Bridge loan

Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on May 16, 2024.


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.

What is a bridge loan?

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:

  1. Real estate: In real estate, bridge loans are used to finance the purchase of a new property before the sale of an existing one. 
  2. 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.

Example of bridge loan

A real estate developer, XYZ Properties, is planning to build a residential complex.

  1. Bridge loan application:
    • XYZ Properties applies for a bridge loan from a financial institution. The bridge loan will provide the necessary funds to purchase the land.
  2. Bridge loan terms:
    • The bridge loan has a term of one year with an interest rate of 8%. XYZ Properties expects to secure a construction loan or sell units from the completed project within that time frame to repay the bridge loan.
  3. Construction financing:
    • Over the next few months, XYZ Properties secures a long-term construction loan to cover the costs of building the residential complex.
  4. Repayment:
    • Upon securing the construction loan, XYZ Properties repays the bridge loan using the funds from the new, more permanent financing source.
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