How I Find Private Money Lenders to 100% Fund My Deals (& How You Can, Too)


The #2 question I typically get from people I meet is this:

“Dude, where do you get the money to do your deals?”

I mean, their initial thought is that I have hundreds of thousands of dollars sitting around, waiting to be used on deals I get. I don’t have that kind of money sitting around, and even if I did, I wouldn’t always fund my own deals.

I’m not a millionaire (yet), but I know a few.

And that is where I get my money — 100% funding for both purchase and rehab.

What do you do when you are a savvy millionaire — say you sold a company or a big patch of land and now have more money than you know what to do with? Do you throw it in the stock market? Do you squirrel it away in some CDs or a savings account? Do you see how many Twinkies you can buy in bulk before being put on some kind of watch list (I want to know)? Do you go to the casino and bet it all on red at the roulette wheel (if you do this, call me first — I want to watch)?

I said “savvy” millionaire, which means you would likely lend it out on secured investments for a great return, right?! How does 8% return sound? What about 10%? What about 12%? All sounds great!  You could be the bank, getting a much better return than the average stock market return. Bank of the savvy millionaire — I like the sound of that.

OPM stands for “other people’s money,” and it’s a great tool to leverage more deals than you have cash for.

With my own cash, I could do ONE deal in my market. With OPM, I can do as many deals as I can line up the money for.

So, where do I get 100% financing for my fix and flip deals? Private money lenders.

Private money lenders typically care more about the deal than they care about your credit score. They want to know you have a solid track record of flipping in order to feel good about handing you a six-figure check. They want to be protected by having a first deed of trust (mortgage) on the property, so their money is secured by a hard asset. Did I say track record? Because I’ve found that it’s the most important thing these savvy individuals look for in an investor.

Where does this leave the new investor with little to no track record? Well, sometimes you have to start with some hard money loans before you can graduate to a better deal on your lending  But that isn’t always the case, especially when working with people who know you and believe in you (who you know section below).

Unlike a loan officer at some big national bank, private money lenders rely much more on personal relationships. They are literally hitching their money to your success. As a relational business, it may take a few “dates” before they are ready to get married to you long-term, to see if you are compatible, how you work, and if you actually put the dishes away like you promised.

Related: Investors: Don’t Be Intimidated by Private Money! Here’s What You Need to Know.

How do I find private money lenders? By either reaching out to my network to find people who want a good return on their money or reaching out to already established private money lenders who are actively lending in my area. Let’s start with who you know, then move on to who you don’t know.


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Who You Know

Tapping into your sphere of people you already know can be powerful here, whether you know people with deep pockets or know someone who knows someone who does. The number one strategy here is getting the word out about what you are doing and what you are looking for to your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers.

Getting the Word Out

I’ve personally found that chronicling my investment activities through social media to be a huge credibility boost among those who I already know. It consistently reminds people that I’m a real estate investor and a professional at what I do. People flip their lids on before and after shots, and I find my friends and family tuning in when I highlight projects that we have been working on.

People love the journey of “crap house” to “nice house” and love the shows on TV about flipping. For every 20 or so project updates, I may put out a soft pass asking if anyone is looking for a decent return on an investment secured by real estate. Call people that you already work with, agents, title company reps, your CPA, closing attorneys and everyone in between, and chances are someone you already work with knows someone who can help you. This is where I’ve found a small handful of smaller lenders, people with $10,000-50,000 to play with.

The Soft Pass

You might tell your Uncle Joe that you have been working on analyzing some new properties to buy and are exploring funding options at 8-10% or some kind of equity share. Your current lenders are tapped out, and you need to find a few new good ones.  This kind of “passing comment” can pique the interest of the right person who may already be looking for a better place to park some money.

Dealing with people you already know can be the world’s biggest blessing — or curse. If Uncle Joe likes you and believes in you, it may be a no-brainer to invest in YOU and what YOU are doing. If your family is terrible and you would rather jump off a bridge than work with them, skip this section.

