Curious about the latest turn-in date for one of my leased vehicles, I called the GM Financial Lease Customer Support Department. (Scroll to bottom for number.)
During the call, I was told that there was a 15-day grace period from the lease maturity date. For example, my son’s 2014 Chevy Cruze lease is up on Feb. 7. According to the representative on the phone, I would not be penalized or charged additional money until the 15th calendar day after the maturity date, Feb. 21.
Although the representative put me on hold to verify this information with her manager, she said she couldn’t provide anything to me in writing. I wasn’t satisfied with simply taking her word for it. So, I asked for the number to contact the department that handles end-of lease options directly. (Scroll to bottom for number.)
Sure enough, the End of Lease “specialist,” refuted the idea of a 15-day grace period as false and told me that the only way to extend your lease beyond the maturity date is to make proper arrangements and qualify for a predisposed extension of up to 6 months.
A cautionary tale regarding qualifying for a lease extension:
I recently had a customer on a two year lease that will mature in one month. She wanted to see about leasing her next vehicle, but — unfortunately — her credit score has plummeted, making it impossible for her to get another GM Financial lease approval at this time.
I took the deal to my used car sales manager to see about her chances of purchasing a pre-owned vehicle. But, due to the current state of her credit, he suggested she extend the lease 6 months and use the time to improve her credit so she can have more options.
According to the end-of-lease department at GM Financial, this customer can’t qualify for any extension on her lease because of her payment history. Apparently, she was off of work for a couple of months due to an injury. As a result of a lower pay on short-term disability, she made a total of four 30-day late payments on her GM Financial lease.
GM Financial shows little mercy when it comes to late payments. And, therefore, cannot qualify for either another lease or a lease extension. Good news is, it’s tax season…so I’m suggesting this customer purchase a $2000-$3000 car for the time being and work on her credit over the next 6 months.
There’s always a solution to problems, but it’s good to know how to prevent problems ahead of time.
If you’re in the market for a vehicle upgrade, you have got to check out these deals on Buick and GMC in Grand Rapids, Michigan!
The first two deals you need to know about have a deadline.
Now, through February 19, 2018, the Auto Show cash available in West Michigan. The Auto Show rebate is up to $3,000 on select GM vehicles!
Let’s break the Auto Show cash down: $1,000 on the 2017 and 2018 Buick Enclave and Encore; $3,000 on the 2017 and 2018 Lacrosse; $1,500 on GMC Sierra 1500; and $1,000 on the 2018 GMC Terrain. The kicker is…the purchaser has to reside in West Michigan with a West Michigan zip code to get the cash.
Next, the Buick GMC Fast Start Program runs now through February 12, 2018. The Fast Start Program features Zero Percent for 72 months, plus a $1500 rebate on both 2017 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL models. There is also a Zero Percent for 72 month offer on 2018 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL models!
The Fast Start Program also includes an extra $1000 bonus cash on all 2018 GMC Sierra Crew Cab models, including SLE, SLT and Denali trim levels.
Speaking of trucks, while the lease rebates are the same as they were last month (and they’re pretty good), there is a $1,000 Down Payment Assistance offer on 2017 and 2018 GMC Sierra models for qualified buyers financing with GM Financial.
I haven’t even touched on the most exciting deals yet.
First, you’ve got to know about the insanely huge rebates on 2017 Buick Regal and the Buick Lacrosse models. You can’t lease a 2017 Buick, effective Feb. 1, but you can probably buy one for a cheaper payment!
On a 2017 Buick Lacrosse, anyone can walk in the door and get $5,000 off. Don’t forget the Auto Show Bonus through Feb. 19, adding another $3,000 off! AND, these rebates are stackable with the GM Employee and GM Supplier discounts! Plus, there’s GM Lease Loyalty purchase rebate of $2,000! (I haven’t even mentioned the Todd Wenzel Trade Bonus Cash which can help save you up to 40% off the price of the vehicle)!
