What is Bridge Lending?
Bridge Lending or 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.
A bridge loan is interim financing for an individual or business until permanent financing or the next stage of financing is obtained. Money from the new financing is generally used to “take out” (i.e. to pay back) the bridge loan, as well as other capitalization needs.
Bridge loans are typically more expensive than conventional financing, to compensate for the additional risk. Bridge loans typically have a higher interest rate, points (points are essentially fees, 1 point equals 1% of loan amount), 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 lender also may require cross-collateralization and a lower loan-to-value ratio. On the other hand, they are typically arranged quickly with relatively little documentation.
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.