Last year I leased a new car and now I really can't afford the high payments. How can I terminate my lease early without losing a fortune?

Unfortunately, your problem is quite common these days. There are lots of consumers in leases they can't afford. That's why I tell folks over and over: think twice before you decide to lease. In most cases, leasing is a bad idea. Remember, car salesmen love to push leases because they're so profitable for the dealership.

Here are the two best ways to get of your lease early:

  1. Sell the car on your own:
    • Call the finance company or bank that's handling your lease.
    • Ask them for the "pay-off" or "buy-out" amount. This is how much it will cost you to buy the vehicle outright.
    • Try to sell the car on your own to a private party with the goal of making that "pay-off" amount -- or at least getting very close to it.

  2. Find someone to take over your lease:
    • Visit a "lease trading" website such as swapalease.com.
    • Place an online ad to get out of your lease.
It's not always easy to get out of a lease, especially when you owe more than the car is actually worth. (A common situation.) But it can be done. So give it a try - and best of luck.

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