Then, there’s the $7,000 rebate on the 2017 Buick Regal to talk about. Holy Moly! Again, this rebate is stackable with all GM discounts and also offers $2,000 purchase rebate for GM Lease Loyalty.
Are you tired yet? Doesn’t matter, because there’s more.
Both the 2017 and 2018 Buick Envision are 18% off off this month! Or, buyers can choose the Zero for 72 Month option, which includes a $2,000 Down Payment Assistance offer with GM Financial.
Now let’s talk GMC.
The All-new 2018 GMC Terrain has a $3,250 rebate, plus $1,000 Auto Show cash, plus $2,000 if you have a current GM Lease and $750 Down Payment Assistance if you finance with GM Financial. If you want to lease a Terrain, the rebate got $600 better from last month.
The 2018 GMC Acadia includes a Zero for 72 Month option, with $2,000 Down Payment Assitance OR $5,750 Customer Cash, plus $2,500 Lease Loyalty Rebate.
On the purchase of a 2017 GMC Canyon, buyers get a $750 rebate, plus $2,000 Lease Loyalty Rebate. On the 2018 GMC Canyon there is a $2,000 Trade Assist bonus.
Finally, don’t miss out on Todd Wenzel’s Trade Sale – Get $5,000, minus reconditioning, on your 2000 or newer vehicle or $5,000 above KBB fair trade value, minus reconditioning.
If you’re concerned about your credit score and want to lease a GM vehicle — Chevrolet, GMC, Buick or Cadillac — there are a few things you should know.
1. GM Financial is the leasing company: All General Motors vehicle lease programs are captive to GM Financial. If you lease a GM vehicle, GM Financial will be your leasing company. GM dropped Ally Financial and U.S. Bank lease programs in early 2015.
2. GM Financial uses FICO Auto Score 9: GM Financial uses Transunion’s Auto Score 9 to determine credit score — effective Jan. 3, 2018. Features specific to this score include: third-party collections that have been paid off no longer have a negative impact; medical collections are treated differently than other types of debt. Unpaid medical collections will have less of a negative impact on FICO Score 9; rental history, when it’s reported, factors into the score—this may be especially beneficial for people with a limited credit history.
Auto Score 9 is specifically catered to the auto finance industry. A traditional credit report offers a glimpse of a consumer at a snapshot in time, Auto Score 9 offers an expanded view of credit data with up to 30 months of historical information. This includes available information on each loan account, including payment history, such as dollars paid, amount paid vs. minimum due and the total amount borrowed over time.
3. Don’t rely on Credit Karma: Many people seem to use their Credit Karma app to monitor their credit score. While this tool can be useful, be sure that auto financing institutions are definitely NOT using Credit Karma. Credit Karma what’s called a Vantage Score system, not your FICO score. Your Vantage Score and FICO score are calculated differently. Your Credit Karma score is usually, but not always, significantly better than the reality.
4. GM lease approvals (and interest rates) are based on a tier system: To get the lowest lease payment based on credit, you need a 700+ credit score to get Tier A1 approval. If your score is 660-699, you get a Tier A2 approval. Each notch down the tier system can increase your payment a minimum of $50, depending on the vehicle, money down, etc.
It’s important to remember, this tiering system is based, specifically, on Transunion’s Auto Score 9. Consumers can get access to this score by signing up at MyFICO.com. Consumers will also be able to access their FICO® Score 9 for free through lenders who adopt the score and participate in the FICO® Score Open Access program.
Here’s the GM Financial Lease tiering system:
Tier FICO 09 Score
B3 539 and below
5. GM Financial doesn’t like late payments: The changes in GM Financial’s tier approval system are fairly new. But one thing is for sure, if you’ve been 30 or more days late on your current or previous GM Financial lease or loan — even once — it could be held against you when you apply for your next GM Financial approval.
For more information about GM Financial’s credit requirements, click here.
If you’re looking for a way to boost your Transunion credit score, one great way to do it is to report your positive rental history on your credit report.
