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Getting a Commercial Loan? Be Prepared!

Aug 9, 2008
When deciding to purchase or refinance a commercial property, it is good practice to start by looking at your credit report. Lenders use the 3 major credit bureaus, Equifax, Trans Union and Experian. So it will be a good idea to pull all 3 to assess your credit report for any out dated or erroneous items that could be hurting your credit score. You will also want to clear up any negative information - if you have any derogatory items such as late payments or collection accounts then write a letter of explanation and include with your commercial mortgage loan package - do not try and hide any derogatory items, unlike residential when applying for a commercial loan, your file will be approved by a live person and not an automated system. The good thing about that is that underwriters realize people make mistakes and look favorably towards a borrower that owns up to their mistakes.

Once you have your credit all situated, then the next step is to gather the necessary documentation that will be required by the lender to process your loan.

Make sure your have your two most recent tax returns- both personal and business.

Get together your 3 most recent month's bank statements - all pages, as this will be used to verify your assets and funds to close.

If you are applying to refinance your commercial mortgage loan: make sure you have your payoff statements, insurance, survey, title policy, and previous appraisal in hand, this will help streamline the refinance process.

If you are applying for a purchase loan for commercial real estate, the sales contract must be active. If the contract will expire prior to the closing of your commercial real estate loan, get an extension upfront, be pro-active.

If tenants occupy your properties, make sure all tenant leases are valid and that you have a complete rent roll, that matches your tenant leases.

You will also want to get your accountant and attorneys on the same page with you as to provide any necessary paper work or to review the loan documents, which if they can be provided in a timely fashion, you maybe able to close you loan in less than 30 days. If you can have everything in order from the beginning you would be surprised to see how smoothly the whole loan process with move to closing.

There are 4 main areas that the lenders are focused on when it comes to commercial real estate, which are credit, collateral, cash flow and income.

When it comes to credit, lenders want to know that the borrower has credit depth as well as being able to handle large balances especially mortgages and it most cases commercial mortgages.

The collateral, they want to make sure that if they ever have to foreclose, that they will be able to unload this property within a short period of time. As Lenders are in the business of lending money, not managing real estate.

When it comes to cash flow, you need to get familiar with Debt Service Coverage (DSCR). The DSCR is a ratio used to analyze the amount of debt that can be supported by the cash flow generated from the property. Or, simply the net income generated by the property divided by the new commercial mortgage payment.

In commercial mortgage lending, the DSCR is equivalent to the debt-to-income, or DTI ratio in residential lending. Whereas in residential lending, the income and expenses used in the calculation is the borrower's, it is the exact opposite in commercial mortgage lending. The income and expenses used in calculating the DSCR ratio are derived from the commercial property. Lenders like to see at least a 1.20 ratio. What that mean is for every dollar that comes in, then 20 cents will be profit.

As far as the Income, they want to know that the property can sustain itself without the assistance of the borrower. However, if the borrower can sustain both his/her personal expenses as well as the commercial property, this makes the file a very strong and should not have any problems getting approved.
About the Author
Marlon Baugh is a nationally recognized mortgage expert, that has specialized in commercial financing for over 5 years, and have helped hundreds of self employed individuals stop renting and achieve the dream of commercial property ownership. If you would like a Free Copy or to get instant access to more Commercial Mortgage Insider Information then, please visit http://www.specializedfinancialsolutions.com/commercial.htm or Call 954-678-5796
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