You can have someone take over your lease payments, just as long as your lender allows lease transfers. Lease transfers are not a quick process, as the person taking over your lease must apply to your bank for lease approval and sign contracts. Learn about how to transfer a lease to someone else and which factors you should consider before doing so.
Transferring your lease is known as lease assumption, and not all banks allow it. Call your bank to ask if transferring your lease is an option and how to go about having an interested lessee apply. A lease assumption allows someone else to take over the remainder of your lease, while still having to abide by mileage requirements and end-of-lease fees stated in your contract. Lease transfers are attractive to some since the original lessee has already put money down and finished out some of the leasing term.
The person you transfer your lease to must have good to excellent credit. Not only will you have to advertise to find an interested party, but you'll also have to find someone with established credit, as well. The new lessee must also provide full coverage insurance on the leased vehicle before the transfer becomes official. Some lenders charge over $500 for a lease transfer, which either you or the applicant must pay. Ask your lender if any transfer fees apply; this way you can decide if you'll cover the charges or if the applicant will.
Unless you have someone ready to take over your lease, you'll have to advertise. Go to LeaseTrader.com or SwapaLease.com if you want to target those interested in assuming a lease. The websites do charge for their services, but can take care of bank requirements, including applications, pre-screening and contracts. Otherwise, you can try your area's used car classifieds, whether it be newspaper or Internet advertisements. Also let friends and family know you want to transfer your lease, as word of mouth can find you an interested party.
Some lenders require you to stay on the lease contract even after transfer, meaning you become responsible for missed payments or end-of-lease charges, such as over-mileage, excess wear-and-tear or unfixed repairs if the person you transferred to does not pay. Transferring to a stranger can prove risky if your bank doesn't allow for a full transfer. Ask your bank if you have to remain on the contract with the new lessee, and if so, consider the financial risks involved before transferring.
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Shanan Miller covers automotive and insurance topics for various websites, blogs and dealerships. She has extensive automotive experience, including auction, insurance, finance, service and management positions. Miller has worked for dealer sales events around the United States and now stays local as a sales and leasing consultant for a dealership.