For car financing and leasing, most lenders now use Transunion’s Auto Score 9 to determine credit score. Features specific to this score include: third-party collections that have been paid off no longer have a negative impact; medical collections are treated differently than other types of debt. Unpaid medical collections will have less of a negative impact on FICO Score 9; rental history, when it’s reported, factors into the score—this may be especially beneficial for people with a limited credit history.
Your score can go up 30 points or more in the next 10 days by reporting the last two years of your rental history! There’s a one time fee of $85 to get the last two years of your positive rental history put on your Transunion credit report.
The cost for this service is normally $95, but use this code to get $10 off — BA969.
Have you seen the incredible lease specials on the 2017 GMC Terrain? You may or may not qualify for a $149 month payment on a lease…but it’s still a great deal! Contact me to learn more about how much you can lease your new Terrain for today!
I just had my first experience trading in my previous GM model car and trading it in for a new one. And I want to share something I learned! Last weekend, I traded my 2014 Cruze LT for a 2016 Chevy Cruze LT.
I got out of my lease a year early, but I decided it was worth it for a few perks I wanted to have in my life. In my new car, I’ve got Apple Car Play and 24/7. I wrote a separate post about how awesome my new Cruze. But what I want to talk about in this post is about what I learned logging into Chevrolet Owner Center.
Create an Onstar Account: I didn’t need to do this, because I had an Onstar account I had created with my previous Cruze. But, if you didn’t create an Onstar account with your previous GM vehicle at Onstar.Com or via your Onstar Remote Link app, then you will need to use your new Onstar account number to do so. (Your Onstar advisor can give this to you during the Welcome Call, or it will come in your first Onstar email.) Create a user name and password.
Login to the Chevrolet Owner Center: Visit My.Chevrolet.com and use your Onstar username and password to login. I took delivery of my new Cruze 6 days ago and finally got around to logging in today. To my delight, a window popped up with a picture of my new car titled “Welcome to MyChevrolet Owner SetUp.”
Click on “Get started” to customize your Wi-Fi hotspot username and password and ensure your advanced diagnostic notifications.
Learn to pair (or re-pair) your bluetooth device
Practice sending a navigation route to your car via Onstar Guidance.
Discover ways to use the MyChevrolet app.
Track your vehicle’s warranty, as well as be notified if your vehicle has a recall and keep all your service records in one place.
There’s so much more you can do and learn at your Chevrolet Owner Center, such as watch how to videos about your vehicle’s features, flip through your owner’s manual.
Guess what?! I traded in my 2014 Chevy Cruze LT, in Summit White, last weekend and traded it in for a 2016 Chevy Cruze LT, in Kinetic Blue — all-new, Baby!
I’ve already got more than 600 miles on it in less than a week! But it was July 4th weekend, so it’s to be expected. Right?
I got out of my lease a year early, but I decided it was worth it — for the all-new Cruze redesign, including better gas mileage, more space and Apple Car Play. The all new Cruze LT and Premier models also come with two years free Onstar Guidance Plan, two years free XM Radio and 24 gigs or 24 months of WiFi data. This lovely package is called the 2016 Cruze 24/7 Promise and — again — is only available on the All-New 2016 Chevrolet Cruze LT and Premier models. (See 24/7 flyer at end of post or download).
Not only is the technology cool in my All-New 2016 Cruze, but the ride is really great. I was a little hesitant about saying goodbye to my previous Cruze, because I felt it was a strong and solid little car. I enjoyed the quality and wasn’t sure how the all-new 1.4 L Turbo engine, with automatic stop/start technology in the new Cruze would compare to the previous version of the 1.4 L Turbo. But now, I can say that I’m thrilled.
My new Cruze feels light and nimble. It handles beautifully and it’s slightly longer wheel base makes for an even smoother ride. It’s also very quiet. And…there’s a ton more space for passenger comfort.
…the 2016 Cruze comes with a standard turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which Chevy has revised from the previous model year to make 15 more horsepower and 29 more pound-feet of torque. This engine has less work to do, too, as Chevrolet says the 2016 Cruze has shed about 250 pounds. Pleasingly, the redesigned Cruze is also a bit roomier, particularly for rear seat passengers. Four adults can now fit with comfort to spare.
