02.How it works
You've probably heard of a car or property lease. Computer equipment leases work similarly. The leasing company (lessor) effectively buys the computer equipment from the retailer and you pay an agreed amount each month over a specified period (usually 24, 36 or 48 months) to rent it. The lessor retains ownership of the computer equipment, even after the end of the contract. You may have the option to buy the computer equipment from the leasing company at an agreed price at the end of the contract period but the lessor may choose not to sell the goods.
To be eligible for a computer lease you must apply and be approved for a credit limit by a leasing company. You will need to provide basic personal, financial and employment details and consent to a credit check of your records. Once approved, the credit can be used with any retailer affiliated with the leasing company.
Most companies pre-approve credit and you may be able to apply from within stores. Retailers such as Bing Lee, Dick Smith Electronics and Harvey Norman advertise leasing schemes throughout their stores.
Unlike other forms of credit, a deposit isn't usually required for a computer lease - once you've paid the first month's rental you can take the equipment home.
At the end of the contract period, you usually have a choice of options:
- You can return the equipment and stop making payments
- Continue paying the agreed amount and keep using the equipment
- Upgrade to new equipment and renew your contract under new conditions
- Or offer to purchase the equipment from the lessor, depending on the company.