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What Is a Bridging Loan?

flik eco finance personal what is a bridging loan

If you're considering a property purchase and need to bridge a short-term cash flow gap, a bridging loan could be the perfect solution. But what is a bridging loan? How do they work? And what are the pros and cons of taking out one? Keep reading for answers to all your questions about bridging loans!

What is a Bridging Loan?

If you're looking to buy a new home but haven't sold your old one yet, a bridging loan could be the answer. A bridging loan is a short-term loan that helps you 'bridge the gap' between buying and selling properties. In this article, we'll explain what a bridging loan is, how it works, and what to look out for when taking one out.

A bridging loan is a type of short-term finance that can be used to help you buy a property before you've sold your old one. Bridging loans are typically used by people who have found their dream home but haven't yet sold their current property.

How Do Bridging Loans Work?

A bridging loan works by giving you the funds to buy your new property before you've sold your old one. Once you've sold your old property, you can then use the proceeds of the sale to pay off the bridging loan. Bridging loans are typically used when people are buying and selling properties at the same time.

What Are The Different Types of Bridging Loans?

There are two main types of bridging loans: closed bridge loans and open bridge loans.

Closed bridge loans are typically used for a specific purpose, such as purchasing a property at auction or completing a property development project. The loan is repaid when the sale of the property is completed or the development project is finished and sold.

Open bridge loans, on the other hand, can be used for any purpose. The loan is repaid when the borrower has the necessary funds available, which could be from selling another property, taking out a new mortgage or getting an inheritance.

Bridging loans can also be classified according to their structure: first-charge bridging finance and second-charge bridging finance. First-charge bridging finance is when the loan is secured against the property you are buying. Second-charge bridging finance is when the loan is secured against another property you own.

What Are The Benefits of Bridging Loans?

Bridging loans offer a number of benefits, including:

  • They can be arranged quickly, often within a week
  • They can be used for a wide range of purposes
  • They can be structured in different ways to suit your needs
  • They can be repaid early without penalty
  • You can apply for them even if you have bad credit

How to Apply for a Bridging Loan

If you're interested in taking out a bridging loan, the first step is to speak to a financial advisor. They will be able to assess your circumstances and advise you on whether a bridging loan is the right solution for you.

When applying for a bridging loan, you will need to provide the following:

  • A detailed explanation of what the loan is for
  • Your personal and business financial information
  • The value of the property you are buying or selling
  • Details of your current mortgage(s)
  • Your credit history

Once you have gathered all of this information, you can then submit an application to a lender. The lender will carry out checks on your finances and credit history before making a decision.

What Are Some Disadvantages of Bridging Loans?

As with any type of loan, there are some disadvantages to be aware of before taking out a bridging loan. One potential downside is that bridging loans tend to come with higher interest rates than traditional mortgages or home equity loans. This is because lenders view them as being more risky.

Another disadvantage is that you may not be able to borrow as much money through a bridging loan as you could with a traditional mortgage. This is because lenders will typically only lend up to 70% of the value of the property. So, if you're looking to purchase a property worth $500,000, the most you would be able to borrow through a bridging loan would be $350,000.

Finally, it's important to be aware that you may need to sell the property quickly in order to repay the loan. This could be tricky if the housing market is slow or if there are any unforeseen delays.

Overall, bridging loans can be a helpful way to finance the purchase of a new home before selling your old one. Just be sure to do your research and compare interest rates from multiple lenders before signing on the dotted line.

What Are Some Alternatives to Bridging Loans?

If you're not sure a bridging loan is right for you, there are a few other options to consider. Personal loans and home equity loans are two alternatives that may be more appropriate, depending on your needs. However, it's important to compare interest rates and terms before making a decision.

Both personal loans and home equity loans can offer lower interest rates than credit cards or other types of financing. And, if you have good credit, you may be able to qualify for a 0% introductory APR offer on a personal loan or home equity line of credit. But remember that these offers usually come with strict requirements, so make sure you understand the terms before signing up.

Another option to consider is a cash-out refinance. This is when you refinance your mortgage for more than you currently owe and take the difference in cash. This can be a good way to access equity in your home without taking out a separate loan. However, it's important to note that cash-out refinances generally have higher interest rates than traditional mortgage refinancing.

Finally, if you have assets such as stocks or mutual funds, you may be able to use those as collateral for a loan. This can be a good option if you don't want to put your home at risk but still need access to cash. Keep in mind, though, that if the value of your assets goes down, you could end up owing more money than what they're worth.

Is It Hard to Get Approved for A Bridging Loan?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. It depends on a variety of factors, including your credit score, the value of your property, and what you plan to use the loan for.

If you have good credit and equity in your property, you should be able to get approved for a bridging loan with relative ease. However, if you have bad credit or limited equity, it may be more difficult to get approved. The best way to increase your chances of approval is to work with a reputable lender who specializes in bridging loans.

