The requirements to qualify for a car lease depend on the dealer, but for the most part, if you’re unemployed you won’t be able to lease a car. Dealers will ask you for your employment information on the lease application, including where you work, how long you’ve been employed there, and how much you make. Most dealers also have a guideline for the maximum lease payment they’ll allow compared to your gross monthly income. For example, a dealer may only offer you a lease with a monthly payment that is equal to or less than 30 percent of your gross monthly income, to ensure that you’re able to pay the lease every month. Without any income, you wouldn’t be able to qualify for a payment of any amount.
Even if you’re receiving unemployment, dealers usually won’t take that into account, because it’s considered temporary income. How long you can get unemployment varies depending on your state, but it typically isn’t as long as the term of a lease would be.
There are some exceptions to this, though. If you’re self-employed or if you own a business, then you could still qualify for a lease. You’ll need to provide proof of income. While people who are employed provide paystubs, you can verify your income when you’re self-employed or own a business by providing bank statements or any other documents showing how much money you’ve been paid.
You may also be able to obtain a lease while unemployed if you have a co-signor. This will depend on the dealer, but they are often more willing to work with you when someone who does have consistent income co-signs.
If you have a large amount of money saved up, the dealer may also work with you if you show them proof of your savings. You will likely need more than the lease in its entirety is going to cost you. Keep in mind that the main thing the dealer is trying to determine is if you will fulfill the terms of the lease and make your payments every month. They use a variety of factors to determine that. One of the main factors is your income, and they also take your credit score into consideration.
Every dealer is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to qualifying for a car lease. Dealers will have their own minimum requirements, and some will be more flexible than others. If you’re unemployed, getting a lease will likely be more challenging for you, but it may not be impossible.
It’s also important to consider if you’re able to afford the lease, especially if you’re unemployed. While a car is useful and almost a necessity in many cities, when you’re out of work you don’t want to take on unnecessary expenses, and lease payments can be hundreds of dollars every month. Even if you do find a dealer that is willing to lease you a car despite your unemployment, that doesn’t mean it’s a good decision.
Before you look for a car lease while unemployed, figure out how you’re going to make your payments every month. With that information, you’ll have a better chance of convincing the dealer that you’re able to afford the lease. To avoid wasting your time, it’s best to call the dealers in your area to see if they’d be receptive to leasing you a car. When you find dealers that are, then you can go visit them in person.