5 Best Hard Money Lenders in Illinois


Hard money lenders in Illinois are available to help investors buy with confidence and speed

Key Terms

  • Hard money lenders provide an opportunity for investors for rental properties and fix and flip buyers to secure the funds they need as high-risk borrowers.
  • Numerous hard money lenders exist in Illinois, offering competitive interest rates and lower down payment requirements for qualified borrowers.
  • LFor those looking to invest in rental real estate in Illinois, hard money lenders can be the ideal option, especially when other lenders may not be available.

Illinois is a Midwestern state noted for its agricultural importance, with its immense amount of farmland. It’s also home to Chicago, one of the largest industrial cities in the country, known for its metropolitan lifestyle, foodie scene, and exceptional entertainment. Illinois spans over 57,900 square feet and is home to over 12.8 million people. The region is an important cultural and economic center, with agriculture, manufacturing, services, and investments being the industry’s largest component. Many places are popular to live, including Rockford, Aurora, Springfield, and Decatur.

In Illinois, home prices are more affordable than in many other areas of the country, but the region has seen a significant amount of growth and competitiveness over the last few years. According to Illinois Realtors, the average sale price for a home in the area was $230,000 in July of 2022. The median sales price was $276,000. Inventory in the area is moderate to low, making for a bit more of a seller’s market. Properties also swell quickly, with the average days on the market in July of 2022 at just 21.

Another important factor when considering buying real estate in Illinois is the availability of rental property and the demand for it. In Illinois, 72.1% of people own the homes they live in, while 27.9% rent them. That is a high number for ownership, but there is demand for rentals here. Currently, an estimated 8.7% of rentals are vacant, which can indicate that there is significant demand for new rentals in the state. This data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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How hard money loans work in Illinois

Hard money loans are a type of asset-based loan. This means that the lender holds the right to force the sale of the property if the borrower defaults on the loan. That could happen, for example, if the borrower stops making payments on the loan. Hard money loans are typically not traditional banks, but they still maintain this type of security, which could reduce a significant amount of risk to the lender. Often, these loans are used for the purchase of rental properties, fix and flip homes or other high-risk commercial property purchases that are often had to finance in other ways. If you’re looking for new construction, this is a short-term loan that might make it possible for you to get your property built without the traditional loan process. Not all lenders offer these kinds of property loans, however, and if they do, you need to read through their underwriting requirements first.

Hard money lenders are individuals or companies that specialize in offering these specific types of loans. They often set their own terms and conditions, though there are some things that remain the same to most borrowers. In most cases, hard money loans are for a short loan term. This is often 1 to 5 years. They are designed to provide the support that the borrower needs for borrowing for immediate needs. Generally, in a fix and flip loan, the borrower needs a short term loan to ensure they can buy the home but then can resell it, paying off the loan within a short period. To build a residential property in the state of Illinois, there are plenty of real estate loans available to you, but a hard money loan may be the best fit for your needs with residential real estate. Check out which mortgage lenders offer residential or commercial hard money loans and read through their rules for applications and underwriting.

Make sure you connect with a mortgage broker to look through potential loan products and to confirm which ones you’d qualify for based on your plans for residential real estate or new construction.

Those who wish to borrow through hard money loans still must meet the qualifications set by the lender. These will range but typically include having sufficient income to make payments on time. These lenders take on higher risk loans, and therefore they must find a way to reduce their risks in these lending situations. A steady income could help borrowers qualify for these loans, though other factors typically play a role as well. That includes down payments and credit scores.

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5 Top Illinois hard money lenders

If you’re in the market for a real estate investment project in Illinois, consider these hard money lenders that are available for projects in the state.

1. Easy Street Capital

East Street Capital is based in Austin, Texas but lends nationwide except in North and South Dakota. Founded by Stephen Hagerman in 2016, Easy Street Capital has over six years of experience in the real estate investing world.

We reached out to Easy Street Capital to learn more about their hard money loans and this is what we found:

  • Interest rates range from 6.9% – 10.9%
  • Points range from 2-3
  • There is a $1495 document fee
  • No minimum credit score required
  • Down payments of at least 10% required
  • Renovation financing ok
  • Fix and Flip loans do not typically have prepayment penalties

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer, use our form to quickly match with eligible loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

2. Stratton Equities

Stratton Equities is a nationwide direct hard money lender for real estate investors. Founded by Michael Mikhail in 2017, Stratton Equities has over five years of experience in the private lending market.

