How to lease a car without worrying about a credit score (negotiating a car lease like a Tiger)

**Pro Tip 5: How to lease a car without worrying about a credit score (negotiating a car lease like a Tiger)


First, prerequisites from this lesson you should have learned from first 4 car leasing pro tips.

1. Filter out all cars first by they’re residual value (must be over 60% residual for 36 months), by calling/visiting dealers or using sites like . Then out of those cars, figure which you like, how costly it is to maintain (some luxury car dealers like Audi have no maintenance plans and you have to pay for this so your warranty doesnt void), the money factor that will be included in the lease deal and finally the overall price of the car (which I will slap you if you do not negotiate to a couple hundred over invoice. Yes you want dealers to make money).

2. Know what you came to do and do it. Don’t you dare lease a car for over 36 months or buy it/plan to buy it at the end of a lease. I have your address.

3. You should NOT be driving a new ANYTHING while you are in consumer debt (all debt aside from student loans/mortgages). Leasing is slightly more expensive than other options and is a privilege for those no longer in a “save money” phase such as wealth building. Learn the difference and how to put a monetary value on “worry”.

Now you’re ready to figure out how to negotiate a lease.

**Step 1: DO NOT NEGOTIATE A LEASE BASED ON YOUR CREDIT REPORT. EVER. This is the number 1 new booty mistake and dealers can tell who you are if the first thing they say is lets see how your credit is and you say “ok”. I don’t care if you feel you have an 850 FICO, credit scores and credit reports only matter for two people – A. those who are bad at negotiating and B. those who are broke enough to need credit for the things they are interested in.

Though your goal is no monthly bills – ever, play up the dealer as if you are a typical broke person needing to pay the lease monthly. They should not know that you’re paying the lease in full. Tell them you’re too smart to run your credit at multiple locations (and you are indeed pricing out cars at multiple locations – make sure they know this). Tell them you qualify for Tier 1 financing (or Tier 1 + if at a Toyota or Lexus dealership) and that all numbers should be based on a 36 month lease, tier 1 credit & 12k miles/year.

The smartest thing you can do is base these negotiations off a national or local lease offer that these dealers use to get people in the showroom and then switch up the numbers on them.

And they will switch up the numbers and get just about everyone – but you.

**Step 2: Figure out how much power you have exactly and then figure out how to have more.

You should have ALL the power in any dealership negotiation while giving the appearance that the dealer has some as well. Still, the truth is they need you much more than you need them, never forget that. You are the way they pay their rent/mortgages. On the other hand, its just a car for you and you have options.

So how much power do you currently have?
-You have the cash to pay the ENTIRETY of the lease. This gives any dealer a hard-on, however, they are never to know this is your plan until the end.
-You have a car outside that runs perfectly and you are not trading it in. Make sure they know this. If you come in with a car story about how it just blew up or got stolen, they know they have you.
-As mentioned before, you have tier 1/tier 1 plus credit and can go to any dealership and get a car within seconds.

Now, how to have more power?
-Play their greed and sales quotas against them. The rumor is indeed true – if you go to a dealership at the end of a sales month, at the end of a quarter or during a big sales holiday weekend, they will jump quicker at lowball offers.
If you go inside a dealership during a combination of all three and on a car that holds its value, but for some reason they haven’t been able to move? You can basically drive it for at or even less than what the own dealership paid. For this you’d have to hire someone like me as this is a specialty trick few can do.

Otherwise, aim to pay a few hundred over dealer invoice. Find out the dealer invoice on

-Explain that you are deciding to pay the entire lease (called a single pay lease) and watch them salivate. But only do this at the end of the deal.
-Prepare to do the walk out trick. This works and works exquisitely at the end of a sales month/quarter or holiday weekend. Make sure they have your cell phone number. Some dealers are stupid enough to let you walk, until their sales manager asks them what happened and forces them to call you.
-Bring someone who not only knows cars, car deals and who isnt broke but someone who knows car lease warfare!

**Step 3: Do the freakin math. Know that there will be a few scenarios you’re going to be hit with BEFORE you go into the dealership. If you havent done the math for these scenarios, after they present them to you, don’t feel obligated to answer right a way, tell them you need a moment alone.

Don’t overcomplicate the math either.

If a car with a $25k MSRP will be worth 60% of that price in 3 years (36 months), that means it will be worth $15k when you go to turn it in. Subtract $25k from $15k and you’ll essentially be paying for $10k worth of depreciation over those 36 months, plus tax, interest and fees.

