What are Points on a Hard Money Loan?

What are Points on a Hard Money Loan?

December 14, 2022

Produced by:
Elizabeth Welgemoed

Elizabeth is a Senior Content Marketing Manager with over 10 years of experience in the field. Having authored or edited 1,000+ online articles, she is a prolific content producer with a focus on the real estate vertical.

If you have ever shopped around for quotes for a loan for a personal or investment property, you have more than likely heard the term “points”.  So, what exactly are points? Paying points is a technique of paying interest upfront in order to get a lower interest rate on a fixed-rate home mortgage. Essentially, the more points you pay, the lower your home mortgage rate will be throughout the course of the loan. Each point is based upon one percent of the total amount of the loan. Specifically, there are different types of points. There are discount rate points, and there are origination points. 

Discount points on hard money loans are like prepaid interest on your loan that you are getting for your new home. The number of hard money loan points that you choose to buy will depend on how much you want to reduce your interest rate. Under certain conditions, buying mortgage points are tax-deductible. Origination points are charged by the lender to pay for the costs of making the loan. They would be tax deductible only if it was utilized to get the home mortgage and not to pay other closing expenses.

When choosing whether to buy down points, homebuyers must consider the following. The more points you can pay upfront, the lower your monthly mortgage payment will be. 

Also, keep in mind that some hard money lenders do not charge the same amount for each point.  Notably, some lending institutions will charge you one point while others may charge you two or three. Whether or not you should purchase points, depends on a couple of different factors. 

Points On Hard Money Loans

A hard money loan is a short-term property loan, primarily secured by real estate. Hard money loans are funded by private investors. Hard money loan rates can go up to 15% with three- to 36-month terms. Points to close on hard money loans normally fall between 2% and 10% of the loan amount. Pricing is primarily based upon the risk, equity, and experience of the borrower. 

Contrary to conventional underwriting, hard money lenders develop their own guidelines. Hard money loan rates do not follow the exact same prices as adhering or government-backed loans.

Hard Money Loan Minimum Qualifications

Hard money loan provider underwriting is more flexible than conforming lending institutions in terms of borrower’s qualifications. If you are obtaining a fix-and-flip, loan providers will generally want to see previous real estate experience or substantial equity in the property that you are purchasing. 

Borrowers with substantial real estate experience and who have evidence of completed fix-and-flips should be able to receive a lower rate compared with a new investor who doesn’t have a track record of success. 

This is because hard money lenders consider new investors riskier than experienced real estate investors. As a result, new real estate investors are often offered a slightly higher interest rate, to compensate for the increased risk that the hard money lender has to take on.

Is Paying Points A Good Idea?

The key point, when deciding whether to pay points, is that the longer you plan to have the loan or the property, the more sense it makes to pay as many points as possible upfront. On the other hand, if you need the least expensive possible closing costs, choosing not buy any hard money loan points is probably the best way to go.  

Paying points at closing can decrease your interest rate and save you money over the course of the hard money loan.

You can find various online calculators that can help you see the differences that points can make with any particular loan. You simply input the info that you have, such as the amount of the loan, the length of the loan, interest rate, and points paid, and the calculator will generate the figures. This is an excellent way to get quick details on points and how they can affect your hard money loan in the long run, together with other closing costs.

Overall, if you plan on remaining for a much shorter time duration, then you may wish to reduce your costs in other ways instead of buying hard money loan points. This can be done through paying a larger deposit, making certain your total debt obligations are low and your credit score high, or by simply paying more every month.

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