Bridging Loans vs Mortgages: A Guide for Property Investors

By Georgia Galloway | Wednesday 9th August 2023 | 7 minute read

Bridging loans vs mortgages: two primary finance options for property investors. But which one is right for you? 

Understanding these financial tools can mean the difference between a profitable investment and an expensive mistake. 

Choosing between a bridging loan and a mortgage often hinges on your unique circumstances, including funding needs, time constraints, and long-term plans.

This guide will detail each option to help you decide about bridging loans versus mortgages when investing in property.

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Bridging Loans vs Mortgages

Regarding property finance, two loans often come into play - bridging loans and mortgages. Individuals, such as property investors, business owners, or developers, typically use these in property transactions. Both these loan types necessitate collateral from the borrower.

A bridging loan, true to its name, serves as an interim financing solution during times when traditional funding avenues may not be feasible or quick enough. This short-term financial aid is ideal for purchasing new properties before selling existing ones.

In contrast, stands the mortgage - a long-term commitment usually spanning 15-30 years that's more suited for residential investments or home purchases. Over this period, borrowers gradually repay their debt until they fully own the asset.

The critical differences between bridging loans and mortgages primarily revolve around their purpose and duration requirements; bridge finance is immediate yet short-lived (typically up to 12 months), while mortgages offer manageable monthly payments over extended periods but accumulate higher overall interest due to lengthier terms.

Borrowers should also consider how different lenders view collateral within these secured borrowing options: some might accept commercial assets whilst others only entertain residential properties making understanding lender criteria vital before application submission.

Both forms of credit products carry inherent risks, including potential repossession if one fails on repayments; hence thorough research preceding any decision-making process is required.

Bridging Loans

The versatility of bridging loans can be a significant advantage for property developers and investors. These short-term loans are typically employed to 'bridge' the financial gap between purchasing a new property and selling an existing one.

One aspect where their flexibility shines is in repayment options. Although bridging loans require exit strategies, bridge loans often provide borrowers diverse choices when settling the loan. This could include interest-only payment plans or even rolled-up interest whereby all repayments are deferred until the term's end.

Types of Bridging Loans
Beyond flexible repayment options exist different types of bridging finance - open and closed bridging loans are prime examples.

An open bridging loan provides maximum adaptability as no fixed date exists by which you need to settle your debt. However, this type tends to carry higher interest rates due to increased risk for lenders.

In contrast, a closed bridge loan has a predetermined end date by which you must clear your obligation. While seemingly less adaptable than its counterpart, it usually carries lower interest rates because it presents less risk for those who offer high-value bridge loans since they know precisely when they'll recoup their money back.

The choice between these two largely hinges on specific circumstances, such as how swiftly you anticipate selling your current asset or securing long-term financing like a mortgage. You should consider factors such as the anticipated time before completing either transaction scenario and whether certainty around the exit strategy outweighs potential cost savings from the lower rate offered by the closed version.


Unlike bridging loans, mortgages are a form of long-term property finance. They require an in-depth application process that includes meticulous checks on your credit score and income to ensure you can meet the monthly repayments over many years.

The primary purpose of a mortgage is funding for buying residential or commercial properties. The loan amount typically spans 15-30 years, with interest rates significantly lower than those found in bridging loans due to their longer duration.

How Much Deposit Do I Need For A Mortgage?
A common query among potential borrowers revolves around how much deposit they need to secure a mortgage. Generally, UK lenders require 10% of the property's value as an upfront payment. However, it should be noted that providing a more significant deposit could help secure more favourable conditions, such as reduced interest rates.

This initial investment protects against defaulting on payments and reduces lender risk. Thus, individuals who can afford higher deposits may find themselves eligible for better borrowing conditions from secured loan providers.

Besides this preliminary outlay, other costs associated with getting approved for a mortgage include valuation fees, surveyor charges, and legal expenses, which must be factored into your budget when considering this type of property finance option.

Navigating Through The Approval Process
The approval procedure for mortgages tends to take longer than bridge loans owing to stringent lending criteria set by financial institutions. Lenders conduct comprehensive assessments, including reviewing bank statements and payslips, besides performing thorough credit checks before deciding on any loan acceptance period or amounts offered through these types of secured loans.

If given approval nod, repayment plans generally consist of capital repayment schemes where the principal borrowed sum and accrued interests get paid off simultaneously over time. Alternatively, some might pay only interest throughout the term, leaving the balance owed unchanged until the end date when the total lump sum needs repaying.

Key Takeaway: 
Mortgages are long-term property finance options with a thorough application process and lower interest rates than bridging loans. They require at least 5% of the property's value as a deposit, alongside other costs like valuation fees and legal expenses. Approval takes longer due to rigorous checks but offers different repayment plans upon approval.

Comparing Costs Between Bridging Loans and Mortgages

In property finance, understanding the associated costs with each loan type is paramount. Whether you're considering bridging loans or mortgages, it's essential to grasp how these expenses will impact your financial planning.

