A lease option is an arrangement between you and a seller to exercise the option to buy a house after you have rented it for a specific period. A portion of your rent would be applied toward the purchase if the option is applied. This is referred to as rent credit, which most institutional lenders will accept as part of the down payment if rental payments exceed the market rent and if a valid lease-purchase agreement is in effect, a copy of which must be attached to the loan application. Read any lease option arrangement carefully for details on transferring the option and other important concerns. For information on lease options, contact your real estate agent (some even specialize in such transactions) or read up on lease options at the public library or on the internet. If you have a real estate attorney, ask if he or she has any prepared information you can review.