Paper work comparing a bridging loan vs mortgage

Bridging Loan vs Mortgage | Find the Right Option

Is a Bridging Loan the Same as a Mortgage?

A bridging loan is not the same as a mortgage.

While both are types of financing commonly used in property and business, they serve different purposes and have distinct characteristics.

A mortgage is a long-term loan typically used to buy residential or commercial property, with repayment periods spanning several years or even decades.

In contrast, a bridging loan is a short-term financing solution designed to "bridge" the gap between the purchase of a new property and the sale of an existing one.

Bridging loans are often used by small businesses to secure immediate funding for urgent needs, such as purchasing new premises or covering temporary cash flow shortages.

Why Do People Use Bridge Loans vs Mortgages?

People use bridge loans instead of mortgages for several reasons.

Bridge loans for small businesses are particularly useful when there is a need for quick access to capital.

Unlike traditional mortgages, which can take weeks or even months to process, bridging loans can be approved and disbursed within a matter of days.

This speed is crucial for small business owners who need to act quickly to seize opportunities or address urgent financial needs.

Additionally, bridge loans offer more flexibility in terms of repayment, allowing businesses to repay the loan once their existing property is sold or when other long-term property financing becomes available.

What Are the Advantages of a Bridging Loan vs a Mortgage?

Bridging loans offer several advantages over traditional mortgages, especially for small businesses:

  • Speed of Approval and Disbursement: Bridge loans can be processed much faster than mortgages, providing businesses with immediate capital.

  • Flexibility in Repayment Terms: Bridging loans are typically interest-only, allowing businesses to pay only the interest during the loan term.

  • Principal Repayment Options: Businesses can repay the principal once they secure long-term financing or sell an asset.

  • Cash Flow Management: The structure of bridging loans can be particularly beneficial for small businesses needing to manage their cash flow carefully.

  • Short-Term Financial Solution: Ideal for businesses needing temporary funding to cover gaps between transactions.

  • Less Stringent Eligibility Criteria: Bridging loans often have more relaxed eligibility requirements compared to traditional mortgages.

  • Opportunity Seising: Enables businesses to act quickly on investment opportunities without waiting for long-term financing.

  • Asset Utilisation: Allows businesses to leverage existing assets to secure funding without selling them immediately.

What Are the Advantages of a Mortgage

While bridging loans offer several benefits, traditional mortgages also have their own set of advantages, particularly for small businesses:

  • Lower Interest Rates: Mortgages generally come with lower interest rates compared to bridging loans, making them a more cost-effective long-term financing option.

  • Longer Repayment Periods: Mortgages offer extended repayment terms, often spanning several years or decades, which can result in lower monthly payments and better cash flow management.

  • Predictable Payments: Fixed-rate mortgages provide consistent monthly payments, allowing businesses to budget more effectively and plan their finances with greater certainty.

  • Stability and Security: Mortgages offer financial stability and security, as they are designed for long-term property ownership and investment.

  • Higher Loan Amounts: Mortgages typically allow for higher loan amounts, enabling businesses to finance larger property purchases or significant expansions.

  • Equity Building: Over time, as businesses repay their mortgage, they build equity in the property, which can be a valuable asset for future financial needs or investments.

  • Tax Benefits: Interest paid on a mortgage may be tax-deductible, providing potential tax savings for businesses.

  • Refinancing Options: Mortgages offer the possibility of refinancing, allowing businesses to take advantage of lower interest rates or better loan terms in the future.

  • Lower Fees: Compared to bridging loans, mortgages often come with lower associated fees, such as arrangement fees, valuation fees, and legal fees.

How Do Interest Rates Compare: Bridge Loans vs Mortgages?

Interest rates for bridging loans are generally higher than those for mortgages. This is due to the short-term nature and higher risk associated with bridging loans.

While mortgage rates can range from 2% to 5% annually, bridging loan rates can be significantly higher, often between 0.5% to 1.5% per month.

The higher interest rates on bridging loans reflect the urgency and flexibility they offer, as well as the increased risk to the lender.

Additionally, bridging loans may come with higher arrangement fees and exit fees, further increasing the overall cost.

For a comprehensive guide on bridging loan rates in the uk, covering everything from what affects them, to getting the best rates and more check your our recent guide Ultimate Guide To Bridging Loan Rates.

What Are the Risks of Bridge Loans?

While bridging loans offer numerous benefits, they also come with certain risks.

One of the primary risks is the higher interest rates compared to traditional mortgages.

Because bridging loans are short-term and designed to provide quick access to capital, lenders often charge higher interest rates to compensate for the increased risk.

Additionally, if the business is unable to sell the existing property or secure long-term financing within the loan term, it may face financial difficulties.

It's crucial for small business owners to carefully assess their financial situation and have a clear repayment plan before opting for a bridging loan.

What Is the Cost of a Bridging Loan vs Mortgage?

The cost of a bridging loan is generally higher than that of a traditional mortgage.

Bridging loans for small businesses typically come with higher interest rates due to their short-term nature and the speed at which they are processed.

Additionally, there may be other fees associated with bridging loans, such as arrangement fees, valuation fees, and legal fees.

These costs can add up, making bridging loans a more expensive option compared to traditional mortgages.

However, the higher cost is often justified by the immediate access to capital and the flexibility that bridging loans provide.

How Do You Pay Back a Bridge Loan?

Repaying a bridge loan involves several steps.

Typically, bridging loans are interest-only, meaning that during the loan term, the borrower only pays the interest on the loan.

The principal amount is repaid in full at the end of the loan term, usually once the existing property is sold or when long-term financing is secured.

