How to apply for a Portfolio loan

Last updated Jan. 25, 2023 by Peter Jakes

Often, people are faced with difficulties in deciding which type of loan to apply for. Securing a portfolio loan these days can be difficult. Not everyone is eligible for one, but that doesn’t necessarily imply you should give up on your dream of owning a small business.

You could instead seek the assistance of a portfolio lender. People, that want to own a small business ask, what exactly is a portfolio loan? Is it a better option? What are its pros and cons? How do you apply for a portfolio loan? How do small business owners benefit from portfolio loans?

In this article, we will carefully explain all you need to know on how to apply for a portfolio loan and how a portfolio loan works.

Understanding how portfolio loans work can assist you in starting a small business. It will also come in handy when you want to purchase a home or expand your real estate investment holdings.

What Is a Portfolio Loan?

In simplest terms, a portfolio loan is a type of mortgage that a lender issues and holds in their investment portfolio rather than selling to some other firm.

Because the portfolio lender generates and keeps a portfolio loan instead of reselling it on the secondary market, the financial institution will easily get a greater degree of flexibility in mortgage conditions. This is mostly in the consumer’s interest.

Portfolio loans are mortgages that lenders generate and keep rather than selling them on the secondary market. Since a portfolio loan is secured in the lender’s portfolio, or “on the documents,” the creditor establishes the criteria—often in the borrowers’ favor.

The Federal National Mortgage Association(Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) are examples of portfolio loan associations. Mortgage companies trade mortgage loans to these portfolio loan associations on the secondary market.

Portfolio loans assist small business operators who are unable to obtain a traditional mortgage loan. Also, it assists those who wish to fund various properties with a single loan.

How Does Portfolio Lending Work?

Banks and other lending institutions like Personal Capital and Borrowell are portfolio lenders that keep each of the loans they make on their own books. Your mortgage will not be sold to some other bank, credit union, or other financial firm by a portfolio lender.

Often, these small business owners are unaware that the bank, credit union, or portfolio lender they choose for their mortgage typically sells that loan to another investment firm on the secondary market.

The secondary market creates a marketplace where small business loans are freely traded between lenders. This includes financial institutions, credit unions, and other Wall Street investors. Generally, an agent, such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, exists between creditors and investors.

How to be Eligible for a Portfolio Loan

In order to be eligible for a portfolio loan as a potential small business owner, you must provide all of your personal information and financial details. They can accept you for the loan, however, you may receive a notification that your loan has been sold, six to eight weeks later.

The financial institution that bought your loan may be a lender you don’t know and isn’t in your neighborhood. They’ll have a specific number you’ll have to call if there are any concerns.

Furthermore, every time your loan is marketed, you may need to re-establish your automatic mortgage payments. You will also have extra mortgage-related documentation to keep track of.

Although most mortgages are sold in the secondary market after closing and must meet the requirements, lenders are not required to sell loans. Instead, cash-rich lenders, such as banks, can generate mortgages and hold them.

Portfolio loans are secured as an investment by the investor as part of their portfolio. Hence, by seeking to know how to apply for a portfolio loan, you are in the right place.

Different Types of Portfolio Loans

There are different types of portfolio loans to choose from. You technically have the following options:

  • Balance Sheet Loan: For the purchase of a single property,
  • Blanket mortgage: for the purchase of multiple properties at the same time.
  • Refinance Loan: used to replace your existing mortgage with a portfolio loan.
  • A Jumbo Loan: used to purchase a property with a large purchase price.

How to Apply for a Portfolio Loan


Since the portfolio lending institution somehow doesn’t grant the loan in accordance with FHA or VA loan standards, it cannot resell these investments on the secondary market.

Due to the fact that these loans do not have rigid qualifying conditions, they can assist potential small business owners in getting accepted for external funding faster, easier,, and more effectively.

Portfolio loans can be combined with several other forms of financing, like the ROBS and SBA loans.

However, before trying to apply for an investment loan, it’s best you consult with an accounting or finance expert or a mortgage lender to determine if an investment portfolio loan is the best option for you.

Portfolio Loans and Lenders

Portfolio lending institutions make traditional consumer loans, but rather than selling the mortgages to organizations such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, these loans are on their books. They very often facilitate the loans as well.

The Mortgage Bankers Association, predicts that portfolio lenders usually underwrite 29% of all mortgages.

There are many compelling factors to consider when looking for a portfolio mortgage lender. Particularly if there are pressing credit or even loan problems that may make mortgage grants difficult to obtain due to Fannie and Freddie’s stringent criteria for borrowers. 

Also, portfolio lenders help small business owners reduce their stress.

This is why you have to choose your portfolio lender carefully after learning how to apply for a portfolio loan.

Pros of Portfolio Loans

  • Portfolio loans have considerably lower interest rates than other types of loans.
  • The application is simple and accelerated approval is guaranteed in portfolio loans.
  • Portfolio loans have a flexible payment schedule that allows you to access loan funds and is usually less expensive than some other loans.
  • Portfolio loans are advantageous to nationals of other countries. They can work for any type and scale of business.
  • This type of mortgage loan provides a wide range of lender options.
  • Portfolio loans provide mortgages that are advantageous and less risky for property investors.
  • It offers little or no spending limits and works for any form of business.
  • It enables you to complement other financial methods and also creates room for risk-sharing with the loan originators. This is a better reason to get a perfect grip on how to apply for a portfolio loan.

