Daycare Center Loans

Loans for daycare centers or more specifically, commercial mortgages for daycare centers typically have a few challenges that set it apart from most. The special use nature of the property and relative high foreclosure rate make many lenders very cautious with in this industry. The management experience is critical and underwriting will spend a considerable amount of time getting a feel for the borrowers experience at running a business – and less concern over their credentials at caring for children. However, borrowers with good experience, credit, liquidity etc do have multiple options for their daycare center loan.

Conventional financing, meaning traditional loans offered by a bank with their own money, for daycare centers typically consist of a 5 year fixed rate, with a 20 amortization schedules. Loan to values on purchases hover at approximately 65% (maybe 70%) and 60% on refinances. Most conventional sources are very conservative with daycares and want to see 2 years of tax returns that show a debt coverage ratios of 1.3 to 1.4 compared to an a 1.2 for most building types. The debt coverage ratio is basically a tool that shows/proves a level of cash flow. Management experience will be heavily scrutinized with conventional sources. One of the primary benefits of conventional financing is the rate will often be the lowest with this type of financing.

SBA loans are often the better way to finance daycare centers then conventional. First of all, borrowers can put down as little as 15% (85% loan to value) on purchases, compared to conventional financing at around 40% down. Debt coverage ratios are less conservative as well, and can go down to 1.1. In addition, future business projection can be used to improve historical financials if they fall below the guidelines. Also, because the SBA is guarantying so much of the loan for the bank there can be a lot of underwriting flexibility.

Many owners are unaware that they can use SBA loans to refinance their existing daycare center loan. Loan to values can go as high as 85% on refi’s when the SBA program is included. Borrower can pull cash out of their property for expansion, consolidate business debt, open another location, etc. Fixed rates on the SBA 7a loan are 5 years with amortization schedules of 25 years. 504 programs boast’s rates fixed for as long as 10 years.

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