Mortgages often boast lower interest rates compared to their counterpart - bridging loans. However, one must not overlook potential early repayment charges that could arise if you decide on an ahead-of-schedule mortgage settlement. These fees are imposed as lenders expect a certain amount in interest over the loan term.

Dig Deeper into Bridging Loan Cost
Bridging loans typically carry higher price tags than traditional mortgages due to elevated interest rates - roughly 1% per month, depending upon creditworthiness and lender risk assessments. Add-on costs such as arrangement fees, legal charges, and valuation outlays make them a pricier choice for long-term borrowing scenarios.

However, while examining how much a bridging loan costs may seem daunting initially, its benefits, like acquisition speed and flexibility, can counterbalance these extra expenditures under specific circumstances.

A critical point worth noting: although bridge loans appear expensive owing to high monthly interests, given their short duration (usually up to 12 months), they might prove cheaper than extended financing options where compound interests accrue over several years.

An In-depth Look at Mortgage Costs
The typical mortgage tends towards being less costly regarding the annual percentage rate since it's spread across numerous years (typically between 15-30). The security provided by your property reduces lending risks leading towards comparatively low-interest rates ranging from about 2%-7%, dependent on individual factors such as credit score stability.

An aspect that demands attention here is early repayment penalties levied by some providers should you opt for or manage an earlier-than-agreed pay-off schedule. Such surcharges can significantly inflate total expenditure, thus warranting careful deliberation during the initial contract stages.

Key Takeaway: 
When weighing up the costs of bridging loans versus mortgages, remember that while mortgages typically have lower interest rates, early repayment charges can be a sting in the tail. Bridging loans may seem pricier with higher monthly interests and add-on fees, but they could work out cheaper for short-term borrowing due to their speed and flexibility.

Why Choose One Over The Other?

The decision between bridging loans and mortgages should not be taken lightly. Both offer distinct advantages depending on your unique property transaction scenario, financial situation and the timeline for the required funds.

Ideal Scenarios For Choosing A Bridge Loan
A bridge loan can be an excellent solution when immediate funding is paramount. This could include securing properties at auction or acquiring development land before competitors do so. Waiting for traditional mortgage approval may result in missed opportunities in these situations.

Bridging loans are also beneficial during complex property transactions that don't fit standard lending criteria neatly. If you're planning significant renovations or construction work before selling off the property, bridging finance can provide necessary capital swiftly while offering multiple repayment options.

Mortgages - The Preferred Choice For Long-Term Financing
In contrast with short-term solutions like bridge loans which require exit strategies within months of borrowing money, mortgages cater better towards long-term financing needs such as buying residential homes or commercial premises over many years due to their lower interest rates than those of open bridging loans.

Mortgages come with structured payment plans spread across several years, making them manageable from a cash flow perspective, unlike closed bridging loans, which usually demand lump sum repayments upon selling collateralised assets.

Weighing Up Your Options
Deciding whether a bridge loan or mortgage suits your requirements best involves carefully considering various factors, including the duration needed for borrowed money return (loan acceptance period), cost implications (interest rates & fees), and other related aspects tied up in this crucial decision-making process.

You should consider consulting experts who can help analyse these facets closely, ensuring informed decisions and keeping future financial health intact, alongside meeting current requirements efficiently without risking early repayment charges imposed by some lenders if decided terms aren't completed properly.

Key Takeaway: 
Whether you opt for a bridging loan or mortgage hinges on your unique needs; bridging loans are perfect for immediate funding, complex transactions, and significant renovations. Mortgages, however, offer long-term financing with manageable payment plans. Weigh up the duration of borrowed money return and cost implications to make an informed choice.


Navigating the complexities of property finance can be a challenging endeavour.

Bridging loan vs mortgage - two options, each with its own unique set of advantages and challenges.

Bridging loans offer flexibility and speed, ideal for quick purchases or immediate funding needs in property development projects. Conversely, mortgages provide long-term stability but require more scrutiny during application processes and significant upfront costs.

The choice between these two boils down to your specific circumstances: your time constraints, funding requirements, and long-term plans play a role here.

We're experienced financial experts who arrange short-term bridging loans for property owners, securing you the best deal from over 200 bridging loan providers, including private investors and family offices.

Get expert assistance today; we're on hand to answer any questions about bridging loans.

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Bridging Loans vs Mortgages FAQs

Is a bridging loan the same as a mortgage?

No, while both are secured loans for property, they differ in terms of duration, cost, and purpose. Bridging loans offer quick funding for short periods, whereas mortgages are long-term commitments.

Is it worth getting a bridging loan?

If you need swift financing or aim to purchase at auction, refurbish, or build properties quickly, then yes. But consider the higher-interest rates and ensure you have an exit strategy.

Why do people get bridging loans?

Bridging loans provide immediate funds allowing buyers to secure properties swiftly. They are often used when there is a delay in selling an existing property or during auctions requiring fast completion.

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