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Comparing New Construction Loan Programs for Multifamily Apartment Projects


Securing a new construction loan for a multifamily apartment project used to be intimidating, but thanks to the increasing aggressiveness and competitiveness of banks and lenders, the process has become much easier in recent years. With several construction loan programs available, choosing the right one for your project may present challenges. This blog will compare the benefits and drawbacks of five popular construction loan programs: Banks and Credit Unions, Life Insurance Companies, Fannie Mae, Hard Money Lenders, and HUD/FHA 221(d)(4).

Banks and Credit Unions

Banks and credit unions have long been traditional sources of financing for construction projects. Their local presence and established relationships offer a convenient option for obtaining a new construction loan. Banks and credit unions generally provide competitive interest rates and flexible terms, making them a popular choice for many developers.


  • Established presence in the local area and existing connections
  • Affordable interest rates
  • Flexible terms and options for repayment


  • Repayment options may be more complex because of stricter lending standards and more paperwork.
  • Long waits for approval and possible delays
  • Limited availability for riskier projects or developers with less established track records

Life Insurance Companies

Life insurance companies are becoming more involved in the commercial real estate lending market, which includes new construction loans for multifamily apartments. They can offer attractive long-term financing options and are known for their stability and reliability, but they can be restrictive due to conservative underwriting.


  • Stable and reliable financing options
  • Long-term fixed-rate loans with favorable terms
  • Flexibility in loan structures to accommodate specific project needs


  • More conservative underwriting standards
  • Longer approval timelines and extensive due diligence requirements
  • Limited availability for smaller projects or developers with little experience

Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae is a federally-backed mortgage company. It plays a prominent role in multifamily housing finance. Fannie Mae offers various loan programs specifically designed for new construction projects, including the Multifamily Affordable Housing (MAH) and Green Financing options.


  • Favorable interest rates and loan terms
  • Support for affordable and green housing initiatives
  • Streamlined approval process through delegated underwriting.


  • Strict eligibility requirements and restrictions
  • Extensive documentation and reporting obligations
  • Limited availability for projects in specific locations or with unique characteristics

Hard Money Lenders

Hard money lenders can be an excellent alternative financing option for those developers who may not qualify for traditional loans. These lenders are typically private investors or groups who can take on higher risks in exchange for higher interest rates and fees.


  • Faster approval process compared to traditional lenders.
  • Flexible loan terms and structure
  • It may be a better option for developers with imperfect credit or projects with a higher risk.


  • High-interest rates and fees
  • Shorter loan terms and stricter repayment schedules
  • Project viability and collateral scrutiny due to limited availability

HUD/FHA 221(d)(4)

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers the FHA 221(d)(4) loan program specifically tailored for multifamily construction projects. This program provides attractive financing options for developers involved in affordable housing projects.


  • Low-interest rates and long-term fixed-rate financing
  • Higher loan-to-cost ratios compared to other programs.
  • Favorable terms for affordable housing projects


  • Lengthy approval process and extensive paperwork
  • Strict eligibility requirements and ongoing compliance obligations
  • Limited availability for projects meeting affordable housing criteria.

LSG Lending Advisors Can Help You with New Construction Loans

Finding a new construction loan for multifamily apartment projects has become more easier in recent years. However, selecting the best loan program for your project can still present challenges. By comparing the benefits and drawbacks of different options like Banks and Credit Unions, Life Insurance Companies, Fannie Mae, Hard Money Lenders, and HUD/FHA 221(d)(4), developers can make informed decisions that will align with their project goals, financial capabilities, and risk appetite.

We're confident that consulting with LSG Lending Advisors will further improve your chances of securing a suitable loan program for your next multifamily apartment construction project. Schedule a free phone consultation today. We'd love to hear about your next project and help you get the financing you need.

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