$10k/36 months = $277/month.
$277 + 12% (tax, interest and fees) = $310.24

But remember – again, you aren’t paying MSRP, you’re paying a couple hundred over invoice. This means you’re really paying the depreciation of a $23k car becomming a $15k car. Using the same formula above that means you’re paying $248.88/month.

If you add up $248.88/month times 36 months, the total cost of that lease with all fees should be $8,959.68.

**Step 4: Check the credit & disclose the cash. Remember, all of this was being negotiated on tier 1 credit. Lets assume you have nothing but student loans on your credit report that have been paid for the last 3-5 years. You will indeed have tier 1 credit.
However, lets assume you worked hard enough to avoid student loans and don’t have anything on your credit report – nothing positive or negative – nothing. Then you have a few options:
A. Lease through the business you started. This is what I do. You will pay a slightly higher rate (because thats how business financing works). Then you introduce the prepayment of the lease. And then you don’t pay a slightly higher rate – in fact a much lower rate.
B. Understand that the first lease will be the spark. You will take out the normal 36 month lease at a reasonable rate (since you are prepaying) and then you will pay sell that car in 24 months. At this point your credit report will show a paid off lease and the world is yours. Go in for your next lease with nothing on your report but on time paid in full lease obligations (which arent debt).
C. Get a co-signer. If you do this, I will post nude pictures of you online that i created from photoshop. You don’t need a co-signer, you need power. Cash is power.

Once the credit is pulled and the dealer understands that you are prepaying the lease (called a single pay lease), take the numbers you worked out initially, the total cost for 30 months of $8,959.69 and figure out how much money your money is worth to you as well as to them.

There are mathematical ways to figure this out but here is an easier way.
Would you feel comfortable with a $1500 discount for easing the leasing company’s concerns of someone walking away from a lease? Would you feel comfortable with a $2k discount?

Remember, you have the power. Play them until you cant play them anymore. If you have to walk at a $1300 discount and they don’t reach out to you, then you know that was the lowest offer possible. Or you could go to another dealer and compare offers.

Once the deal is settled, for lets say, $1300 off the lease for prepaying it, you will have paid the equivalent of $212.76/month to drive a $25k worry free car.

There are a few sideline things to negotiate like wear and tear, lease termination fees etc. But if you focus on the above, you will be a lease Jedi.

Any questions?

(*Note: you can command these types of discounts with a clean credit report and a single pay lease option because you are risking the capital you lay out incase your leased car is totalled or stolen/unreturned. Since you’ve laid out the cash, its gone in this event. For this reason, leasing single pay is only for those who have strong enough cash positions to support this. Realize however, if you get a $2k discount on a lease, and your car was totalled during a lease in which you drove all but $5k of the car you prepayed, that loss would be more than paid for over a few years of leasing other cars. Imagine a lifetime of leasing 20 cars getting a $2k discount on each?)

Insurance for when you are no longer BROKE


We talk a lot about those who are broke, but for those who have done the hard work to pay off their debts and improve their finances, you must now take time to protect them.

You as a non-broke person will now need the following (some are new and some you should alread have):

***Child birth insurance:

Also known as condoms and birth control and keeping it in your pants. This can save you over $240k over a 17 year period.

***Gold digger insurance (male or female):

Also known as prenups, trusts and avoiding legal marriage altogether

***Car Insurance:

Bodily injury- $100k per person/ $300k per accident

Property damage liability: $100k

Uninsured/Underinsured bodily injury: 100k per person/ $300k per accident

***Renters/Homeowner’s Insurance: enough to cover all potential damages to rebuild or replace the covered items.

***Personal Umbrella Policy: $1million dollars in additional/supplemental coverage. Normally used as protection in a lawsuit.

Umbrella insurance provides broad insurance beyond traditional home and auto. It provides additional liability coverage above the limits of homeowner’s, auto, and boat insurance policies. It can also provide coverage for claims that may be excluded by the primary policies. These may include, but are not limited to:

False arrest



Invasion of privacy

***Business Owners: your business entity is a form of insurance. An LLC can shield your personal assets and works best with a personal umbrella policy. For landlords who were smart enough to place their properties inside of an LLC, landlord insurance is a benefit as well. There are three additional insurance policies most businesses should have as part of a a BOP (business owner’s policy) more to be discussed in

***Life Insurance: Renewable 20-30 year TERM insurance. Stay the unholy hell away from Whole Life or annuities of any type.

The purpose of this insurance is to hold you over until you can become self-insured by your assets.

