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Fast Bridging Loans

Wondering how quickly bridging loans can be arranged? Read on to find out, as well as some great tips on how to speed up your application

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: June 20, 2022

If you’re looking for a bridging loan, whatever the purpose, the chances are you’re looking for the fastest possible finance available. In this article, we’ll look at how quickly you can get a bridging loan, what factors influence approval timeframes, and what you can do to speed up the process.

How quickly can you get a bridging loan?

Bridging loans are typically used by clients who are looking to access finance very quickly, so the speed at which you can obtain one is the most recognised benefit. Of course, every application is different, and many factors can impact the approval speed, but typically, they can be turned around in 5-10 days.

In certain circumstances, however, they can be arranged in less than 5 days when the application is very straightforward, and some bridging lenders simply provide a faster service than others. The key is finding the bridging finance provider that can offer the speediest bridging loan for your specific circumstances and needs.

Can you get approved in 24 hours?

In some circumstances it’s possible to secure bridging finance within 24-48 hours, however, this is fairly unusual and certainly shouldn’t be expected. If you intend to buy at auction, it’s highly recommended that you organise a bridging mortgage ahead of time. That said, it’s fairly common to receive a decision in principle within 24 hours.

If you’re hoping to obtain a bridging loan in this sort of timescale, it’s imperative that your bridging finance broker and lender are aware of this urgency. You should also expect to potentially pay higher fees for this level of priority service.

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How to get bridging finance approved quickly

Following these 4 simple steps won’t guarantee that you obtain bridging finance within 24 hours, but it will set you on the right track to accessing your funds as quickly as possible:

  1. Speak to an experienced broker – The brokers we work with have considerable experience with bridging finance and will be able to help you prepare for a swift application. Their broad market access means that they can recommend the lender likely to provide the fastest turnaround for your circumstances.
  2. Ensure your exit strategy is solid – A significant element of the lending decision is based upon your exit strategy (how you will repay the loan), so having a strong, low-risk plan in place will allow the lender to make their decision more quickly. An experienced broker will be able to review, and offer advice on this, if necessary.
  3. Provide the lender with everything they need – The speediest applications have all information available for the lender on application. This should include clear details of the purchase property, any development plans, and accurate costings. You should also prepare your proof of ID, and income, and check your credit status.
  4. Fast-track the valuation process – If possible, with the help of your broker, ensure that the property has been independently valued prior to making an application, and have the reports ready for the lender. It’s also a good idea to have a solicitor with experience in bridging finance briefed and ready to act on your behalf.

Factors that impact approval speed

There are a number of factors that determine how long your application will take to process, and these are not always within your control. These include:

The lender

Bridging lenders’ processes and criteria can vary significantly from one to the next. Even if you prepare all documentation in advance and have the most straightforward circumstances possible, some lenders simply apply more intensive credential checks than others, which can slow the process down.

How much you need to borrow

Some lenders operate the timescale of their bridging loan turnaround based on borrowing thresholds, and this means that whereas relatively modest amounts can be arranged within a few days, borrowing into the millions is more likely to take weeks with the majority of lenders

The type of bridging loan

Bridging loans can be regulated or unregulated, and the type you need will depend on the purpose of the loan. If it’s for residential purchase, the loan will be regulated, due to the necessary protection by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).

If you’re using the loan for any type of commercial purpose, it will be unregulated. Due to the absence of regulatory checks, unregulated bridging loans are often arranged more quickly than regulated bridging loans.

Type of purchase property

Beyond its status of residential or commercial, each individual property and its specific use will be considered on a case-by-case basis. It’s therefore possible that certain properties may be approved more quickly than others, for example; a loan for a commercial property in saleable condition within a high-demand industry, and a sought-after location, when compared, for example, to a dilapidated hotel which may require a specialist lender.

Valuation and survey results

Most lenders will want to organise valuations and legal searches on the purchase property, which can take considerable time, especially if any issues are found along the way.

There are some lenders, however,  who may consider accepting a recently completed valuation or skip this step entirely. Some may also be willing to accept title insurance in lieu of searches. If speed is a priority for you, your broker should be able to point out those lenders willing to fast-track the application in this way, however, you should be prepared to pay higher fees for this level of flexibility.

Personal circumstances

Many of the factors that can influence the speed of your application are related to your eligibility, they include:

  • The strength of your exit strategy – An experienced broker will be able to help you improve this, if necessary.
  • Whether you have property experience – Although not essential, many lenders will feel more comfortable with borrowers who can evidence previous development or portfolio ownership experience.

Your credit record – Bridging lenders tend to be fairly flexible with bad credit, but it can delay the process in some cases, depending on how comfortable the lender is with your exit strategy. If you do have bad credit, you may still be able to get a non-status bridging loan.

Fast non-status bridging loans

Non-status bridging loans are determined explicitly based on the asset that the borrower is looking to purchase, rather than any of their personal circumstances. They are typically used by property developers who have an asset-heavy, but cash-poor portfolio, due to constant reinvestment.

Given that this type of bridging loan is much more flexible, there are fewer lender assessments necessary, which means that they can generally be arranged even quicker than standard bridging loans. A typical turnaround is 3-7 days, potentially knocking days or weeks off of the speed of a standard bridging loan. In some cases, they can even be arranged almost instantly.

What to be aware of

Given the increased level of risk on the lender’s part, there are a number of differences between a non-status and standard bridging loans to be aware of:

  • Lower LTV (loan to value) borrowing is typically offered
  • Higher interest rates
  • Less availability – as they are not commonly offered by new lenders

In many cases, however, the benefits of a non-status bridging loan outweigh the above, particularly if speed is your main consideration. They are:

  • Faster loan approval
  • Greater flexibility – more accessible for those with bad credit
  • May consider soft assets as collateral security (e.g pensions and investments)
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Alternative finance options

Bridging loans exist specifically to bridge a financial gap, often until longer-term finance can be arranged. As such, they are typically the most suitable form of finance where speed is your primary concern.

Some alternatives that may offer comparatively fast finance in some circumstances are:

Personal loan

This can be a very speedy option, with some lenders offering same-day funds for straightforward applications. The major drawback when it comes to property purchases, however, is that personal loans are typically capped at around £25,000.

Secured loan

Business and property owners can often use their assets as loan security for secured loans, and in some cases, it may be as quick to arrange as bridging finance, as well as more cost-effective.

Private investors

A private investor may be an option if your purchase offers a property development investment opportunity. This type of deal will typically be unregulated, and less predictable than bridging lenders, however.

Fast house buying companies

If you’re looking to sell your existing residential home quickly to avoid missing out on your dream home, this option offers another avenue outside of borrowing funds.

It’s important to be aware, however, that it’s unusual for this type of company to offer more than 75% of your actual property value. This can make it more costly in the long run, when compared to bridging finance, which may allow you time to sell your home at full market value.

Get matched with a bridging mortgage expert

If you’re looking to secure fast bridging finance, the most important step you can take is to speak to an experienced bridging loan expert. The brokers we work with will focus on the lending criteria that are important to you, whether that’s finding a competitive lender, a non-status lender, or simply being able to access your funds as quickly as possible, and ensure you secure the finance you need when you need it.

Get in touch today on 0808 189 2301 or via this form, to take advantage of our free broker matching service. We’ll pair you with the most suitable bridging finance expert for your needs in no time and set up a free, no-obligation chat between you and them today.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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