If your score is below 620, you’ll be considered a subprime borrower, and you may need to do some touching up before applying for an auto lease. If your score falls between 620 and 720, you’ll likely be able to obtain financing, though the rate will vary depending on the actual score.