Bridging the Gap: Understanding the Difference between Swing Loans and Bridge Loans in Commercial Real Estate

May 06, 2024

When it comes to financing in commercial real estate, terms like swing loans and bridge loans are often used interchangeably, leading to confusion among investors and developers. However, understanding the key differences between these two types of loans is crucial for making informed financial decisions in the real estate industry.

What is a Swing Loan?

A swing loan, also known as a gap financing loan, is a short-term loan that helps bridge the gap between the purchase of a new property and the sale of an existing property. This type of loan is typically used by homeowners who are looking to buy a new home before selling their current one.

swing loan

Key Features of a Swing Loan:

  • Short-term loan
  • Used to cover the down payment on a new property
  • Repaid once the existing property is sold

Swing loans are ideal for individuals or families who need immediate funding to secure a new property but are waiting for the sale of their current property to finalize.

What is a Bridge Loan?

A bridge loan is also a short-term loan used in real estate, but it serves a different purpose compared to a swing loan. Bridge loans are commonly used by investors and developers to finance the purchase of a new property while waiting for long-term financing or the sale of another property.

bridge loan

Key Features of a Bridge Loan:

  • Short-term financing
  • Higher interest rates compared to traditional loans
  • Quick approval process

Bridge loans are a valuable tool for real estate professionals looking to capitalize on investment opportunities without being hindered by traditional financing constraints.

Key Differences Between Swing Loans and Bridge Loans

While both swing loans and bridge loans serve as temporary financing solutions, the key differences lie in their intended use and target borrowers:

real estate financing

Swing Loans:

  • Primarily used by homeowners
  • Designed to bridge the financing gap between properties
  • Repaid upon the sale of the existing property

Bridge Loans:

  • Commonly used by investors and developers
  • Utilized for quick property acquisitions or renovations
  • Higher interest rates and quicker approval process

Understanding the nuances between swing loans and bridge loans can help real estate professionals and individuals make informed decisions when it comes to financing their property transactions.


Both swing loans and bridge loans play essential roles in the commercial real estate industry, providing temporary financing solutions for different types of borrowers. By understanding the differences between these two types of loans, investors and homeowners can navigate the complex world of real estate financing with confidence and clarity.