Bridge Loans or Bridge financing

Bridge Loans or Bridge financing

Bridge financing is a method of financing, used to maintain liquidity while waiting for an anticipated and reasonably expected inflow of cash. Bridge financing is commonly used when the cash flow from a sale of an asset is expected after the cash outlay for the purchase of an asset. For example, when selling a house, the owner may not receive the cash for 90 days, but has already purchased a new home and must pay for it in 30 days. Bridge financing covers the 60 day gap in cash flows.

Another type of bridge financing is used by companies before their initial public offering, to obtain necessary cash for the maintenance of operations. These funds are usually supplied by the investment bank underwriting the new issue. As payment, the company acquiring the bridge financing will give a number of stock at a discount of the issue price to the underwriters that equally offsets the loan. This financing is, in essence, a forwarded payment for the future sales of the new issue.

Bridge financing may also be provided by banks underwriting an offering of bonds. If the banks are unsuccessful in selling a company’s bonds to qualified institutional buyers, they are typically required to buy the bonds from the issuing company themselves, on terms much less favorable than if they had been successful in finding institutional buyers and acting as pure intermediaries.

There are two types of bridging finance. Closed bridging and Open Bridging.

Closed bridging finance is where you have a date for the exit of the bridging finance and are sure that the bridging finance can be repaid on that date. This is less risky for the lender and thus the interest rate charged are lower.

Open bridging is higher risk for the lender. This is where the borrower does not have an exact date for the bridging finance exit and may be looking for a buyer of the property or land.

Bridge loans are gaining in popularity. When a home buyer is buying another home before selling an existing home, two common ways to find the down payment for the move-up home is through financing either a bridge loan or a home equity loan (or home equity line of credit).

Generally, a home equity loan is less expensive, but bridge loans contain more benefits for some borrowers. In addition, many lenders will not lend on a home equity loan if the home is on the market. Smart borrowers will compare the benefits between the two loans to determine which is a better fit for their particular situation and plan ahead before making an offer to purchase another home.

What Are Bridge Loans?

Bridge loans are temporary loans that bridge the gap between the sales price of a new home and a home buyer’s new mortgage, in the event the buyer’s home has not yet sold. The bridge loan is secured to the buyer’s existing home. The funds from the bridge loan are then used as a down payment on the move-up home.
How Do Bridge Loans Work?

Many lenders do not have set guidelines for FICO minimums nor debt-to-income ratios. Funding is guided by a more “make sense” underwriting approach. The piece of the puzzle that requires guidelines is the long-term financing obtained on the new home.

Some lenders who make conforming loans exclude the bridge loan payment for qualifying purposes. This means the borrower is qualified to buy the move-up home by adding together the existing loan payment, if any, on the buyer’s existing home to the new mortgage payment of the move-up home. The reasons many lenders qualify the buyer on two payments are because:

Most buyers have an existing first mortgage on a present home.

The buyer will likely close the move-up home purchase before selling an existing residence.

For a short-term period, the buyer will own two homes.

If the new home mortgage is a conforming loan, lenders have more leeway to accept a higher debt-to-income ratio by running the mortgage loan through an automated underwriting program. If the new home mortgage is a jumbo loan, most lenders will restrict the home buyer to a 50% debt-to-income ratio.

Average Fees for Bridge Loans

Rates will vary among lenders, but following is an average estimate for a bridge loan in California. Interest rates fluctuate, but for this example, let’s use 8.5%. This type of bridge loan will carry no payments for four months; however, interest will accrue and be due when the loan is paid upon sale of the property.

 

Description

A bridge loan is interim financing for an individual or business until permanent or the next stage of financing can be obtained. Money from the new financing is generally used to “take out” (i.e. to pay back) the bridge loan, as well as other capitalization needs.

Bridge loans are typically more expensive than conventional financing to compensate for the additional risk of the loan. Bridge loans typically have a higher interest rate, points and other costs that are amortized over a shorter period, and various fees and other “sweeteners” (such as equity participation by the lender in some loans). The lender also may require cross-collateralization and a lower loan-to-value ratio. On the other hand they are typically arranged quickly with relatively little documentation.

Use

Bridge loans are often used for commercial real estate purchases to quickly close on a property, retrieve real estate from foreclosure, or take advantage of a short-term opportunity in order to secure long-term financing. Bridge loans on a property are typically paid back when the property is sold, refinanced with a traditional lender, the borrower’s creditworthiness improves, the property is improved or completed, or there is a specific improvement or change that allows a permanent or subsequent round of mortgage financing to occur. The timing issue may arise from project phases with different cash needs and risk profiles as much as ability to secure funding.

A bridge loan is similar to and overlaps with a hard money loan. Both are non-standard loans obtained due to short-term, or unusual, circumstances. The difference is that hard money refers to the lending source, usually an individual, investment pool, or private company that is not a bank in the business of making high risk, high interest loans, whereas a bridge loan refers to the duration of the loan.

Examples

A bridge loan is often obtained by developers to carry a project while permit approval is sought. Because there is no guarantee the project will happen, the loan might be at a high interest rate and from a specialized lending source that will accept the risk. Once the project is fully entitled, it becomes eligible for loans from more conventional sources that are at lower-interest, for a longer term, and in a greater amount. A construction loan would then be obtained to take out the bridge loan and fund completion of the project.

A consumer is purchasing a new residence and plans to make a down payment with the proceeds from the sale of a currently owned home. The currently owned home will not close until after the close of the new residence. A bridge loan allows the buyer to take equity out of the current home and use it as down payment on the new residence, with the expectation that the current home will close within a short time frame and the bridge loan will be repaid.

A bridging loan can be used by a business to ensure continued smooth operation during a time when for example one senior partner wishes to leave whilst another wishes to continue the business. The bridging loan could be made based on the value of the company premises allowing funds to be raised via other sources for example a management buy in.

A property may be offered at a discount if the purchaser can complete quickly with the discount off setting the costs of the short term bridging loan used to complete. In auction property purchases where the purchaser has only 14–28 days to complete long term lending such as a buy to let mortgage may not be viable in that time frame where as a bridging loan would be.

 

BRIDGE LOAN – Prior to completing an IPO or M&A transaction, a company quite often needs to bolster its cash balance for strategic reasons, including improving its negotiating position at the bargaining table. A bridge loan enables management to quickly access needed capital while minimizing dilution, and takes into account the complex issues related to either kind of transaction.

* Ideal to bridge IPO or M&A transactions
* Strategic short-term liquidity
* Quick access to capital
* Minimal dilution

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