Hard Money Loans for April 2024

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Royal Bank of Canada
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Royal Bank of Canada
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I obtained my home loan with RBC, and they were very flexible in setting terms that suited my financial capabilities.

What is a Hard Money Loan?

A hard money loan is a short-term loan that can be used to purchase commercial or investment properties. Unlike traditional loan options offered by banks, hard money loans are considered loans of "last resort" or short-term bridge loans. The key characteristic of hard money loans is that they are secured by real property, often investment properties or commercial assets. Typically, hard money lenders are private individuals or companies, distinguishing them from traditional financial institutions. These loans are characterized by their shorter funding time frame, as they rely on collateral rather than the borrower's creditworthiness. The terms, including hard money loan rates and repayment periods, are often negotiable between the lender and the borrower, providing a level of flexibility not commonly found in traditional mortgage arrangements.

Hard money loans operate on the principle of valuing the property used as collateral, rather than the financial position of the borrower. Traditional lenders, such as banks, do not typically engage in hard money lending, leaving this niche to private individuals or companies willing to take on potentially riskier ventures. This innovative financing option allows for quick access to capital but comes at a higher cost.


  1. Property-Centric Security. Unlike traditional loans, hard money loans rely heavily on the value of the property used as collateral. The lender assesses the property's worth rather than extensively scrutinizing the borrower's credit history.

  2. Private Lenders. Hard money lenders tend to be private individuals or companies, distinct from traditional banks. This private financing arrangement allows for a more personalized approach to lending.

  3. Ideal for Real Estate Investments. Hard money loans are particularly well-suited for real estate investors involved in property flipping, purchasing raw land, or seeking quick financing for lucrative opportunities.

  4. Higher Interest Rates. Compared to traditional mortgages, hard money loans often come with higher interest rates. This is a trade-off for the speed and flexibility they offer, making them a strategic choice in certain real estate scenarios.

  5. Versatility in Use: Hard money loans can be utilized for various real estate scenarios, including property flipping, purchasing raw land, or overcoming credit issues. Their versatility makes them a valuable tool for investors facing unique challenges.

Pros and Cons


Quick Access to Capital. Hard money loans offer a rapid funding process, allowing real estate investors to seize time-sensitive opportunities that may be missed with traditional mortgages.

Flexible Terms. Borrowers have the ability to negotiate terms directly with hard money lenders, providing a level of flexibility in interest rates, repayment periods, and other loan terms.

Credit Score Flexibility. Hard money lenders are less concerned about the borrower's credit history, focusing more on the value of the property used as collateral. This makes hard money loans accessible to individuals with less-than-ideal credit scores.


Higher Interest Rates. Hard money loans typically come with higher interest rates compared to traditional mortgages, increasing the overall cost of borrowing.

Short Repayment Periods. These loans usually have shorter durations, typically between one to five years. The short repayment period may pose challenges for borrowers who need more time to pay off the loan.

Riskier Investment. Due to the higher interest rates and shorter durations, hard money loans are considered riskier compared to traditional mortgages. Successful utilization requires careful planning and prompt execution.

How to Get a Hard Money Loan

Apply for a Loan

  1. Identify Your Needs and Project. Clearly define the purpose of the loan and the specific real estate project you intend to undertake. Determine the loan amount required, considering the property purchase price, renovation costs, and other associated expenses.

  2. Research Hard Money Lenders. Look for reputable hard money lenders in your local real estate community. Attend local investor meetings and seek recommendations from other investors who may have worked with hard money lenders. Conduct online research to identify potential lenders and assess their reputation, track record, and customer reviews.

  3. Prepare a Comprehensive Loan Proposal. Create a detailed loan proposal that outlines the specifics of your project, including the property details, renovation plans, and your exit strategy (how you plan to repay the loan). Include your financial information, the loan amount requested, and the terms you are seeking.

  4. Assess Your Property. The property you intend to use as collateral will be a critical factor in securing a hard money loan. Ensure the property's value justifies the loan amount you are requesting. Conduct a thorough property analysis, considering its current condition, potential after repairs, and the overall market value.

  5. Contact and Negotiate with Lenders. Reach out to potential hard money lenders with your loan proposal. Be prepared to discuss your project in detail and address any concerns or questions they may have. Negotiate terms, including interest rates, loan duration, and any other relevant conditions. Be clear about your expectations and be open to negotiation.

