What is a Bridge Loan?

Bridge loans are a form of short-tenure loan that usually has been issued for two weeks to three years before substantial or long-term finance has been provided. In most cases, it is referred to as a “caveat loan” in the United Kingdom, and in some instances, it is also called the swing loan. Bridging investment is utilized more frequently in South Africa, albeit in a narrower sense than it is typical in other countries.

A Bridge loan is temporary funding for a person or company until it receives permanent financial support or the subsequent level of finance. The fresh funding is usually applied to “take out” the bridge loan, that is, for repaying) and to meet capitalization requirements.

Bridge loans are often costlier to recompense for the increased risk than traditional finance. The standard Bridge loans are at a greater interest charge, points (such as fees, 1 point corresponds to 1 percent), as well as costs amortized above a smaller term and other charges and other assortments (like the equity partnership by the lender in few loans). Cross-collateralization and an economic loan-to-value proportion can also be necessary. They are usually arranged swiftly, though, with relatively few documents.

Characteristics of an ideal bridge loan

  • 2–4 points may be charged for standard durations of about twelve months. The loan to valuation (LTV) rates for commercial assets usually do not surpass 65 percent or for domestic properties 80 percent, on the basis of the value estimated.
  • A bridge loan can be settled or opened for a default period, which means there is zero definite payout time (however, there might be a necessary payoff following a specific time).
  • In general, a bridging loan for the first charge is provided on an LTV greater than a secondary loan for the second lesser risk, and several UK lenders would not lend for the second loan.
  • The reduced levels of underwriting uncertainty can also fetch cheaper rates. However, there may be front-end charges, borrowers’ fees, and valuational payments fixed.

History of bridge loans

In the United Kingdom, short-term financing was available in the early ’60s in a similar fashion to present bridging loans, although mainly only through highway and building banks.

With a limited number of lenders, the bridging credit market remained modest throughout the millennium.

Bridging loans have been more prevalent in the United Kingdom since the global recession of 2008–2009, with total loans more than tripling from about £0.8 billion between the month of March 2011 to about £2.2 billion between June and 2014. This was due to a significant fall in the number of conventional mortgage loans during the same era, with banks and construction companies becoming less willing to lend homes. The total residential loan value remained at £1.304.5m in the first quarter of 2016. This is an advance of 1.0 percent over the last four quarters and a 3.4 percent increase over the last three quarters. As bridging loans became more prevalent, the debate around them also intensified. In the year 2011, the FSA urged homebuyers against bridge loans as a replacement for normal mortgages, fearing the misrepresentation of property by certain mortgage brokers.

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