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10 Red Flags to Look Out for in a Lease Purchase Program

If you are considering the option of entering a Lease Purchase Program, PLEASE keep an eye out for these 10 red flags!

1. High Monthly Payments: 

Beware of lease purchase programs that require excessively high monthly payments. If the monthly payments are beyond what you can comfortably afford or significantly higher than market rates for similar equipment, it may indicate an unfavorable agreement that could put you in a position to fail.

2. Unclear Terms and Conditions

Watch out for lease purchase agreements with unclear or convoluted terms and conditions. If the agreement lacks transparency or if certain clauses are ambiguous or difficult to understand, it may be a sign that the lessor is trying to conceal unfavorable terms!

3. Early Payoff Fees

Pay close attention to see if there are any payoff fees specified in the lease purchase agreement. If the buyout cost is unreasonably high or if there are additional fees associated with the buyout process, it may be a red flag that the lessor is attempting to extract more money from you than the fair market value of the equipment.

4. Restrictive Contractual Obligations 

Be wary of lease purchase agreements that impose restrictive contractual obligations or conditions. Look out for clauses related to mileage restrictions, maintenance requirements, insurance coverage, and termination penalties. If the agreement places unreasonable constraints on your ability to operate the truck or imposes harsh penalties for non-compliance, proceed with caution.

5. Lack of Flexibility and Exit Options

Take note of the flexibility and exit options available in the lease purchase agreement. If the agreement locks you into a long-term commitment with limited opportunities to exit the arrangement or renegotiate terms, it may be difficult to adapt to changing circumstances or address unforeseen challenges that arise during the lease term.

6. Excessive Missed Payment Penalties

Be cautious of lease purchase programs that impose excessive penalties for missed payments. While it's reasonable for agreements to outline penalties for late payments, excessively high penalties can quickly escalate financial burdens, making it challenging to catch up on missed payments and risk defaulting on the agreement. Such penalties may indicate a lack of flexibility and understanding from the lessor, potentially leading to financial stress and instability for the lessee.

7. They Are Rushing You

Beware of lease purchase programs that pressure you to make a quick decision without giving you adequate time to review the terms and seek advice. Rushed decisions can lead to overlooking important details and committing to an agreement that may not be in your best interest.

8. Negative Reputation

Research the reputation of the leasing company offering the lease purchase program. If the company has a history of complaints, lawsuits, or negative reviews from previous lessees regarding unfair practices, deceptive advertising, or breach of contract, it may be a warning sign to proceed with caution. Always look at external reviews to find additional perspectives and a possible balance of opinions to help make the best decision for you.

9. Limited Number of Program Completions

Inquire about the number of lessees who have successfully completed the lease purchase program and acquired ownership of the truck. A low completion rate or a high turnover rate among lessees may indicate that the program is inherently flawed or that many lessees struggle to fulfill the terms of the agreement.

10. The Offer Seems Too Good to Be True

Exercise skepticism if the lease purchase program offers exceptionally favorable terms or promises extravagant benefits with little effort or risk on your part. If the offer seems too good to be true, it may be a deceptive tactic to lure you into an unfavorable agreement or hidden costs that become apparent later on.

Not all Lease Purchase Programs have unethical practices and can be a good option for those with financial restraints or poor credit ratings. However, if you have good credit, consider financing your equipment independently through a financial institution. You can learn more about how to build good credit here. You can also learn the various ways to finance equipment for your trucking business by reading our blog here.


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Soshaul Logistics LLC and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. It is meant to serve as a guide and information only and Soshaul Logistics, LLC does not assume responsibility for any omissions, errors, or ambiguity contained herein. Contents may not be relied upon as a substitute for the FMCSA's published regulations. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction or operation.


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