For property developers, raising finance is a high priority. However, not any method of raising finance will do; funding projects properly needs fast and flexible finance. This requirement reduces the viable methods of raising finance considerably.

Bridging loans offer property developers precisely these qualities. This form of finance couples a speedy supply of capital to developers with significant flexibility, with a range of other benefits. That said, exactly how long does it take to get a bridging loan?

In this article, we will answer this question, discuss bridging loans as a means of raising finance, and give you the information you need to make the best decision for your next project. Let’s get started.

What is a bridging loan?

Bridging loans are a form of finance that acts as a bridge between funding a purchase or project and a more long-term solution. They are inherently short-term in nature, typically lasting somewhere between six months and 2-3 years, and so should be viewed as a stepping stone to future financial solutions.

Bridging loans are most commonly used to fund the purchase of property, land, or fund property development projects. The qualities of bridging finance make them well suited to these endeavours, allowing both property developers and private homebuyers to fund their needs at the drop of a hat. Properties can be purchased at auction, on the market, or through private sale without the hindrances present in other forms of finance. Once a property is bought, or a project gets underway, the bridging loan can be replaced by a more long-term method of finance. This ensures you have the chance to jump on an opportunity, rather than watch it sail by.

There is a price to pay for these perks, however. Most notably, bridging loans are relatively expensive. Interest rates are higher than most alternative forms of finance, and you must be prepared to offer physical assets as collateral. Bridging loans are a type of secured loan, meaning borrowers must provide an asset of equal value to the loan in order to obtain one. This means that you’ll be able to take out enormous loans if you have a portfolio of valuable assets, but you risk losing them if you cannot repay. As such, you should carefully consider your situation before applying for a bridging loan.

How long does it take to get a bridging loan?

As we mentioned, the main attraction to bridging loans is speed. Though expensive, bridging loans make up for the cost by offering a process significantly faster than most alternatives. Without its trademark speed, bridging finance would doubtless be a little-known niche in the world of finance.

Though the method as a whole is fast, exactly how so depends on the lender. For some, they will process an application and deposit funds in the borrower’s bank account within 48 hours. Other lenders aren’t quite so fast, taking a week or two to get through the entire process. Even with the latter, a couple of weeks is swift compared to other alternatives, allowing borrowers to seize upon almost any opportunity. Even auction houses, which are renowned for a brief window in which to close a sale, give roughly a month to do so. Other property sellers tend to give a much longer window, up to a few months in some cases. As such, even the slowest bridging loan lenders will get you your money with plenty of time to spare.

Delays in the process

While going through the bridging loan process, a series of potential delays can prove to be obstacles to your application. Naturally, some lenders can deal with these potential obstacles better than others, processing an application quicker. This fact is well known to borrowers that have prioritised low interest rates above all else. Unfortunately, low interest rates do not often mean a fast or a good service. On the other hand, prioritising a quicker turnaround will mean far fewer checks being made. This will lead to a streamlined application process, but since you are providing your lender with less information, you present a higher risk. A higher interest rate balances this risk.

In addition to requiring less information from a potential borrower, some lenders will not conduct extensive legal searches, and even avoid doing a survey report. Instead of these practices, many lenders will accept title insurance. This will increase the price that borrowers have to pay, but significantly speed up the process. In the worst cases, conducting a thorough legal search and survey report can take a couple of weeks.

Naturally, these delays are variable, and leave the borrower with a choice – prioritise speed or low cost. There’s no getting around this choice, as foregoing the above searches and information forces lenders to assume much more risk than they otherwise would. In turn, this translates to a higher cost for borrowers.

Speeding up the process

Delays happen, and much of the process is in your lender’s hands. That said, you have some influence over how fast your bridging loan application is processed. First and foremost, the best thing you can do is have your important documents at hand. Every bridging loan will require some form of I.D, the value of assets or proof of income, and some idea of what you want and why. Having all this information ready before you submit your application will streamline the process, resulting in a quicker turnaround. If you can find out what your chosen lender needs beforehand, that can also help the process.

The second factor is your choice of solicitor. Having an efficient solicitor to handle your paperwork and liaise with your lender will be invaluable, speeding up the process significantly. A cheaper, poorer quality solicitor will likely lead to delays, partially due to a lack of financial incentive. As such, you’re better off paying a premium price for a premium service, rather than be left wanting when you need it.


Bridging loans are an excellent method of raising finance for a project, be it property development or otherwise. While the main selling point is speed, obstacles can crop up, leading to a delayed application. However, these delays are easily overcome, provided you are willing to put a bit of research and preparation in beforehand. With this groundwork, you’ll be able to get your application processed and your projects funded in no time.