The renewable clause in a term life insurance policy means that the insuring company will allow you to renew your policy at a set rate without undergoing a medical. This means that if an insured person is diagnosed with a fatal disease just as the term runs out, he or she will be able to renew the policy at a competitive rate despite the fact that the insurance company is certain to have to pay out.

Look to obtain 8-10 times your annual income as an insurance payout.

***Medical Insurance: There are a ton of variables with medical insurance. Main thing to know is that most medical insurance in the U.S. sucks hot lava balls.

With that being said, it still beats being uninsured any day of the week. As well, you need to avoid all of the hoopla on high deductible insurance – it doesn’t work for those who need it the most.

A good rule of thumb is to keep a low deductible ($500 or below) keep atleast 20/80 co-insurance, keep your co-pays for regular doctors visits around $20-$30 and below. You’ll also need a policy with a max out of pocket clause.

Supplemental health insurance (Aflac) and dental insurance are good bets as well.

***Long term care insurance: A nursing home can cost about $74,208 a year per person. If you and your spouse go into an assisted living facility with $300,000 in life savings, you’ll have it used up so fast you won’t believe it.

You can save yourself a good portion of that liability by purchasing a long term car insurance policy though it could run you about $4,000+ a year. If you are approaching 60, start looking at long-term care insurance. Don’t buy it before then (it’s not necessary enough at that point) or after (it can get away too expensive).

Remember, rich people and poor people don’t need long-term-care insurance. Poor people can turn to Medicaid. Rich people can self-insure. So the question comes down to those in the middle.

***Did I mention child birth insurance?

Also known as condoms and birth control and keeping it in your pants. This can save you over $240k over a 17 year period.

Electric Car Recommends

Car cost

A lot of people ask me for this list because I’m always listing my EV as one of the top 5 things I’ve ever paid for in life.

So here you go.

Below are the most cost effective 100% electric vehicles to consider when you’re ready to make the switch. (Note to be on this list, the car/sedan must have zero gasoline engine components).

In order of purchase price:

  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV ($23,800)
  • Smart Car Electric Drive ($25,700)
  • Chevy Spark ($26k)
  • Nissan Leaf ($29,800)
  • Ford Focus Electric ($30k)
  • Fiat 500e ($32,600)
  • Kia Soul EV ($33,700)
  • Volkswagen E-Golf ($34,270)
  • Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive ($42k)
  • BMW i3 ($44k)

In order of TOTAL cost to lease & operate (Lease term = 36 months. Compare these total costs to the total $838/month for a typical recent model gasoline powered sedan)*:

  • Smart Car Electric Drive ($268.48/month)
  • Volkswagen E-Golf ($315.70/month)
  • Fiat 500e ($316.98/month)
  • Ford Focus Electric ($348.35/month)
  • Chevy Spark ($351.33/month)
  • Nissan Leaf ($361.09/month)
  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV ($380.34/month)
  • Kia Soul EV ($404.98/month)
  • BMW i3 ($432.87/month)
  • Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive ($518.15/month)

*Math formula:

Total lease payments + insurance + maintenance + electricity – tax rebates (divided by) 36 months = monthly average cost to operate

Example: Nissan Leaf ($10,279.40 total lease payments + $3,600 total insurance + $540 total maintenance + $1,080 total electricity costs – $2,500 tax rebate = $261.09/month)

Stay away from these cars if you are in debt and don’t have 3 times the price of the car or total lease amount in your bank/investment accounts:

-Tesla Model S ($71k)

A lot of people ask me for this list because I’m always listing my EV as one of the top 5 things I’ve ever paid for in life.
So here you go.

Below are the most cost effective 100% electric vehicles to consider when you’re ready to make the switch. (Note to be on this list, the car/sedan must have zero gasoline engine components).

In order of purchase price:

-Mitsubishi i-MiEV ($23,800)
-Smart Car Electric Drive ($25,700)
-Chevy Spark ($26k)
-Nissan Leaf ($29,800)
-Ford Focus Electric ($30k)
-Fiat 500e ($32,600)
-Kia Soul EV ($33,700)
-Volkswagen E-Golf ($34,270)
-Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive ($42k)
-BMW i3 ($44k)

In order of TOTAL cost to lease & operate (Lease term = 36 months. Compare these total costs to the total $838/month for a typical recent model gasoline powered sedan)*:

-Smart Car Electric Drive ($168.48/month)
-Volkswagen E-Golf ($215.70/month)
-Fiat 500e ($216.98/month)
-Ford Focus Electric ($248.35/month)
-Chevy Spark ($251.33/month)
-Nissan Leaf ($261.09/month)
-Mitsubishi i-MiEV ($280.34/month)
-Kia Soul EV ($304.98/month)
-BMW i3 ($332.87/month)
-Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive ($418.15/month)

