SmartMoney Blogs

Ask SmartMoney
Your personal finance questions, answered.

How Will Leasing a Car Impact My Credit Score?

Question: The common advice is to not open any new credit before applying for a mortgage. If I lease a car, how will it affect my credit score, and how much time should I allow before I try to buy a home?

— Ron Sim, Los Angeles

Answer: You might want to hold off on that new ride. In the world of FICO credit scores, leasing a car and getting a loan to buy one are treated the same way. “New credit implies a higher level of risk,” says Barry Paperno, the consumer operations manager for Signing those lease forms means you’re essentially opening a new account, which can lower your credit score. And it could take up to a year to resuscitate your magic number assuming you pay all your bills on time.

For More Information:

Send questions to Please include your name and address.


We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

Comments (0)

    • Be the first to leave a comment on this blog.

About Ask SmartMoney

  • Ask SmartMoney has a single, simple mission: Answer your questions. Answers are written by the staff of and SmartMoney magazine, with the help of outside experts. Topics cover investing, spending, retirement planning, saving for college, insurance, taxes and more. Submit your question in the form below, or email