Search
commercial real estate

Best Commercial Real Estate Loans

Commercial real estate loans are useful for small businesses that need to purchase property as part of an expansion or when renovating existing premises. They can be tough for new businesses to obtain, and some might struggle with expensive down payments. That’s why we’re here to guide you through the process and show you the best lenders that can help you.

Financially reviewed by Gordon Scott CMT on 7/22/2021

At a Glance There are several different types of commercial real estate loans and you’ll generally tend to find very high borrowing limits, long repayment terms, and lower interest rates than some other types of business lending. They differ from residential mortgages in that they’re made to the company itself, and not individuals. Small businesses might take out this type of loan to fund growth or purchase a property to be used for rental income. 

The Best Commercial Real Estate Loans for 2021

In the table below we’ve pulled together some of the best commercial real estate lenders. You’ll find a good mix of rates, terms, and borrowing limits and we’ve tried to ensure the providers cover a wide range of different eligibility requirements so no business is left out.

Company

Max/Min Loan

Loan Rates

Special Requirements

Application Process

Fora Financial

Fora financial review

$5,000–$500,000

varies

6+ months in business, $12,000+ monthly revenue, no open bankruptcies

  • The application process is speedy and online. 
  • To apply with Fora Financial you must show your driver’s license,  your business’s three most recent bank statements, proof of business ownership and a voided check.

Rapid Finance

Rapid Finance review

$75,000 - $2 million

Not disclosed

Minimum of two years in business



Applications are left fairly open and all types of small businesses are encouraged to apply

Lendio

Lendio review

$250,000 - $5 million

Starting from 4.25%

Not disclosed

The application process is pretty straightforward and the average time for funding is around 45 days

GoKapital

GoKapital review

$150,000 - $50 million

Starting from 6%

All credit scores accepted


At least four months in business

All businesses may apply here and the process is simple. However, funding times aren’t disclosed

Credibly

Credibly review

Up to $250,000

Start at 9.99%

  • Personal credit score of 600 or more
  • $15,000+ average monthly revenue (as well as $3,000+ in average daily bank balances)
  • Over three years in business
  • Credibly is a suitable option even if your credit is not perfect.
  • Credibly offer approvals within 24 hours and the potential of same-day funding.

The Best Commercial Real Estate Loans Explained

1. Fora Financial - Best for Bridge Financing

Fora Financial was established in 2008 and has provided finances to over 25,000 businesses. Fora Financial is generally upfront about their potential requirements and costs. While its turnaround time on its loans might be a little longer than other online lenders, it is still quicker than most banks. Fora Financial is a top choice for startup businesses or those that don’t boast high annual revenue. Fora Financial can help such businesses deal with gaps in their cash flow. 

Pros

Cons

  • Competitive factor rates
  • Early payoff discounts up to 30%
  • Relevant for small businesses
  • No minimum credit score needed
  • Daily payments needed
  • Turnaround might take up to three days
  • Not entirely transparent about costs

Features

A bridge loan can help your business out in the following ways:

  • Provide you with money to complete projects - you can use a bridge loan to cover the costs that are required during a project
  • Give you the finances to help you bid on more jobs - you can bid on more projects so that when one ends you will have another lined up
  • Make sure you have money to pay your employees on time - this may help you retain your current employees
  • Be capable of meeting last-minute costs - if equipment breaks or you require more inventory you can use a bridge loan

Our thoughts

If you are, for example, a construction business owner you may be used to bidding on projects, but only getting paid at the start or end of a job. If you apply and receive a bridge loan from Fora Financial, you can pay your employee salaries and buy the tools you need. 

2. Rapid Finance - Best for Purchasing New Commercial Property

Since it was founded in 2005 Rapid Finance has grown into the fourth largest online small business lender. The platform specializes in helping out those that might have been rejected by other lenders or might not qualify for traditional loans.

ProsCons
  • Eligibility requirements are left open
  • Excellent customer service
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Borrowing range suitable for small businesses
  • Interest rates aren’t disclosed before applying
  • No funding turnaround times are given

Rapid Finance Features

With borrowing limits that start as low as $75,000, it means even small businesses and property developers are able to access funding in an industry where barriers to entry are usually much higher. Rapid Finance only asks that businesses have been operating for at least two years in order to apply and no other eligibility criteria are disclosed, which opens up the application process to a much wider group.  

