When conventional financing takes too long or is not available due to low FICO scores or some other reason, hard money can be a deal saver. If you invest in a lot of property, your FICO score can plummet simply due to the number of mortgages you owe!
Hard money lenders can turn on a dime. Mortgages for real estate investing can take anywhere from two to six months to be completed by conventional banks and lenders. Hard money lenders can generally fund in two weeks from the time you have all the paperwork in place.
Lenders can also fund projects that conventional banks cannot. If your real estate investing takes you to the realm of dry cleaners (or a strip mall that has one), gas stations, or even assisted living facilities (one of the hottest growing real estate markets in the US), conventional banks are not likely to be able to fund your project. Hard money loans can, once again, be a deal saver.
Plan to use hard money as a bridge loan. Terms generally range from one to three years. This should provide ample time to prepare the property or your personal financial status to arrange for long term conventional financing or to arrange for the sale of the property in question.