Bridging loans for mortgages: Rates and comparison

Bridging finance covers the gap between buying your new property and selling your old one. There are also other uses and often used by property developers and landlords.

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What are bridging loans?

Bridging loans are short-term loans that are often used by home buyers who have found a home they want to buy, but haven’t yet found a buyer for the home they live in and want to sell.

Essentially, they “bridge” the gap between the sale of your current home and the purchase of a new one.

Who are bridging loans suitable for?

Typically, bridging loans are aimed at property developers and landlords, who are in the real estate industry. But they can be used in several different circumstances including:

  • The purchase of another property whilst waiting for a sale.
  • A purchase at auction and there’s not enough time to arrange a mortgage.
  • A property in poor repair and not suitable for mortgage until work is completed.
  • Land acquisition for development.
  • The release of capital from a property pending a sale.
  • Buying a property with the intention of quickly upgrading it and selling it for a profit.

Compare bridging loans and interest rates

Table: sorted by monthly interest rate
Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Maximum LTV Loan term Loan amount Monthly interest rate
United Trust Bridging Loan
United Trust Bridging Loan
70%
1 month to 36 months
£75,000 to £25,000,000
0.48% to 1.1%
Hope Capital Bridging Loan
Hope Capital Bridging Loan
75%
3 months to 24 months
£50,000 to £500,000
0.54% to 1.05%
Octane Bridging Loan
Octane Bridging Loan
65%
1 month to 24 months
£150,000 to £25,000,000
0.55% to 1%
Lend Invest Bridging Loan
Lend Invest Bridging Loan
75%
3 months to 24 months
£75,000 to £25,000,000
0.55% to 0.94%
MFS Bridging Loan
MFS Bridging Loan
75%
3 months to 18 months
£100,000 to £0
0.65% to 1.25%
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Compare up to 4 providers

Overall representative example for regulated bridging loans
If you borrowed £223,000 over a 1-year term at 8.76% p.a. (fixed), you would make 12 monthly payments of £1,658.93 and pay £242,907.16 overall, which includes interest of £15,657.16, a broker fee of £0.00 and a lender fee of £4,250. The overall cost for comparison is 11.3% APRC representative.
Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

How do bridging loans work?

For example, let’s say you own a home worth £250,000 and have £100,000 remaining to pay off on the mortgage.

The new home you want to buy costs £400,000 but you need to move into the house within two months.

Selling your existing home in that time frame isn’t realistic and even though you have £15,000 in savings to cover the expenses and fees, you still need the money to buy the new home.

This is where a bridging loan can help cover the time until you sell your current home.

Types of bridging loans

  • Closed-bridge loans. This type of bridging loan is for those who have a clear schedule on how long they will need the loan for. These are useful for someone selling a property who’s exchanged contracts, but is waiting for completion of the sale to get the money to repay the bridging loan.
  • Open-bridge loans. These loans are riskier as they have no set schedule for when the loan is going to be settled. These loans are usually used by people who find a new property they want to buy but are still waiting on selling their current property. These can be costly as the longer it takes for them to sell their existing property, the more they’ll pay in interest.

Bridging loan interest rates and fees

Bridging loans are typically a stop-gap measure for a short period of time. As a result, most bridging loans come with higher interest rates than you might get on a traditional mortgage and are often advertised as the rate per month. For example, a rate of 1.5% a month translates to 18% APR.

Types of interest rates on bridging loans

  • Monthly interest. You pay interest on your loan each month. This is separate to the total balance of your loan (the amount you borrowed), which you repay at the end of your term.
  • Rolled up or deferred interest. Rather than make monthly interest payments, you ‘roll up’ all of the interest due on your loan and pay it off at the same time as you repay your loan balance at the end of the term.
  • Retained interest. You borrow the interest due on your loan from your lender at the same time as you apply for the original loan. This covers the interest that would be due for a set number of months and is repaid with the loan at the end of your borrowing term.

Bridging loans also often come with hefty administration fees. For example, a fee of 1% to arrange the loan and another 1% to exit from it would add £3,000 to a £150,000 loan, before you even take interest into account.

Pros and cons of bridging loans

Pros

  • Avoid paying for two mortgages. The main feature of a bridging loan is that it will allow you to avoid taking out another mortgage.
  • Shorter processing time. Bridging loans are a lot quicker to process than traditional mortgages, so they’re useful when time isn’t on your side.

Cons

  • You will need to know how much your home will sell for. When you get a bridging loan you should be able to accurately predict how much your old property will sell for. If it doesn’t sell for as much as you plan then you may find that you don’t have enough money to pay off the loan and buy the new home.
  • Higher interest rates. Bridging loans typically have higher interest rates than traditional mortgages.
  • You could face exit fees. If your current mortgage is a fixed rate mortgage, you may have to pay exit fees associated with exiting the loan early.

Bridging loan example

An overall representative example for regulated bridging loans
Based on borrowing£226,500 over 1 year
Interest rate8.15% p.a. (fixed)
Lender fee£4,500
Overall cost of comparison10.7% APRC
Broker fee£0.00
Total amount repayable£245,326.56 inc. interest of £18,826.56

How do I get a bridging loan?

Bridging loans tend to be offered by specialist loan providers rather than traditional high street mortgage lenders. They are not as widely available as mortgages. But as with mortgages, there are brokers in the bridging loan market who will be able to advise you on what the best loan would be for your particular circumstances.

How long does it take to get a bridging loan?

It is usually quicker to organise and receive a bridging loan than it is a mortgage, as they are designed for short-term borrowing. It normally takes a few weeks to process an application, but in some cases it only takes a few days. However, providers will still conduct thorough financial checks before lending to you.

How much can I borrow?

Bridging loans can start from around £5,000 and go up to £250 million. The amount you will be able to borrow will depend on your personal financial circumstances and the value of the property you are borrowing against. Most providers will also only lend on a maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 80%.

Alternatives to bridging loans

A bridging loan should be considered as an option of last resort due to its high interest rates and fees, and the uncertainty of knowing whether you’ll be able to pay it off after the sale of an existing property.

Some alternatives to bridging loans include:

  • Remortgaging. If you’ve built up equity in your existing property, you can remortgage to access that equity and invest it in the purchase of a new property.
  • Personal loans. If you’re waiting on the sale of your existing property, you can get a personal loan to cover the deposit of the new property and pay it off once your existing property is sold.
  • Temporary loan from family member. If you have a family member that can loan you the deposit on the new property, till your previous property is sold. You won’t be charged interest and will save on fees.
  • Buy-to-sell mortgages Buy-to-sell mortgages are a short-term finance arrangement for buying property with the intention to sell it.

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