The Hard Sell

Forget that wuss “slip it naturally into conversation” business. Let’s just attack this thing directly. Let’s sit Uncle Joe down with a full on business plan, power point presentation, and pro forma package for him to pour over. This can be a good way to get taken seriously by a contact of yours who is a bit more formal and wants to be sold on you and your company. Why should they invest with you? What are some deals you have done and what is the return you gave that lender? What are some deals you are looking at right now if they want to get in with your company today?

An interview I once heard (someone chime in with credit where credit is due) was where a police officer was retiring to flip houses. Before he left, he gathered some colleagues in a room and let them know what he was doing and sold them on investing with him. He left the meeting with six figures in pledged funding. You don’t know until you ask!

Success Begets Success

When you are out there in your market, doing your thing by changing neighborhoods, getting deals and fixing up houses, your sphere of influence will notice. If you have been doing it for a year or so, every time they see you (especially when you are “getting the word out” as above), they will be reminded that you are a pro. How can they get in on this? The more successful you are, the more individuals will come out of the woodwork to see how they can also benefit from your success. This is also known as “you won’t have to go out and find private money lenders; they will eventually come to you.”


Who You Don’t Know

I know you are super excited about soliciting others for money, right? You were hoping to find the easiest way to get private money, but you find out you have to go out and ask for it? Hmmm. Well, with this method, you do. When I’m looking to expand my private money lender pool (as I’m currently working on now — can never have too many), I have a default way to attract a few new lenders to work with.

Related: 4 Simple Steps for Newbie Investors to Start Raising Private Money

You might get to the point where you have 2-3 awesome lenders, and you are cranking deals out left and right. One gets hit by a bus, one parks his money in Mexico, and one takes on a big development deal, and you are left with zero lenders. Zilch. Your depth of lending will become apparent — you were actually in the kiddie pool with those floaties on your arms, when you thought you were ready for the Olympics. I speak from experience here. It’s never a bad thing to get in front of more money and forge relationships with lenders. You never know when you will need them.

Before we solicit these individuals or companies, we need to go out and find them!

Network Your Butt Off

Every local meetup you can attend, whether a real estate club or events found right here on BiggerPockets, you need to be there. If there is a “wants and needs” time or bulletin board, make sure that people know you are there in order to connect with lenders for some upcoming projects you have. Meet everyone you can — and as like I say for the local BiggerPockets meetup I run in Denver, “find someone you want to work with and tackle them.”

Find Local Lenders

If you can’t network and don’t know anyone with money to connect with, this is your next best option. I can look up on my county records site the closed price, the interest rate, and even the lender’s name and address. I’m not interested in looking up every property to see who the lender is, so I use one of the data broker sites. I make sure I look up who is lending in my area in the last 6 months. Going through each site and teaching you what options to use could be its own book. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll give you the important stuff — a half dozen resources! (Note: I haven’t tried this for non-disclosure states.)

  1. — “private party loan” is the key here when creating a list

You can also post your deal on the following sites to see if there are any lenders interested:

  1. BiggerPockets Marketplace

What can you do after you have downloaded a list of names from ListSource or You are going to have to reach out and touch them, of course!

Cold Call

I’ve used this with success in the past, taking the master list of lenders and hunting down their phone numbers and giving them a call. My basic script when calling these folks out of the blue is:

“Hello, is this John? My name is Anson, and I see you lent money for a project on 123 Main Street. My company does similar fix up projects, and I’m calling today to see if you are looking to lend more on these types of deals.”

From there, the conversation could go 100 different ways. Usually, it goes into my track record and getting the lender to feel comfortable with how we do business. This is a relationship game. You could build rapport by talking about projects they are working on, other investors they work with, their kids, the local sports-ball team, or one of a dozen different things.

Finding their phone number from a generic list can seem daunting, but here are my favorite resources:, Google search their name or LLC, TLO or your favorite skip tracing service.

Direct Mail

The list that the list broker gave you should have the lender’s mailing address, so that part is easy. Now it’s all about what you send them to try and get a response from them. You want to provoke an initial reaction, get them to call so you can work your rapport building and lender wooing magic.

The message I send is pretty similar to my phone script. I mention the property they lent on so they know what I’m talking about, and, of course, bring it back to how I am in the same business of fixing properties and am looking for new private money lenders.  You could include a property list as your track record and trust factor, you could include a whole presentation on your company, or you could leave it as a simple message. Make sure to include your call to action, asking them to contact you to discuss this further or letting them know that you have a few deals you are analyzing and would like to run by them.

