The right to bear bridge loans…
A bridge loan is a type of short-term loan, typically taken out for a period of 2 weeks to 3 years pending the arrangement of larger or longer-term financing.
Bridge loans are interim financing (short term) for an individual or business until permanent financing obtained. Money from the new financing is generally used to “take out” (i.e. to pay back) the bridge loan, as well as other capital needs.
The problem for businesses in particular is the length of time it takes to obtain permanent financing like term loans, credit lines, mortgages and so on. Banks can take up to 6 months or longer to approve certain types of loans. That does not help anyone who needs to move quickly for cash. They generally turn to the secondary market-quick cash, factoring loans, etc. The cost of money there is very high and generally creates cash flow problems on paying back daily or weekly ACH payments from their bank accounts.
Bridge loans are typically more expensive than conventional financing, to compensate for the additional risk. Bridge loans typically have a higher interest rate, points, origination fees, and other costs that are amortized over a shorter period, and various fees and other “sweeteners” (such as equity participation by the lender in some loans) the good news is they are typically arranged quickly with relatively little documentation or lower credit requirements, and longer term more effective financing for the business or individual.
Bridge loans are often used for commercial real estate purchases to quickly close on a property, retrieve real estate from foreclosure, or take advantage of a short-term opportunity in order to secure long-term financing. Bridge loans on a property are typically paid back when the property is sold, refinanced with a traditional lender, the borrower’s creditworthiness improves, the property is improved or completed, or there is a specific improvement or change that allows a permanent or subsequent round of mortgage financing to occur. The timing issue may arise from project phases with different cash needs and risk profiles as much as ability to secure funding.
A bridge loan is similar to and overlaps with a hard money loan. Both are non-standard loans obtained due to short-term or unusual circumstances. The difference is that hard money refers to the lending source, usually an individual, investment pool, or private company that is not a bank in the business of making high risk, high interest loans, whereas a bridge loan is a short-term loan that “bridges the gap” between longer term loans that can take 6 months or more to finalize.
Typical terms of up to 12 months 2–4 points or more may be charged plus origination fees- probably 2 points or more. A bridge loan may be closed, meaning it is available for a predetermined time frame, or open in that there is no fixed payoff date (although there may be a required payoff after a certain time). An average is around a total of 6 points (6%). Which is usually much less than factoring and other secondary market loans with lower interest rates.
A bridge loan is often obtained by developers to carry a project while permit approval is sought. Because there is no guarantee the project will happen, the loan might be at a high interest rate and from a specialized lending source that will accept the risk. Once the project is fully entitled, it becomes eligible for loans from more conventional sources that are at lower-interest, for a longer term, and in a greater amount. A construction loan would then be obtained to take out the bridge loan and fund completion of the project.
A consumer is purchasing a new residence and plans to make a down payment with the proceeds from the sale of a currently owned home. The currently owned home will not close until after the close of the new residence. A bridge loan allows the buyer to take equity out of the current home and use it as down payment on the new residence, with the expectation that the current home will close within a short time frame and the bridge loan will be repaid.
A bridging loan can be used by a business to ensure continued smooth operation during a time when for example one senior partner wishes to leave while another wishes to continue the business. The bridging loan could be made based on the value of the company premises allowing funds to be raised via other sources for example a management buy in.
A property may be offered at a discount if the purchaser can complete quickly with the discount offsetting the costs of the short-term bridging loan used to complete. In auction property purchases where the purchaser has only 14–28 days to complete long term lending such as a buy to let mortgage may not be viable in that time frame whereas a bridging loan would be.
Bridge loans have many advantages, the risk is generally on the lender. One big advantage even though the interest rate is higher for a bridge loan the payments are usually interest only and the payments are very low. Most will require up to 6 months interest in escrow in advance-but you won’t have payments for 6 months plus they give you an option of rolling in the fees into the loan or deducting from the proceeds.
An example of how it works:
You apply for a 5-15-year term fully amortized with reasonable rates (based on your credit worthiness) once the bridge loan is in place. It will take about 90-120 days or more to get that in place.
You might get an offer that looks like this: offer is 11% interest only for 12 months with a monthly payment of about $3,000. They’ll want 6 months of interest held by lender to apply to monthly payments (around $3k per month – so $18k total. We can add it onto the loan for a $318k loan amount or they will fund $282k in proceeds out of the 300k. You won’t have to make any payments for 6 months.)
Understanding your finances gives you the power to obtain the best terms, rates, and options available. Do your homework, check your credit and correct BEFORE you apply for a loan. Going to the bank directly is not a very good option for a business, almost 90% of all small business loans from banks are declined. That is why they make companies like ours-we find them for you – you will never find yourself.
Read our blog on all the good things you need to do to get a loan…Be informed