How hard (or easy) is it to get a bridging loan?

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Learn what makes getting a bridging loan easier or harder

When it comes to bridging loans, many factors can affect the process and the outcome — from your financial circumstances to the interest rates on offer.

But before you start thinking about applying, we’re talking you through a few things that can make the application process quicker (and slower) for both you and the lender.

What factors make getting a bridging loan easier or harder?

 

Available documentation

When applying for a bridging loan, there are a few forms you’ll need to fill out, including the decision in principle (DIP) form. This form will help the lender and their underwriter understand how much you’re looking for, your financial situation, the loan term required and more. If you’re able to fill this in quickly and find all the relevant documentation required for application (photo ID, proof of address and income, etc.), it’ll ensure a quick and easy process.

If you don’t have the correct documentation or the lender has to ask for additional information, this could hold your application process up.

Personal finances & situation

Generally speaking, the more stable your financial situation, the easier it is for you to get a bridging loan. Lenders will require proof of income, and they’ll also carry out a credit check, with some lenders stipulating a minimum credit score.

Something else that can slow the process down is if you’re living or planning to live in the house you’re purchasing. If this is the case, the loan becomes regulated, which means the process to secure bridging finance will be longer as there are more hoops to jump through.

If you’re not planning on living in the property, this process can be much quicker, between seven and 14 days. But if you’re focused on getting the best deal, sometimes, to get the cheapest bridging loan deals, the lenders might require a lengthy process with more checks; situations like this can mean the application process can take between 14 and 21 days.

This is why it’s important to speak with your broker or the lender to understand their process, so it fits what you’re looking for.

Current market situations and interest rates

It’s pretty difficult to secure a bridging loan from a high street bank, which means the market is competitive as specialist bridging finance companies battle it out for the lowest interest rates. Although bridging finance interest rates are much higher than traditional loans, you’re likely to find a good deal in this market due to its oversaturated nature.

With so many companies vying for borrower attention, borrowers can take their time researching options before making their final decision. In addition, specialist finance providers usually only deal with these types of loans, which means their processes can be quicker and more flexible than traditional lenders.

Outside factors can affect interest rates, too. This means interest rate fluctuations are hard to predict; take the pandemic, for example. Over the last year, the housing market witnessed a boom. According to the ONS, house prices increased so much that it was the highest they’d been since 2004, raising 13.2% from June 2020 to June 2021.

The best way to understand current interest rates is to compare bridging finance lenders. You can use our bridging loan calculator to get a quick idea of how much this loan could cost you.

Credit rating

Although lenders aren’t as focused on your credit score when applying for bridging finance, it could still play an important role in determining whether you’re a credible borrower, particularly if you’re inexperienced in financial lending.

Some lenders require a minimum credit score, but others might not. The only way to understand the specific loan criteria is to contact the lender directly. If you have a steady income and a good credit rating, you’re in a good position to apply for a bridging loan.

Business and property

If you have a poor credit rating, applying for a bridging loan isn’t out of the question yet. If you have a large amount of equity in the property you’re selling, or you can put down a large deposit, or you have a healthy property portfolio and a strong property that you can secure the loan with; all this can make applying for bridging finance a much easier process.

Lenders might want to see a business plan if you’re purchasing the property for commercial purposes to see how viable the business investment is. They’ll also need to see a clearly laid out exit strategy (i.e. how you’re going to repay the loan). All this can give the lender the confidence they need to part with their money, making the application process easier and quicker. The less risky the situation is for the lender, the more likely you can secure bridging finance.

What does BLD recommend to make the Bridging Loan process easier?

Always come prepared. Do your research early on in the process, even before you’re seriously considering a bridging loan. Being clued up on the process, documentation requirements, and forms you need to fill in will help the process run smoothly; always return required documents as quickly as possible to avoid delay.

You could consider using a specialist bridging finance provider rather than a general loan provider. Bridging loans can be complex; they’re very different to other, more traditional forms of finance. By using a specialist, they’re already well-equipped to help you through the process, answering any questions you may have.

If you’ve got any questions about the bridging loan process, the friendly Bridging Loan Directory team is here to help. Get in touch.

Or, compare lenders in our directory.