Cons of Portfolio Loans

  • The prepayment penalty is always difficult. Also, sometimes portfolio loan repayment schedules are unfavorable.
  • Rates of interest are occasionally higher in this type of loan and asset price variation.
  • Higher fees are deposited before eligibility for assessment and it is usually predominant among smaller banks.
  • The increased fees are also because lenders keep portfolio loans rather than market them on the secondary market. This may result in them charging higher fees, such as prepayment penalties and origination fees.
  • To cover the lender’s risks, portfolio loans have higher interest rates than traditional mortgages. However, it is advisable to develop a good relationship with the lender, to be assured of a lower interest rate.

Who can Qualify for a Portfolio Loan?


Portfolio loans are not very prevalent.

Anybody can apply for a portfolio loan. However, it is normally accessible to anybody with a minimum of $85,000 in investments, securities, stocks, or bonds, though the requirements vary depending on your portfolio loan company.

Smaller businesses can typically borrow up to 79% of their portfolio value. If the particular business owner has a $90,000 portfolio, the individual could borrow up to $60,000 from it.

The more valuable your portfolio, the more you are able and eligible to borrow. Unlike many other forms of business or individual loans, portfolio loans don’t require certain credit ratings to meet the requirements. Instead, your portfolio serves as a guarantee for the loan.

Some financial situations that may require a portfolio loan include:

  • Borrowers who are self-employed and are also experiencing low credit ratings
  • Those who have experienced liquidation, a short sale, or foreclosure
  • Small business owners who are dealing with judgments, liens, or tax difficulties
  • Nationals of other countries, small business owners, and investors who have exhausted their conventional financing options

How to Choose a Portfolio Lender

In addition to knowing how to apply for a portfolio loan, you also need to know how to choose a portfolio lender. When selecting a portfolio lender, inquire with several lenders about interest rates, loan origination costs, and the contract terms of the loans.

Try comparing loan eligibility. Knowing different loan eligibility will help you choose the best lender for you.

Rather than selling loans in the secondary market, a portfolio lender originates and manages a mortgage loan portfolio.

By keeping the loans, a portfolio lender goes home with more treats than a traditional lender.

Most portfolio lenders earn fees from mortgage origination and benefit from the net interest rate spread between interest-earning assets and holdings in their mortgage portfolio.

Borrowers have more options with portfolio lenders, but most of them are generally expensive and paid at an elevated rate of interest.

Buyers seeking a mortgage for a real estate investment, jumbo loan, or any other type of investment may see that a portfolio lender is a better option than a traditional mortgage lender. This is because they are easier to work with.

When is a Portfolio Loan Needed?

When You Don’t Want the Payment to be Recorded on Your Credit History

Portfolio loans certainly don’t show up on your credit report often. If this is your primary reason for taking the loan, you should discuss it with your lender. This is because the loan gives room for the option of either recording the transaction on a credit report or not. It’s actually a benefit for small business owners.

The good thing is that most lenders don’t report portfolio loans to credit bureaus.

 When you only have a low deposit.

This option is entirely dependent on the lender and your condition, financial strength, and preferences. People who wish to own small businesses have frequently been able to obtain portfolio loans with a minimum of a 3%-5% down payment.

This is a better option if your new small business costs more than the average purchase price and coming up with at least 3% is still a lot of money.

It can be a favorable strategy for a number of reasons.

Assume you know you’ll be in need of a personal loan for your business in the future, but you’d like to take advantage of a potential investment opportunity. This may be to own another small business.

A portfolio loan is used to capitalize and seize the situation. It would not affect your credit score, by putting it in a better position prior to taking out the personal loan. As a result, the personal loan would have a lower interest rate. This means it would cost you less to repay!

When Traditional Banks Disapprove of Your Financial Portfolio

People with poor credit scores but solid financial backgrounds are frequently given portfolio loans. In these situations, portfolio loans, however, come at a cost.

They are shorter repayment durations, rising interest rates, service charges, feasible balloon payments, etc. Most people utilize portfolio loans as a stop-gap measure until they can remortgage into a more traditional mortgage.

When there is a need for a quick financial fix,

Portfolio loans are the best option for small business owners that are in dire need.

You need to think again if you are one of the entrepreneurs who believe that portfolio loans are too good to be true and are likely legal usury.

Portfolio loans offer rates that are lower than many loan products on the market. They are also frequently only slightly higher than going rates by a few percentage points.

How Portfolio Loans Benefit Small Businesses

If you are in dire need of financing for a small business, you must be aware of all of your choices in order to make an informed decision. This is after learning how to apply for a portfolio loan. Portfolio loans are a very common form of financing that can provide significant perks if you are eligible.

Trying to access funding to begin, purchase, or expand your small business can be time-consuming. It can also be complex, and difficult to meet the criteria. However, if you already own stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or any other eligible security, you can utilize your portfolio to get the funds you need without selling your securities.

Portfolio loans can also be called contract loans, stock loans, or securities-based lending. They function similarly to a revolving line of credit. They allow you to finance your new small-scale business or franchise. You do this by borrowing and paying it back on your terms, not the bank’s.

Bottom Line

By now, you must have learned how to apply for a portfolio loan. Portfolio loans can also be seen as securities-based loans. They are also mortgage loans that are kept in a lender’s lending portfolio. Because most of these loans cannot be marketed or traded on the secondary market, the lender is forced to keep the loan.

A lender also provides services that will keep mortgages from borrowers with good credit in its portfolio. This will ensure that the portfolio remains strong, which is essential to the lender’s investors and federal investigators.

These mortgages or loans can be beneficial to borrowers. However, when considering a portfolio loan, the fees and interest rates should be considerable and favorable. Always look around for different lenders before proceeding with any type of mortgage loan.


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