A Guide to Hard Money Loans and Lenders 

If you’re looking for quick financing and traditional loans need to be cutting it, hard money loans might be the solution. These loans are provided by private investors or companies rather than banks or credit unions. They’re called “hard money” because they’re backed by the value of the property you’re buying, not your credit score or financial history.

Hard money lenders Atlanta are a go-to for real estate investors and individuals seeking rapid funding for their projects. Whether you’re flipping houses, renovating properties, or need cash fast for a real estate purchase, understanding hard money loans and the lenders who offer them is crucial. Let’s dive into the world of hard money lending in Atlanta, where opportunities abound for those who know where to look.

What is a Hard Money Loan?

Hard money loans operate on the premise of property-backed security rather than the borrower’s creditworthiness and financial standing. Typically, the loan is determined by the property’s assessed value and features a brief repayment window, often less than twelve months. [1]

This structure makes them particularly attractive to individuals purchasing homes to renovate and resell them swiftly. From the lender’s perspective, prompt repayment is expected, theoretically ensuring a quick turnaround.

Some hard money loans adopt an interest-only payment structure, culminating in a substantial balloon payment. Such arrangements heighten the risk compared to other forms of financing.

Hard Money Loans vs. Traditional Mortgages

Hard money loans diverge from typical mortgages in several vital aspects. Firstly, they often boast quicker application processes and expedited closings. Moreover, the repayment period for hard money loans is notably shorter than the standard 15- or 30-year term common in mortgages.

According to Jeff Shipwash, CEO of Shipwash Properties LLC, a prominent home-flipping enterprise in Knoxville, Tennessee, hard money loans undergo distinct underwriting processes and possess unique prerequisites. Typically short-term, these loans can span as brief as six to 18 months.

Interest rates on hard money loans also tend to be substantially higher than those for traditional mortgages. Furthermore, unlike traditional mortgages, where the borrower’s credit score holds significant weight, challenging money loan assessments prioritize the property’s value.

In contrast to soft money loans, which rely on the borrower’s creditworthiness, hard money loans hinge on physical assets like property and their evaluated equity. As noted by Mills Menser, CEO and founder of Diamond Banc, headquartered in Columbia, Missouri, hard money loans are usually non-recourse, meaning default results in forfeiture of the pledged asset. [2]

It’s essential to note the distinction between hard and soft money loans. While hard money loans predominantly emphasize property-backed security, soft money loans are primarily contingent on the borrower’s credit. Regal Capital Lenders provides hard money loans secured by physical assets, ensuring swift and reliable financing solutions.

What to Expect from Hard Money Lenders

Navigating the terrain of hard money lending requires understanding its distinctive characteristics compared to traditional loan lenders. Here’s what to anticipate before engaging with a hard money lender:

1. Resembling Payday Lenders: 

Bruce Ailion, a seasoned real estate attorney and Realtor based in Atlanta, highlights that hard money lenders Atlanta, georgia, operate akin to payday lenders providing personal loans, often operating with minimal oversight or regulatory constraints.

2. Elevated Interest Rates: 

Due to the heightened risk associated with hard money loans, borrowers can expect higher interest rates. According to Ailion, lenders have the prerogative to determine interest rates commensurate with the risks inherent in loan provision. [3]

3. Abbreviated Loan Terms: 

Hard money loan durations typically span from a few months to a few years, offering a short-term financing solution compared to traditional mortgages.

4. Flexible Requirements: 

Unlike conventional lenders adhering to standardized criteria, hard money lenders Atlanta Georgia establish their prerequisites concerning credit scores and debt-to-income (DTI) ratios.

Hard Money Terms and Requirements

When delving into hard money loans, it’s vital to grasp their specific terms and prerequisites, typically spanning one to three years. Here are the fundamental requirements:

1. Real Estate Experience:

Lenders place considerable emphasis on your proficiency in real estate investments. While being a seasoned investor can bolster your chances, first-time buyers of fixer-uppers need not despair. Specific lenders are open to evaluating project details alongside property assessments to extend loans potentially.

2. Financial Strengths:

Rather than solely focusing on personal credit, hard money lenders scrutinize your overall financial well-being. Substantial cash reserves to cover monthly loan payments or holding costs bolsters your eligibility. Even without extensive reserves, lenders may still consider your application, possibly offering a higher loan amount to accommodate expenses.

3. Down Payment:

A crucial aspect of securing a hard money loan is the down payment, typically ranging between 25% to 40%. Residential property acquisitions usually require down payments within the 25% to 30% range, while commercial properties may necessitate higher deposits, often between 30% to 40%. Opting for a higher-than-requested down payment can enhance approval prospects, as it reduces the lender’s investment risk. [4]

For asset based hard money lenders, turn to reputable lenders like Regal Capital Lenders, which offer tailored financing options aligned with your investment goals.

Utilizing Hard Money Loans

Hard money loans serve diverse purposes, offering avenues for lucrative investments such as acquiring investment properties, purchasing commercial real estate, and flipping houses. Each venture holds the potential for substantial returns when executed effectively.

1. Investment Properties:

Hard money loans provide a viable alternative for individuals eyeing rental property investments but facing hurdles with traditional loan qualifications. They offer flexibility when traditional lenders limit loan amounts or credit standings.

2. Commercial Properties:

Business owners seeking commercial real estate acquisitions often turn to hard money loans for properties deemed unconventional or ineligible for conventional financing. Money loans offer a solution where traditional commercial loan limits might hinder business expansion or property acquisition.

3. Hard Money Rates:

While hard money loan rates historically range higher, typically between 8% to 15%, compared to conventional loans averaging around 3.62%, they provide preferred loan-to-value (LTV) ratios. Borrowers must be prepared for higher rates and potentially more significant down payments, usually between 70% and 80% of the loan amount.

The worthiness of Hard Money Loans

Hard money loans prove worthwhile for individuals comfortable with short repayment terms and the prospect of higher down payments. They are particularly advantageous for house flippers, allowing swift renovations to increase property value and expedite resale, mitigating risks associated with defaulting.

Special Considerations

While hard money loans entail higher costs than government programs or bank loans, they offer access to substantial capital, ideal for short-term financing and situations requiring rapid turnaround. Additionally, they cater to borrowers with poor credit but substantial property equity, potentially allowing cross-collateralization across multiple properties with a single loan.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, hard money loans present a versatile financing option for investors, offering solutions for diverse real estate ventures such as acquiring investment properties, commercial real estate, and flipping houses. While they may incur higher rates and require shorter repayment terms, they provide invaluable access to capital for swift turnaround projects. With the expertise and tailored financing solutions offered by Regal Capital Lenders, investors can confidently navigate the realm of hard money lending, seizing profitable opportunities and maximizing returns on their investments. Contact us for more information.


1. What is the formula for hard money lending?

The formula for hard money lending revolves around the Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio, which guides the lender in determining the loan amount they can extend to a borrower. This ratio is computed by dividing the total loan amount by the property’s value serving as collateral for the loan.

2. What is the difference between a hard money lender?

The disparity between hard money lenders Atlanta and private lenders lies in their loan terms and interest rate structures. Private lenders typically provide longer-term loans with fixed interest rates. On the other hand, hard money loans feature shorter repayment periods and variable interest rates.