Understanding the Two Major Types of Commercial Loans


When you begin to explore commercial loans, it can appear that there are an unlimited number of options. But you will find that in reality there are two major types, recourse and non-recourse.

There are a myriad of different terms involved in commercial loans, but none should be as important to the borrower as determining if the loan is recourse or non-recourse. In almost every loan on a commercial property, the main collateral for the loan is the property itself. But commercial property value can and does fluctuate much more rapidly than residential property. In some cases a repossessed property is not worth the remaining balance on the loan. For this reason, lenders want to have additional security in the event of a default on the loan. With a recourse loan, the borrower guarantees full repayment of the loan amount due. In a non-recourse loan the lender agrees to settle for the value of the property as full repayment even if the property value is less than the balance due on the loan.

Borrowers should however temper their desire to protect themselves and their personal financial well-being with a non-recourse loan and the extreme flexibility that can be achieved with a recourse loan. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, and added features and benefits cost more. So the personal financial protection of the non-recourse loan costs you in the form of higher interest rates. That only makes sense as the lender is assuming a greater risk of losing money if you default on the loan. In addition, lenders can also include stipulations about cash flow and maintenance schedules for the property on a non-recourse loan. This is simply another way that the lender is protecting their investment by ensuring that the building, their collateral, is being well maintained to protect the property value.

When to Choose Recourse Commercial Loans

A recourse loan offers borrowers many more options and flexibilities during the course of the loan as well as a lower interest rate. Because of the added security, lenders are more willing to accommodate borrowers. If you want flexibility to customize the loan structure and the payments then recourse is a good choice. You should also select a recourse loan if there is a chance that you will want to restructure after the closing of the loan. If the property that you are purchasing is under construction or is in a distressed condition, you will most likely also need to use a recourse loan as lenders are not willing to extend the greater risk non-recourse loan to a property with questionable value.

Who Should Select Non-Recourse Commercial Loans

If you are planning on keeping the property you are purchasing for the full term of the loan and do not foresee needing to change the loan or its terms for the lifetime of the loan then a non-recourse loan is a good choice. The non-recourse is also important if you are not willing to or able to risk your personal financial well-being on this business property investment. Understanding the main difference in these two types of loans will allow you to select the financial tool which best meets all of your needs.

Dennis Dahlberg
Broker/RI/CEO/MLO
Level 4 Funding LLC  Private Hard Money Lender
Arizona Tel:  (623) 582-4444
Texas Tel:      (512) 516-1177
Dennis@level4funding.com NMLS 1057378 | AZMB 0923961 | MLO 1057378
22601 N 19th Ave Suite 112 | Phoenix | AZ | 85027
111 Congress Ave |Austin | Texas | 78701
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About the Author:  Dennis has been working in the real estate industry in some capacity for the last 40 years. He purchased his first property when he was just 18 years old. He quickly learned about the amazing investment opportunities provided by trust deed investing and hard money loans. His desire to help others make money in real estate investing led him to specialize in alternative funding for real estate investors who may have trouble getting a traditional bank loan. Dennis is passionate about alternative funding sources and sharing his knowledge with others to help make their dreams come true. Dennis has been married to his wonderful wife for 42 years. They have 2 beautiful daughters 5 amazing grandchildren. Dennis has been an Arizona resident for the past 40 years.

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