How to Get the Best Lease Money Factor


Money factor, often referred to as lease money factor, is a vital concept in leasing. It determines the financing charges on a lease with monthly payments and can be translated into an annual percentage rate (APR). This article explores the intricacies of money factors, their calculations, their effects on your lease, and more. If you’re contemplating leasing a vehicle, grasping the significance of the money factor is crucial for making well-informed financial choices.

What is money factor?

Money factor, also known as lease factor, lease fee, or lease money factor, plays a pivotal role in lease financing. It mirrors the interest rate on a loan but is represented as a small decimal, usually commencing in the thousandth place (e.g., 0.002).

How the money factor is used

Leasing a car involves paying for the vehicle’s depreciation during your possession. Monthly lease payments cover depreciation, taxes, and interest. The money factor determines the interest component of these payments. It’s directly influenced by your credit score, with higher scores leading to lower money factors.

Calculating the money factor

Money factors can be calculated in two ways:

APR method

The money factor can be converted to APR by multiplying it by 2,400. Conversely, if given an APR, you can find the money factor by dividing it by 2,400. For instance, a money factor of 0.002 equates to an APR of 4.8% (0.002 x 2,400).

Leasing information method

Alternatively, you can calculate the money factor using lease information, including payments, residual value, and lease term. The formula is:

Money factor = Lease charge / (Capitalized cost + Residual value) * Lease term

Special considerations

Money factors may also be expressed as whole numbers, like 2.0, which can be converted to APR by multiplying by 2.4 (e.g., 2.0 translates to an APR of 4.8%). Importantly, the money factor is always lower than the APR.

What is a good money factor?

A lower money factor is favorable as it implies lower financing charges. What’s considered good varies based on your credit and market conditions. Typically, a money factor of 0.0025 or below corresponds to a 6% APR, which is reasonably good.

Can you negotiate money factor?

Whether you can negotiate the money factor depends on the dealer. Some are open to it, while others aren’t. Negotiating the money factor can align your lease with prevailing market rates, potentially saving you money.

What is a high money factor?

A high money factor, often starting at 0.0035 or higher, can lead to a high APR, typically over 8%. What’s considered high varies among borrowers, but it’s generally best to aim for a lower money factor to minimize financing costs.

Is money factor based on credit?

Yes, your credit score significantly influences your money factor. Higher credit scores usually result in lower money factors, while lower scores lead to higher ones.

Frequently Asked Questions about Lease Money Factor

What is the difference between money factor and interest rate?

The primary difference is in how they are represented. Money factor is expressed as a decimal, while interest rates are typically in percentage form. Money factor is used in lease financing, while interest rates are common in traditional loans.

Can I improve my money factor?

Yes, you can potentially improve your money factor by improving your credit score. Lenders often offer lower money factors to individuals with higher credit scores. Paying bills on time and reducing outstanding debts are good ways to boost your creditworthiness.

Are there any fees associated with the money factor?

While the money factor itself is not a fee, there may be other fees associated with leasing, such as acquisition fees, disposition fees, and more. It’s essential to understand the full cost of leasing beyond just the money factor.

Can the money factor change during my lease?

In most cases, the money factor remains fixed for the duration of the lease. However, some leases may have variable money factors, so it’s crucial to review your lease agreement to understand if and when the money factor may change.

What happens if I return the leased vehicle early?

If you return the leased vehicle before the end of the lease term, you may incur early termination fees and be responsible for paying the remaining lease payments. The money factor will still apply to those remaining payments.

Is the money factor negotiable with all dealers?

Not all dealers may be willing to negotiate the money factor. It often depends on the dealer’s policies and the specific lease terms they are offering. It’s worth inquiring and exploring negotiation options.

How does the money factor affect my monthly lease payments?

The money factor directly impacts the interest portion of your monthly lease payments. A lower money factor results in lower interest charges, reducing your monthly payments. Conversely, a higher money factor increases your monthly costs.

Can I convert the money factor to an APR myself?

Yes, you can convert the money factor to an APR by multiplying it by 2,400. This allows you to compare lease offers more easily and understand the effective annual interest rate you are paying.

Are there any tax implications related to the money factor?

Taxes are typically included in your monthly lease payments and are charged on both the depreciation and interest portions. However, tax laws can vary by location, so it’s advisable to consult a tax professional for specific guidance.

What should I do if I don’t understand the money factor in my lease agreement?

If you have questions or concerns about the money factor or any other terms in your lease agreement, it’s essential to seek clarification from the dealer or leasing company before signing. Understanding the terms fully is crucial to making an informed decision.

Key takeaways

  • Money factor is a crucial factor in lease financing, resembling an interest rate.
  • A lower money factor results in reduced financing charges, benefiting borrowers.
  • Your credit score plays a significant role in determining your money factor.
  • Money factor can be converted to an APR, simplifying lease offer comparisons.
  • Understanding money factors empowers you to make informed decisions when leasing a vehicle.
View Article Sources
  1. Money Factor – Overview, How To Calculate, Example – Corporate Finance Institute
  2. Money Factor – Overview, How To Calculate, Example – Wall Street Oasis
  3. More Information about the Rent Charge – Federal Reserve Board