What is a Bridge Loan?
A bridge loan is a short-term, high-interest loan that provides a quick source of cash for commercial or individual needs. It is called a bridge loan because it serves as a bridge between one period of funding and another, more permanent source of funding.
How Does a Bridge Loan Work?
To illustrate, suppose a company has been approved for a $1 million loan from a bank. However, this money will not be available for six months, and they are running short on cash. The company could apply for a six-month bridge loan of $50,000 to cover their expenses until the money from the $1 million loan comes through.
Why Does a Bridge Loan Matter?
Often, businesses and individuals find themselves in need of fast funding during an interim period while they work out access to larger amounts of funds. The bridge loan essentially "bridges" the gap between when money runs out and when more money will be received.
The cost of bridge loans is often much higher than more traditional financing methods, and they are only meant to be used in special circumstances. If a company must rely on short-term, high-interest financing to continue operations, chances are good that the company is not viable in the long run.