- Definition of hard money loans
- Explanation of how hard money loans differ from traditional loans
- Brief History
II. Who uses hard money loans?
- Real estate investors
- Homebuyers with damaged credit
- Entrepreneurs needing short-term financing
III. Advantages of hard money loans
- Faster loan process
- More lenient credit requirements
- Can be used for a variety of purposes
IV. Disadvantages of hard money loans
- Higher interest rates
- Shorter loan terms
- Possible additional fees
V. How to qualify for a hard money loan
- Credit score requirements
- Down payment requirements
- Property requirements
- Recap of the key points about hard money loans
- Final thoughts on whether a hard money loan is right for you
A hard money loan is an asset-backed form of financing provided by private entities or investors, and it’s secured against a physical property. Hard money loans are frequently referred to as private money loans, asset-based loans, equity-based financing, and bridge loans. The interest rate attached to this type of loan is typically higher than standard commercial or residential loans due to the high risk involved with such transactions taking place over a shorter period.
The hard money loan origin story began in the late 1950s when the US credit industry was making major alterations. At this time, developers resorted to these types of loans as their last hope for capitalizing on valuable property projects—something banks and government institutions were unable to provide.
The hard money industry endured immense losses during the real estate crises of the 80s and 90s, primarily due to lenders giving overly optimistic appraisals and investing in properties for more than what they were worth. To protect themselves from a similar situation again, many present-day hard money lenders use a much lower Loan-To-Value rate as an extra measure of caution.
Hard money loans are often used by real estate investors to quickly finance the purchase of a property. This can be especially useful for investors looking to take advantage of a timely opportunity, such as a property that is priced below market value and needs to close quickly.
Homebuyers with damaged credit may also turn to hard money loans as a financing option. Traditional lenders often have strict credit requirements, making it difficult for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit to secure a loan. Hard money lenders, on the other hand, place more emphasis on the value of the property being purchased and are willing to overlook a lower credit score. That is why many times you will hear equity-based loans be used interchangeably with hard money loans
Entrepreneurs needing short-term financing may also use hard money loans. These loans can be used to finance the launch of a new business or to cover unexpected expenses.
It’s important to note that hard money loans are generally not suitable for long-term financing, as they typically have shorter loan terms and higher interest rates compared to traditional loans. They are best used for short-term financing needs or as a bridge to longer-term financing. This is also why you may hear hard money loans called a bridge loans.
Hard money loans are usually funded by an individual private investor, mortgage investment fund, hedge funds, or one of many other professional organizations providing such investments. These types of loans usually require a short-term commitment and involve real estate as collateral.
Hard money loans are attractive to borrowers because they can provide quick access to capital without the need for credit checks or long approval processes. They also offer more flexibility with repayment terms than traditional lending institutions. For example, it is not out of the ordinary for monthly payments to be built into the loan, allowing the borrower to not have to worry about monthly payments during the duration of the loan. For hard money lenders, these types of loans often have higher interest rates but less risk since the loan is secured by the property being purchased or used as collateral and monthly payments have already been collected upfront. This makes hard money an attractive option for both borrowers and lenders alike.
One of the main advantages of hard money loans is the fast loan closings. Traditional loans can take several weeks or even months to be approved and funded, while hard money loans can be approved and funded within a matter of days. This can be especially useful for real estate investors looking to take advantage of a timely opportunity or entrepreneurs needing quick financing.
Another advantage of hard money loans is their more lenient credit requirements. As mentioned earlier, hard money lenders place more emphasis on the value of the property being purchased, rather than the borrower’s credit score. This makes hard money loans a good option for borrowers with damaged credit who may not qualify for a traditional loan.
Hard money loans can also be used for a variety of purposes, including the purchase of a property, refinancing an existing loan, or financing a business venture. This flexibility makes hard money loans a versatile financing option for a wide range of needs.
It’s important to note, however, that while hard money loans have their advantages, they also come with some disadvantages, which we will discuss in the next section.
One of the main disadvantages of hard money loans is their higher interest rates. Hard money lenders charge higher interest rates compared to traditional lenders because they are taking on more risk by lending to borrowers with lower credit scores or lending on properties that may be in poor condition.
Hard money loans also have shorter loan terms compared to traditional loans. While traditional loans can have loan terms of 15-30 years, hard money loans typically have loan terms of 1-5 years. This means that borrowers will need to pay back the loan in a shorter time frame, which can be challenging if they are unable to secure longer-term financing
In addition to higher interest rates and shorter loan terms, hard money loans may also come with additional fees, such as origination fees, appraisal fees, and closing costs. These fees can add to the overall cost of the loan and should be considered when deciding whether a hard money loan is the right option.
While hard money loans can be a useful financing option in certain situations, it’s important to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages before committing to one.
If you’re considering a hard money loan, there are a few key factors that you will need to consider to qualify.
First, it’s important to understand that hard money lenders generally have lower credit score requirements compared to traditional lenders. However, they will still consider your credit score as part of the loan application process. A credit score of at least 500 is generally required to qualify for a hard money loan, although some lenders may require a higher score. Some may even do the loan with no credit scores at all whatsoever. So it depends, case by case.
Second, you will need to have a down payment ready. Hard money lenders generally require a higher down payment compared to traditional lenders. This is because they are taking on more risk by lending to borrowers with lower credit scores or lending on properties that may be in poor condition. The down payment requirement will vary depending on the lender and the specifics of the loan, but it is generally in the range of 10-30%.
Finally, you will need to have a property in mind to use as collateral for the loan. Hard money loans are secured by the value of the property, so the lender will need to assess the value of the property to determine the loan amount. The property should be in good condition and have a high enough value to provide sufficient collateral for the loan.
If you meet these requirements and can secure a hard money loan, it’s important to remember that you will be responsible for paying back the loan in a shorter time frame and at a higher interest rate than a traditional loan. Be sure to carefully consider whether you will be able to make the required payments before committing to a hard money loan.
In summary, hard money loans are a financing option for real estate investors, home buyers with damaged credit, and entrepreneurs needing short-term financing. They offer a faster loan process and more lenient credit requirements but come with higher interest rates and shorter loan terms.
To qualify for a hard money loan, you will need to have a credit score of at least 500, a down payment ready, and a property to use as collateral.
While hard money loans can be a useful financing option in certain situations, it’s important to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages before committing to one. Be sure to consider the overall cost of the loan, including interest rates and fees, and whether you will be able to make the required payments before deciding if a hard money loan is right for you.
If you’re interested in learning more about how hard money loans work or want help finding an experienced hard money lender, contact us today! We would love to assist you on your journey towards success with Real Estate.