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Pros and Cons: Short Term Loans vs. Long Term Loans

Updated: Jun 3

Real estate investment loans can be tricky and it can be unclear at times which ones are the best. While there are many versions of loans, let’s go to the basics. There’s a time frame that you need to pay for your loan. It can be on the shorter side ranging from months to a couple of years and long-term loans can take more than a decade to pay off. Now, there are pros and cons to each of these and one of them may be a better fit depending on your loan scenario.


Types of Short Term Real Estate Investment Loans:


  • Bridge Loans

  • Hard Money Loans

  • Fix and Flip Loans

  • Foreclosure Bailout Loans


Types of Long Term Real Estate Investment Loans:


  • Soft Money Loans

  • Rental Loans

  • NO-DOC Loans

  • Stated Income Loans

  • No Income Verification Loans


The Differences between Short Term Loans & Long Term Loans


The Approval Process


Generally, short-term loans have a quicker application and approval process. Since they are a shorter commitment, lenders may be more willing to approve a short-term loan than one they would be stuck in for close to a decade. For both types of loans, the lender wants to make sure that the borrower can pay them back but it is less risky when the loan is only for several months. Due to the quick approval process, short-term loans tend to be better if you need money sooner rather than later. Also, thanks to the shorter time commitment, short-term loans tend to require less documentation to prove you will pay the loan back.


While long-term loans require more documentation to prove to the lender they want to be in a long-term agreement with you. Having to look through more documentation and having to do more research into whether you are a responsible borrower will make the approval process take a lot longer.


Finally, short-term real estate investment loans tend to have much higher approval ratings. Since it’s a shorter commitment, people are much more likely to approve a borrower who has a bad credit history or not too much of one. They may instead ask for collateral but regardless the approval process is easier. Conversely, a long-term loan is a longer and harder approval process. The lender tends to really look at all the details and thus has a much lower approval rate.


Interest Rates


For a short-term loan, borrowers will be more likely offered high-interest loans. Due to the short application process and the fact that it tends to be more lenient and flexible, private lenders tend to offer short-term loans with significantly higher interest rates. This is why for short-term loans you want to shorten the repayment period as much as possible. You don’t want to spend 2 years repaying a loan with high-interest rates. Think more about paying it off in months rather than years.


With long-term loans, you are more likely to receive a lower interest rate. The lender has done a lot more research on you, they think they know you will pay off the debt so they are more likely to offer you a lower interest rate. However, make sure to calculate the math, you may end up spending a lot more money over many years with a small interest rate than a much higher interest rate over a few months. For long-term loans, the lower interest rate with a much longer repayment timeline can cost you in interest rates as much as your initial loan was. So with interest rates you want to be careful and to do the math.


Loan Payment Schedule


Due to the nature of short-term loans, which are over a much shorter time period, payments may be needed much more frequently. If the loan is only for a few months, then the repayment may be biweekly or more frequently. On the other hand, if it’s a long-term loan, you may not be paying monthly but every few months or every quarter. Thus, if you don’t have a steady income at your company, it may not be a good idea to do a short-term loan because you can’t make all the frequent payments.


Amount of Money


With a short-term loan, you are more likely to be only able to borrow a smaller amount of money for your loan scenario. Since the real estate investor needs to repay the amount of money in a short period of time, it is unlikely that a lender would be willing to lend a large amount of money. Since a larger amount of money carries a larger risk, a private mortgage lender will be hesitant to offer you more than a smaller amount. While with long-term loans, lenders know more information about you and so would be more likely to increase the risk and lend you more money.


What’s better for your investment property? Long Term Loans or Short Term Loans?


There is so much to know when it comes to loans so it’s important to educate yourself on all the pros and cons before making any decisions. Make sure to be cautious before you agree to anything.


Each loan scenario is different based upon the borrower’s credit score, investment experience, liquid assets, and reserves. The loan will always be structured or calculated based upon those results.


The best way to discover which is better for your investment property is to contact a direct private money lender to assist you with the purchase of your investment property.


If you’d like to learn more about our library of mortgage loan programs, click here to explore our website. Have a property in mind and would like to get pre-qualified? Apply Now and we will get back to you within 24 hours.



If you have an investment property and wish to speak with one of our Loan Officers, call Stratton Equities at 800-962-6613, email us, or apply for loan pre-qualification today!



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