What to Expect when Applying for a Commercial Mortgage Loan:
Banks and Private Alternatives
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7. What are the "hidden" or total costs of the loan?
The stated interest rate is often artificially low when one considers all the costs of a loan. Points, for example, are direct percentages of the loan that the lender deducts from your loan. If your interest rate is 9% with two points that means your real cost of the loan is 11%. The extra 2% comes right off the top into the lender's pockets. Other costs may include:
- Legal fees,
- Survey charges,
- loan application fees,
- Appraisal charges
- Every item that will be charged against your loan or that must be pre-paid.
For some loans, these charges can be tens of thousands of dollars. They often must be pre-paid before the loan will be approved or rejected. You will need to know whether you are likely to be approved before spending money just to qualify for a commercial loan.
Other questions to ask
- Will my interest rate go up if U.S. interest rates go up in general?
- Is a fixed-rate alternative available?
- Can I get a discount for paying your mortgage faithfully and consistently over a period of time?
Some lenders allow for decreases in the interest rates over time if you pay the mortgage on time. But if you want to refinance and repay your mortgage early, the lender may penalize you and charge extra interest. All of these details are important, and they can seem overwhelming.
Keep in mind how you expect your business to perform in the future and how you plan to repay the loan. Do not ignore worst-case scenarios. You do not want to be so optimistic about the possibilities that you lose sight of the fact that the lender may take away your business or livelihood if you do not meet all the terms. Sometimes the lowest interest rates represent the riskiest loans.
The Best Lender
When considering a commercial mortgage, borrowers should seek out lenders who are willing to fund the loan under acceptable time constraints, keeping in mind their general creditworthiness. Borrowers should look at both bank and non-bank funding in order to get their needs met in a timely manner. Asking questions and obtaining unbiased evaluations will reduce delay and frustration. Fortunately, new lenders have emerged to challenge banks on their traditional terms, so borrowers have more leverage now than ever before when seeking commercial loans.