August 4, 2017

Flywire And Volvo Give Cross-Border Car Leasing Wheels

Cars for international students can be a surprising complicated issue. Buying a car outright can be a hassle — it’s costly, and it might just be one more thing to sell off after graduation. Leasing might seem like the ideal option, but that, said Jeff Althaus, executive vice president and general manager at Flywire, comes pre-loaded with all kinds of friction points for international students.

Depending on a student’s home country, paying with a local currency or payment method can be tricky. And, many of these students, even those from affluent families, may not have a credit score that is easily interpreted by U.S. lenders.

Add to that the complicated structure of car sales between the manufacturers and the franchise dealerships, the financial department that handles financing and the fact that the car will need insurance for the entire time it’s on the road, and putting an international student behind the wheel quickly becomes a complicated and frustrating process.

It was that complication and frustration into which Volvo kept running headlong — and eventually became the reason the two firms collaborated on the International Students program. The program, which was announced Thursday (August 3), features a collaboration the pair have had in place, albeit privately, since the program’s launch in March of 2017.

“Volvo was actually having success in leasing to international students coming to study in the U.S.” Althaus said, “but [it] had no way to reconcile the vehicle payments as they were moving through the dealership.”

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