Are Finance Leases Considered Debt

Are Finance Leases Considered Debt?


Let’s face it, in the world of finance, there’s always a burning question in the air. Today’s hot topic? “Are Finance Leases Considered Debt?”. It’s a bit like pondering what to invest in during a recession, right? There’s so much to unpack! So, why not join me on this roller coaster ride? Buckle up, and let’s explore!

Understanding Finance Leases

Imagine a long-term relationship, but with assets instead of partners. That’s a finance lease in a nutshell. The lessee uses the asset but doesn’t own it – yet bears all the risks and rewards. Still with me? Awesome! Let’s dig deeper.

Debt: More than just borrowed money

Ever taken out loans to build credit? Well, that’s a classic form of debt. But debt isn’t just money borrowed; it can also be future commitments or liabilities. See where I’m going with this?

Connecting the Dots: Finance Leases as Debt

Alright, picture this: you’ve swiped your credit cards for fair credit to snag an asset. Instead of buying it outright, you agree to pay in increments, a bit like rent-to-own. Now, although the asset isn’t ‘yours’ just yet, you’re committed to those payments. Sounds a lot like debt, doesn’t it?

The Accountant’s Perspective

From the bird’s eye view of an accountant’s glasses, finance leases often appear on the balance sheet as both assets and liabilities. Why? Because the lessee has an obligation to make payments. It’s like showing off your best high yield savings account while still having obligations towards it.

The Impact on Financial Ratios

Here’s the juicy part: financial ratios, like debt to equity, might take a hit due to finance leases. Think of it as a seesaw – on one side you have assets, and on the other, there’s the looming debt. Striking a balance is key.

Leases and Business Strategy

If you’ve dabbled in banking for small businesses, you’ll know that leveraging finance leases can be strategic. It provides flexibility, almost as if you’re using a well-designed app from the list of good budgeting apps.

The Link to Real Estate

Considering how to start investing in real estate? Finance leases can play a role here too. Instead of purchasing property outright, leasing with an option to buy might be your golden ticket.

Why Does It Matter?

Being clear on finance leases and their debt nature is crucial, especially when seeking external funding. It’s the difference between knowing the best savings account interest rates and fumbling in the dark.

Broadening the Financial Horizon

Understanding the debt-like nature of finance leases is a foundation. But, remember to also explore areas like how to get investment property loan or discovering the best ways to build credit. It’s all interconnected!


Phew! What a journey we’ve had, diving deep into the realm of finance leases and their standing as debt. In conclusion, yes, in many respects, finance leases are treated like debt. But remember, just like ensuring you have the right credit score needed to buy a house, understanding the nuances of finance leases is key to effective financial management.


Q: Are all leases treated as debts?

No, operating leases, for instance, are often treated differently than finance leases. The difference lies in the risks and rewards associated with asset ownership.

Q: How do finance leases impact business credit scores?

Just like long-term loans, finance leases can impact a business’s credit score. Timely payments can be a boon, while defaults might dent the score.

Q: Is a finance lease similar to a mortgage?

Both entail commitments to pay over a period, but mortgages typically lead to ownership of real estate, while finance leases might relate to different assets.

Q: What happens at the end of a finance lease?

Options vary! The lessee might return the asset, purchase it at a residual value, or extend the lease.

Q: Are finance leases popular among startups?

Many startups value flexibility. Finance leases can offer this, enabling access to crucial assets without hefty upfront costs. Just as budding entrepreneurs often seek the best banks with savings account, they might also consider finance leases for operational advantages.

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