The medium of my mailing is always a professional letter on company letterhead. The reason you don’t want to do an informal yellow letter or something similar is you are likely dealing with someone extremely savvy who wants to know they are dealing with a professional — someone they might trust with their money. The company letter with your formal contact info projects a legitimate company who is serious about their business. A quick note on the back of a napkin won’t cut it. Putting forward a professional image is key here.

private money lenders

Related: 10 Smart Tips for Building Trust With Private Money Lenders

Mail these out. I always shoot for 200 or so (there are more private lending transactions going on than you think around you), and keep following up with more mailings every quarter or so. I may get 10-15 calls and take it from there. If we mesh well and their terms are good, we are in business! As with other direct mail marketing, you will have to keep up on your lists (finding recent lenders), and consistently mail them. You may not get a response from everyone the first time, so keeping them going out and varying your message shows you are in business for the long haul and have constant deals that need funding.

OK, so there you have it — all the ways I go out and find 100% private money! I hope this helps you on your real estate investment journey. Go out and network, connect, solicit, and get some money to do some deals!

*In the first sentence, I said the #2 question. You were paying attention. The #1 question is “How do I find deals?” I’ll address that in the next week or two.

Any questions about finding private money? How do you go about doing it for your deals?

Let me know your thoughts with a comment!

About Author

Anson Young

Anson is a full time real estate investor and part time adventure-taker. He is a wholesaler and flipper currently who daydreams of landlording. Anson lives in Colorado with his wife and son (who join him on the aforementioned adventures), he plays in a band and is way too into cold showers.


  1. Randy Phillips

    Very interesting and informative, I make my money now wholesaling Real Estate to the rehabbers and it has been very profitable.
    The thought of getting in over my head with a rehab project seams scary, and I did one that was a nightmare.
    I spent 3 months rehabbing a gutted duplex and didn’t make any money, luckily didn’t lose any cept my time.
    When I can make 15 Grand fast by doing an assignment contract and letting the local rehabbers deal with the risk and problems I happily do it.
    While they are taking 3-6 months to make 40 grand I can wholesale several properties and have no worries.
    If I decide to torture myself with stress and risk and dealing with all the BS, I’ll try it again.

  2. margaret smith on

    Hi Anson-
    Great resources here- thank you!
    I am a private (hard) money lender, and 2 years ago went out on a limb to fund new clients with 100% of the purchase, most of the closing, and all of the rehab costs. This might be called an Equity Participation loan. I provide the money- they do the rest. It has worked really well. As a lender, this is very risky, so that is why we do a 50/50 split of the profit at the end. It is up to the rehabber to present a great case for why this will work. After several successful projects, I am now willing to pay my rehabber a small fee up front (out of closing cash) as a wholesale fee to themselves, and take a little bit less of the profit on the back end. I don’t require any interim payments on a 6 month loan, though I do charge a couple of points, in cash from the rehabber, to extend the loan another 6 months. This structure has worked well for both parties. Have to choose your partners carefully, though!

    How do I get hooked up with rehabber clients? Different real estate clubs in my area- networking, like you say. All I have to do is stand up and announce that I am a lender. People approach me. So nice!

    Now I am trying to find ways to go in on larger deals with other lenders. If anyone out there has a secure, simple way not to require a first, and a second, lender- Please let us all know! No one ever should volunteer for a second place lien!

    • anthony stephenson

      Bruce, do you fund 80% of the puchase only or do you fund 80% of the entire deal (purchase + rehab)? What are your terms? Just FYI, I’ve done several deals where the private individual funds 100% of everything and we split 60/40 or even 70/30 in some cases. I’ve done hard money as well. I don’t like giving up money but a % of something is better than a % of nothing..

    • margaret smith on

      Do you fund nationally, or only in your own state? As a private lender, I only feel secure lending on collateral I can see and touch within an hour of my own home. Each state (even county!) has it’s own procedures and laws, and so the lending docs must be drawn up accordingly, right? How do you deal with that– a lawyer/title agent in every state? Also, how can you feel secure with property that is located a very long way from you? Who inspects for draws? How do you double check comps? How do you get to know your borrowers? The neighborhoods? How do you communicate effectively? What about the biggest issue for lenders– Ie, that of trust?

