FAQ – Frequently Asked Commercial Mortgage Loan Questions

What are the FIVE Core Loan Programs most loans fall under at ICS.

  1. Bridge Loan (Non-bank)
  2. Permanent Loan (Bank & Non-Bank)
  3. Fix & Flip / Rehab Loan (Non-bank)
  4. New Construction Loan (Bank & Non-bank)
  5. SBA Loan (Bank)

If you have a question and need an answer, what should you first do?

Check our Resources Page and/or login to your Loan Dashboard to see if you can find the answer first. If the answer to your question is not available via the ICS website, you can contact the Support Team by going to the Help Desk online where you can submit your support request online via email.

If you have a direct question about the status of a loan you have submitted, what should you do?

You can login to your Loan Dashboard and select the loan you are working on. In the processing section of the loan, you can check the status of the loan. If you want more information, you should contact your Regional Sales Manager for an update.

If you have a specific sales related question or scenario and the answer is not covered in training or available via the ICSloans website, what should you do?

Try to run the scenario online using the 3 Minute Rate Quote tool. You can then email or call ICS.

Does ICS handle general questions and support matters by phone?

No, all support questions should be submitted online via the ICS Help Desk so they can be assigned to the appropriate person. If a question is submitted where the answer is available via the FAQ page, Loan Dashboard, or in the ICS Training Manual, you may not receive a response.

If you have a loan scenario, and are unsure if the loan can be funded through ICS, what should you do first?

Go to www.icsloans.com homepage and select "Instant Rate Quote". Input the loan information and see what loan options are returned. If you get no loan options, then you may have a loan that no lender in the country will fund, or you are selecting the incorrect loan program or entering information incorrectly. If you get no loan options or options that are not acceptable, simply submit the loan online. Our deal team will review it and get back to you. Please do not submit "test" loans or scenarios that are not active loans you are truly working on.

What documents are needed for ICS to process and underwrite a loan?

Documents vary based upon what type of loan the borrower needs.

See Required Loan Documents

Will ICS begin processing, underwriting, and sourcing a loan without all the required documents?


How many loans does ICS process and underwrite monthly?

ICS processes and undewrites over $100M per month.

How long has ICS been in business?

ICS started as a Commercial Real Estate company in 2009. In 2015, ICS arranged it's first commercial loan. In March of 2017, ICS launched ICSLoans.com and began recruiting Loan Brokers nationwide. Today, ICS has over 1,000 Independent Loan Brokers, ICS Loan Advisors, and Referral Partners nationwide.

What are the three most important things ICS looks at when evaluating the strength of a borrower?

Money in the bank, equity, property income.

What is the largest loan ICS has originated to date?


What happens once a loan is submitted online to ICS by an ICS Loan Advisor or Independent Loan Broker?

Once a loan is submitted online, a Broker Support Manager will follow-up with the Loan Advisor via phone or email to go over the loan within 24 hours (business hours). Once the best loan program has been identified for the client and the loan has been structured initially, the next step is for the Loan Advisor to send an ICS Funding Agreement to the borrower via DocuSign. Once they have completed the Funding Agreement and paid the $1975 deposit, the loan is submitted to the ICS Loan Processing Department. Once all the required documents are uploaded to the Loan online by the Loan Advisor, the loan is reviewed and the Processing team is notified the loans is ready for funding. The loan is then packaged, processed, underwritten, and sent out to every suitable lender through the ICS Lending Platform. The loan processing team then follows-up with every lender the loan has been sent to. Interested lenders will submit LOI's (Letters of Intent) to the ICS Processing Team. LOI's are reviewed then presented to the client with the Loan Advisor. Once the client accepts, ICS moves forward with loan processing, title, escrow set-up, etc.

What is the largest loan ICS can fund through our lenders?

There is no maximum loan limit. ICS funds loans through the largest lenders and institutions in the country.

What is the smallest loan ICS can fund through our lenders?


Is there a minimum loan funding fee ICS charges?


What is an ICS Loan Funding Fee?

The ICS Loan Funding Fee is the fee ICS charges to borrowers to arrange financing. The Funding Fee is usually 1% to 3% of the total loan amount, or $5,000, whichever is more.

What is the split of an ICS Loan Advisor or Independent Broker?

Independent Lending Partners charge points to their clients and keep 50% of the total commission (points) up to $50,000 per transaction, and 70% above.

Who can become an ICS Independent Lending Partner?

Anyone with a non-felony background.

Can a borrower use seller financing as their down payment to purchase a property?

Never. A borrower must have the down payment which ICS will confirm via their bank.

Can a borrower use equity in other properties they own to purchase additional properties?

Yes, as long as they do not exceed the maximum LTV of 75% on other properties, we can pull cash out to purchase additional properties. Liens would be put on those properties securing the down payment.

Does ICS fund loans outside of the United States?


Do you need a Loan Officer license to originate commercial real estate loans?

In most states, no. A real estate brokerage license is required in California. A loan officer license is required in Arizona and Nevada. If you are unlicensed in those states, you can refer the loan to ICS and a licensed ICS Loan Advisor will service the loan.