Once your account is set up, you’re going to be able to push the “blue button” and ask for directions. Your Onstar advisor will then download a Turn-by-Turn Navigation route into your vehicle. This includes At Your Service offers from Onstar, i.e. coupons and offers in your area.
You’ll get Emergency Services, including Automatic Crash Response and Crisis Assist (in case of severe weather or natural disasters).
If your Chevy is a 2013 or newer model, you’ll get full access to the Onstar Remote Link app, which allows you to lock or unlock your doors, turn on your horn and lights and start your vehicle from your phone (if factory equipped.) From the app, you’ll also be able to send directions to your vehicle, view advanced diagnostics and manage your Wifi Hotspot (equipped in most 2015 and newer Chevy vehicles).
With the Onstar trial, you’ll also get access to Connections, Hands-Free-Calling (in which Onstar assigns you a separate phone number to use with the Onstar system in case you are in a low-coverage area for your cell phone.) You also get a 4G LTE Wifi Hotspot (equipped in most 2015 and newer Chevy vehicles).
But wait! There’s more! If your car is a 2011 or newer, you also get three years free of the OnStar Basic Plan — including Advanced Diagnostics, Dealer Maintenance Notification, and limited access the Remote Link mobile app features. For Chevy vehicles 2014 and newer, OnStar Basic Plan, sometimes referred to as RemoteLink Key Fob Services, is available for up to 5 years from the original delivery date and is transferable.
Is your previously owned vehicle equipped with XM? Then you can enjoy three months of SiriusXM Radio. XM gives you 175+ channels of commercial-free radio via Satellite. That means no more static and losing a radio station when you’re on a road trip. Listen to your favorite genre of music, comedy, talk radio, sports and more.
Here, all the vehicles in your household associated with your Onstar account will populate in your Chevy Owner Center “garage.” You can also add any other GM vehicles in your household, so you have everything in one place.
From the Chevrolet Owner Center, you will be able to access service records, read your owner’s manual, see how-to videos about your vehicle, be alerted to recall notices and even link to your SiriusXM, GM Rewards cards and Onstar accounts.
You can also view your warranty information and scheduled maintenance, i.e. when the next oil change and tire rotation is recommended.
Even if your “new-to-you” Chevy wasn’t certified, here’s still what is available to you:
Chevy models 2013-2015 come with three years or 36,000 bumper-to-bumper limited warranty and 5 years or 100,000 miles powertrain warranty. (The powertrain is affected by anything that touches oil. That’s usually how explain it to my customers. But that’s not an entirely correct or comprehensive explanation.) Learn more about Chevrolet warranties.
Chevy models 2013-2015 come with complimentary Chevy Roadside Assistance within 5 years from the original new-car purchase date or up until there are 100,000 miles on the vehicle.
Run out of gas? Dead battery? Flat tire? Need a tow? You’ve got FREE roadside assistance! I have AAA insurance, but I call Chevy Roadside, because, in my experience, they send someone quick and it’s so easy to use.
Save this number to your phone contacts right now: Chevy Roadside, (800) 243-8872
If you’re an active Onstar Subscriber or are using the Onstar trial, roadside is also free. You can push the blue button and Onstar send Chevy Roadside to your exactl location. But bewar, if you push the blue button to ask for roadside service after your Onstar trial has expired, you might be charged. So, if you no longer have Onstar active in your car, call Chevy Roadside directly.
Enter your cell phone number and select your desired appointment time — immediately or another specific date and time. You will receive a confirmation text and get regular updates about where you are in line. (The Grand Rapids Area SUPER!Center is closest to the dealership where I work — Berger Chevrolet. This Super!Center is open late on Wednesday evenings and till noon on Saturdays.)
Be sure to request a Michigan Instant Title, not a duplicate title. Be prepared to pay around $20. You want to get the new title in your hands immediately, not sent in the mail if want to trade your car now, rather than later.