Tough out current car lease

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Dear Terry,
I am leasing an ’08 Honda. I needed it when I leased it, and the finances weren’t tight like they have become now. How can I lower the payments from $500 a month to maybe $400 or $425?
— Pedro

Dear Pedro,
Your only option would be to buy out the lease and then finance the car with a conventional loan with a longer term that would result in lower payments.

But that’s not going to be easy.

First, you’ll pay a penalty in interest and other costs for early termination of the lease, which means you would probably have to pay more than the car is worth now.

Then you would have to find a lender who would finance the car for seven years or longer on a loan that exceeds 100 percent of the car’s current value. In today’s credit market, that’s very unlikely.

My advice is to tough it out with the current lease if at all possible.