How Long Does It Take to Get Approval for a Bridging Loan?

The time it takes to get approval for a bridging loan can vary depending on the lender. Some lenders may be able to give you an answer within 24 hours, while others may take a few days or even weeks. The important thing is to make sure you shop around and compare different lenders before making a decision.

What Happens When a Bridging Loan is Approved?

The short answer is: the money gets sent to your account.

But there's a little bit more to it than that. Once your bridging loan is approved, the lender will send what's called a "drawdown request" to your solicitor or conveyancer. This is basically a formal request for the money, and once it's been approved, the funds will be released and sent to your account.

So what happens next? Well, it's up to you! You can use the money from your bridging loan for any number of things - from buying a new property before selling your old one, to carrying out renovations or repairs, to consolidating debts. Basically, anything that you need a short-term injection of cash for.

What is The Minimum Bridging Loan Amount?

The minimum amount you can borrow with a bridging loan is typically £25,000. However, some lenders will consider loans of £15,000 or even less if the circumstances are right and you have a good track record with them.

What Is The Maximum Bridging Loan Amount?

The maximum amount you can borrow with a bridging loan is usually around 70% of the value of the property. So, if your property is worth £100,000, the maximum amount you could borrow would be £70,000. However, some lenders will lend up to 80% or even 90% in some cases. It all depends on your individual circumstances and what the lender is willing to offer.

What Are the Interest Rates for Bridging Loans?

The interest rate for bridging loans can vary depending on a number of factors, including the amount borrowed, the term of the loan, and the lender's assessment of risk. However, rates are typically between 0.75% and 1.50% per month.

The interest rates for bridging loans are typically higher than traditional mortgages, as they are considered to be a higher risk by lenders. However, the exact rate will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The amount you are borrowing
  • The term of the loan (usually between six months and two years)
  • Your personal circumstances (including your credit history)
  • The type of property you are buying (e.g. commercial or residential)

As with any loan, it is important to shop around and compare rates from different lenders before deciding on a bridging loan. This will help ensure you get the best deal possible.

What Are the Fees Associated with Bridging Loans?

The fees associated with bridging loans can vary depending on the lender, but typically they fall into one of three categories: arrangement fees, valuation fees, and legal fees.

Arrangement fees are usually a percentage of the loan amount and are paid upfront.

Valuation fees cover the cost of having the property valued by a professional assessor and are also typically paid upfront.

Legal fees cover the cost of instructing a solicitor to carry out due diligence on the property and prepare the necessary legal documents.

These costs can be added to the loan or paid directly by the borrower.

What Is the Repayment Schedule for Bridging Loans?

Bridging loans are typically repaid within 12 months, although some lenders may offer repayment terms of up to 24 months. Interest is usually charged on a monthly basis, and the loan is typically repaid in full at the end of the term. Some lenders may offer the option to repay the loan early, but there may be penalties for doing so.

What Happens if I Can't Repay My Bridging Loan?

If you can't repay your bridging loan, the lender will take possession of your property. This is what's known as a 'foreclosure'.

Foreclosures are serious business, and they'll damage your credit score for years to come. That's why it's always best to try and repay your loan on time.

If you're struggling to repay your bridging loan, talk to your lender as soon as possible. They may be able to help you by extending the term of the loan, or by giving you a repayment holiday.

What Do You Need to Qualify for a Bridging Loan?

In order to qualify for a bridging loan, you will need to have a strong credit score and a steady income.

You will also need to have equity in your home or another asset that can be used as collateral. The lender will want to see that you have the ability to repay the loan in a timely manner.

Bridging loans are not for everyone, but if you meet the requirements, they can be a great way to get the funds you need quickly. Talk to your financial advisor to see if a bridging loan is right for you. Thanks for reading!

What Can A Bridging Loan Be Used For?

There are many things that a bridging loan can be used for. Some of the most common uses include:

Buying a property at auction

Completing the purchase of a property before selling your current home

Refinancing your mortgage

Carrying out refurbishments or repairs on a property

Helping to finance the purchase of a business premises.

A bridging loan can also be an option if you need to raise capital quickly for any other reason. The funds from a bridging loan can usually be accessed within days or weeks, which makes them perfect for emergency situations.


About Jermaine Hagan (The Plantsman)

Jermaine Hagan, also known as The Plantsman is the Founder of Flik Eco. Jermaine is the perfect hybrid of personal finance expert and nemophilist. On a mission to make personal finance simple and accessible, Jermaine uses his inside knowledge to help the average Joe, Kwame or Sarah to improve their lives. Before founding Flik Eco, Jermaine managed teams across several large financial companies, including Equifax, Admiral Plc, New Wave Capital & HSBC. He has been featured in several large publications including BBC, The Guardian & The Times.

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