Leasing a car has become an increasingly popular option for many consumers, offering the allure of driving a new vehicle with lower monthly payments compared to traditional financing. However, there’s often confusion surrounding whether leasing a car constitutes taking on debt. Let’s delve into the intricacies of car leasing and explore whether it qualifies as debt.

Car leasing is pretty similar to buying a car outright.

Before delving into the debate, let's clarify what leasing a car entails. When you lease a car, you essentially rent it for a specified period, typically two to four years. During this time, you make monthly payments based on the vehicle's depreciation value, along with any additional fees and taxes. At the end of the lease term, you have the option to return the vehicle, purchase it outright, or negotiate a new lease for a different car.

Like any financial decision, leasing a car has its advantages and disadvantages -


  • Lower monthly payments compared to purchasing.
  • Access to newer vehicles with the latest features and technology.
  • Limited maintenance responsibilities, as many leased vehicles are covered under warranty.


  • No ownership equity in the vehicle.
  • Mileage restrictions and potential fees for exceeding the allotted mileage.
  • Additional charges for wear and tear beyond normal use.
  • Long-term costs may be higher compared to purchasing a vehicle outright.

Leasing a car kind of, sort of counts as debt if you break it down.

The answer to whether leasing a car is considered debt is not a straightforward one. Unlike traditional financing, where you borrow money to purchase a vehicle and repay it over time, leasing involves paying for the vehicle's use during the lease term.

When you lease a car, you do not own the vehicle outright. Instead, you are essentially paying for the depreciation and use of the car over the lease period. Since you don't own the car, the lease payments may not be considered debt in the traditional sense.

While leasing doesn't involve taking on debt in the same way as a loan, it does create a financial obligation. You are committed to making monthly lease payments for the duration of the lease term. Failure to make these payments can result in penalties and may impact your credit score, similar to defaulting on a loan.

At the end of the lease term, you may have the option to purchase the vehicle or enter into a new lease agreement. If you choose to buy the car, you would typically need to secure financing, which would then constitute debt. Additionally, if you consistently lease vehicles without ever owning them outright, you may find yourself in a cycle of perpetual car payments, akin to a form of long-term debt.

Some car lease payments are reported to credit bureaus and can help you build credit.

Car lease payments are typically reported to credit bureaus, similar to loan payments. Most auto leasing companies report lease payments to the major credit bureaus on a monthly basis. These payments can impact your credit score, just like any other form of credit or debt repayment.

Consistently making on-time lease payments can have a positive effect on your credit score, demonstrating your ability to manage credit responsibly. Conversely, missing or late payments can negatively impact your credit score and may result in penalties from the leasing company.

It's important to note that not all leasing companies report payments to credit bureaus. Before entering into a lease agreement, you may want to confirm with the leasing company whether they report payments to credit bureaus and how it may affect your credit profile.

Peach out ✌️