  6. Review and Sign Loan Documents. Once you've reached an agreement with a lender, thoroughly review the loan documents. Ensure you understand all terms and conditions before signing. Consult with a real estate attorney if needed to ensure the legality and fairness of the loan agreement.

  7. Secure the Loan. Provide any additional documentation required by the lender to finalize the loan. The lender will conduct its due diligence, including property appraisal and title search, before finalizing the loan.

  8. Execute Your Real Estate Project. Once the loan is secured, proceed with your real estate project according to the plan outlined in your proposal. Keep the lender informed about the progress and any changes in the project timeline.


  1. Property Details. Provide comprehensive details about the property being used as collateral, including its current condition, location, and potential after renovation.

  2. Loan Purpose. Clearly articulate the purpose of the loan, such as property acquisition, renovation, or a specific real estate project.

  3. Loan Amount. Specify the amount of money you are seeking, considering the property purchase price, renovation costs, and additional expenses.

  4. Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV). Be prepared to discuss the loan-to-value ratio, which compares the loan amount to the appraised value of the property. Lenders often have maximum LTV ratios they are willing to accept.

  5. Exit Strategy. Outline a clear exit strategy, indicating how you plan to repay the loan. This could involve selling the property, refinancing with a traditional mortgage, or other means.

  6. Financial Information. Provide personal financial information, including income, assets, and liabilities. While hard money lenders may be less concerned about credit scores, they still evaluate the borrower's overall financial position.

  7. Legal Obligations. Be willing to comply with legal obligations, including providing necessary documentation and adhering to local real estate regulations.


  1. Interest Rates. Lenders will specify the interest rates associated with the hard money loan. These rates are often higher than traditional mortgages, reflecting the risk and expedited funding provided.

  2. Loan Duration. Outline the duration of the loan, typically ranging from one to five years. Hard money loans are designed as short-term financing solutions.

  3. Loan-to-Value Ratio Limits. Lenders may impose limits on the loan-to-value ratio, determining the maximum amount they are willing to lend based on the property's appraised value.

  4. Fees and Costs. Disclose any upfront fees, closing costs, or other charges associated with the loan. These can include origination fees, processing fees, and appraisal fees.

  5. Flexibility in Negotiation. Some lenders may offer flexibility in negotiating terms. Be prepared to discuss and negotiate interest rates, loan duration, and other conditions.

Best Places to Get a Hard Money Loan

  1. ZAR Capital Ltd. stands out as a premier private hard money lender, specializing in delivering customized financial solutions to real estate investors and property owners in Toronto. With a meticulous approach, they offer a comprehensive suite of hard money loans tailored to meet the unique needs of their clients. The company's unwavering commitment to secure investments that yield consistent returns has established them as a trusted partner in private hard money financing.

  2. Avenue Financial, established in 2004, has emerged as a prominent private hard money lender with a specialization in both commercial and residential financing services. Committed to excellence, the company offers a variety of financing options for different property types, including residential homes, offices, apartments, new home constructions, and commercial real estate. The team of seasoned professionals at Avenue Financial is dedicated to providing clients with a seamless finance process marked by clear communication.

  3. Private Lender Inc. offers enticing opportunities for both individual private investors and companies to invest in residential, commercial, and rural mortgages. The company caters to diverse financial needs with a comprehensive range of financing options, encompassing purchase, refinance, construction, renovation, equity take-out, debt consolidation, and more. With a client-focused approach, Private Lender Inc. provides flexible and tailored solutions to meet the unique requirements of their borrowers. Their commitment to offering a variety of financing options establishes them as a versatile and reliable private hard money lender.

  4. Max Capital Financial is a go-to private hard money lender in Alberta, offering a streamlined and efficient financing solution centered around the value of the property. Their private hard money loans are structured with a collateral-focused approach, allowing borrowers to secure loans of up to 75 percent of the property value (loan to value). Ideal for individuals on tight schedules seeking a quick loan process with minimal paperwork, Max Capital Financial ensures a process akin to a cash purchase.

Things to Pay Attention to

  1. Interest Rates. Understand the interest rates associated with the hard money loan. They are typically higher than traditional mortgages, and the cost of borrowing can significantly impact your overall expenses.

  2. Loan Duration. Pay attention to the loan duration, as hard money loans are designed for short-term use. Ensure the repayment timeline aligns with your project's timeframe and exit strategy.

