Commercial loans for borrowers with bad credit are limited to a few options. Often borrowers find themselves in very difficult positions as many traditional and nontraditional banks will not even look at their loan request if their score is below a 650. Too often the borrower's credit score is unfairly reported as many commercial borrowers have great credit history, but because they have multiple mortgages, multiple lines, etc. their score is erroneously brought down even though they have never been late on a single payment. We see it all the time.
Options for borrower with bad credit are, in general limited to 3 options - SBA commercial loans, commercial hard money and "story" lenders.
SBA commercial loans carry a lot of misperception by borrowers. The biggest and most important for you to know is that NOT all SBA lenders are the same. And more to the point, the SBA never actually loans any of its own money. They only guarantee banks that they will be paid back if the borrower defaults. So the point is that the banks make up most of the underwriting criteria. There is NO minimum credit score that the SBA mandates. For example we work with a bank out of New Jersey that will often fund SBA commercial loans with borrowers credit score in the low 500's.
Commercial hard money is probable the first thought for many when considering a commercial loan with a borrower that has bad credit. Most hard money commercial lenders are interested in the properties equity and or its cash flow and the borrower's credit score is often just an afterthought.
Commercial Hard money lenders want to see at least 40% equity in the property or a 60% loan to value in order for them to seriously consider funding the deal. Speed and flexibility with underwriting are the highlights of commercial hard money. The expense is the downside. Borrowers should expect to pay 3-6% points and have a rate around 13-16%.
"Story lenders" are banks that are willing to listen to the borrower's story about their difficult situation.
They are often willing to overlook many difficult situations such as bad credit, weak business cash flow, high loan to values, etc. Although there are few banks that would describe themselves as a story lender the borrower should look locally or work with professionals in the business that may know of a few banks that can get over their difficulties.
For example, we recently closed a loan that was in foreclosure by refinancing it with another bank that was more willing to listen to the borrower than their existing bank. Their situation was that their loan had ballooned and despite their best efforts they could not get their existing bank to refinance the loan or find another bank that would either. After a year of searching they couldn't get it done and their existing bank put more pressure on them by calling the "note" (forced foreclosure). We knew of a bank out of California that would be interested, provided the borrower refinance some of their unsecured business loans into the proposed loan to improve the borrowers over all cash flow.
So, borrowers with bad credit seeking commercial loans should be prepared for some "brain damage" as they will have to find a viable source after hearing many "no's".
Jeff Rauth is President of Commercial Finance Advisors, Inc out of Birmingham, Michigan. He has a STORE for commercial loan brokers. Contracts, spreadsheets, books, etc. Products starting at $4.95! Check it out commercial real estate loans or commercial mortgage broker store or commercial loan rates
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