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What Is a Hard Money Loan?

What Is a Hard Money Loan?

A hard money loan is a loan that is secured by the borrower’s property. The borrower can use his or her own home as collateral for a hard money loan. Hard money loans are usually used by consumers with bad credit histories who hard money loans are secured by real estate property of the borrower. Hard money loans are often referred to as “no-doc” loans, since borrowers do not provide documentation for the loan.

Hard Money Loans for First-Time Investors

Many first-time investors are afraid of the stock market, and want to invest in real estate for its safety. Unfortunately, buying property can be even riskier than investing in stocks. Even if the down payment was not difficult, other costs are still involved with buying a property.

First-time investors may be more likely to be rejected by a lender. This happens when the investor is seeking a fix-and-flip loan. The bank cannot know if the borrower is able to manage a real estate project, or manage tenants, in the case of an income property. Only certain lenders will lend money to an inexperienced borrower. They require that the borrower has had a minimum number of prior successful transactions. They must see proof of past purchases.

How Does a Hard Money Loan Work?

Hard money loans are unsecured, which means that they do not require collateral. The process of acquiring a hard money loan is much easier than the conventional mortgage process. Instead, these funds are usually provided by private investors or individuals who loan money to businesses or real estate projects which serve as collateral for the loan. It is a guarantee that your home loan may be approved when you can prove that you’re able to pay back your monthly debt. In fact, some lenders even check your credit score to see if you qualify for financing. When you have a good source of income, a solid savings account, or have the opportunity to get a collateralized loan, then you needn’t worry about a personal loan.

What Is Included in the Interest Rate on a Hard Money Loan?

Generally speaking, points is a fee that is charged to borrowers when they obtain financing from a hard money lender. On a 100 percent loan, one point equals 1% of the total loan amount, while points vary from 2% to 4%. Interest rates on a hard money loan can vary greatly from one lender to another, even though they may all seem to charge the same interest rate. However, it’s possible to get a harder money lender who can negotiate the interest rate to a lower figure. Interest rates for short term loans usually range from 10 percent to 15 percent.

How Are Hard Money Loans Different from Bank Loans?

If you are able to prove that you are a responsible borrower, lenders will happily approve your request. Your home’s lender is more interested in whether you own the home free and clear (without a mortgage).

The main difference between a hard money loan and a regular bank loan is the fact that the lender is not necessarily a bank. Hard money lenders are usually private people, while banking institutions often fund regular bank loans. Unlike conventional mortgage, the ones mentioned above are used exclusively for non-owner occupied properties. That makes hard money lenders can charge higher interest rates and fees and get away with terms that wouldn’t be allowed with traditional loans. Although the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) don’t apply to commercial mortgages, banks and other lenders must still abide by certain rules set by both acts. Banks that meet the criteria for federal insurance may still be subject to regulation by the FDIC and NCUA. Hard money lenders are not subject to any legal regulations.

There are some important differences between hard money and conventional loans. Hard money loans generally have terms of 6 to 18 months, while conventional loans are usually amortized over 30 years. When you’re considering hard money loans, you’ll notice a much higher interest rate of up to 10%. In the meantime, traditional loans have rates as low as 2.5% for borrowers who own their homes. Hard money loans are backed only by your house or property, while traditional loans are backed by the borrower’s personal credit.

What Types of Real Estate Does a Hard Money Lender Finance?

Hard money lenders do not generally lend on the same terms to everyone. Instead, they base their loan decisions on their assessment of your creditworthiness, the value of the property you wish to buy, and other factors.

The lender will want to make sure you can sell your property when the loan is due so the lender gets paid for their loan.

Fix-and-flip loans are common in this sector of lending. Many banks will finance the costs of repairs as well. A flip is a quick way to earn some cash by flipping a property, but lenders who want to participate in a flip must also be involved in the repairs, since it takes time to fix the problem. They will allow you draw down on the loan for any necessary repairs and then release the remaining funds upon completion of those repairs. By controlling the amount of money given to a contractor, you can make sure that it’s being used for your home improvement project. This limits the exposure the lender has in case of fraud or theft.

Fix-and-Flip Properties

Hard money loans are a popular way to finance a fix-and-flip property, as lenders will often lend an investor between 50-80 percent of the cost of the property. The loan amount that a borrower is approved for will depend on the interest rate.

Fix-and-flip properties are frequently financed by hard money loans. Many lenders will even finance the repairs. To loan makers, a flip is an excellent investment because it’s likely to be completed within six months if the buyer is able to make the necessary improvements in the home. This helps ensure that the loan is being spent on the repairs to the home and protects the bank from taking too much risk.


Banks do not often lend money to buy rental properties. When one first looks for a home loan, it’s a common mistake to assume that a bank will be able to provide financing for an owner-occupied property.

In case you need fast capital to purchase a commercial real estate, a cash loan can be the easiest way to acquire the funds. An investor might find a small apartment complex with tenants who may need extensive renovations before it’s occupied. They’re unable to finance the purchase with a bank, so they could possibly try and obtain a hard money loan. They will get their work done, then buy out the property with a long-term loan.

Commercial Real Estate

One of the biggest challenges for investors in commercial real estate is that there are many times when they don’t have a property to use as an office, warehouse, or showroom for their company. The investor will find an empty property that can be rented by a tenant, but they have to purchase the property before renting it to the tenant. A bank cannot lend money for an unoccupied property that is to be used as an investment, if the applicant can’t put up the assets to secure the loan. If you can get a hard money loan for your business in this situation, then it’s very possible that you will find the tenant improvements you need and also have the property leased. A tenant that pays rent on time and regularly can usually get financing for their apartment.

Matt Strong talks about how he went from avoiding fixing anything to flipping over 400 houses and then becoming one of the top hard money lenders in Salt Lake City.

Interest and Fees on a Hard Money Loan

Hard money loans are costly. Lenders will charge more for a hard money loan than for other types of loans, since the loan is considered to be riskier and much shorter term. Loan repayment periods that are longer than 12 months earn interest on the money used to finance the loan. To stay in good standing with your hard money lender, make it a point to invest the principal back into their business. There’s a price to pay whenever you borrow money through a private lender. You’ll be charged an interest rate of between 4% and 9% on less risky transactions. However, you may find yourself paying 13% and even higher on riskier deals.

Common Fees for a Hard Money Loan Include:

A hard money loan is easier to obtain and easier to approve than a conventional loan, but the cost of such convenience is higher interest rates. Lenders charge more interest because these are high-risk loans and only temporary. The time frame you decide on for the interest-earning period depends on the number of short-term loans you need to process. The amount of time that the cash invested in a hard money loan must stay invested is six months to a year. When a personal loan is used, the interest rate will go up, which is almost always in the range of five to nine percent. There are lots of lenders out there who offer much higher interest rates than this, some as high as 15%.

Loan Approval Guidelines

While bank loans have more stringent qualification criteria than they did in the past, loan sharks, credit unions, and private money lenders tend to use similar standards for approving applicants. In addition, they don’t often care about the source of the down payment funds.

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