What Are Bridging Loans?

By: Peter Kenny


If you are in the middle of moving house, and you have found the perfect new home but you cannot sell your current home, then you should think about getting a bridging loan to pay for the shortfall.

A bridging loan is a loan that you take out when there is a temporary shortfall in cash when you are moving property or business. You may also need a bridging loan when buying property at auction in order to pay for the property within the 28-day time frame. These loans are more risky for lenders, and so are more expensive. Therefore you should only get out a bridging loan if you know that you can repay the loan within 6 months.

Who can get a bridging loan?

A bridging loan is often easier to obtain that a normal loan or mortgage, with the self employed and people with poor credit history being eligible for such loans. Obviously this depends on the lender, but generally speaking you should be able to secure a bridging loan as long as you can make the repayments.

How do bridging loans work?

Bridging loans in the case of property work by allowing you to take a mortgage out on the new property, and then take a second mortgage out on the property that you are selling. You can usually borrow up to 65% of the value of the properties, minus any existing mortgages that you have. Depending on the property valuation this means you can borrow between £25,000 and £500,000 as a standard figure.

How to get a bridging loan

Getting a bridging loan is much like getting any other loan, and involves shopping around various online lenders and mortgage providers. However, the main difference is that for the bridging loan a valuation will be carried out by the lenders to ensure property value. The process usually takes around 7-10 days, in which time you can sort out the rest of the legal processes involved when buying a house.

Costs

Bridging loans vary in cost, with specialist lenders who specialise in giving loans for auctions having the lowest rates, as it is assumed you can afford the property as you have already legally bought it at auction. If you have bad credit then you will obviously pay more. Interest rates on bridging loans are usually worked out on a monthly basis, with an average rate being about 1.5% a month. Often, the interest rates for bridging loans is less important because you are going to pay back the loan quickly and the most important factor is getting the loan on time for you to purchase the new property.

Any alternatives?

If you cannot sell your house in time to finance the new property, then there are not many options open to you apart from bridging loans. Of course you could get a traditional loan, but this can take longer and the loan terms might be too long or the amount offered too low. If you know that you will have the money back from a property sale soon, then a bridging loan might be the right choice for you.

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Peter Kenny is a writer for creditcards-gb.co.uk. For additional articles and an extensive resource for everything about credit cards, please visit us at Balance Transfer Credit Cards and Mortgages

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