We've heard this question before, but it bears repeating: Will I be able to lease a Mercedes-Benz with a less than perfect credit score? The answer is yes, but it may take some effort. And it may be more expensive than you would expect. Let's take a look at why.

Leasing allows car shoppers to become lessee for a short period of time, typically three years. During that time, your mileage will be limited to 12,000-15,000 miles per year, depending on lease terms. The best part of this is that leasing lets a shopper get more car for less money. In most cases, that is.

That's because if you don't have good credit, a lease could turn out to be expensive by sticking you with high financing charges or costly maintenance requirements. 


Just like any other loan a lease requires credit approval before it can be initiated.  A dealership will typically consider your credit standing and worthiness before any lease approval is granted.

According to Experian, the average credit scores for those who qualified for a lease in mid-2020 were 729 compared to 718 for new car financing and 657 for used car financing.

The reason for the higher credit scores for lessees could be the higher risk that a leasing company encounters in dealing with you.

When you take on a lease, you are paying for the car's expected depreciation during the three years you'll have the car, along with a "rent" charge, various fees and of course, the taxes.

Credit scores below 620 are considered "subprime" and may be difficult to finance without a very substantial down-payment. 

The bottom line, though, is the lease company is liable for the depreciation, as it may lose its value faster than it should because of factors such as excessive wear and tear, higher mileage, and any other damage it may have encountered during its time on the road.

The other side of the coin finds that all that liability falls on you if you decided to purchase a car rather than lease it.

What You Should Realistically Expect

If you have a low credit score, it could mean a higher finance charge. That means that you may receive a higher money factor or lease rate, which is the cost of what it is for you to finance the new vehicle.

The lower your credit score and the higher your cost of financing may prevent you from receiving the car of your dreams. Lower priced cars should be less difficult to lease and may be an appropriate option for you.

Ways to improve your lease approval chances

Despite a less than stellar credit rating, you still may have other options. Here are a few:

  • Lower your debt-to-income ratio: The DTI calculates your monthly debt payment divided by your monthly gross income. Lower debt-to-income ratings are highly desirable but are just one measurement.

  • Make a down payment: Putting money down for a lease is known as a capitalized cost reduction or cap-cost reduction. Try to save up before applying for a lease. It could lower the cost of the lease, sometimes substantially lowering the monthly payment amounts. Lower payment amounts might increase the chance you will be approved.

  • Consider getting a co-signer: Consider asking a friend or family member with a stronger credit rating to help you out by co-signing on the lease. A co-signer helps to reassure the leasing company of payment if you are not able to. Remember, though, that the co-signer is on the hook for the payments if you cannot meet your responsibility.

  • Ask for Special Financing: If the above ideas don't work for you, talk with the Finance and Insurance specialists at Mercedes-Benz of Rochester. They may be able to offer a solution but please be aware they may involve higher financing charges. 

>> Have a Mercedes-Benz Lease Related Question? Call (507) 322-7150 to Speak with a Lease Specialist at Mercedes-Benz of Rochester <<


Mercedes-Benzof Rochester

4447 Canal Place
Directions Rochester, MN 55904

  • Sales: (507) 322-7150
  • Service: (507) 322-7160
  • Parts: (507) 322-7170

Make an Inquiry