Finimpact

Best Commercial Real Estate Loans

Businesses need commercial real estate loans to purchase or refinance their place of business, to buy a building for expansion, or to secure the lot next door for additional parking. A commercial real estate loan will allow for expansion and renovation without draining the owner’s pockets.

Commercial Real Estate Loans
Allison Bethell
Written by:Allison Bethell
Real Estate Expert

You need a commercial real estate loan when your landlord wants to sell the property or if she increases the rent. You may want to buy the building next door to expand. If you own your building, take a loan against it using the property as collateral and using the funds to purchase equipment or hire staff. A commercial loan gives you a leg up so you get the real estate you need without coming out of pocket for the entire cost. Our team of financial experts reviewed and ranked the top online lenders to help you get funded.

Our Top Picks for Best Commercial Real Estate Loans

forafinancial
  • Ideal for plenty of industries
  • Approval not solely credit based
  • Early payoff discounts
Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 550+
Loan Amount
Loan Amount $5K-$750K
Loan Repayment
Loan Repayment 4-15 months
rapid-finance
  • Efficient application process
  • Great customer service
  • Generous lending limits
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score Varies
Loan Amount
Loan Amount Up to $1 million
Loan Repayment
Loan Repayment 3-60 months
lendio
  • Easy to apply
  • Product & lender choice
  • Competitive offers
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 560+
Loan Amount
Loan Amount Up to $500,000
Loan Repayment
Loan Repayment 1-2 years

How to Choose the Best Commercial Real Estate Loans?

Our experts use the following factors to rank commercial real estate lenders:

  • Loan Features: Know the loan terms, repayment options, if there’s a prepayment penalty, and the minimum and maximum loan amounts.
  • Application process - Look at the invasiveness of application information requirements, if there is a hard-pull or soft-pull credit score impact, funding time, and any distinctively competitive offerings.
  • Interest rates and fees - What fees does the lender charge? Are there origination fees or points? Is the rate competitive to other commercial real estate lenders? Commercial real estate loan interest rates are typically lower than rates for other types of commercial loans.
  • Qualification process - Know what you and your business need in order to qualify for a loan. A commercial real estate loan is different from a residential loan because the lender often requires the owner to have a minimum credit score, as well as a certain amount of time in business, and annual revenue. Depending on the loan type, the lender will evaluate your personal and business finances to see if you qualify.
  • Customer support - Does your business keep you up late at night? You need customer support who works when you do. Find out if there is a live rep, an online chat support option, and what other support channels they offer. Check out any additional offerings such as webinars, frequently asked questions, and supplemental tools.
  • Online user reviews - Check out reviews on independent review sites like Trustpilot and see what customers really think of the company’s commercial loan products. Read positive and negative reviews and look for patterns for what the lender does right and what they could improve on.
  • Perks and Bonuses - Consider what extras the lender offers that will be useful for your business. They may include payment flexibility, advanced technology, discounts at select vendors, or a networking platform.

Best Commercial Real Estate Loans - Full Overview

1. Credibly - Best for Low Credit Score Borrowers

Offering seven different types of commercial loans including real estate loans, Credibly offers loans nationwide. It provides borrowers with expansion loans, SBA loans, and lines of credit that can be used to purchase, renovate, and even build commercial real estate. It’s a direct lender so the lending qualifications are transparent and the application process for commercial real estate loans is streamlined. It offers commercial real estate loans to high risk industries that other lenders may not. These can include law offices, surgical centers, and real estate companies.

Pros
High funding limits: Up to $5 million
Multiple loans: Choose the loan that best fits your business
Established company: Not a fly-by-the night company
Cons
Origination fees: On all loans
Higher rates: Factor of 1.15 on most loans
Payment Schedules: May be due daily or weekly

Credibly offers a few different options for borrowers who want to obtain a commercial real estate loan and these products have varying loan qualifications. Generally, you will need a 500+ credit score to qualify, at least three years in business with revenues over $180,000 per year, and rates usually start at 9.99%. Loan terms vary based on the type of loan.

The Bottom Line

This lender is a good option for commercial real estate loans because it works with borrowers that have lower credit scores and may not qualify for loans with other companies. Additionally, the online pre-qualification is a soft-pull and won’t affect your credit score.

