Bridge loans are short-term loans that are typically used to assist the homeowner financially as he buys one home while selling another. Qualifying for a bridge loan is less detailed than qualifying for your mortgage loan, but you must show that you have the ability to cover the monthly costs and the assets to use as collateral. The stringent FICO rules and debt-to-income ratios considered in applying for a long term mortgage are more relaxed for this type of funding, but you will pay higher point fees and a higher interest rate for the money. Carefully consider all of your options before trying to qualify for a bridge.
Determine the amount of loan you will need to bridge the gap between selling your existing home and purchasing your new home or for construction. The length of your short-term bridge loan will be set by your lender.
Shop around for the banker or mortgage broker who can best help you attain your bridge loan. Fees will vary, and this should be a consideration, but you should focus primarily on the points they each charge, as this is where you pay a premium.
Have your assets appraised. Qualifying for bridge loans requires adequately valued assets for collateral. If you’re selling your home and have an existing contract, contact your buyer’s appraiser for a discounted copy of their appraisal.
Prove that you are capable of making your monthly payments. Bridge loans are based on the assets offered as collateral and on your ability to pay the bridge along with any other monthly expenses.
Consider other types of financing that may be less expensive for you. Home equity loans are more inexpensive than bridges. Planning ahead will be in your best interest and may well save you money.
Reduce as many monthly expenses as possible before applying for your bridge loan. Check on the details for extending your bridge loan if it becomes necessary before accepting the loan.
Make sure you understand how the points are calculated and exactly how much your bridge loan will cost you before you sign the contract.
Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.