  3. Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV). Be aware of the lender's maximum LTV ratio. Knowing the percentage of the property's value that the lender is willing to finance is crucial for planning your project and avoiding potential funding gaps.

  4. Fees and Costs. Carefully review all fees and costs associated with the loan. This includes upfront fees, closing costs, and any additional charges. Understanding these expenses is essential for accurate budgeting.

  5. Repayment Terms. Clarify the repayment terms, whether the loan requires interest-only payments or amortizing payments. Understanding how and when payments are due is crucial for managing your finances effectively.

  6. Collateral Evaluation Process. Pay attention to the process for evaluating and securing the collateral (property). Ensure you understand how the lender assesses the property's value, conducts appraisals, and performs title searches.

  7. Lender Reputation. Research the reputation of the hard money lender. Look for reviews, testimonials, and feedback from other borrowers to gauge the lender's reliability and professionalism.

  8. Loan Amount Adequacy. Confirm that the approved loan amount adequately covers your project's expenses. Ensure it aligns with the property purchase price, renovation costs, and any additional funding needs.

How to Repay a Hard Money Loan

  1. Understand Repayment Terms. Review the loan agreement thoroughly to understand the repayment terms. Clarify whether the loan requires interest-only payments or if there are amortizing payments.

  2. Follow the Agreed Timeline. Adhere to the agreed-upon repayment timeline. Hard money loans are typically short-term, ranging from one to five years, so it's crucial to follow the specified duration.

  3. Implement Your Exit Strategy. Execute your planned exit strategy for repaying the loan. This could involve selling the property, refinancing with a traditional mortgage, or using other means as outlined in your initial proposal.

  4. Generate Profit from the Investment. If your strategy involves selling the property, ensure that the sale generates enough profit to cover the loan amount, interest, and any associated costs. This profit is crucial for repaying the loan and securing a return on your investment.

  5. Communicate with the Lender. Maintain open communication with the lender throughout the repayment period. Keep them informed about the progress of your project, any changes in circumstances, and your repayment plans.

  6. Budget Effectively. Budget wisely to ensure you have the necessary funds for loan repayment. Consider the cash flow generated by the investment property and allocate resources accordingly.

  7. Explore Refinancing Options. If appropriate, explore refinancing options with traditional lenders. This could involve securing a long-term mortgage with lower interest rates to replace the hard money loan.

Reasons for Getting Rejected for a Hard Money Loan

  1. Inadequate Property Value. If the property being used as collateral is deemed insufficient in value by the lender, it may result in rejection. Hard money lenders rely heavily on the property's value, and if it doesn't meet their criteria, they might decline the loan.

  2. Poor Exit Strategy. Lenders assess the borrower's exit strategy for repaying the loan. If your plan is unclear, risky, or lacks a viable path to repayment, the lender may reject the loan application.

  3. Insufficient Borrower Experience. Lack of experience in real estate investment can be a red flag for lenders. They may prefer borrowers with a proven track record of successful projects. If you're a novice investor, consider partnering with an experienced professional.

  4. Creditworthiness Concerns. Although hard money lenders focus less on credit scores, a severely damaged credit history or other serious financial issues may still impact the decision. Demonstrating financial responsibility and explaining any credit challenges can help.

  5. Unrealistic Loan Amount. Requesting a loan amount that significantly exceeds the property's value or the project's scope may lead to rejection. Lenders want to ensure that the loan is reasonable in relation to the investment.

  6. Market Risks. Economic or market conditions can impact a lender's decision. If there are uncertainties or significant risks associated with the real estate market in the specified location, lenders may reject the loan application.

  7. Communication and Transparency Issues. Lack of open communication or transparency can be a concern. If the borrower fails to provide requested documentation, is unresponsive, or seems unwilling to engage in clear communication, it may lead to rejection.


  1. Private mortgage financing. Private mortgage financing involves obtaining a loan from a private individual or a group of private investors. This can provide an alternative to traditional bank financing, with terms negotiated directly between the borrower and the private lender.

  2. HELOC. A home equity line of credit allows borrowers to tap into the equity built up in their existing property. It provides a revolving line of credit based on the home's appraised value, offering flexibility and potentially lower interest rates compared to hard money loans.

  3. Personal loan. A personal loan is a type of unsecured loan that individuals can borrow for personal use, typically without the need for collateral. These loans are versatile and can be used for various purposes, such as debt consolidation, home improvements, or unexpected expenses. Lenders evaluate the borrower's creditworthiness and income to determine eligibility and loan terms. Personal loans usually come with fixed interest rates and structured repayment plans, allowing borrowers to make regular payments over a specified period.

