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Home Equity Loan Costa Rica

Equity Loans in Costa Rica: Benefits, Process & Requirements

Costa Rica has seen an increase in the popularity of equity loans as a financing option for homeowners and real estate investors. Your home equity is a valuable asset that can help you secure a loan for what you deem fit, such as essential expenses like education, home improvements, or medical bills. Private money lending is an alternative financing option to address your financial goals that can provide borrowers with quick access to real estate investment funding. This guide will explore the benefits and drawbacks of using private money lending for real estate financing.

What is a Home Equity Loan?

A home equity loan is a loan that is taken out using the equity in a property as collateral. The equity in a property is the difference between the value of the property and the outstanding mortgage. Recipients can use the funds from an equity loan for various purposes, such as home improvements or investment opportunities. Unlike traditional lending institutions, private money lenders focus on the value of the property being used as collateral rather than the borrower’s creditworthiness.

Can Foreigners Obtain Home Equity Loans?

Expats of Costa Rica typically have to be permanent residents or citizens to be eligible for a traditional bank loan. After receiving temporary residency status, it generally takes at least three years to become permanent. On the other hand, private home equity loans are not subject to the same regulations as traditional bank loans, making them a more attractive choice for foreigners and locals alike.

Risks Associated

Interest Rates

Typically interest rates in Costa Rica may be higher than you may expect to see from your own countries rates ranging from 12-18% as of 2023. Private interest rates can be similar to traditional mortgage loans; The Global Economy reports average bank loans having an interest rate of 14.23% as of May 2022.

Loan-to-Value Ratio

The LTV ratio or loan-to-value is the loan amount divided by the property’s value. In Costa Rica, lenders typically require a minimum LTV ratio of 45% or better for equity loans that an analyst has approved.

Shorter Loan Terms

Depending on the lender, repayment terms for private loans usually have shorter loan terms than traditional lending options, with the average private loan between 1-3 years. However, many Gap Equity Loans clients have requested and been granted loan renewals. Some use a private home equity loan to “bridge the gap” and give them the time needed to get a traditional mortgage loan from the bank.


As your property secures these deals in the form of collateral, If the borrower cannot repay the loan, the lender may foreclose on the property and take possession of it if the borrower defaults.


In a pinch, with the typical bank loans, you could not qualify for a home equity loan when you need it most when an opportunity is knocking. A bank can deny loan requests due to your credit rating, being a self-employed small business owner, having short or imperfect work history, lack of income history, etc. 



Why is the LTV so Important?

The Loan-To-Value ratio, or LTV, is the amount of money you want to borrow versus the value of the home you’re purchasing, refinancing, or lending against. When you file a loan request, the LTV is the essential part of the deal for our analysts to consider and conduct their due diligence. The smaller the LTV percentage, the easier it is to pair you with a private lender to finance your loan at a better interest rate. A typical maximum LTV ratio for private lenders in Costa Rica is usually 45%, including private lenders that Gap Equity Loans works with. For example, If you own a 1 million USD property, you can borrow up to $450,000 USD on it.




Quick Access

Funds Private money lending offers a faster and more flexible alternative to traditional lending institutions providing you with the funds you need when you need them the most, such as a new money-making opportunity. Borrowers can typically receive funding within a matter of weeks rather than the months or years it can take to secure a loan from a traditional lender.

No Credit Check

Private money lenders do not typically perform credit checks, unlike traditional lending firms. This means that borrowers’ creditworthiness won’t affect funding for their real estate investments regardless of an average or lower credit score.

Less Paperwork

Skip the long waiting process, a mountain of paperwork, and the hoops that the local banks make you jump through. Typically less paperwork is involved with a more streamlined application process than traditional lending options. This can make it a more attractive option for borrowers who want to secure funding quickly and without hassle.

Expats Welcomed

Under normal circumstances, regardless of residency status, whether a tourist, perpetual tourist, temporary/permanent resident, or citizen, everyone gets treated the same at Gap Equity Loans.

Competitive Rates

Private financing Interest rates can compare closely to what you would get at the local Costa Rican banks, without upfront or hidden fees.



Gap Equity Loans

Regardless of whether a bank has denied you in the past, you could still qualify for a loan from one of the private lenders that work with Gap Equity Loans. Gap works with both sides of the deal on a personal level to get quick approvals for loan requests. Gap Equity Loans is dedicated to ensuring all aspects of the loan are well understood by both parties. We pride ourselves on making the entire process as quick and straightforward as possible! Apply for a loan here!


Private money lending can provide a quick and flexible alternative to traditional lending options for real estate financing. Equity loans can be a helpful financing option for homeowners and real estate investors in Costa Rica. Borrowers should consider the interest rate, loan-to-value ratio, repayment terms, and risk of foreclosure before taking out an equity loan in Costa Rica. By carefully weighing the benefits and risks, borrowers can make informed decisions and choose the financing option that is right for them. If required, get an official translation of the lender’s conditions to ensure you fully understand them before signing anything.

-Written by Glenn Tellier (Founder of Grupo Gap)

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the process of an equity loan?

    The process involves determining the amount of equity in your property, finding a lender, applying for the loan, providing documentation, signing a loan agreement, and receiving the funds.

    What is equity requirement for a loan?

    The equity requirement varies, but lenders generally require borrowers to have at least 60% equity in their property.

    What is the benefit of having an equity loan?

    The benefit is that you can use the funds for any purpose, such as office and home improvements or to buy a new vehicle for the business and the interest may be tax deductible.

    What is the difference between a refinance and home equity loan?

    A refinance replaces your existing mortgage with a new one, while a home equity loan is a separate loan that uses the equity in your property as collateral.

    What is the downside to a home equity loan?

    The downside is that you are putting your home at risk if you are unable to make payments, and the interest rates may be higher than a traditional mortgage.

    How many months is a home equity loan?

    The term varies depending on the lender and the amount borrowed, but typically ranges from 6 to 36 months.

    Is there a monthly payment for a home equity loan?

    Yes, you will need to make monthly payments on the loan, which will include both principal and interest.



    Contact us for more information, or fill out a loan request now!




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    Article by Glenn Tellier (Founder of CRIE and Grupo Gap)

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