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Money Factor Calculator

Table of contents

What is money factor?How to calculate money factor?Why is understanding money factor important?Influence of market and economy on money factorFAQs

With this money factor calculator, we aim to help you calculate the equivalent annual interest rate of your vehicle lease. The money factor enables you to understand the interest component of your lease payments. You might also find the car lease calculator and car loan EMI calculator helpful in understanding more about this topic.

We have written this article to help you understand the following:

  • What the money factor is; and
  • How to calculate the money factor.

We will also demonstrate some practical examples to help you understand the concept.

What is money factor?

The money factor, also known as the lease factor or lease fee, is a fractional number used in the automotive leasing industry to determine the finance charges that the lessee will pay during the lease term.

Unlike an interest rate, which is expressed as a percentage, the money factor is presented in decimal format. It represents the cost of borrowing money from the lessor and is one of the critical components in calculating the monthly lease payments for a vehicle. Understanding the money factor is essential for lessees, as it directly impacts the total cost of the lease.

A low money factor, for example, 0.00125, when converted to APR, equals 3% (0.00125 × 2,400). This is considered a good, low money factor, indicating a cheaper financing cost for the lease. Conversely, a high money factor, such as 0.004, translates to an APR of 9.6% (0.004 × 2,400), signifying a more expensive leasing deal.

How to calculate money factor?

To understand the money factor calculation — or the money factor to interest rate calculation — let's look at the following example:

  1. Compute the interest rate.

    The first step is determining the interest rate you wish to convert into a money factor. In this example, we will take 20% as the interest rate. You can use our interest rate calculator and APR calculator to understand more about this topic.

  2. Determine the money factor multiplier.

    The money factor is multiplied by 2400 to convert it to an annual percentage rate (APR) because the money factor itself represents a monthly interest charge on the lease's average balance, not the total amount financed.

    Since interest on a lease is calculated on roughly half the total amount due to the depreciation over the lease term, the standard conversion factor doubles the monthly rate to reflect this average balance. Therefore, the money factor is multiplied by 24 months to adjust for the half balance and then by 100 to convert it into a percentage, resulting in a multiplier of 2400. This allows for an accurate annual comparison between leasing and loan interest rates.

  3. Calculate the money factor.

    The last step is to calculate the money factor using the following formula:

    money factor = interest rate / 2,400

    Thus, the money factor for this example will be 0.008333.

Why is understanding money factor important?

Understanding the money factor is crucial for any potential lessee for several reasons:

  • Transparency: Knowing the money factor ensures transparency in lease negotiations and helps lessees understand precisely what the lessor is charging them.

  • Cost comparison: It allows for accurate comparison between the cost of leasing and buying a vehicle. By converting the money factor to an equivalent APR, lessees can make informed financial decisions.

  • Negotiation leverage: Understanding the money factor can provide lessees with leverage when negotiating lease terms. Armed with this knowledge, a lessee can negotiate for a lower money factor, resulting in lower monthly payments.

  • Budgeting: Knowing the money factor helps in better budgeting and financial planning. Lessees can determine the portion of their lease payment that goes toward finance charges, enabling a clearer picture of the lease's value.

In conclusion, the money factor is a key element of any lease agreement that significantly affects the lease cost. Lessees who comprehend how the money factor works are better positioned to negotiate favorable lease terms and can make more informed choices about their vehicle financing options.

Influence of market and economy on money factor

Several economic and market conditions can influence the money factor:

Interest rates: The baseline interest rates set by central banks, like the Bank of England or the Federal Reserve, directly affect money factors. Higher base rates typically lead to higher money factors as the cost of borrowing increases.

Credit market conditions: In tighter credit markets, where there's less liquidity or more risk aversion among lenders, money factors can increase as the perceived risk of lending is higher.

Inflation: High inflation can lead to higher interest rates, which in turn can increase money factors. Lenders need to ensure the return on the leases keeps pace with the eroding purchasing power of money.

Lease company policies: Individual leasing companies have their own policies and risk assessments, which can influence the money factor. Companies with more stringent credit requirements might offer lower money factors to clients with excellent credit histories.

Vehicle residual values: The vehicle's expected depreciation or residual value at the end of the lease term can also affect the money factor. Vehicles that hold their value well might be leased with lower money factors as the risk to the lessor is lower.


What is the money factor if the interest rate is 10%?

The money factor is 0.004167. You can calculate this using this formula:

money factor = interest rate / 2,400

So, in this case, that's 10 divided by 2400, which is 0.004167.

How can I calculate the money factor?

You can calculate the money factor in three steps:

  1. Compute the interest rate.

  2. Determine the multiplier, which is 2,400.

  3. Apply the money factor formula:

    money factor = interest rate / 2,400

Is a lower money factor always better?

Generally, yes. A lower money factor means lower interest charges and, therefore, a lower overall cost of leasing. Thus, it is considered better.

Is the money factor the only cost to consider in a lease?

No, you should also consider other costs such as the depreciation, fees, taxes, and any additional charges outlined in your lease agreement.

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