Understanding Hard Money Lending Terms and Jargon: A Glossary

Entering the realm of hard money lending can be a rewarding yet intricate journey, especially for first-time investors. One of the primary challenges faced by new investors is understanding the terminology and jargon prevalent in hard money lending.

To demystify this language and provide clarity, we present a comprehensive glossary of terms commonly used in hard money lending. Whether you're seeking hard money loans in Louisiana or considering private money lenders, this glossary aims to familiarize you with the essential terms and concepts in this niche.

Asset-Based Lending

This is a lending approach where the loan is secured by the value of the asset itself, rather than relying solely on the borrower's credit history or financial statements.


Bridge Loan

This is a short-term loan typically used to bridge the gap between the purchase of a new property and the sale of an existing property. It serves as interim financing until longer-term or permanent financing is secured.


This refers to assets or property pledged by the borrower to secure the loan. In hard money lending, the collateral often determines the loan-to-value ratio.


This refers to the failure to meet the terms and conditions specified in the loan agreement. If a borrower defaults, the lender may take legal action to recover the collateral.


This is the difference between the current market value of the property and the amount owed on the property. Hard money lenders often consider equity as a key factor in determining loan approval.

Loan-to-Value (LTV) Ratio

The ratio between the loan amount and the appraised value of the property. Hard money lenders typically consider a lower LTV ratio to minimize risk.


This is the fee charged by the lender, often calculated as a percentage of the loan amount. Each point is equivalent to 1% of the loan amount and is typically charged upfront.


This is the original amount of money borrowed, excluding interest and fees. Repayments are made against the principal amount.

Promissory Note

This is a legal document outlining the terms of the loan, including the amount borrowed, interest rate, repayment schedule, and consequences of default.


This is the process by which a lender assesses the risk associated with a potential borrower, including their creditworthiness, income, and the value of the property being used as collateral.


This is an evaluation of the property's value conducted by a qualified professional to determine its fair market value.

Distressed Property

A property that is in poor condition or facing financial hardship, making it less desirable for traditional financing but potentially suitable for hard money lending.

Prepayment Penalty

This refers to the fee charged to the borrower if the loan is repaid before the agreed-upon term. This penalty compensates the lender for the loss of interest.

Exit Strategy

This is a plan outlining how the borrower intends to repay the loan. It's an essential aspect in hard money lending to ensure the lender's confidence in loan repayment.

Balloon Payment

This refers to a large, final payment due at the end of a loan term. Balloon payments are typical in hard money loans and often require the borrower to refinance or sell the property to meet the payment.


This is the length of time a property or loan has existed. Some lenders may require a certain seasoning period before offering a loan.

Interest Reserve

This is a portion of the loan amount set aside to cover the interest payments during the initial period when the property may not yet be generating income.

Hard Money Loan

This is a short-term loan secured by real estate, typically provided by private money lenders or hard money lenders. These loans often come with higher interest rates due to the increased risk.

Private Money Lender

This refers to Individuals or private companies that provide loans secured by real estate, using their own funds or funds from investors.

Fast Loan Approval

This is the expedited approval process characteristic of hard money lending, providing quicker access to funds compared to traditional financing options.

Get Assistance With Your New Construction Loan Application.

Navigating the landscape of hard money lending can be less daunting when armed with a comprehensive understanding of the terminologies involved. This glossary aims to serve as a foundational guide for those embarking on their journey into hard money loans in Louisiana or seeking support from private money lenders.

As you explore these options, consider seeking expertise and tailored financial solutions from reputable hard money lenders like Insula Capital Group, offering financial support in the form of fast loans in Louisiana for your real estate investment needs.

Contact Insula Capital Group today to set up an appointment with their specialists and learn about their private lending services in Louisiana.

About the Author

Dominic N is a Louisiana-based investment consultant with over two decades of experience. He possesses a keen interest in real estate investments and has published numerous guides for real estate investors.

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