Hard Money Loan Prepayment Penalties: What You Don’t Know!

Anytime you’re getting a hard money loan, whether you’re purchasing a property, or refinancing to a lower rate, early payment penalties could cost you. For example, let’s say you have recently refinanced a property but there’s a chance you may sell that property within 12 months of getting the loan. Things happen in life that are not always planned, such as a sudden job transfer to another city, an unexpected divorce, etc.

The bottom line: if you sell a property unexpectedly and pay a loan off early, you may have to pay a steep penalty for doing so. This early payment penalty is called a Prepayment Penalty, sometimes referred to as “PPP,” or a “Prepay.”

What is a Prepayment Penalty

A prepayment penalty? is simply a penalty for paying off a loan early. Many hard money loans, including 30 year mortgages, have prepayment penalties so this is something that all loan borrowers should pay attention to and fully understand.

How Do You Calculate the Prepayment Penalty on a hard money loan?

And what if your hard money loan does have a prepayment penalty, how do you calculate it? A prepayment penalty is equal to the accrued interest from the loan pay off date through the end of the prepayment period.

For example, let’s say your loan has a prepayment period of 3 years. This means if you pay the loan off after 3 years there’s no penalty, but if you pay the loan off prior to 3 years you pay a penalty. In order to calculate the penalty, you will need to know the loan payoff date. If you pay the loan off after 2 years, you will owe 1 year of interest as a penalty. (3 years – 2 years = 1 year). As I said before, the penalty is equal to the interest that accrues from date of payoff to the end of the prepayment period. In this example, you will owe one year of interest as a penalty.

Still confused? Let’s try another example. In the second example, let’s say your prepayment period is 365 days and you pay the loan off in 180 days. This means you will owe the interest from day 180 to day 365 as the penalty, or 185 days of interest (365 – 180 = 185).

Why do Prepayment Penalties for Hard Money Loans Exist?

Prepayment penalties exist because many private and hard money lenders need to make a minimum amount of interest when making a loan. This is because of the high opportunity cost involved for a lender in the commitment to make a loan.

Are Prepayment Penalties Always a Bad Thing?

Sometimes hard money lenders will offer a lower interest rate, or lower fees, on a loan with a prepayment penalty. For example, if you are fairly certain you won’t pay a loan off early, you may be able to lock in a lower interest rate on a loan with a prepayment penalty. If a loan comes with no prepayment penalty, you should ask the lender if there is an option for a loan with a prepayment penalty. Why? Because a loan with a prepayment penalty may come with a lower interest rate, or lower fees.

How Do Hard Money Loan Prepayment Penalties Work?

Because hard money loans tend to be short-term loans primarily used by real estate investors, the prepayment period is usually much shorter than with traditional, long term loans. For example, a hard money loan might have a prepayment period of 90 to 120 days, while a traditional loan might have a prepayment period of 1 to 3 years.

Most real estate investors are using hard money loans to acquire new properties, or for short term, cash out refinances. Because most real estate investors need hard money loans for between 6 to 9 months, they are not so concerned with 90 to 120 day prepayment penalties. Some exceptions are real estate investors who are using hard money loans for short term “fix and flips,” or for fast acquisitions that will be refinanced in 30 to 60 days. If a real estate investor really only needs a hard money loan for 30 to 60 days, it’s important to ask the hard money lender if the loan has a prepayment penalty.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a prepayment penalty is simply a penalty for paying your hard money loan off early.

Anytime you are getting a loan, whether it’s for the purchase of a property, or if you’re refinancing a property that you already own, make sure you always ask if the loan comes with a a prepayment penalty. If you have a sudden life change and pay a loan off earlier than expected, you may have to pay a high penalty for doing so.

Let us know if you have any questions about hard money loans!

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Corey Curwick Dutton, MBA Park City, Utah

About the author

Corey Curwick Dutton, MBA Park City, Utah - 2005 MBA Graduate with 10 years experience in Business Management including International Management. Corey is a Private Money Lender and Loan Officer. In her spare time Corey enjoys writing on topics in the private money lending industry. She also enjoys hobbies such as mountain biking and skiing in the great outdoors of Utah.