Our thoughts

While the platform doesn’t disclose interest rates before you apply, your credit score won’t face a hard check if you submit an application and see what you might be offered. Plus, the open application process means there’s a good chance you could be approved if you’ve been rejected elsewhere. 

3. Lendio - Best for Business Renovations

Lendio is a loan marketplace that was founded in 2011. It has around 75 partner lenders to choose from which gives borrowers a wide range of different rates and terms. The platform claims to be able to find loans for around 65% of applicants and all are welcome to apply. 

ProsCons
  • A large pool of partner lenders
  • Applications are open to all
  • Very low starting rates
  • Generous borrowing limits
  • Additional documentation may be required
  • Loans can take up to 45 days to arrange

Features

Lendio has incredibly low starting rates on its commercial real estate loans and there are no minimum eligibility criteria disclosed. You won’t receive a hard pull to your credit rating for taking a look at options, so it’s definitely worth seeing what you could get. 

Our thoughts

Lendio is tough to beat when it comes to real estate lending. The $5 million borrowing limit should be more than enough for the needs of any small business and the lenient eligibility criteria means there’s a good chance you could be accepted. 

4. GoKapital - Best for Hard Money Loans

GoKapital is both a direct lender and a loan marketplace; in certain circumstances, you may be funded using a combination of lenders. This usually means rates are pretty low. What’s more, the platform has no minimum credit requirements and any small business may apply.

ProsCons
  • Huge borrowing limits
  • No minimum credit requirements
  • Low rates
  • High application approval rates
  • Approval times aren’t given
  • GoKapital may not be funding your loan

Features

The first thing you’ll notice here is the incredibly generous $50 million borrowing limit. While it’s extremely unlikely most small businesses will need this much, it certainly opens up your options. In addition, rates start at an impressive 6% and terms can extend to 30 years.

Our thoughts

GoKapital offers a very attractive all-around package for commercial real estate loans. Coupled with no credit score limitations and a 95% approval rate and it starts to look like a no-brainer decision. 

5. Credibly - Best for Borrowers with Fair Credit 

Credibly offers commercial real estate financing of up to $10 million via its own loans and those provided through its partners. Credibly is a solid option, even if your credit is not up to scratch, however, you could be limited to smaller sums.  

Pros

Cons

  • Minimum personal credit score requirement of just 560
  • Discounts for early repayment
  • Fast and simple application process
  • Informative and clear website
  • Finances are suitable for the growth needs of a business
  • At times rates may be expensive
  • Some additional fees may be incurred
  • A blanket lien is necessary 

Features

Credibly’s business expansion loan can help companies renovate or expand existing commercial real estate with funding of up to $250,000 over a period of 18-24 months. Interest rates are from 9.99% upward, and lenders need to pay a one-time origination fee of 2.5% of the entire loan. This may appear expensive in comparison to bank loans, however, Credibly’s funding is generally faster.  

Our thoughts

If you meet the criteria of a personal credit score of at least 600, $15,000+ average monthly revenue and three years or more in business Credibly’s commercial real estate financing options are a solid choice.

What Are Commercial Real Estate Loans?

A commercial real estate loan, also known as a commercial mortgage, is used by businesses to purchase a specific property, land, or to cover building renovations. The loan to value ratio is usually around 65% - 80%, meaning organizations are expected to cover 20% - 35% of the property purchase while the lender will cover the rest. This type of lending usually has quite high barriers to entry and borrowers will be expected to have a good credit score, evidence of good income, and to have been in operation for a number of years. 

Recommended Reading: Merchant Cash Advance Guide For Small Businesses

How Do Commercial Real Estate Loans Work?

While similar in nature, there are several key differences between traditional consumer mortgages and commercial real estate loans. 

  • Rates - Interest rates usually tend to be a little higher when taking out a commercial real estate loan. This is because the lender is shouldering a little more risk and values are usually, but not always, higher than you’d find with consumer options
  • Collateral - This is the asset that will be used to secure your loan. In most consumer mortgages this will be the house or property itself. However, in commercial real estate loans, borrowers may use any asset of value to secure the funding
  • Terms - Consumer mortgages tend to average at around 25-year repayment terms, while commercial real estate options are generally much shorter. It’s common to see 10-year terms, although in certain circumstances lenders will allow for 15, 20, and 30-year terms too; this will vary between each provider
  • Down payments - Expect to pay significantly more of a downpayment on a commercial real estate loan. It’s rare to find a lender that doesn’t require a 20% deposit at the very least
Recommended Reading: Hard Money Business Loans: Top Options for 2021