It's essential for small business owners to have a clear repayment strategy in place before taking out a bridging loan.

This may involve coordinating the sale of an asset, securing a mortgage, or arranging other forms of long-term financing to ensure that the loan can be repaid on time and avoid any financial complications.

Situations Where You Can Use Both commercial mortgages and bridge loans

In some scenarios, both a bridging loan and a mortgage can be used together.

For example, you might use a bridging loan to quickly purchase a new property while waiting for your existing property to sell.

Once the sale is completed, you can then repay the bridging loan and secure a long-term mortgage on the new property.

This combination allows for immediate action while ensuring long-term financial stability.

Another scenario could involve property developers who use a bridging loan to finance the initial stages of a development project and then switch to a mortgage for long-term financing once the project is completed and generating income.

Other Alternatives to Bridging Loans and Mortgages

For small businesses seeking financing, there are several alternatives to bridging loans and mortgages:

  • Business Lines of Credit: A flexible option that allows businesses to draw funds as needed, up to a predetermined limit, and only pay interest on the amount borrowed.

  • Invoice Financing: This involves selling outstanding invoices to a lender in exchange for immediate cash, helping businesses manage cash flow without taking on additional debt.

  • Merchant Cash Advances: A lump sum of capital provided in exchange for a percentage of future sales, ideal for businesses with strong credit card sales.

  • Peer-to-Peer Lending: Online platforms that connect businesses with individual investors willing to provide loans, often with competitive interest rates.

  • Government Grants and Loans: Various government programmes offer grants and low-interest loans to support small businesses.

For a more detailed exploration of these and other options, visit our comprehensive blog on the best alternatives to bridging loans.

Should I Use a Finance Broker?

Definitely! Using a commercial finance broker can be highly beneficial.

Here are some reasons why you might want to use a finance broker:

Expertise and Knowledge

Finance brokers have extensive knowledge of the lending market and can provide expert advice tailored to your specific needs.

They understand the intricacies of various financial products, including bridging loans and commercial mortgages, and can help you navigate the complexities involved.

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 for bridging loans and commercial mortgages that you might not be able to secure on your own.


Searching for the right lender and comparing different loan options can be time-consuming.

A broker can do this legwork for you, saving you valuable time and effort.

Negotiation Power

A finance broker often has 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 financing options.

They can tailor their advice to ensure the loan meets your specific requirements and exit strategy.

Simplified Process

The application process for a 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.

In summary, using a finance broker can provide you with expert guidance, access to a wider range of lenders, and potentially better loan terms, making the process of securing finance smoother and more efficient.

Finance Nation

If you want to dive straight into exploring bridging loans and commercial mortgage options, you're already in the right place.

We're a finance broker who understands the challenges faced by people looking for the most time and cost-effective solutions, and we're here to help.

With our cutting-edge Fintech platform, we ensure seamless access to tailored finance solutions that suit your needs.

With access to lending products you won't find elsewhere, we'll identify the best deal for you and keep things moving until the funds are where they need to be.

Bridging Loan vs Mortgage FAQ

What are the specific eligibility criteria for obtaining a bridging loan?

The eligibility criteria for obtaining a bridging loan can vary depending on the lender, but generally, they are more flexible than those for traditional mortgages.

Common criteria include having a clear exit strategy for repaying the loan, such as the sale of an existing property or securing long-term financing.

Lenders will also look at the value of the property being used as security, the borrower’s credit history, and the ability to cover interest payments during the loan term.

Unlike traditional mortgages, bridging loans may not require detailed income verification or a high credit score, making them accessible to a broader range of borrowers.

For more information about Bridging loan criteria visit our latest blog


What are the typical interest rates for bridging loans compared to mortgages?

Interest rates for bridging loans are typically higher than those for traditional mortgages.

While mortgage rates might range from 3% to 6% depending on market conditions and the borrower's credit profile, bridging loans can have interest rates ranging from 0.5% to 1.5% per month.

This higher cost reflects the short-term nature and the increased risk for lenders associated with bridging loans.


How does the application process for a bridging loan differ from that of a mortgage?

The application process for a bridging loan is generally faster and less cumbersome than that for a traditional mortgage.

For a bridging loan, the primary focus is on the value and saleability of the property being used as collateral and the borrower’s exit strategy.

Lenders require less extensive documentation and financial information, focusing instead on a quick valuation of the property and a review of the borrower's plans for repayment.

In contrast, mortgage applications involve detailed income verification, credit checks, and extensive paperwork, leading to longer processing times that can span several weeks or months.


What happens if a borrower fails to repay a bridging loan on time?

If a borrower fails to repay a bridging loan on time, they may face significant financial consequences. Lenders can impose penalty interest rates, which are considerably higher than the standard rates, increasing the cost of the loan.

Additionally, the lender may take legal action to repossess the property used as collateral to recover their funds.

This process can damage the borrower’s credit rating and make it more difficult to secure financing in the future.

Therefore, it is crucial for borrowers to have a clear and realistic repayment plan and contingency strategies to mitigate the risk of default.


What are some examples of scenarios where a bridging loan would be more advantageous than other financing options?

Bridging loans are particularly advantageous in scenarios where quick access to capital is essential.

For instance, if a business needs to purchase a new property before selling an existing one, a bridging loan provides the necessary funds to bridge this gap.

Another example is when a business encounters a sudden cash-flow shortage and needs immediate funds to cover operational expenses or seize a lucrative opportunity, such as purchasing discounted inventory or equipment.

Additionally, bridging loans are beneficial when traditional financing options are too slow or when a business does not meet the stringent criteria for a conventional mortgage or business loan.