Broker and business owner finding the best commercial bridging loan option to purchase property.

Bridging Loan for Commercial Property in the UK Explained

Bridging loans are a widely used tool due to their versatility and ability to ‘bridge’ gaps in funding.

In this guide, we'll go into everything you need to know about them for commercial property.

What is a Commercial Bridging Loan for Property?

A commercial bridging loan for a property is a short-term financing solution designed to bridge the gap between the purchase of a new commercial property and the sale of an existing one, or until longer-term financing can be secured.

These loans are typically used by businesses and property investors who need quick access to funds to seize opportunities in the commercial real estate market.

Key Features of Commercial Bridging Loans

  • Short-Term Nature: Offered for periods ranging from a few weeks to up to 24 months.

  • Speed of Access: Funds can be accessed quickly, crucial for time-sensitive property purchases.

  • Flexible Repayment Options: Repayment terms are often flexible, allowing borrowers to repay once their existing property is sold or long-term financing is arranged.

  • Higher Interest Rates: Due to their short-term nature, these loans typically have higher interest rates compared to traditional mortgages.

  • Secured Against Property: Loans are secured against the commercial property being purchased or another property owned by the borrower.

Since Bridging loans tend to carry much higher interest rates, we've made a comprehensive guide detailing everything from, how they are affected, current market trends and average rates and how you can get the best rates possible.

What is the Application Process?

Applying for a commercial bridging loan involves several steps, each designed to ensure that both the borrower and lender are adequately protected.

  1. Initial Consultation: Discuss your financial needs and property details with a broker or lender.

  2. Application Submission: Complete and submit an application form, providing necessary documentation such as property details, financial statements, and business plans.

  3. Property Valuation: The lender will arrange for a valuation of the property to determine its market value.

  4. Credit Assessment: The lender will assess your creditworthiness and financial stability.

  5. Offer Issuance: If approved, the lender will issue a formal loan offer outlining the terms and conditions.

  6. Legal Process: Engage solicitors to handle the legal aspects, including the drafting and signing of loan agreements.

  7. Funds Disbursement: Once all legalities are completed, the funds will be disbursed to your account.

What are the Eligibility Criteria?

To qualify for a commercial bridging loan for property, borrowers must meet specific criteria tailored to the commercial real estate market. These criteria can vary by lender but generally include:

  • Creditworthiness: A strong credit history and financial stability are essential. Lenders will assess your credit score and financial records to ensure you can manage and repay the loan.

  • Property Value: The commercial property being used as collateral must have sufficient value. Lenders typically require a professional valuation to determine the property's market worth.

  • Exit Strategy: A clear and feasible plan for repaying the loan is crucial. This could involve the sale of an existing commercial property, securing long-term financing, or generating sufficient income from the new property.

  • Business Viability: Demonstrated ability to manage and repay the loan through business income or other financial resources. Lenders will look at your business's financial health, including cash flow, profitability, and overall stability.

  • Experience in Commercial Property: Previous experience in commercial property investment or management can be advantageous. Lenders prefer borrowers who have a proven track record in handling commercial real estate transactions.

  • Purpose of the Loan: A well-defined purpose for the loan, such as purchasing a new commercial property, renovating an existing one, or expanding business operations, can strengthen your application.

  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Ensuring that the property and your business comply with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements is essential. Lenders will verify that there are no legal impediments to the property transaction.

If you would like to explore bridging loan criteria in further detail, have a read of our guide, “Bridging loan criteria explained easily.”

How Much Can You Borrow With a Commercial Bridging Loan?

The amount you can borrow with a commercial bridging loan typically depends on several key factors:

  • Property Value: Lenders usually offer loans up to 70-75% of the property's market value, known as the Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio.

  • Borrower's Financial Profile: Your creditworthiness, financial stability, and business viability play a crucial role in determining the loan amount.

  • Purpose of the Loan: The intended use of the funds, such as property purchase, renovation, or business expansion, can influence the borrowing limit.