Types of Commercial Real Estate Loan

Commercial real estate loans offer a certain degree of flexibility and you won’t always be locked into long-term repayment plans. Some of your options include:

  • Bridging loan - This is a type of short-term loan where you borrow against part of the value of an existing property. It’s a good option to use in an emergency as funding can usually be obtained quite quickly. It’s rare to find a bridging loan that has repayment terms beyond 12 months
  • Hard money loans - Similar to a bridging loan but can be arranged within 24 hours in most cases. As such, this type of borrowing usually carries very high interest rates and are seen as high risk by lenders
  • SBA 504 loans - Backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), these loans are guaranteed by the federal government and are a low-risk type of commercial real estate lending. Risk is shared by three parties: the borrower will fund 10% of the property, a private lender 50%, and a certified development company will take 40% of the burden 
  • Long-term fixed interest loan - The most common type of real estate loan, and the one most similar to traditional consumer mortgages. These can take several months to arrange but have the best interest rates and longest repayment termsץ
Recommended Reading: Invoice Factoring for Small Businesses

Commercial Mortgage Loan Rates

Interest rates for commercial real estate loans tend to be a little lower than other types of small business lending. This is because the lender will often use the property itself as collateral, meaning there’s a much lower borrowing risk. 

That being said, there can still be a huge variation between different platforms, and factors like your credit score, business history, and overall financial health will all play a role in determining what you’ll pay. 

Typically, rates could be anywhere between 2.2% and 18% depending on your personal circumstances and the size of your loan. Borrowing amounts often max out at around $5 million and repayment terms will usually be around 10 years but this can often be extended, especially for those that have good credit.

How to Get Commercial Real Estate Loans

  • Plan how you’ll use the loan - Most lenders will want to see a business plan and how you intend to make money from your property purchase. Whether this is to be used as a source of rental income or it’s for a business expansion, you’ll need to prove profitability to be approved
  • Choose your loan type - Are you in this for the long haul or do you need an emergency injection of cash? Remember, long-term loans take a while to arrange while risker types of commercial borrowing, like bridging loans, can be funded very quickly
  • Choose lender - Have a look at the lenders on our list and check you meet the eligibility criteria. Most of our approved lenders welcome applications from all businesses, but some might have strict criteria such as two or more years in business or hefty income requirements
  • Prepare your documentation - You’ll need more documents here than you would with other loan types. Common requirements include:
  1. Business plan
  2. Financial statements
  3. Current lease information
  4. Legal documentation
  5. Business and personal tax returns (usually for the previous two years)
  6. A personal, government-issued ID
Recommended Reading: Best Business Acquisition Loans in 2021

Commercial Real Estate Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Good rates - Most commercial property loans have great rates and it’s rare to see interest reach double digits. Plus, taking out a long-term fixed option will give you financial certainty and help you budget your business expenses
  • It makes a good business opportunity - Purchasing real estate is usually a sure-fire investment as property values are more likely to go up than down. Rental income can be a secure and stable form of income and purchasing new premises for your business can add some extra prestige
  • Long repayment terms - Unlike other forms of small business loan that usually max out at five years, you’ll find a lot of commercial property options that allow terms of 10 years and beyond
  • More room for negotiation - Since you’ll usually be borrowing quite a significant amount, there’s a little more wiggle room for negotiating rates and terms with the lender than with other types of borrowing. Plus, providers will be more willing to take other factors into account rather than relying on just a credit score

Cons

  • Expensive down payments - You’ll need to put down a significant portion of the property cost to secure the loan, usually 20% or more. This tends to exclude smaller businesses
  • Not open to new investors - Startups generally won’t be able to apply either. This can put many brand new businesses in a Catch 22 situation where they need property to get going but can’t find the funding to do it

See Our Additional Guides on Business Loan Types

Final Thoughts

For any business that’s looking to get an investment property or needs new premises for expansion purposes, we’d highly recommend a commercial real estate loan. We’d advise trying to secure long-term funding, but for those looking for flexibility, you have the option to go for a bridging loan too. 

As long as you’re confident you’ll be able to keep up with the repayments it’s a relatively low-risk option type of lending. However, be aware that you’ll still probably need to put down some significant capital upfront to get started. Why not check out some of the providers on our list to see what you might be eligible for?