Hard Money Lending – Is Hard Money Lending A Good Idea?

Hard Money Lending might sound like private money loans; the prerequisites are somewhat more challenging. Although the accentuation is on the property and not the borrower, hard money lenders have credit score requirements. This is how they guarantee that borrowers are a solid match and have a low probability of defaulting on payments. This guide will explore all the vital things you want to know about Hard Money Lending. 

Hard Money Lending
Photo credit: Capital Fund 1

What is Hard Money Lending?

Hard Money Lending is a special asset-based loan financing through which a borrower gets funds secured by real property. Private investors or companies regularly give hard money loans. Interest rates are periodically higher than residential property or conventional commercial loans due to the higher risk and shorter loan duration.

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A hard money loan is secured by real property. Hard money loans are considered “short-term bridge loans or last resort.” These loans are primarily used in real estate transactions, with the lenders generally being companies or individuals, not banks. 

A hard money loan, often taken out for a short time, is a quick fund-raising method, but at a higher cost and lower LTV proportion. The terms of hard money loans can often be bargained between the lender and the borrower. These loans usually use the property as collateral. Even when a borrower defaults, it can still be a profitable transaction for the lender through collecting the collateral.

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What credit score is needed for a Hard Money Loan?

On average, borrowers need the lowest credit score of 600 for hard money loans. Comparing the credit score to the standard 680 – 700 credit score traditional lenders request makes it easy to see why hard money loans are an incredible choice.

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If you intend to buy a property, hold it, and rent it out, you might find the lowest credit score requirements are a bit higher, usually around 680, just because the risk is higher. You keep the home for a more extended period and are answerable for the payments even without renters, so lenders would require a little more assurance that you can make all your payments.

Does Hard Money lending affect credit scores?

Hard money lenders are likewise not set up to report to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, the three credit bureaus. Frequently, a hard money lender is a private individual who works directly with the borrower or through a hard money mortgage broker to make a small number of loans to local real estate investors each year.

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This person will only take some measures required to obtain approval from the credit bureaus to add four or five short-term loans to the borrower’s credit report. Hard money lenders typically provide loans for business purposes as opposed to loans for consumer purposes when the borrower is a corporation or limited liability company, frequently requiring a personal guarantee.

How long do hard money loans last?

A hard money loan lasts for a short-term loan. Although some lenders provide lengthier periods depending on the renovation and project scope, most hard money loans have maturities of three months to a year.

Like traditional loans, each hard money loan has a unique set of conditions. Because you use the loans for investment properties, the periods are typically shorter. Also, hard money loans for fix-and-flip houses usually have two years or fewer durations. 

Selling the property soon benefits you because holding onto it for longer increases your costs. A longer term is preferred if you plan to buy and hold the property, and most lenders provide a 30-year term. This allows you to spread your payments and generate a good monthly cash flow while repaying the debt.

 Is Hard Money Lending a good idea?

Wealthy investors who need to finance an investment property quickly and without the bureaucracy associated with bank financing can consider hard money loans. Consider the costs, interest rates, and loan terms while assessing hard money lenders. Hard money loans have much higher interest rates than conventional mortgages because of their higher risk (compared to traditional mortgages) and shorter time horizons. For hard money loan investors, these higher rates automatically translate into respectable returns as long as they pursue many opportunities.

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In that regard, hard money lending faces the same diversification risks as any investment. If you only own stock in a single company, your portfolio’s value will collapse if that company goes south. With many stocks, you limit risks through diversification.

One company’s poor performance can offset the other companies’ solid performance. When you invest in complex money lending deals with the proper vetting and experience, the winners dominate the losers. Hard money lending gives high returns, and you secure your investment with a property. If a stock’s value falls, you can’t pick up some of the company’s machinery to sell. You can foreclose and sell the loan collateral as a hard money investor.

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