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I leased a VW beetle one year and two months ago, and am struggling to make the lease payment. I went in thinking I would qualify for the 0%, but ended up with a higher interest rate and $349 payment. I have tried to renegotiate this with VW without success. Do you have any suggestions? I am 55 year-old female who will graduate with my first bachelors degree in Corporate Communication in May 2009. I have worked part-time the last four years, and money is extremely tight. I leased this car only due to the car I owned blew the engine, and was unrepairable. Yikes! Can you help me? Sincerely, Marilyn S. Hillsman

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Jennifer Streets, Director of Marketing  at Swapalease.com Marilyn, One option you should look into is having someone assume your current lease. Swapalease.com is a company that can help find you a buyer that is willing to take over the remaining payments on your lease. The process is simple, you post your vehicle online and Swapalease.com has thousands of buyers that are looking to get into a preexisting lease. Once a buyer is interested in your vehicle they will contact you directly for you to take to them. They then will go through a credit check through your current leasing company, and once approved there will just be a few new contracts that will need to be signed to put the new buyer as the primary lease holder. Please check out Swapalease.com to see if this option is right for you. Sincerely, Jennifer Streets Marketing Director for Swapalease.com

Jessie L Thatcher, F&I and Sales Specialist at Reynolds and Reynolds Company  (Retired) Unfortunately, you are liable for the entire term of your lease. The only way to get out of your contract is to find someone to take over your lease and keep in mind your financial institution that holds the lease will have to approve any of this type of transaction. You will most likely not be able to renegotiate the contract and certainly not with the dealer. You will have to go directly to the financial institution that holds your lease to see if they have any way to accommodate your needs. Once the dealer "cashes in" your contract with the bank they cannot make any changes and have no power to renegotiate any terms. A lease is designed to take the full term of the contract and it is very expensive to terminate the contract early. Call the financial institution today and explain your situation and see if they can help you. Your only other option is to contact your personal banker to see if there is any way you can pay off the lease with a retail contract and extend the terms of the loan to a place that may lower the payment.

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