2. Biz2Credit - Best for Interest Only Options

Biz2Credit offers a CRE loan which is a larger loan secured with commercial real estate. Applications take as little as four minutes to complete, loan decisions are usually made within 24 hours, and loans can be funded as quickly as 72 hours. These loans are typically used for acquisitions, extensive renovations, refinancing an existing project, or growing the business by acquiring space to expand. Dedicated funding specialists are available to guide you through the process of obtaining a commercial real estate loan.

Pros
Fast: Application process and funding
High Loan Amounts: Up to $6 million
Time in Business: Only 18 months is required
Cons
Credit Score: Need a 660+ to qualify
No Small Loans: Minimum loan amount $250,000
High Minimum Revenue: $250,000+ per year

Annual revenue requirements are $250,000+ and you need to be in business for at least 18 months. Credit score requirements are typically 660+ and rates vary. Loans range from $250,000 to $6 million and terms range from 12 to 36 months. Interest only loans are available for qualifying applicants.

The Bottom Line

Biz2Credit offers quick loans: short applications, quick loan decisions, and fast funding times. They also have interest only payments available for 36 months which gives you time to grow your business while spending less each month on your loan payments.

Try Biz2Credit

3. Lendio - Best for Business Renovations

Lendio is a loan marketplace, not a direct lender, so rates and terms vary depending on which lender you end up working with. The platform helps match you with a commercial real estate loan that will best serve your business needs based on a preliminary application that uses a soft-credit-pull. They offer SBA loans, term loans, and commercial mortgages. Loans are typically used to buy, build, remodel, or refinance. Funding takes upto 45 days for most commercial real estate loans.

Pros
Multiple Lenders: Compare and then choose
Low Rates: Starting at 4.25%
Long Terms: Up to 25 years
Cons
High Loan Minimums: Start at $250,000
Slower Funding: May take 45 days
Variables: Rates and terms vary

Loan terms, rates, credit score requirements, time in business, and even annual revenue requirements all vary between lenders and the loan products they offer. However, rates typically start at 4.25% and terms go up to 25 years for commercial real estate loans.

The Bottom Line

Lendio is a good choice for commercial real estate loans because its platform is easy to use and lets you compare lenders which saves you time. It also offers competitive rates and lengthy terms which make their loans more affordable. Additionally, you can use their loans to renovate a building that you own or purchase and renovate a new space.

Try Lendio

4. SmartBiz - Best for SBA Loans

This lender offers 7(a) loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA). These are commercial real estate loans with competitive interest rates and loan terms up to 25 years. You can prequalify in five minutes on their site with just a soft-credit-pull. They’re intended to be affordable for small business owners. Additionally, SmartBiz offers other loans on its AI powered lending platform which can help your business refinance debt or pay for working capital. They offer loans from banks and private online lenders and can match you with the best suited ones.

Pros
Low rates: Starting at 4.75%
SBA Guarantee: Keeps rates and fees low
Long Terms: Means lower monthly payments
Cons
Prepayment penalty: On some loans
Application Process: Can be tedious
Lender Requirements: They can set their own
smartbiz review

SmartBiz offers commercial real estate loans from the SBA with long loan terms ranging from 10 to 25 years. Interest rates typically start at 4.75% and the lender sets the minimum credit score requirements. Annual revenue requirements vary and required time in business is usually two years.

The Bottom Line

This lender is a good option for commercial real estate loans because it offers competitive rates, multiple loans from different lenders, and has agents who can help walk you through the SBA application process.

Try SmartBiz

5.GoKapital - Best for Loan Comparisons

Both a direct lender and a loan marketplace, GoKapital makes it easy to compare loan products for commercial real estate borrowers. There aren’t any restrictions on the type of business that can apply and it doesn’t have a specified minimum credit score needed to qualify for a loan. It offers different types of loans including SBA loans. Some loans offer the choice of fixed or adjustable rates and terms range from 1 to 30 years.

