Bridge loan

July 27, 2023
A bridge loan is a kind of bridge financing that may be obtained by an entity that urgently requires funds to satisfy its short-term commitments (e.g., working capital finance). Typically, it is granted by an investment institution or venture funding organization. Equity finance (equity-for-capital exchange) is another alternative to bridge financing. Bridge loans are always costly since lenders assume a considerable amount of the default risk by lending the cash for a short time. In initial public offerings (IPOs), bridge finance pays float costs.

What is a bridge loan?

A bridge loan is a short-term loan until an individual or business obtains permanent funding or pays an existing commitment. Offering rapid cash flow, it enables the borrower to pay current commitments. Bridge loans contain very high-interest rates and are typically secured by some sort of security, like real estate or a business's inventory. These loans are commonly utilized in real estate and referred to as bridge finance or bridging loans.

Bridge loans explained

A bridge loan is a kind of short-term funding that may act as a repository of finance and capital until an individual or firm finds permanent financing or pays off an existing financial obligation. Bridge loans (sometimes called swing loans) are usually short-term, ranging from 6 months to 1 year on average, and are often utilized in real estate deals. They may fund the acquisition of a new house before selling your old one.

As one would expect, most real estate agents would like to wait until their current home is under sale before requesting a new one and utilizing the proceeds from the sale of their old property to help fund a new real estate transaction. If you cannot sell your home and arrange a sale, bridge financing may give you the finances you need to purchase a new property. Simply put, bridge loans provide access to extra finances to acquire real estate by enabling you to tap into additional assets or whatever equity you have in your present house before its sale.

It is not unusual for homeowners wishing to make a short shift (such as hastily relocating to another place for work-related reasons) to require a solution to bridge the gap between residences. A bridge loan might help you fund your way during this transitional phase. Furthermore, particularly if you are looking for a new house in a hot market, it might assist you in avoiding having to make sale-contingent buy offers on new homes. (Many purchasers hesitate to do this since these offers allow you to withdraw from the agreement if your present house does not sell.) Nevertheless, even though it is insured with your present house as collateral, a bridge loan is not meant to substitute long-term financings such as a regular mortgage or other forms of home loans. It is intended to be returned within 1 - 3 years. As a result, a bridge loan is classified as a non-mortgage or specialty finance rather than a regular mortgage.

Understanding how a bridge loan works

Bridge loans are a kind of temporary financing used when permanent sources of funds are temporarily unavailable. Both people and businesses use bridge loans, which may be tailored to meet borrowers' needs in various scenarios.

Homeowners may use bridge loans to buy a new house before their present one sells. While waiting to sell their residence, borrowers might utilize the equity built up as a down payment on a new house. A bridge loan might give the homeowner some much-needed break during this transitional period. Compared to other forms of credit financial services, such as the home equity line of credit (HELOC), the interest rates on these loans tend to be higher.

Debtors with low debt-to-income (DTI) ratios and stellar credit histories are the most likely to be approved for real estate bridge loans. Bridge loans combine the payments on two properties, allowing the buyer financial stability while they wait for the sale of the first. Real estate bridge loans are available from certain lenders. Still, they are often limited to 80% of the total value of the two properties involved, so that the borrower will need either substantial equity in the first property or substantial liquid assets.

When a company needs short-term funding while waiting for permanent funding, they often resort to bridge loans. For example, a corporation seeks equity funding within a six-month closing timeframe. Until the investment round closes, it may utilize a bridge loan as a source of operating capital to pay for salaries, rent, utilities, inventory, and more.

In the context of real estate bridge loans, borrowers who have yet to pay off their mortgage must continue making their mortgage payment in addition to the bridge loan payment until the sale of their current residence.

The conditions of qualifying for a bridge loan

The following are the requirements that borrowers must satisfy to qualify for the loan:

·       Low ratio of debt to income.

·       The low loan-to-value ratio.

·       Title to the asset, property, or inventory used as collateral.

·       Highest possible credit rating and credit score.

·       A minimum of 20% shareholding in the borrowing firm is required.

·       Individuals residing in the area

Types of bridge loans

The various categories are as follows:

       i.          Closed bridge loans

Closed bridge loans have a predetermined financing duration agreed upon by all parties. Closed loans are preferable to lenders, leading to more affordable interest rates.

     ii.          Open bridge loan

An open bridge loan does not have a set deadline for repayment. Borrowers like open loans when the timing of their financing is unclear. Because of the uncertainty around the payback date, interest rates are often higher.

    iii.          First charge bridge loan

The lender has the highest priority claim on the collateral in a first-charge loan. The lender has the priority to sell the collateral to recoup any defaulted loans. Low-interest rates can be maintained since there is minimal underwriting risk.

    iv.          Second charge bridge loan

The creditor has a second charge on the property. Interests are exceptionally high because of a great deal of uncertainties.

