Yes, some of the larger credit unions have lease programs. Some even ”no money” programs that are attracting new customers. Others have programs that will allow you to buy the vehicle at any time or get out of the lease if you pay for reasonable wear-and-tear.
Credit Union vs Automaker Leasing
Despite credit unions stepping deeper and deeper into the car leasing game, they still face some hurdles when compared to lease offers made by automakers. Usually, a credit union cannot meet, let alone beat, the low monthly payments advertised by automakers. In general, only large credit unions in larger cities will offer lease options. Even then, you will have to approach the credit union in person. You will not find credit union leasing offered to you at the dealership. This may require more time, effort, and homework than you expected.
Is a Credit Union Auto Lease Right for You?
Keep in mind that leasing a car may not be your best option. First, leases are only offered to the top tier of credit scores. If your score is under 760, you will not be able to lease. Secondly, you have to take care about the number of miles you put on a leased vehicle. The average driver puts between 12 and 15 thousand miles on a car each year. Most leases only allow for 12,000 miles, some only allow 10,000. If you exceed the mileage restrictions you could be on the hook to the tune of 35 cents for each mile over, which adds up very quickly. The last thing you want is a car for which you are still making monthly payments sitting in your garage or driveway because it has become so expensive to drive. If you drive 20 miles per day–about half the national average–that’s a mileage charge of $210 a month, possibly as much as your payment itself! Take care to read all of the fine print before you sign on for a lease. In the end, you may be better off with a car loan from a credit union. You can read more about these here.