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What is a bridge loan?

Everything you need to know about bridging loans

A bridge loan can be a good solution for short-term borrowing. Our guide covers how bridge loans work so you can decide if they’re the right choice for you

 

By Lucy Hancock

Published: 21 October 2021

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A bridge loan can be a useful way to borrow money short-term – especially if you’re looking to buy a new home before you’ve sold your current one. But it’s good to know the facts – and the pros and cons – before you apply.

What is a bridge loan?

A bridge loan, also known as a ‘bridging loan’, is a type of loan that’s taken out for a short period of time until you secure the money you need – usually to help you buy a new home before you’ve sold your current property. Like other types of secured loan, bridge loans are secured against a valuable asset, usually your property, meaning if you struggle to keep up with your loan repayments your home could be at risk.

How do bridge loans work?

There are different types of bridging loan available. They include:

First charge and second charge

When you take out a bridging loan, a ‘charge’ is placed on your property - this is a legal agreement that lists the order in which lenders will be repaid if you're unable to repay your loans. If you have an existing mortgage, the bridge loan becomes a second charge, for example. But if you don’t already have a mortgage the bridge loan is a first charge

Fixed or variable interest

Bridging loan interest rates can be either fixed or variable. With a fixed rate you’ll know exactly how much you’ll be charged and that your monthly repayments will be the same for the life of the loan. With a variable rate the interest rate – and your monthly repayment amount - can change. Fixed rates are likely to be slightly more expensive

Open bridge loan

An open bridge loan means there’s no set date for paying off the loan, but you’ll usually be expected to pay it off within a year. This type of loan may suit you if you’ve found a house you want to buy but haven’t yet sold your current home

Closed bridge loan

With a closed loan you’ll have a fixed date to repay your loan. A closed bridge loan may suit you if you’re selling a property and waiting for completion to receive the money to put towards your new home. Typically, you only need to borrow the money for a short time.

Do banks offer bridging loans?

You may be able to get a bridge loan from a high street bank, but they are likely to be hard to come by. You’re more likely to get a bridging loan from a secured loan provider or specialist bank. If you’re looking for the right bridging loan, why not compare with MoneySuperMarket? We compare bridging loans from across the market from a range of lenders, to find the right deal for your needs.

How long will it take me to receive a bridge loan?

How long it will take for you to receive the money after you’ve applied for a bridge loan will depend on your lender and their lending criteria. You may receive the money from your bridging loan within 72 hours, or it could take a couple of weeks for you to be approved and get the funds. As bridging loans are a type of secured loan, they’re likely to take longer to complete than a personal loan. This is because there will be additional checks and paperwork to secure a loan against your property. If you’d like to have a better idea of what to expect, you could ask your lender for an estimated time to completion when you apply.

Compare bridging loans with MoneySuperMarket

Applying for a loan can feel like a guessing game – it’s hard to know whether you’ll be accepted and what deal you’ll be offered. But by comparing bridging loans with MoneySuperMarket, it’s a quicker and easier process. We’ll compare bridge loans from a wide range of lenders using a soft search, meaning your credit score won’t be affected.

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MoneySuperMarket is a credit broker – this means we’ll show you products offered by lenders. We never take a fee from customers for this broking service. Instead, we are usually paid a fee by the lenders – though the size of that payment doesn’t affect how we show products to customers.