Understanding Commercial Loan-to-Cost (LTC) Ratio

Jun 16, 2024

What is the Loan-to-Cost (LTC) Ratio?

The Loan-to-Cost (LTC) ratio is a key metric in commercial real estate financing. It measures the percentage of a project's total cost that a lender is willing to finance. This ratio helps both lenders and borrowers understand the level of risk involved in a project.

For example, if a project's total cost is $1 million and the lender agrees to finance $700,000, the LTC ratio would be 70%. This means the borrower needs to cover the remaining 30% from their own funds or other sources.



The LTC ratio is crucial for several reasons. First, it helps lenders assess the risk of a project. A lower LTC ratio means the borrower has more equity in the project, reducing the lender's risk. Conversely, a higher LTC ratio indicates higher risk for the lender.

Second, the LTC ratio affects the borrower's financial planning. Knowing the ratio helps borrowers determine how much capital they need to invest upfront. It also impacts the interest rates and terms they might receive from the lender.

How to Calculate the LTC Ratio

Calculating the LTC ratio is straightforward. You divide the loan amount by the total project cost and then multiply by 100 to get a percentage. Here's the formula:

LTC Ratio = (Loan Amount / Total Project Cost) x 100

For instance, if the loan amount is $500,000 and the total project cost is $800,000, the LTC ratio would be 62.5%.


it difficult to meet loan repayments. This can lead to financial strain and potential default.

Lenders also face higher risks with a high LTC ratio. If the project fails or doesn't generate expected returns, the lender may struggle to recover the loan amount. Therefore, both parties must carefully consider the LTC ratio before proceeding with a loan.


The Loan-to-Cost (LTC) ratio is a vital component of commercial real estate financing. It helps lenders assess risk and borrowers plan their finances. Understanding this ratio can aid in making informed decisions and ensuring the success of a project.

By considering factors like property type, creditworthiness, and market conditions, both lenders and borrowers can negotiate a suitable LTC ratio. This balance can lead to successful, profitable projects for all parties involved.

For more detailed advice and personalized financial solutions, contact Atlantic Commercial Lending today. Let us help you make the most of your commercial property investments.