A bridge loan, also known as interim financing or a swing loan, is a short-term loan used to provide temporary financial assistance until a more permanent source of funding becomes available. Usually, a bridge loan ranges from a few weeks to a few years, but is not intended for long-term financing. It’s typically used in real estate transactions and business scenarios where there’s a need for immediate cash flow to bridge a gap between two major financial events.
Purpose of bridge loans:
- Real estate: In real estate, bridge loans are used to finance the purchase of a new property before the sale of an existing one.
- Business: In business, bridge loans can be used to cover operational expenses, fund working capital needs, or facilitate the acquisition of assets.
Like many loans, bridge loans often require collateral. In real estate, the property being purchased and sometimes the property being sold serve as collateral.
Bridge loans typically come with higher interest rates compared to traditional loans. This is because they are considered riskier due to the short-term nature and potential uncertainties regarding the timing of repayment.
While bridge loans can provide crucial short-term funding, there is risk involved, particularly if the expected events (such as property sale or contract fulfilment) do not materialise as planned.