What are the drawbacks of Hard money loans?

The downsides of hard money loans should be considered when deciding whether to use them to fund your project. Let’s look at some of the apparent drawbacks of hard money loans.

  1. Competition drives down prices, as it does with everything:

On average, the interest rate on a hard money loan will vary between 9 and 15 percent, based on various variables. Some specific lenders would charge significantly higher rates for special conditions, but the general range is between 2-4 points.

  • Borrowers and lenders benefit from a higher interest rate since they may obtain funds more quickly. There are numerous hard money lenders in certain sections of the nation, whereas there are few in others.
  • Not all hard money lenders provide second mortgages or trust deeds, but those demand a greater interest rate on the second than the first. This higher interest rate represents the lender’s heightened risk of being ranked second instead of first.
  • It is possible for a borrower who defaults on their loan to be foreclosed upon, wiping away any remaining equity held by anybody else with a second lien on the property.
  1. Hard money loans are only available for short-term purposes:
  • The typical term of a hard money loan is between one and two years. In most cases, the maximum loan term duration is 3-5 years.
  • Lenders take on greater risk by offering longer loan terms since it is impossible to predict where interest rates will be after the period. Borrowers may take advantage of reduced current rates by refinancing if interest rates fall. Because of rising interest rates, the borrower can maintain their lower-interest-rate loan while the lender must wait until it’s due. For now, the lender’s trust deed investment is returning less than what they might get from a new trust deed investment at the present rates.
  • Banks offer lower interest rates for shorter durations and higher interest rates for longer terms to cope with interest rate uncertainty. If the loan is entirely amortized over 15 years, the interest rate will be substantially lower than if the loan is fully amortized over 30 years.
  1. Hard money loans need a substantial down payment or equity of at least 25%-30%:

Others see down payments or equity requirements as an obstacle to getting a loan, while they see it as an opportunity. Hard money lenders may overlook many flaws and deficiencies, but only if there is enough equity in the property to secure the loan. Unlike banks, “hard money” utilizes the “hard” asset to secure the loan. No deposit means no loan in the world of hard money.

  • Hard money lenders assume all the risk if there isn’t enough money put down as a down payment or equity in the property. A 5% down payment and a 95% loan will leave the borrower with a 5% loss on the property if the property’s value drops by 10%. To avoid defaulting on their hard money loan and leaving the problem to the lender, an applicant who believes that the property value is going down will have little motivation to finish the project and may even quit it altogether.
  • It’s easy to see how a 10% fall in property value an excellent motivator for an investor would still be to remain with the property and project even if they put down a 30% down payment (instead of simply 5%).
  • A 40 percent down payment is common for commercial hard money loans. Business real estate has significantly fewer purchasers than residential real estate. This reflects the more significant difficulties in selling commercial property. Hard money lenders may have to reduce the selling price of a property they have taken back because a borrower has missed payments on a commercial hard money loan. Comparatively, fewer data points are available for valuing commercial buildings than residential ones.
  1. Those that take out loans are charged higher interest rates:

For a first mortgage, you should expect to pay between 8% and 11% annual interest on hard money. 2nd-year interest rates typically range from 10% to 13% each year. Taking on more risk with increasing interest rates.

  1. Investing in the future:

We’re looking at between 25% and 30% for the down payment. As an alternative, the borrower should have at least 25% to 30% equity in the property before applying for a refinancing. Banks typically need a 20% down payment; however other programs, such as the FHA, allow for a far lesser down payment of 5%.

  • 40% of Millennials who participated in a poll in 2020 by Point2 Homes on their savings habits claimed they had saved less than 10% of their salary for a down payment on a house.
  • Those holding more than 50% of their income comprise 7% of the participants. As of 2020, the following is the percentage of income saved by millennial homebuyers.
  1. Whether the loan is from a bank or a private individual, there is always the possibility of foreclosure:

As a result, most lenders would agree to get down and work out a strategy to complete the project by the original idea.If your project isn’t going according to plan and you’re worried about default and foreclosure, don’t hesitate to tell your lender about your concerns. It’s more likely that you’ll lose your house if you cease communicating with your lender.


  1. Loan for a Short Term:

Additionally, hard money loans are only available for limited periods. Most lenders want full payment within the first year to three years of a borrower’s loan. Lenders take on greater risk because interest rates are difficult to predict after a longer time.

Consequently, long-term interest rates have a more significant degree of risk. The borrower may take advantage of decreased interest rates by refinancing the loan. However, if interest rates rise, the borrower may maintain the original loan, which leaves the lender waiting for the loan to be paid.


  1. Extendibility Fees:

The typical term of a hard money loan is one year. The borrower must complete the flip, sell the property, and repay the lender within this time frame. On the other hand, unforeseen circumstances might cause a delay in the project and need a loan extension request.

Even though most hard money lenders are willing to provide extensions, this approach has a caveat. A loan extension has ramifications that the borrower should be aware of. These implications might include a higher monthly interest rate and a charge for extending the loan.


So above, we have looked at some apparent drawbacks of hard moneyloans. The downsides of hard money loans should be considered when deciding whether to use them to fund your project.

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