  • Additional Security: Offering additional collateral or a personal guarantee can increase the amount you can borrow.

In essence, while commercial bridging loans provide substantial funding, the exact amount will vary based on your specific circumstances and the lender's criteria.

Can you get a 100% Bridge Loan For Commercial Property?

Obtaining a 100% commercial bridging loan is challenging but not impossible.

It usually requires additional security or collateral to mitigate the lender's risk.

Here are some scenarios where a 100% loan might be possible:

  • Additional Collateral: Offering another property or asset as additional security to cover the loan amount.

  • Strong Financial Profile: Demonstrating exceptional creditworthiness and financial stability, which reassures lenders of your ability to repay the loan.

  • Experienced Investors: Lenders may be more willing to offer 100% financing to experienced property investors with a proven track record in commercial real estate.

  • Personal Guarantee: Providing a personal guarantee, where you agree to be personally liable for the loan, can also increase the likelihood of securing 100% financing.

Example Scenarios of a Commercial Bridging Loan Being Used

Scenario 1: Purchasing a New Office Building Before Selling the Old One

A growing tech company has outgrown its current office space and found a perfect new office building that meets its expanding needs. However, the company has not yet sold its existing office building.

To secure the new property quickly, the company takes out a commercial bridging loan. This loan provides the necessary funds to purchase the new office building immediately, before securing longer-term financing like a commercial mortgage

Once the old office building is sold, the proceeds are used to repay the bridging loan, allowing the company to transition smoothly without disrupting its operations and contributing to its capital growth.

Scenario 2: Renovating a Commercial Property for Higher Rental Income

A property investor identifies a commercial building in a prime location that requires significant renovation to attract high-paying tenants.

The investor secures a bridge loan for commercial property to finance the purchase and renovation of the property. The loan covers the cost of acquiring the building and the renovation expenses.

After the renovations are completed, the investor leases the property to new tenants at a higher rental rate. The increased rental income allows the investor to secure long-term financing to repay the bridging loan.

Scenario 3: Expanding Business Operations with a New Warehouse

A wholesale distribution company needs additional warehouse space to accommodate its growing inventory. The company finds a suitable warehouse but needs to act quickly to secure the property.

The company takes out a commercial bridging loan to purchase the warehouse immediately. This quick access to funds enables the company to expand its operations without delay.

Once the company arranges long-term financing or generates sufficient revenue from the expanded operations, it repays the bridging loan, ensuring continuous business growth.

These scenarios illustrate how commercial bridging loans can provide businesses and investors with the flexibility and speed needed to capitalise on opportunities in the commercial real estate market.

Alternatives to Commercial Bridging Loans

If you don't think bridging loans for commercial property will work for your financial situation, don't worry.

There are numerous feasible alternatives to bridging loans, especially for business owners.

Here are some key examples:

1. Commercial Mortgages

A long-term financing option that allows you to purchase or refinance commercial property with lower interest rates and extended repayment terms. Ideal for business owners looking for stable, long-term funding.

Want to find out the key differences between bridging loans and commercial mortgages? Check out our recent guide.

2. Business Loans

Unsecured or secured loans specifically designed for business purposes, offering flexible terms and competitive rates to support various business needs. These can be used for expansion, equipment purchase, or working capital.

3. Asset-Based Lending

A financing method where you can borrow against the value of your business assets, such as inventory, accounts receivable, or equipment. This provides quick access to capital while leveraging your existing assets.

For a more detailed exploration of these and other alternatives, be sure to read our blog on the best alternatives to bridging loans.

Should a Business Use a Bridging Loan Broker for Commercial Property?

Access to a Wide Range of Lenders

Brokers have access to a broad network of lenders, including those not typically available to the general public. This means they can find competitive rates and terms that you might not be able to secure on your own.

Negotiation Power

Brokers often have established relationships with lenders and can negotiate better terms and rates on your behalf. This can result in more favourable loan conditions and potentially lower costs.

