Real Estate Tips |6 min read

Factors That Affect Hard Money Loan Approval

Hard money loans are an alternative way for investors to fund their real estate investments without going through the lengthy process of getting a traditional mortgage. However, while the process is generally easier, that doesn’t mean everyone gets approved. Today, we’ll review how lenders determine eligibility and factors affecting hard money loan approval. 


Contents of This Article: 

Why Do Some Investors Choose Hard Money Loans?

Hard money loans and traditional mortgage loans have several differences. For instance, traditional mortgage lenders look at several factors, focusing on a borrower’s creditworthiness and ability to repay a loan. On the other hand, hard money loans are generally quicker to obtain, as lenders mainly want to ensure the borrower has a good plan for their investment property. 


That said, investors may choose hard money loans for various reasons, depending on their circumstances and investment goals. Hard money loans are known for their quicker approval and funding process, which can be crucial for investors who want to take advantage of a time-sensitive investment opportunity. 

Additionally, traditional lenders generally have strict criteria for loan approval, including credit score, income history, and debt-to-income ratio. On the other hand, Baltimore hard money lenders may be more flexible, prioritizing the value of the investment property used as collateral. As such, investors with less-than-perfect credit histories may easily obtain an investment property using a hard money loan. 

It’s important to note that hard money loans often come with higher interest rates and shorter repayment terms than traditional loans. As such, investors should carefully evaluate the costs and benefits, considering their specific investment strategy. 

Factors That Affect Hard Money Loan Approval

While Baltimore hard money lenders are generally more lenient than traditional mortgage lenders, they still have some requirements and criteria you must meet. Several factors influence hard money loan approval. Unlike traditional loans, hard money lenders often prioritize the value of the real estate investment used as collateral rather than a borrower’s creditworthiness. Here are some of the factors that can affect hard money loan approval. 


  1. Collateral Value
  2. Loan-to-Value Ratio
  3. Exit Strategy
  4. Borrower’s Experience
  5. Credit History
  6. Down Payment
  7. Property Type and Location

Collateral Value

The main factor that hard money lenders look at while determining loan eligibility is the value of the property used as collateral. Lenders want to ensure the property has sufficient equity to cover the loan amount. They typically assess the current market value and the after-repair value (ARV) if the loan is used for a fix-and-flip project. 

Loan-to-Value (LTV) Ratio

The LTV ratio represents the loan amount as a percentage of the property’s value. For instance, if a hard money lender offers a loan of $60,000 for a property worth $100,000, the LTV would be 60%. This means the lender provides 60% of the property’s value. Generally, lenders establish a maximum LTV ratio depending on factors like the property type and borrower’s experience. That said, a lower LTV ratio is generally more favorable to the lender, as it reduces their risk exposure. 

Exit Strategy

Lenders must know how you plan to repay the loan by the end of the loan term. As such, it’s crucial to develop a viable exit strategy. Some common exit strategies include selling the property, refinancing with a traditional mortgage, or using other funds to pay off the loan. Ultimately, a well-defined exit strategy assures the lender that there’s a clear plan for repaying the loan, reducing risk for them. 

Borrower’s Experience

Most lenders want to see that you have experience in real estate investing. So, providing a track record of successful projects can give a lender more confidence that you have the knowledge and skills to manage the investment effectively. If this is your first real estate investment, a lender may be more hesitant to lend you money without seeing more qualifications. However, that’s not to say they won’t lend to you–having a solid plan in mind for your investment is essential.


Credit History

While hard money lenders are less concerned about credit history compared to traditional lenders, some may still inquire about your credit history. After all, assessing a borrower’s overall financial responsibility is important before lending a large amount of money for an investment. That said, a good credit score can be advantageous, but a less-than-favorable credit history may not necessarily result in rejection. 

Down Payment

Hard money lenders may want to see a significant down payment if they’re funding a loan. This ensures that the borrower has a financial stake in the project, reducing the lender’s risk. That said, the down payment may vary, but plan for a larger payment than what’s required for traditional mortgage loans. 

Property Type and Location

Lenders may have preferences or restrictions regarding property types and locations. For instance, some may specialize in certain real estate types, like fix-and-flip loans or rehab projects. Additionally, the location of the property can impact the perceived risk. Certain property types or locations may be considered riskier, which can influence hard money loan approval. 

How to Get Approved for a Hard Money Loan

Getting approved for a hard money loan can involve several steps. Developing a plan and preparing the proper documentation ensures a quick and straightforward process. Here’s a guide to help you increase your chances of hard money loan approval. 

  • Know Your Investment Plan- Before reaching out to a lender, develop a comprehensive plan outlining the property details, scope of work, project timelines, and exit strategy. Coming in with a plan demonstrates your commitment and seriousness as an investor.


  • Research Local Lenders- Next, explore and research local hard money lenders. Look for those who specialize in your type of investment or have a track record of successful transactions in your area. Look into different lenders’ reputations, interest rates, fees, and flexibility of loan terms.
  • Prepare a Strong Loan Proposal- Create a strong, comprehensive loan proposal that gives a detailed overview of your project. You’ll want to include information about the property, the type of work it needs, your timeline for completion, and your final exit strategy. The more detailed and well-prepared you are, the more confidence your lender will have in providing funds for the project.
  • Highlight Your Experience- To get the best loan terms possible, you’ll want to emphasize your experience in real estate investing. If you have a track record of successful projects, showcase them in your portfolio. Provide details on your previous projects, including your return on investment (ROI) and any unique challenges you overcame.
  • Make a Significant Down Payment- Many hard money lenders require significant down payments. This demonstrates your commitment to the project and reduces the lender’s risk. Additionally, a larger down payment may improve your negotiating position with the lender.

Get In Touch With a Trusted Local Lender Today

If you’re looking to fund your next investment property with a hard money loan, it’s important to know what your lender looks for in a borrower. Hard money loan approval can depend on several factors, but going in with a plan in mind can help you get approved faster. 

Looking to fund your next real estate investment? Look no further than Maryland Hard Money Lenders. Our team of experienced local lenders can help you get funds quickly and efficiently. Fill out our loan application today or contact MHML to learn more about our lending process.

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