Whether you’re looking for a cash injection into your business for purchasing essential equipment or hiring staff, or you’re thinking about investing in commercial real estate, it’s likely you’ll need a loan to finance your expenditure.
Loans advanced to businesses, rather than consumers, are called commercial loans. They are usually used for short-term funding needs, but can also be longer term, for instance a commercial mortgage.
Secured and unsecured loans
A business will usually be able to borrow more than an individual consumer. This is normally because the loan can be secured against company assets such as commercial property, vehicles or machinery. The amount you can borrow will be directly related to the value of the owned assets. This gives the lender the ability to recoup its costs by repossessing and selling the assets should the business default on the loan.
Some lenders will also offer unsecured loans (i.e. requiring no business assets as collateral), but the borrowing business will usually have to have an excellent credit rating and be able to demonstrate their ability to repay the loan. The benefit of an unsecured loan is that it won’t put the business’s property or assets at risk; however, due to the higher perceived risk level for the lender, unsecured loans are usually subject to higher interest rates and the loan period is usually shorter.
Types of commercial loan
Businesses take out loans for a wide variety of reasons. Below are listed some of the most common types of commercial loan.
These are short-term loans that provide fast access to funding and are usually taken out by businesses looking to purchase commercial property or make an investment before the necessary capital becomes available, e.g. through the sale of existing property or assets. Essentially, these funds ‘bridge the gap’ between the time of purchase and the time of funds becoming available.
In most ways, a commercial mortgage is similar to a residential one. A company will take out this type of loan when they acquire a property intended for commercial use, with the loan secured against the value of the property. As with a residential mortgage, the lender will assess the business to ensure it can afford to repay the loan.
However, there are differences. For example, while you can get a fixed rate deal for residential mortgages, this usually won’t be the case for commercial ones. You’ll also pay higher interest because lenders usually perceive commercial mortgages as higher risk.
This is a short-term loan specifically advanced for the purpose of funding property developments and refurbishment projects. The amount lent depends on what the gross development value is estimated to be (i.e., how much the development will be worth once complete). The maximum a lender will usually be prepared to offer is around 70% of the land cost and 100% of the build cost, although this may be lower. For most lenders, the sum offered won’t exceed 70% of the total gross development value.
Peer to peer lending
Otherwise known as social lending or crowdlending, peer to peer lending enables individuals to borrow directly from individuals wishing to lend, cutting out the middleman of financial institutions and instead transacting via a website that sets rates and terms. It’s attractive because investors with money to lend often benefit from higher rates, while borrowers typically pay less interest. There are risks, however. This type of lending is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, for example, and as with any investment, there is the risk that you won’t get your money back.
Come to us
With so many different types of loans and lenders out there, the world of commercial finance can seem daunting. We can help. We can advise on the best options for your specific circumstances and goals, so you can take your business to the next level. Just get in touch.
Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any other debt secured on it.
We are a credit broker not a lender.