What Is A Hard Money Loan?

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Real estate investing can be a profitable strategy to increase your wealth and an excellent way to expand your holdings. While some real estate investors prefer to hold real estate directly, others opt for real estate investment trusts (REITs) and real estate crowdfunding, allowing for passive investing.

Hard-money loans serve as a means for these investors to find a quick and simple funding solution. They serve as a choice for borrowers with poor credit. High-interest rates and fast repayment schedules characterize them.

This loan is only sometimes a solid, secure choice for everyone, even when it offers quick financing. This article seeks to explain how hard money loans work and other valuable information. Let’s go!  

What is a Hard Money Loan? 

A loan with real estate as security is known as a “hard money loan.” People regard hard money loans as last-resort loans or quick bridging financing. Private individuals or businesses, rather than banks, provide these loans, typically for real estate transactions. You can hire a professional property manager to help you with this process. 

Commercial borrowers often have to resort to hard money loans. Some do this to circumvent the drawn-out procedure of obtaining authorization for a loan via conventional channels. Others apply for these loans after having a loan or mortgage application declined. 

Like a regular mortgage, the purchased asset backs the hard money loan. You can refer to the physical item that serves as the loan’s collateral as the “hard” element of “hard money.” When a borrower doesn’t pay back a secured loan, the lender has the right to repossess the asset to compensate for its losses. 

Hard money loans have a quicker and often less demanding permitting process than standard mortgages or other secured loans. This makes them the best choice if you need to make a transaction reasonably soon.

From application to closing, buying a property with a mortgage typically takes longer than a month. However, finalizing a hard money loan in a few days is feasible.

How do hard-money loans work? 

Hard money loans have conditions primarily determined by the value of the asset used as security rather than by the borrower’s reputation. Hard-money lenders are frequently private individuals or businesses that find satisfaction in using rent roll to boost profits. Traditional lenders, such as banks, do not issue hard money loans. 

Property flippers who intend to refurbish and resell the real estate used as security for the loan may look into hard money loans. Most hard money loans are for one to three years. In light of this and their other benefits, the increased cost of a hard money loan is more than covered by the borrower’s intention to repay the debt quickly. 

On the other hand, hard money lenders are individual investors or businesses specializing in this kind of lending. Traditional banks need to provide possibilities for hard money loans. The rules that bind conventional, conforming loan lenders don’t secure hard money lenders.

As a result, hard money lenders are generally free to impose whatever requirements they see fit. These include debt-to-income ratios or credit scores on their prospective clients. 

Even if more conventional lenders have turned you down, you can find a hard money lender who would approve you for a loan. This is because the value of the acquired property is what hard money lenders focus on more than the borrower’s trustworthiness. 

Payment Structure and Terms Investors Need to Know

Even though they have a considerably shorter term, hard money loans have a similar payment structure to conventional commercial loans. They often include interest-only payment plans with terms ranging from 12 months to three years. This implies that you will only have to make one monthly interest payment throughout the term. It would help if you made a balloon payment to cover the unpaid balance once the payment term has ended.

There is a lot to learn for those new to hard money lending. A lengthy variety of terms and expressions are exclusive to the loan process. It would be unreasonable to expect someone who has never borrowed from them to be familiar with them.

However, potential borrowers must comprehend their definitions once borrowing becomes an option. Below is a compiled glossary of standard hard money loan terms along with their meanings: 

Hard Money  

These are private loans backed by tangible assets used to buy real estate and expand businesses. Borrowers who cannot or do not want to borrow from banks generally receive loans from hard money.

Balloon Loan 

A loan that only partially amortizes during its tenure is a balloon loan. On the loan’s maturity date, the borrower has a lump sum payment that they need to make. Under certain conditions, balloon loans can be set up as interest-only loans.

Bullet Loan 

A balloon loan is comparable to a bullet loan. The only difference is that a bullet loan isn’t amortized. Instead, at maturity, the borrower pays full principal, interest, and other fees.

After Repair Value (ARV)

The ARV of a property is it’s estimated worth following all renovations and repairs. You can determine an ARV by checking up to six comparable properties recently sold in the same area and with similar features. You can select this by using the average sale price alone or the average sale price per square foot.


 An appraisal is a declaration of value as of the moment. To ascertain a property’s worth on a given date, appraisers consider it from various angles and relate it to similar properties. Experts that hold licenses and credentials provide assessments.


Hard money loans are handy for large investors who require quick financing for an investment property. These loans also eliminate the bureaucracy associated with bank financing.

Take a close look at the costs, interest rates, and loan terms while assessing hard money lenders. There can be blowbacks on the long-term profitability of your real estate endeavor if you end up paying too much for a hard money loan or shorten the payback duration.