*Math formula:
Total lease payments + insurance + maintenance + electricity – tax rebates (divided by) 36 months = monthly average cost to operate
Example: Nissan Leaf ($10,279.40 total lease payments + $540 total maintenance + $1,080 total electricity costs – $2,500 tax rebate = $261.09/month)

Stay away from these cars if you are in debt and don’t have 3 times the price of the car or total lease amount in your bank/investment accounts:
-Tesla Model S ($71k)

Debt Free Divas Podcast Interview with Jarim Person Lynn!

Debt free divas

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of sitting down with my faves the @debtfreedivas for a great interview on all things BKF.
Check it out here –>>
Or visit your Stitcher radio app and search for the “debtfreedivas” podcast!

What does your mental diet consist of?

Stitcher blog

All of the things I profit each month on are from specific things I learn daily from educational articles shared amongst our Winner’s Circle Members, books, various Stitcher radio educational podcasts, TED talks, documentaries, Black Thought/The Roots, Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, Pharoahe Monch, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, to even trial and failure from getting off my a$$ and testing the various instructions and theories out.

What did you learn from listening to Juicy J and Drizzy Drake albums in your rotation so far today?

Remember, you are the sum total of what you allow to enter your mind.

If you don’t have Stitcher radio on your phone or computer you’re missin out. Its like the Pandora for educational podcasts.

Turn off the ratchet rap, ratchet gossip talk shows etc and shows and feed your mind.

**MY current favorite shows on Stitcher Radio (which don’t have to be your shows):

Bigger Pockets (rental income investing)
The Eventual Millionaire (business, technology and ideas)
48 Days with Dan Miller
Mad Money w/ Jim Cramer
CNBC Fast Money
The Ric Edelman Show
The Nutrition Diva
The Dave Ramsey show
MoneyPlan SOS
Suze Orman show
Debt Free Divas
Better Conversations – Money & Marriage
Entrepreneur on Fire
among others like well known NPR etc

Another great source of entertainment after a day of productivity is the incredible collection of life changing documentaries available on Hulu, Netflix & Youtube.
Here are some of my personal favorite.

*Top documentaries that compelled me to stop eating meat:
Forks over Knives
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
Food Inc.

*Top documentaries on money:
In Debt We Trust
I’m fine, thanks.
The Queen of Versailles

*Top documentaries on minimalism:
No Impact Man

*Top documentaries on education and classism:
Waiting for superman
The Cartel

*Misc documentaries to check out:
Burt’s Buzz (all about the co-founder of Burt’s Bees)
After Innocence
Gideon’s army
What’s the T?
American Meth
Strip Club King: The Story of Joe Redner
Off Label
Counterfeit Culture
Hot Coffee

Lastly, there is a TED Talk app on just about every streaming box being sold right now. Use it for some great content and education!

Now what are some of your own?


BKF Investing School 2nd Edition out now!

(Click on the image below for more info.)

Black future month

5 Checking & Debit Card habits you always want to keep

1. Always keep 2 checking accounts with a visa/mastercard debit card for each. One account for spending and one for bills.

This not only helps with budgeting in the BKF zero debt program but it also helps tremendously in the fight against fraudulent transactions as your spending account, traditionally with far less money in it than your bills account, is the only account you expose to risky situations.
Names of recommended checking accounts for this can be found here –>>…
Remember, this is a no credit card program – cut those debt traps up.

2. Always use the “credit” option at check out over “debit”. Though card terminals have yet to change the options shown on screen to the correctly titled “signature or debit” or “signature or pin”, choosing the falsely titled “credit” option will continue to be your best option.
By avoiding the store’s push to confuse you and get you to input your pin number, you will be provided the same “protections” as credit card users when it comes to chargebacks, fraud and insurance on purchases, but without the next 15 years of your life paying off debt.

3. If you have any checking account with “overdraft protection” linked to it, and you’re comfortable with that, I need you to withdraw all of your money and light a torch to it now. Save us both some time.
If you’re smart enough to now know the stupidity behind keeping your account connected with this type of corporate fraud, I need you to call your bank and remove overdraft pro-theft-tion now.
While the annual percentage rate on a payday loan is typically 400%-500%, the APR on the average overdraft equates to 3,500%.
I don’t care what you believe you will never do. This is about risk vs reward. Don’t be dumb.

