There are certain situations in which a traditional mortgage lender may not be able to offer the most suitable solution. In particular, people who would like to flip houses, but do not have enough capital are likely to have more difficulty getting approved for a traditional mortgage loan. In similar cases, the borrower may consider a hard money lender. As is the case when making any other major financial decision, there are multiple considerations a borrower should make prior to choosing a hard money lender.
Hard Money Loans in Houston
Hard money loans are less popular than traditional mortgages; therefore, most people are unfamiliar that these types of loans exist. Hard money loans are asset-based loans. Lenders use the property for which the loan is approved as a hard asset and collateral. In considering whether or not to approve the applicant for the loan, hard money lenders primarily look at the borrower’s income and credit history. Hard money lenders ideally look for a credit report that reflects the borrower’s commitment to paying his or her borrowed debts back to creditors on time. Because the property the borrower uses the loan to purchase is used as collateral for the loan, lenders simply plan to recoup unpaid debt by taking the property back and selling it in the event the borrower defaults on the loan. Therefore, at the end of the day, the lender is more concerned about the value of the collateral than the borrower’s ability to pay.
Houston Hard Money Loan Approval Process
The process of getting approved for a hard money loan may feel intensive for most people. In addition to looking at the borrowers credit scores and income, lenders will also look very closely at negative items on the individual’s credit report. Not only do negative items slow down the approval process, but the lender may ultimately decide not to approve the loan. Therefore, individuals who have plenty of income and satisfactory credit scores may wish to avoid pursuing hard money if they have past negative entries on their credit profile.
Advantages to Choosing a Hard Money Loan
Because hard money loans have a higher interest rate than a traditional mortgage loan, most borrowers intend to utilize the loan for no more than 6 to 24 months before paying it back in full. Most hard money loans are available for terms ranging from one year up to five years. One of the major advantages of choosing this type of loan is having the ability to close in a much shorter period of time, which in some cases may be a matter of days. Hard money lenders are generally more flexible than traditional mortgage lenders. Therefore, under certain circumstances, the borrower and the lender may be able to work together to tweak certain aspects of the lending process such as the repayment schedule. A traditional lender, on the other hand, is more likely to be bound by strict corporate policies.
Who Should Apply for a Hard Money Loan?
Although hard money lenders place more of an emphasis on the value of the collateral than the borrower’s ability to pay, there are still some stipulations that generally make some people better candidates for these loans than others. Hard money lenders tend to keep loan-to-value ratios at a maximum of 50 to 70 percent. Therefore, applicants generally need to have assets in order to qualify. Although people who fix and flip properties most often use hard money loans, it is possible to use this type of loan to purchase a property for long-term, traditional residential purposes. However, people who obtain a hard money loan for a home they wish to live in for years should refinance as quickly as possible to obtain a more favorable interest rate.
There are several advantages to obtaining a hard money loan, particularly for people who are looking to invest in buying and selling real estate within short periods of time. A hard money lender can provide more information about application requirements and the approval process.