Pros
No minimum credit score
High Loan Maximum: Up to $50 million
No industry restrictions: Cannabis allowed
Cons
Varying Criteria: Lender requirements differ
Minimum Property Value: $100,000+
Funding Times: Not disclosed
gokapital commercial real estate

As with other companies that offer products from different lenders, rates, terms, and loan requirements do vary. Typically, terms range from 1- 30 years, rates start at 5.5% and credit score requirements vary by loan type. Annual revenue for most loans is $360,000 and time in business is as little as three months for some loans. They offer commercial real estate loans to all industries.

The Bottom Line

GoKapital is a good option for commercial real estate loans because you can compare and shop for loans on one site. There are so many to choose from and credit score doesn’t matter on some of them. Rates are competitive and you can choose a short or long-term loan.

Try GoKapital

6. Rapid Finance - Best for Smaller Loans

Commercial real estate loans are offered with only three required documents. The company prides itself on offering streamlined applications, quick approvals, and fast funding times. It has a team of business advisors to help you with the application process and throughout your loan term. It also has a frequently asked question section specifically for commercial real estate loans. Monthly payments are automatically debited each month which is a unique feature.

Pros
Small Loan Minimums: $75,000+
Fast Application Process: Quick decision
Loan types: Multiple loans to choose from
Cons
Lack of Info: Rate and funding time not shown
Time open: Two years so no new businesses
Website: Lacking loan specifics
rapid finance commercial real estate

Loan terms range from 5 to 20 years at Rapid Finance and loan amounts range from $75,000 to $2 million. Once you apply, you will receive a decision within minutes. The only three documents needed to apply for a commercial real estate loan are a form of identity, two years of tax returns or financials, and a schedule of debts. Payments are automatically debited monthly from your business account on file. You have access to an online portal and business advisors to answer any questions during the loan term.

The Bottom Line

If you want a quick commercial real estate loan with a streamlined application process, Rapid Finance is a good fit. They’re also ideal if you only need a small loan because their minimum loan amount starts at $75,000.

Commercial Real Estate Loans Main Features Table

Company

Min. Credit Score

Min. Time in Business

Min. Annual Revenue

Loan Amount

Interest Rate

Credibly

500

3 years

$180,000+

Up to $5 million

9.99%+

Biz2Credit

660

1.5 years

$250,000

$250,000 -$6 million

10%+

Lendio

Varies

Varies

Varies

Up to $5 million

$4.25%+

SmartBiz

None

2 years

Not specified

$30,000 - $5 million

4.75%+

GoKapital

Not specified

Not specified

$360,000

$30,000 - $50 million

5.5%+

Rapid Finance

Not specified

2 years

Not specified

$75,000+

Varies

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.

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

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 terms

Commercial Real Estate Loan Requirements

Getting approved for a commercial real estate loan is all about preparation, and all about knowing what requirements need to be cleared before a lender grants a real estate loan. Focus on these loan approval hurdles to secure a commercial real estate loan that works for you.

  • Good credit:First and foremost, real estate loan providers good credit – the higher the better. Consequently, aim for a business and/or consumer FICO credit score of at least 81-to-100 for a business credit score or 700 or more for a consumer credit score to land a good loan deal.
  • Offer a good down payment:Your chances of being approved for a commercial real estate loan accelerate with a decent down payment on a commercial property. Consequently, a down of payment of 20% or more of the total loan can boost your chances of loan approval. Like with credit scores, the more cash you include in a down payment, the higher your chances of loan approval.
  • Know what the lender expects from your business:When filling out a commercial real estate loan application, expect to include pertinent information on your business, such as:
  1. How long your business has been in existence (two years or more may be expected by a lender.)
  2. The value of any collateral you may put up to secure a loan (such as business equipment, vehicles, or personal collateral, like equity in a home.)
  3. Your company’s debt-to-income ratio (the lower your debt amount and the higher your annual income, the better.)
  4. Total annual revenues. Commercial real estate lenders expect to see a history of solid annual revenues before green-lighting your property loan.

Cover the above areas and you’re well on your way to receiving a good commercial real estate loan.

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

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

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?

Related Loan Picks

About the Author

Allison Bethell

Allison Bethell

Real Estate Expert

Allison Bethell is a content writer, real estate investor, small business owner, and consultant. She has a B.A. from Villanova University in Sociology and Business. She also holds several graduate certificates in early childhood development, screenwriting, and contract law.

More about me