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Quick Bridging Loans

When you’re really up against it time wise and need cash in the bank to move ahead with an investment, property purchase or commercial project, a bridging loan can be a very good option. Known for being far quicker to arrange than a traditional mortgage, they offer a short-term finance solution that although not cheap, is fast and flexible.

What's in this article?

In this article we’ll look at how quickly you can get a bridging loan, the factors that are likely to affect the application time and what you can do to minimise any hold ups throughout the bridging loan application process. By the end you should be up to speed with exactly what you need to do to get that money in your bank as quickly and smoothly as possible.

How long does it take to get a bridging loan?

The exact length of time it takes for your bridging loan application to be processed will of course depend on a lot of different circumstances.

From the size of the loan through to simple things like the time of the year or the day of the week you start the process. In general though, you can expect to hear back on an initial decision within a day, sometimes sooner, and you should allow anything from a few days up to a couple of weeks from beginning to end.

That said, if you really are in a hurry there may be brokers who are able to pull out the stops and make things happen quickly, depending on the complexity of your situation. It is not unheard of for bridging loans to be secured in less than 24 hours.

Are bridging loans quicker than mortgages?

Yes, that’s why they are such a popular choice for people needing to secure finance in a hurry. The process for buying property with a standard mortgage can be lengthy, often taking weeks if not months from start to finish. Many transactions such as buying properties at auction or making commercial deals need much speedier turnaround times than regular mortgages are able to accommodate.

Are bridging loans quicker than personal loans?

It depends on the type of loan but generally no. On an unsecured personal loan you can have a decision in minutes, and the money in your bank straight away. However, these sorts of loans are generally for much smaller amounts - most unsecured loans will only lend up to £25,000, or up to £50,000 if it’s through your own bank and you already have a good history with them.

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What factors can impact the speed of a bridging loan?

While you may want your cash quickly, there are several factors that could potentially delay the speed on your loan, so it’s important that you understand these and how they could impact your application.

The size of your loan

Anything that makes you a higher risk borrower could have the potential to cause delays, and it may mean that your lender wants to take a little extra time to consider your application and carry out further checks. Borrowing £100,000 for example may require less time than borrowing £10 million, simply because a lender will want to carry out thorough due diligence.

Your credit history

If you have any history of bad credit then this will be another risk factor and could delay getting your loan agreed, especially if you didn’t declare any previous issues upfront. It’s a good idea to check your own credit reports before you start, just to get a full picture of what lenders are going to see. Take this opportunity to correct any mistakes, sort out any small issues, and don’t be afraid to talk to your broker about any more serious issues. If they know about bad credit they won’t waste time researching lenders who aren’t going to be a good fit for you.

The type of bridging loan

Bridging finance can either be regulated or unregulated, depending on the lender and its purpose. Residential bridging loans for example are usually regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and so tend to take longer on average to process, because more checks are required at each step.

Property valuation

When you first receive your loan offer it will be conditional on a valuation of the property it is being secured against and until this happens it won’t be legally binding. The property valuation is used to calculate loan to value ratio and if the valuation throws up any issues or doesn’t cover the security required then this will add time to the application process as you negotiate new terms or additional security.

Is there anything I can do to speed up a bridging loan?

While there will be many stages of the process that are out of your hands, there are some steps that you can take to make sure you don’t hit any unnecessary hold ups when applying for a bridging loan. These steps won’t guarantee your loan arrives more quickly, but they’ll certainly help the process go more smoothly.

Get the right support in place

There are two people in the process who can have a big impact on how quickly your application moves - your bridging loan broker and your solicitor. If you have experts working with you who are experienced in bridging finance and are on the ball, this can make a huge difference, not just in terms of timescales but also your stress levels!

Before you start, make sure you’ve researched your options, taken recommendations and read reviews so that you’re confident you’ve chosen the best people for the job.

Get your own house in order

You’re going to be asked to supply a lot of information to a potential lender, so it pays to be prepared for this and to have all of your documentation in order and ready to hand over to your broker. One of the most important pieces of information is your exit strategy. This is the plan that you have in place for repaying the bridging loan, and you won’t secure bridging finance without it, so make sure it’s clear and viable.

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