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Would Bridging Finance Suit Your Purpose?

Sep 3, 2008
Generally, when people hear the term bridging finance, they normally think of a bridging loan sometimes used during home buying. In reality, it is not just for the purchase of homes. It could be used for a variety of purposes whenever funds are required quickly. For example, coping with an unexpected bill, paying for a once in a lifetime holiday or special event like a dream wedding, home improvements and renovations, or just to improve cash flow. As the name suggests, bridging finance allows you to span monetarily yourself between financial commitments.

Bridging finance is essentially a short-term mortgage (referred to as a bridging loan) and invariably has a higher interest rate than traditional loans obtained from high street lenders. Bridging finance can be secured against a property as long as it has sufficient equity (the value once all debts secured on it are cleared). Occasionally non-property assets are used as security or collateral.

There are a number of advantages in opting for bridging finance, primarily, the speed in which the deal can be delivered. From enquiry to completion, it normally takes just a matter of days. As there a number of lenders offering bridging finance in the market place and speed could be of the essence, it could be deemed prudent to use the services of a commercial mortgage broker to secure the most appropriate deal for your circumstances. They will have the experience and knowledge required to make locating the best loan easier. This may be an especially important consideration for those without a credit history and those with arrears and CCJs (County Court Judgements). Being self-employed and unable to supply accounts or proof of income is not always a problem as there are lenders who do not require such proof. A commercial mortgage broker with access to the majority of the marketplace could source bridging finance more efficiently.

The amount of LTV (Loan to Value) attainable is normally 80% however, a higher percentage could be offered if you are granted a 'closed bridging loan'. This means that the loan has a contractual exit in place such as the exchange on the sale of a property, which it is secured against, has taken place but not the completion. An 'open bridging loan' does not have such an exit in place. These are normally offered to people who have not sold their home but wish to secure the purchase of another property.

In some cases it is possible to have 100% LTV of the purchase price of a property if you are able to buy at below market value. Then the calculation is made using the current market value rather than the purchasing price. This if often the case when people buy property at auction. Bridging finance could allow you to be considered a 'cash buyer' to a certain extent and being able to offer an early completion date on the sale of a property can also be a helpful tool when negotiating on a purchase price.

Once completed, you may wish to re-finance to a loan with longer terms. If that is the case, then the inclusion of a clause allowing this to take place and without incurring a redemption penalty ought to be negotiated and placed within the deal. Using the services of a commercial mortgage broker could ensure that the best terms are secured when obtaining bridging finance.
About the Author
Sean Horton is a Director of Best Commercial Finance, commercial mortgage brokers and IFA specialising in bridging loans and the associated areas of income protection, mortgage protection, mortgage life cover.
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