  4. Business loan. A business loan is a financial product designed to provide funding to businesses for various purposes, such as expansion, working capital, or equipment purchases. Unlike personal loans, business loans can be secured or unsecured, depending on the terms and the borrower's creditworthiness. Lenders assess the business's financial health, credit history, and the purpose of the loan before approving the application. Business loans may come with varying interest rates, repayment terms, and conditions, tailored to meet the specific needs of the business seeking financing.

Editorial Opinion

Hard money loans serve as a financing option for real estate investors, offering a more flexible and expedited approach compared to traditional bank loans. The appeal lies in their ability to provide quick access to capital, accommodating time-sensitive opportunities that may be challenging to seize with conventional financing. However, the higher interest rates and shorter repayment periods associated with hard money loans require careful consideration. While they offer versatility and may be suitable for certain real estate scenarios, borrowers should weigh the benefits against the increased costs and potential risks.


Keeping your Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratio below 30-40% of your monthly income is crucial. This will help you avoid potential financial problems in the future. Additionally, always assess the necessity and feasibility of taking a loan, ensuring you can comfortably manage its repayment.

How to Choose a Lender

  1. Make sure to confirm whether the lender is licensed to operate in your province. You can verify this information with your state regulator or attorney general.

  2. Check if the lender is a member of a reputable association, such as the Canadian Lenders Association (CLA). Membership in such organizations may provide an extra level of reliability.

  3. Carefully review all the terms and conditions of your payday loan contract.

  4. Thoroughly examine the interest rates on payday loans and ensure that your contract includes a detailed breakdown of the total cost of the loan.

  5. Take advantage of your right of rescission. Usually, you can rescind the loan within three days after signing the agreement. Alternatively, there is typically a "cooling-off" period, which allows you several days to thoroughly review the contract before making an informed decision to enter into a consumer loan agreement based on the terms specified by the lender.

  6. Choosing a payday lender is a significant decision that demands careful consideration and a good understanding of how such organizations operate.


At Finanso, we've carried out a comprehensive analysis of over 70 lenders, assessing them based on 35 different parameters across six key categories: accessibility of loans, customer relations, quality of service, interest rates, and transparency of conditions.

In each category, we carefully considered the most critical factors in selecting a lender. These factors include the interest rates, available loan amounts, minimum credit score, minimum income, application fees, and the speed at which funds are transferred.

At Finanso, we highly value our users, which is why we also focus on the quality of customer service, user reviews, and additional features that can aid our users in making a well-informed decision.

Our ultimate goal is to provide insightful recommendations and expert advice to assist you in selecting a lender that best caters to your specific needs.


What's an example of hard money?

An example of hard money can be illustrated through a real estate investment scenario. Suppose an investor identifies a distressed property with high potential for renovation and resale. Traditional lenders may hesitate to provide a loan due to the property's condition or the investor's credit history. In this case, the investor turns to a hard money lender who offers a quick and short-term financing solution. The hard money loan, secured by the property itself, allows the investor to swiftly acquire and renovate the property, leveraging the potential for a profitable resale. While the interest rates on the hard money loan are higher, the accessibility and speed of funding enable the investor to capitalize on the investment opportunity that might have been challenging to pursue with conventional financing.

Why would someone use a hard money loan?

Individuals may choose to use a hard money loan in Canada for various reasons. One primary motivation is the speed of funding. Traditional bank loans can involve a lengthy approval process, while hard money loans offer a quicker and more flexible option, allowing borrowers to seize time-sensitive investment opportunities. Additionally, borrowers with less-than-ideal credit or those facing restrictions from traditional lenders may turn to hard money loans, where the emphasis is placed on the property's value rather than the borrower's creditworthiness.

What are the risks of a hard money loan?

While hard money loans provide certain advantages, they come with inherent risks.

The most notable risk is the higher interest rates associated with these loans, which can significantly increase the overall cost of borrowing. The shorter repayment periods also pose challenges, requiring borrowers to execute their projects swiftly. Additionally, the potential for property devaluation or market fluctuations can impact the borrower's ability to repay the loan.

Due diligence in property assessment and having a clear exit strategy are crucial to mitigate risks associated with hard money loans in Canada.

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