If you don't know the meaning of a term (terminology) or want to learn more about commercial lending, what should you do?

Go to our Commercial Lending Terminology page and/or login to your Loan Dashboard and access your training manual.

How much is the ICS referral fee?

ICS can pay a referral fee on commercial and investment property loans up to 20% of the gross loan commission. This amount is paid at escrow to the referring party. Commercial referral fees do not fall under RESPA regulation. Independent Loan Brokers and ICS Loan Advisors can offer their referral partners this 20% referral fee. It's a great way to establish relationships.

Why do Commercial Loan Brokers join ICS?

Brokers join ICS as Independent Lending Partners in order to price, process, underwrite, and fund loans with thousands of institutional and private lenders nationwide. Loan Brokers can issue instant Rate Quotes through ICSLoans.com with a funding fee agreement.

What is ICSLoans.com?

ICSLoans is a commercial lending comapany and leading online commercial loan marketplace with the largest network of institutional and private lenders nationwide. Loans are originated, processed, underwritten, packaged, then listed online for lenders to review and submit offers to fund. Borrowers and Loan Brokers complete one short application, choose from loan programs, through one single point of contact, ICSLoans . ICSLoans issues instant rate quotes, outlining lending terms from day one.

Are Loan Brokers ICS employees?

No, Loan Brokers are independent contractors and work under the ICS brand or under their own company name.

Does ICS work with foreign nationals and non-US Citizens?

Yes. Very common.

If a borrower does not want to provide bank statements or other documents we have requested, what happens?

We stop working on the loan and wait until they provide the documents requested.

If a borrower has not filed taxes for 1 or more years, can we still do the loan?

Yes, but they will not get a bank loan. They will have to go with a non-bank bridge loan until they have filed taxes.

What fees are charged to borrowers?

Partners usually charge 1%-3% on most bridge loans, hard money, and fix and flip loans. ICS charges an additional processing and underwriting fee of $1,975. The final lender usually will charge additional points, processing, and underwriting fees. ICS negotiates these fees down for our clients.

How long is the contract with ICS?

Loan Brokers are contracted with ICS on a month-to-month basis.

Do ICS Independent Brokers get their own website?

Yes. Once signed-up the website link is available via the Loan Advisor Loan Dashboard.

Can Brokers work under their own company name?

Yes. Independent Loan Brokers can work under their own company name and use ICS to process, underwrite, and place their loans with lenders.

Is there a quota at ICS?


Does ICS offer training?

Yes, learning materials are available online.

How many lenders are there in the ICS Lending Platform?

Over 3,000+

What is the best way to learn about Commercial Lending?

Go through the ICS online training.

Who is the typical ICS Loan Broker?

Residential real estate agents, commercial realtors, residential loan officers, business consultants, financial planners, sales people, and other similar fields.

What is a typical rate for a hard money loan?

7.5% - 12%

How does ICS support Loan Brokers?

Loan Brokers can go to our Resources page when in need of general website support. If Loan Brokers need assistance they can also call or email ICSLoans Help Desk.

What is the standard maximum LTV on conforming bank loans?


What is the standard maximum LTV on hard money / bridge loans?


What type of properties does ICSLoans.com not work with?

Owner-Occupied Residential Home Loans

Hard Money loan approvals are based off what primary factors?

Equity & Cash-flow

Does ICS provide SBA financing?


Why is it beneficial for a borrower to work with a correspondent lender or broker instead of a bank?

Brokers source capital through every lender in the country providing borrowers with more options. Correspondent lenders sell and assign loans to multiple lenders.

How do you order business cards? Only ICS Loan Advisors can order cards, not Independent Brokers.

Go to the ICS Help Desk and submit your business card request online. Your cards will be ordered and shipped to you within 5 business days.

How do you change your profile / phone, contact information with ICS?

Login to your Loan Dashboard and from the dropdown menu select "Update Profile."

How do you update your bio with ICS?

Login to your Loan Dashboard and from the dropdown menu select "Update Profile."

How much is the ICS monthly platform fee for all services and support provided by ICS to our Independent Brokers?


How long does it typically take to close a hard money / bridge loan?

15 to 30 days

How long does it typically take to close a conforming bank loan?

45 to 90 days.

What is a non-recourse loan?

Borrower is not personally responsible in the event of default. Property secures the debt.

What is the typical term length of a hard money / bridge loan?

12 to 24 months, sometimes 36 months.

Do hard money loan payments include principal and interest or interest only?

Interest Only.

What does the Primary Market mean?

Loans are brokered or sold in the primary market to banks and lenders.

What does the Secondary Market mean?

Loans are packages by lenders and banks and sold to investment companies which are then positioned as securities.

How do you calculate a Cap rate?

Net operating income divide by market sale price.

What is Senior Debt?

Long-term loans.

Who determines what investor a loan will be sold, assigned, or brokered to at ICS?

ICS Loan Processing team identifies the investor / lender.