We reached out to Stratton Equities to get more information about their hard money lending program and here are some highlights:

  • Loan amounts from $100,000 up to $5 million
  • Investment properties only
  • Single-Family, Condos, Townhomes, Multi-Family, Commercial, Mixed-Use, Office, Retail, Industrial and Warehouse are all ok
  • Up to a 75% LTV
  • Rates start at 7.25%
  • Interest only payments
  • Loan terms are 9-24 months
  • Foreign nationals are eligible
  • No prepayment penalty option is available

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer, use our form to quickly match with eligible loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

3. HouseMax Funding

HouseMax Funding is based out of Austin, Texas but has a national footprint when it comes to real estate industry lending. Started by Jeff Fetcher and Alex Morris, HouseMax provides asset-based loan financing to investors for real estate transactions.

We reached out to HouseMax to learn more about their hard money lending program and here is what we found:

  • Minimum loan amount is $75,000
  • Lends up to 75% of the after-repair value (APV)
  • 1-3 points origination charge
  • 3 months reserves required
  • Direct lender that approves loans internally and funds using their own private capital.
  • Lends in urban and suburban communities in all 50 states.
  • Goal is to close loans in 10 days or less.
  • Specializes in fix & flip loans, construction and rental loans
  • Multi-family and commercial properties are ok

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer, use our form to quickly match with eligible loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

4. EquityMax

EquityMax is based out of Florida and most of its business in the state but is able to lend throughout the United States. Founded by Brad Emmer in 1990, EquityMax has decades of experience as a hard money lender.

We reached out to EquityMax to learn more about their hard money loans and these are the key highlights that you need to know:

  • Single Family Homes
  • 1-4 Multi-Unit Properties
  • Condos and Townhomes ok
  • Commercial property and Industrial Warehouses OK
  • Direct lender that has decision making over financing deals.
  • Can originate loans to individuals, LLCs, corporations, land trusts and self-directed IRAs.
  • No prepayment penalties
  • No minimum credit score required

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer, use our form to quickly match with eligible loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

5. Fund That Flip

Fund That Flip is a hard money lender based in New York that focuses on short term bridge loans for real estate investors looking to flip properties. Founded by Matt Rodak in 2014, Fund That Flip lends in most states.

We contacted Fund That Flip to learn more about their bridge loan program and here is what we found:

  • Up to 80% LTC and 70% ARV ratios for your project
  • Rates start at 9.99%
  • Direct lender with discretionary capital
  • Construction projects ok
  • 10% down payment required

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer, use our form to quickly match with eligible loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

What are the main advantages of an Illinois hard money loan?

A hard money loan could offer borrowers a number of benefits. That includes providing access to the funding they need when other lenders may have turned them down. These loans typically are available quickly, too, which means that borrowers may be able to purchase a home in a short amount of time. That could prove important in situations where the borrower is looking for a loan quickly to purchase a property that has just become available. Many of these loans can close within a matter of weeks. In comparison, a conventional loan can take up to 90 days and sometimes longer.

While interest rates are higher on these loans, borrowers often benefit from other features, including the lower down payment requirements. Though lenders set their own requirements, some offer loans to those who have just 2% of the sales price of the property to put down on the purchase. Conventional loans may require as much as 20% of the purchase price down. This can help borrowers to purchase while using less of their personal cash reserves to do so.

Hard money lenders can also loan at the after repair value. For a fix and flip property, this can prove important. It allows the borrower to obtain enough money to purchase the home and enough funds to make repairs on it. This can help to fund those big repairs or renovations that the property could demand.

Hard money loans may be more accessible with fewer requirements than traditional mortgages, with fewer compliance requirements to be met. That comes at the cost of slightly higher interest rates, ranging from 5 to 15%. However, those rates remain in place for a shorter term, and most borrowers can refinance into a lower interest rate loan within a matter of months or years, keeping costs more in control. These advantages make hard money loans attractive to many borrowers.

If you’re looking to explore hard money in other states, check out our national overview of hard money lenders as a starting point in your search.

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Joshua Holt

Joshua Holt is a licensed mortgage loan originator (NMLS #2306824) and founder of Biglaw Investor. His mortgage expertise lies in the areas of professional mortgage loans, particularly for lawyers, doctors and other high-income professionals. Prior to Biglaw Investor, Josh practiced private equity mergers & acquisition law for one of the largest law firms in the country.

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