Overdraft protection

4. Never ever use your pin # at a gas station. –>>…
As a matter of fact entering in your pin number should generally be avoided at all cost. The only places you should use your card’s pin # are at your own bank’s ATM or at your own bank’s teller window. And be careful even with that.
If you go to Costco once a month, use cash. If you go to Costco more than once a month, use condoms.

5. Be wary of using cold hard cash in general. You can not place a “stop payment” on a stolen $100 bill. No matter how much you tell yourself you are, you are not going to stop and write down each transaction on a napkin or app after you make them so you can keep track and see how you are performing against your budget. Because you’re not tracking your spending, you will run out of cash repeatedly and dip into bill money to pay for lunches at work.

Use an online application like to track expenses from both your bills account and your spending in real time.

Remember – 2 checking accounts: one for bills and one for spending. Order a visa or mastercard debit card for each.

Neither Visa or Mastercard are credit card companies but rather businesses that own payment processing networks that can connect to any bank issuing a card. Neither of these companies hold consumer debt.

The 2014 Winner’s Circle Awards

2014 Winners Circle Awards Logo

As the year comes to an end, its time to congratulate those who have gone the hardest at changing/fixing/improving their financial situations.

For those who remember, a while back we would do the Winner’s Circle awards and give honors to aaalll of our top performing members at the end of each year.

Well now (perhaps a good thing) we have far too many members to name and far too many that have done incredibly well this year. So we’re not going to name each of you but know that overall, the team kicked a$$.

So what we’ll do is name the top 5 performers this year and give a peak at how they made it there.

**In at #5 we have: Toya P.

Talk about determined, Toya gets the hustler of the year award for “kicking ass in an employment setting”.

Following her passions on the business side, always receiving top praise from management and clients alike, she’s one of the few people actually using the degree/field she worked to be apart of. Toya did it all while driving a reliable paid off Scion working in an industry known for grand ballerific facades.

And in doing so, it allowed her the cash flow this year to beef up her investment portfolio filled with a diversified array of ETFs.

Then there was that healthcare stock she put in the gambling portion of her portfolio that snagged…wait for it..

..a 35% gain. Don’t remind her of this – her head may get a bit bigger.

**Coming in at #4 we have: Johnell M.

One of our first members to join club “I’m Debt Free!!!” this year.

After doing the process a little backwards a few years ago and sacrificing to pay off $15k of his student loans before he did his credit cards, he was recently able to finally say I’ve had it.

Just last winter you could find him commuting to work without using heat and saving an extra $125 per week on gas in the process. He said he just wore extra layers and stayed bundled up (insane lol)

And now in 2014, he took his tax refund from taxes and kicked Chase and Best buy out of his house once and for all.

For the rest of the year he used that awesome debt free cash flow to go back to school and increase his skill set without adding any new debt.
Welcome to the club Johnell!

**In the #3 & #2 spots, we have: Tiffany & DeVonne 

No car notes, credit cards or any of it! AND no student loans??
They also didnt want to stay long distance landlords anymore so they placed their out of state house on the market and it recently sold! Effectively making them members of “Club – Rent Rich Over 30″
A minority couple with excellent jobs, paid off cars, no mortgage hanging over their backs, 1000% debt free, and a portfolio full of high performing ETF investments.
Congrats to the Johnson household!
#TeamNoCarNote #TeamNoCreditCards #TeamSallieMurdersClub #TeamWTFisaMortgage

**And now…drummroll pleease**

The #1 Winner’s Circle member who kicked serious financial a$$ in 2014 is…
>> Tsehainesh <<

Always ordering BKF books to give out for Christmas gifts to her friends once she had knocked out her credit card debt…

Continuing to go hard over the last year and a half on student loan debt and refusing to upgrade her 10 year old Honda Accord in the process…

One of the newest members of the 20% club for 2014…

Over her 6 Steps to Zero debt journey she began when the original BKF book was released in 2011, she not only paid off $12,600 in credit card debt..

…but freed herself from $31k in student loans, WHILE investing in her 529 plan for her kid.

Did I mention she did this as a single mother making a modest salary in the expensive as ___ bay area?

So lets give her and all other Winner’s Circle rockstars a monster shout out for 2014!

Special 2014 shout outs go to Jasmine G (working on going natural, making huge progress with your finances and driving that same paid off year 2000 honda), Krischa E (starbucks challenge and most reliable paid off new model car award), Isidra (drastically improving income and canceling a Target credit card before it was even sent), Jaaye  (better be the last time I congratulate you for paying off credit card balances)