The interest rates of a mortgage bridge loan

Bridge loans often have higher interest rates than traditional loans, with fees typically running up to around 2% over the prime rate. Like conventional mortgages, bridge loans include closing costs (which may add up to several thousand dollars) and origination fees (a percentage of the loan amount). An appraisal may be an extra cost that you will have to pay.

However, examining the terms and conditions connected with any bridge loan offer is vital since buyer protections are sometimes restricted in the unlikely scenario that the sale of the present house falls through. In the case of default on a bridge loan, the creditor may foreclose on the property that serves as collateral. You should avoid overextending yourself financially on any sums borrowed and think carefully about how long you can go without financial resources when a sale stalls. You will also discover that studying the local real estate market and average house sale time is beneficial.

The benefits and drawbacks of bridge loans

There are benefits and drawbacks to getting a bridge loan, just as with any other kind of loan or funding.

The advantages

·       Bridge loan funds can be accessed fast, making them ideal for urgent transactions or situations.

·       Swift funding: A bridge loan might give you the money you need faster than a regular mortgage.

·       Payment options: Both principal and interest payments might be deferred until the sale of the present residence.

·       No need for a backup plan: Instead of making the sale of your last house a financial condition of buying your new one, a bridge loan may provide the money you need to close on your new home even if your old one has not sold.

The drawbacks

·       Possibility of dual residence ownership doubles the time and money spent maintaining and paying for a house.

·       Conventional down payment: To qualify for home bridge financing, borrowers must have at least 20% equity in their residence.

·       You may be required to utilize the same creditor for your bridge loan and permanent mortgage.

·       Bridge loan interest and annual percentage rates (APRs) are often higher than those on more conventional loans.

Banks, credit unions, and other financial organizations are only some of the numerous possible sources for bridge loans. However, your current mortgage provider will likely be the program's originator. Contact your lender first if you are considering applying for a bridge loan.

While searching for a finance partner, be aware of lenders providing fast access to funds since they may charge very high-interest rates and have a spottier performance and customer service record.

Possible substitutes for bridge loans

Of course, if you need a sudden windfall, you do not necessarily have to apply for a bridge loan. After all, various creative financing options for real estate may be useful in an emergency. Let us look at a few examples.

i.       Equity loans on homes

One common substitute for bridging loans is the use of home equity. With this kind of loan, you may get credit depending on the equity you have built in your house. The interest rates are often lower than bridge loans, and the loan terms may be as long as twenty years. Although a home equity loan may be less expensive than a bridge loan, it still requires you to have two mortgages (or perhaps three) if you buy a new house and do not sell your old one quickly.

ii.     Home equity line of credit (HELOC)

It is a kind of second mortgage that permits one to borrow money against the value of their property and enjoy the benefits of a lower interest rate, less upfront charges, and longer repayment terms. Money borrowed via a HELOC may also be used for reinvestment in the house. Some home equity lines of credit include prepayment penalties. Rocket Mortgage does not provide equity loan services.

iii.    Credit lines for companies

Like the HELOC, interest is charged only on the amount used from a business line of credit. Lenders may provide loans with maturities of up to ten years. These loans are more challenging than bridge loans and may have a higher interest rate.

iv.    80-10-10 loan

A new house may be purchased with a down payment of less than 20% using an 80-10-10 loan, which allows the borrower to forego paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI). With an 80-10-10 loan, you put down 10% on the purchase price of a property and take out two mortgages, one for 80% of the price and another for the remaining 10%. Any money left over from the sale of your present house after paying off any outstanding debts may be used to retire the 10% second mortgage on the new home. Currently, this sort of loan is not available via Rocket Mortgage.

v.     Individual loan

Finally, be aware that you may also attempt to receive a personal loan if you have a great credit history, stable work, a history of punctual expenditure payment, and a decent debt-to-income ratio. Personal collateral is used to secure this loan, and each lender's terms and conditions will differ.


A bridge loan might be useful in some situations, such as when purchasing a new house before your old one sells. However, although a bridge loan might get you out of a jam or help you get a much-needed new home in a hot market faster, it can also make an expensive purchase more difficult. If you get one, you will likely have more money on real estate. Nevertheless, you will increase your total debt burden and may end yourself paying off several loans at the same time if your present property does not sell quickly. If you can, the ideal option is to wait to sell your old home before purchasing a new one.