      Just wondering if you have any tidbits for us all, as several people are reaching out to me from other states…

  3. Peter S.

    Hey Anson,
    You mentioned that you often work with multiple smaller lenders to fund your deals. How does that profit sharing typically work out in that situation? I’ve built up a small amount of money to start moonlighting in REI but wonder if doing something like this would allow me to build up more capital for buy and hold.

    • margaret smith on

      Anson, I think what Peter S. means is that he wonders how you structure your deals with multiple investors on a deal. What are the lending docs? What portions do your record? How to you steer clear of the SEC if your investors are not accredited? What about investors from different states? Do you use an attorney? What does it cost, per deal, to set up the lending package and close? How are profits divvied up?

      I would love to know that too! Thanks, in advance….

      • Anson Young

        Margaret, the smaller investors are usually utilized for 2nd position rehab monies. So it looks very much like the 1st position, only in 2nd. So deed of trust, promissory note are both recorded at county. I’m not syndicating deals (yet?), so no expertise on that subject!

  4. Anson, This was the best information on private money I have read. I am taking my first steps in starting to house flip, however I did not know how to secure 100% purchase and rehab financing. After reading some of the posts a lot of my questions were answered.

    Jim Galart
    Lubbock, Texas area

  5. Amanda Flowers

    Thank you for the information! So you think after 2 years experience with 9 houses under our belt can we find investors who would be willing to take 8-10% of cash invested (is that annualized?) or are we set at 50/50 split of profits until we get more experience? Or can we start asking for more money in a 65/35 split? We have been giving 50/50 split, working with friends and family but it seems like we’re giving away so much for the amount of work at goes into these projects. Also is there an example on here of power points and track record sheets that you give potential investors? Or should I write up a full business plan? Thanks!

    • Anson Young

      Hard to say, since each and every private money lender is different. I would say 9 houses is plenty of track record to ask for straight interest rate vs. a split. Having your track record broken down in your business plan couldnt hurt at all, that way the lender can see that you know your numbers inside and out on the 9 you have done, and will feel more comfortable working with you. Good luck out there!!

  6. Brandon Sturgill

    Good article, Anson. Thanks for sharing. The one thing I am finding lacking with articles about raising private money are the actual mechanics of the deal…for example, do you start an LLC and form a JV for each deal, and who pays for the associated costs (including drafting the legal documents like the note)…and how do you handle closing?…do you offer interest only payments during the project?…and how do you structure the note?…

    I have a million other questions, but the actual steps you use when completing a deal would be tremendously more helpful than the cursory overview you have provided here.


    • Anson Young

      There are a million ways to structure it, and it will depend on what you and your lender want to do. Mine, we do a standard deed of trust and promissory note, the payment is negotiable, the rate is negotiable, the profit split is negotiable, the points are negotiable. So therefore, the reason there isnt a play by play of how these are structures, is because everyone does it differently!

      • Hi Brandon-
        You are so right, the devil is in the details, and it is rare that anyone give you a peek at their lending package. I would suggest you spend some time with both lenders and borrowers in your local real estate clubs (you may have several in your general vicinity, and it is good to join ALL of them, esp while you are networking to find out who is who and what they are doing!) Ask each of them at some point (very nicely, of course!) whether they might be able to pass you a redacted version of a deal they recently did involving a private lender.

        As a lender, I use a mortgage and note to secure my first position in the public record, and if there is a profit sharing component, I also have a Participation Loan Agreement, or something of that nature, that takes precedence. I don’t use an LLC. I will say that a lender should have their own docs, make the changes that pertain to your individual deal, and have you review it for negotiation. It is normally the lender’s responsibility to hire an attorney, and come up with a good deal structure and docs that go with it. However, if you are dealing with a newbie lender, you two might want to sculpt the deal together and share in the doc creation and closing costs. If you are both working toward a deal that is fair and equitable to both sides, with good faith among all, you should have the foundation of a long term investment partnership.
        Good luck!

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