How much is the Loan Processing fee on loans processed by ICS?


What does loan processing and underwriting include?

If Lending Partner employees ICS to process and underwrite the loan, the following are included.

  • Instant Rate Quote
  • Pull Borrower Credit
  • Title Report
  • Deed of Trust
  • Tax Report
  • Financial document review
  • Package loan for lender review
  • Submit loan to lender chosen by Lending Partner
  • Schedule escrow closing
  • Schedule appraisal as needed
  • Clear lender funding conditions

Where is the main office of ICS?

Seattle, WA

In what states does the ICS registered Loan Brokers?


Does ICS assist Loan Brokers fund residential home loans?

Absolutely not.

If a borrower can apply once through a Broker and have their loan viewed by thousands of lenders and investors to fund, why would they go to any other bank or loan officer?

There is no reason why they would apply with another bank, lender or loan officer. ICS markets the loan through every lender in the country.

How many people use ICSLoans.com monthly to search for loans?

Over 10,000.

Multifamily loans refer to properties with how many units?

5+ units

What is a single-tenant building?

A building with one occupying tenant

Give an example of a single-tenant retail building.

Home Depot

On an apartment building, are taxes and insurance deducted from gross rents to determine the NOI?


Should a Loan Broker use a 1003 application or Commercial application?

Either works, but the ICS C-1003 Loan Application is preferred.

Do most hard money lenders require a deposit prior to funding?

In some cases. Most commercial lenders and banks require an underwriting deposit of $1,500 to $4,000 once a letter of intent is issued.

What does LOI stand for?

Letter of Interest or Letter of Intent

How long does it take to receive an LOI from a Lender?

Once the final lender is determined, that lender will usually issue a final LOI with more specific terms within 3-5 days of receiving borrower financials.

What is the most common type of commercial lease?

A Triple Net Lease (NNN).

Why do commercial lending companies typically charge an upfront deposit when providing financing?

To cover due diligence and underwriting costs and keep borrowers from backing out of the loan and going with a different lender.

Does ICS fund loans directly?

In some cases, yes.

In most cases, who pays the points (fees) on a loan to the Broker, the lender or borrower?


Is ICS a Bank?

No. ICS is a commercial lending company, not a bank.

What loan has a higher rate, conforming or hard money?

Hard Money

Who do most banks sell their conforming loans to?

The secondary market.

Why do private investors like hard money loans?

High interest rate returns on secured real estate assets.

How does ICS qualify lenders and investors?

Lenders must prove ability to fund with confirmed banking verification.

What is the standard cost of a commercial appraisal?

$1,000 to $4,000+

What percentage of a property must a business owner occupy as a commercial tenant to attain SBA financing?

51% or more.

How do borrowers typically complete their Commercial & Multifamily Loan Application?

Over the phone or online

How do borrowers typically send their financial and property documents to Brokers?

Secure upload via ICSLoans.com.

Who sees a loan submitted to ICS?

The Loan Broker, processing, and approved lenders interested in funding the loan.

Why should Brokers require a Funding Fee Agreement?

So, Brokers ensure they get paid at closing.

Is the ICS Commercial Funding Fee agreement exclusive?

Yes. Always.

Who do you contact at ICS for general support?

The ICS Broker Support Team via www.icsloans.com/help

When purchasing a commercial or multifamily property, what is that standard minimum down payment required?

25% - 30%. Fannie Mae provides an 80% loan on 5+ unit apartment buildings with loan amounts over 1M.

What should you do if you forget your password to access ICSloans.com?

Reset your password.

What are primary items you need when submitting any loan to ICS for lenders to provide an LOI?

Bank Statements

Credit Report

Rent Roll

Profit & Loss

Personal Financial Statement or Loan Application

What are 3rd party fees borrowers typically pay directly to the 3rd party prior to closing or prior to closing?



What are the FIVE primary things an underwriting looks at when evaluating a loan.

LTV – Equity in the property / down payment

Property type, condition, and location

Property & Borrower Income (ability to make mortgage payments)

Borrower Credit Score and history

Borrower Cash Reserves in the bank

If a property is not income producing, and/or the total property income and borrower income does not support the mortgage payment, would this be a conforming or non-conforming / hard money loan?

Non-conforming / hard money / bridge

What is the primary objective of a Commercial Mortgage Broker?

Originating and closing loans.

Do Commercial Mortgage Brokers need to have an NMLS license?

No. An NMLS license is for Residential Mortgage originators.

What type of loan application is usually required for a commercial mortgage loan?

1003 Loan Application or the ICS C-1003 Commercial Mortgage Loan Application.

What does P&S stand for?

Purchase and Sale Agreement.

What is the primary purpose of ICS?

Process, underwrite, and fund loans through the most competitive lender/investor.

What loan do Commercial Mortgage Brokers NOT handle?

Residential owner-occupied property loans.

Do rates change daily?


What two indexes are primarily used by lenders to determine rates?

The PRIME Index Rate

The 6 Month Libor Index Rate