How does a bridging loan work?

How does a bridging loan work?

How Does a Bridging Loan Work?

Ever been stuck in a situation where you need money quickly to secure a new opportunity, but your existing funds are tied up? This is where bridging loans come in. They act as a temporary financial bridge, helping you cover short-term expenses while you wait for your long-term finances to fall into place.

What is a bridging loan?

A bridging loan is a short-term loan, typically lasting up to 12 months, designed to address temporary cash flow gaps. Unlike traditional mortgages, which take time to process, bridging loans are known for their fast turnaround times. This makes them ideal for situations where speed is critical.

How does it work?

Bridging loans are secured loans, meaning they require collateral—usually property—to guarantee repayment. The lender places a “charge” on the property, which allows them to recoup their funds by selling the property if you default on the loan. There are two main types of bridging loans:

  • Closed Bridging Loan: This type comes with a fixed repayment date, typically set for when you expect to receive funds, like the completion of a property sale. Closed-bridging loans are generally cheaper due to the lower risk for the lender.
  • Open Bridging Loan: Offering more flexibility, open bridging loans don’t have a pre-determined repayment date. You can repay the loan whenever you have the funds, but most lenders expect repayment within a year. Understandably, open-bridging loans often come with higher interest rates due to the increased uncertainty for the lender.

Here’s a breakdown of the typical bridging loan process:

  1. Application: You approach a bridging loan lender or broker and discuss your needs.
  2. Valuation: The lender will value the property you’re using as collateral.
  3. Approval (if applicable): The lender assesses your application and decides whether to approve the loan. This process is often quicker than with traditional mortgages.
  4. Completion: Once approved, the loan is finalised, and you receive the funds.
  5. Repayment: You repay the loan principal and interest within the agreed timeframe.

Things to Consider Before Taking a Bridging Loan

Bridging loans can be a helpful financial tool, but they’re not without drawbacks. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Interest Rates: Bridging loans typically come with higher interest rates compared to traditional loans.
  • Repayment Terms: Short repayment terms can put a strain on your finances if your long-term funds aren’t secured quickly.
  • Fees: There may be origination fees, valuation fees, and exit fees associated with the loan.


Bridging loans can be a valuable solution for short-term financial needs, particularly when speed is crucial. However, it’s vital to carefully assess your situation, understand the risks involved, and ensure you have a clear plan for repayment before committing to a bridging loan. Consulting with a financial advisor can help you determine if a bridging loan is the right option for you.