Tailored Solutions

A finance broker can assess your unique financial situation and recommend the most suitable bridging loan options for commercial property. They can tailor their advice to ensure the loan meets your specific requirements and exit strategy.

Simplified Process

The application process for a bridging loan can be complex, involving various documentation and legal requirements. A broker can guide you through each step, ensuring all paperwork is correctly completed and submitted.


While brokers charge a fee for their services, the savings they can secure through better loan terms and rates often outweigh the cost. Additionally, they can help you avoid potential pitfalls that could result in costly mistakes.

Ongoing Support

A good broker will provide ongoing support throughout the loan term, assisting with any issues that arise and helping you manage your repayments effectively.

Finance Nation

If you're ready to explore your finance options, you've come to the right place.

Our experienced team understands the challenges faced by businesses seeking the most time and cost-effective solutions, and we're here to assist you.

Utilising our cutting-edge Fintech platform, we provide seamless access to tailored finance solutions that meet your specific needs.

With access to exclusive lending products you might not find elsewhere, we will identify the best deal for you and ensure the process runs smoothly until the funds are in your account.

Contact us now to arrange a call and discuss your financial needs along with the next best steps forward.

Bridging loans for commercial property FAQ

What are the typical costs and fees associated with obtaining a commercial bridging loan, aside from interest rates?

In addition to higher interest rates, several other costs and fees are typically associated with obtaining a commercial bridging loan.

These can include arrangement fees, which lenders charge for setting up the loan; valuation fees, which cover the cost of having the property professionally appraised to determine its market value; legal fees for solicitors to handle the necessary legal documentation and processes; and broker fees if you use a broker to find and secure the loan.

Additionally, there may be exit fees, which are charges for repaying the loan early or on completion, and sometimes there are also administration fees for managing the loan.

What happens if the borrower is unable to repay the bridging loan within the agreed term?

If a borrower is unable to repay the bridging loan within the agreed term, several potential consequences could follow.

Initially, the lender may impose penalty interest rates, increasing the cost of the loan. In some cases, the lender might offer an extension, though this usually comes with additional fees and possibly higher interest rates.

If the borrower still cannot repay, the lender has the right to take possession of the collateral property, sell it, and use the proceeds to recover the loan amount.

This process can have significant negative financial implications for the borrower, including potential damage to their credit rating and financial stability.

How does a commercial bridging loan impact a business's credit rating?

Taking out bridging loans for commercial property can impact a business's credit rating in various ways.

Initially, applying for the loan may result in a hard inquiry on the business’s credit report, which can slightly lower the credit score.

Successfully repaying the loan on time can improve the credit rating by demonstrating financial responsibility and reliability. However, missing payments or defaulting on the loan can significantly harm the business's credit score, making it more difficult to secure financing in the future.

It's crucial for businesses to consider their ability to meet the loan’s repayment terms before proceeding.

Are there any specific risks associated with using commercial property as collateral for a bridging loan?

Using commercial property as collateral for a bridging loan involves several specific risks.

The primary risk is the possibility of losing the property if the loan is not repaid on time. If the borrower defaults, the lender can seize and sell the property to recover the loan amount. This not only results in the loss of the property but can also have broader financial repercussions, including damaging the business’s credit rating and financial reputation.

Additionally, if property values decrease during the loan term, the borrower might owe more than the property is worth, making it difficult to sell and repay the loan.

Can a commercial bridging loan be used for purposes other than property purchase, such as funding business operations or covering temporary cash flow issues?

Yes, a commercial bridging loan can be used for purposes other than just purchasing property.

While commonly used for property acquisition, renovation, and business expansion, these loans can also cover temporary cash flow issues, finance business operations, or address other short-term financial needs.

The flexibility of bridging loans makes them suitable for a wide range of business purposes, provided there is a clear and feasible exit strategy for repaying the loan.

However, for these other purposes looking at bridging loan alternatives might be a better idea for some financial situations.