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Hard money lending is an alternative financing option that is distinct from traditional bank loans. It offers several advantages over conventional loans and can be an invaluable resource for both seasoned and new real estate investors. But how do you qualify for a hard money loan? What do hard money lenders look for in a potential borrower?

What Do Hard Money Lenders Look For?

While the criteria for hard money loans are less stringent than many bank loans, you still need to meet certain requirements to qualify. After all, hard money lenders are taking on a greater risk in extending fast cash to borrowers, often regardless of lower credit scores. In general, you will need the following in order to qualify for a hard money loan:


The primary concern for hard money lenders is the value of the property or project being used as collateral. Unlike traditional lenders who focus heavily on credit scores and income history, hard money lenders are more interested in the value and potential of the property. They typically lend a percentage of the property’s after-repair value (ARV), ensuring that their investment is secure even if the borrower defaults.

Property Condition

The condition and location of the property are also important when looking to qualify for a hard money loan. Properties in desirable locations with high market demand are more attractive to lenders. Similarly, the potential for property improvement and value increase makes a project more appealing.


While not always a strict requirement, many hard money lenders prefer to work with experienced investors. A track record of successful projects indicates that the borrower knows how to manage and complete real estate investments, which reduces the lender’s risk.

That being said, the professionals at Pinetree Financial Partners want to extend financing options to newer real estate investors. We review each project case by case, and being inexperienced is not an automatic disqualifier. 

Exit Strategy

Lenders want to know how the borrower plans to repay the loan. Common exit strategies include selling the property after renovation or refinancing through a conventional mortgage. A clear, plausible exit strategy reassures the lender that they will get their money back.

When Are Hard Money Loans a Good Option?

Hard money loans are not, necessarily, the right option for everyone. But they are invaluable in certain situations. An investor may look to qualify for a hard money loan for the following reasons:


Hard money loans can be secured much faster than traditional loans, often within days. This is particularly advantageous in competitive markets where being able to close quickly can make the difference between securing a property and missing out.

Credit Issues   

For borrowers with poor credit or limited credit history, hard money loans provide an alternative to traditional financing. Since the focus is on the property rather than the borrower’s creditworthiness, these loans are accessible to a wider range of investors.

Short-Term Needs

Hard money loans are ideal for short-term financing needs, typically ranging from a few months to a couple of years. They are not intended for long-term holds but are perfect for quick turnaround projects or while you are awaiting traditional financing. 

Unconventional Properties

Properties that don’t qualify for traditional financing, such as historic homes or those used for commercial purposes, can often be financed through hard money loans. So long as the project has the potential for a decent AVR, most hard money lenders are pretty flexible regarding the type of real estate. 

What Sorts of Real Estate Investment Opportunities Can Be Financed with Hard Money Loans?

Hard money loans are well-suited to a variety of real estate projects, including:

Fix-and-Flip Projects

House flipping is one of the most popular uses for hard money loans. Investors purchase distressed properties, renovate them, and sell them for a profit. The speed and flexibility of hard money loans make them ideal for these time-sensitive projects.

Bridge Loans

Investors use hard money loans as a temporary solution to bridge the gap between purchasing a property and securing long-term financing. This is particularly useful when an investor needs to act quickly on a property purchase but plans to refinance with a conventional loan later.

Construction Loans

For new construction projects, hard money loans can provide the necessary capital to start building, especially when traditional lenders are hesitant due to the perceived risks associated with new-builds in a fluctuating housing market.

Land Acquisition

Investors looking to purchase land for future development can use hard money loans to secure the property quickly, and then seek other forms of financing for development later. The speed with which you can secure a hard money loan can help you snag a valuable piece of land ahead of the competition.

Hard Money Loans Denver

Hard money lenders play an important role in real estate investment by offering flexible, quick, and accessible financing options. They focus primarily on the value and potential of the property rather than the borrower’s credit history, making them an excellent choice for various investment scenarios.

If you are looking to qualify for a hard money loan in Denver, contact the experienced professionals at Pinetree Financial Partners. We lend on all sorts of real estate projects, including fix and flip, new construction, land acquisition, and more. Call or go online today to get started. 

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