Difference Wiki

Leasing vs. Financing: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on November 12, 2023
Leasing: Paying for use; Financing: Paying to own.

Key Differences

Leasing is akin to renting. One pays for the use of an asset for a specified period. The lessee enjoys the asset without the burden of ownership. Financing: Financing is the process of paying for an asset over time. The borrower eventually owns the asset outright. It involves a loan and interest payments.
Often involves lower monthly payments compared to financing. It's attractive for short-term use. Financing: Monthly payments are generally higher, reflecting a path to ownership. Ideal for long-term asset retention.
The lessee doesn't build equity in the asset. It's a temporary arrangement, often with the option to buy later. Financing: Each payment builds equity. It's an investment in a tangible asset.
Often includes maintenance provisions, reducing upkeep worries for the lessee. Financing: The owner is responsible for all maintenance, adding to the long-term cost.
At the end of the lease, one can easily switch to a newer model or different asset. Financing: The borrower can sell or keep the asset after paying off the loan.

Comparison Chart


Temporary use, no ownership
Aimed at ownership


Generally lower monthly payments
Higher payments, builds equity


Short-term arrangement
Long-term commitment

Maintenance Responsibility

Often included in lease
Owner’s responsibility

End of Term Options

Return, renew, or buy
Owns asset outright


No equity built
Builds equity


Easier to switch assets
Less flexible

Leasing and Financing Definitions


Paying for the use, not ownership.
Leasing equipment is cost-effective for their startup.


Payment plan for ownership.
They opted for financing the car over paying cash upfront.


Fixed-term usage agreement.
Leasing the yacht for the summer was a luxurious choice.


Providing funds for purchase.
Financing the house enabled them to become homeowners.


Temporary possession of property.
Leasing the apartment suited her short-term job placement.


Borrowing money with repayment terms.
Financing the renovation was manageable with their savings.


Rental arrangement with the option to buy.
They considered leasing the photocopier with a buyout option.


Loan arrangement for asset acquisition.
Financing her education was a wise investment.


Contractual agreement for using an asset.
They entered a leasing agreement for the new car.


Method of spreading out payments.
Financing the equipment helped maintain their cash flow.


The act of lying.


The act of providing or raising funds or capital.


A lie; a falsehood.


Funds or capital provided by investors or lenders.


(archaic) A lie; the act of lying, falsehood.


Present participle of finance


Gerund of lease


A transaction that provides funds for a business.
The successive equity financings were at higher and higher valuations.


Present participle of lease


The act of financing


The act of lying; falsehood; a lie or lies.
Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing.
Blessed be the lips that such a leasing told.


Are leasing payments lower than financing payments?

Generally, leasing payments are lower than financing payments.

Do I own the asset at the end of a financing agreement?

Yes, you own the asset outright at the end of a financing agreement.

What is leasing?

Leasing is a contractual agreement to use an asset for a set period without owning it.

What is financing?

Financing is the process of paying for an asset over time, leading to ownership.

Do I own the asset at the end of a lease?

No, you don’t own the asset at the end of a lease unless you choose to buy it.

Is financing a long-term commitment?

Yes, financing is typically a long-term commitment.

Does financing build equity?

Yes, financing builds equity in the asset.

Can I lease with an option to buy?

Yes, many leasing agreements come with an option to purchase.

Is leasing good for short-term needs?

Yes, leasing is ideal for short-term use.

What happens at the end of a lease?

You can return, renew the lease, or buy the asset.

Is maintenance included in leasing?

Often, but not always. It depends on the lease terms.

Are lease payments tax-deductible?

In many cases, lease payments can be tax-deductible.

Can I lease any type of asset?

Many assets are leasable, but it depends on the provider.

Can I sell the asset I’m financing?

Yes, once you own it, you can sell it.

Is a down payment required for financing?

Often, but not always; it varies by lender and asset.

Who is responsible for maintenance in financing?

The owner is responsible for maintenance in a financing arrangement.

Can I terminate a lease early?

It depends on the lease terms, but there may be penalties.

Can I build equity with leasing?

No, you don’t build equity with leasing.

Is financing interest tax-deductible?

It depends on the asset and usage; sometimes, it is.

Can I pay off financing early?

Often, yes, but check for any prepayment penalties.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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