A metric used in commercial real estate construction to compare the amount of debt needed to finance a project to the cost of building it, helping lenders assess the associated risk. It indicates the proportion of a project’s total cost funded by a loan. LTC is calculated by dividing the project’s loan amount by its total construction cost.

Lenders use the LTC ratio to evaluate the risk of a project. Higher LTC ratios indicate that a more significant portion of the project is financed, which could suggest greater risk for both the lender and the borrower.

The Loan-to-Cost (LTC) Formula

The Loan-to-Cost Ratio (LTC) is calculated by dividing the loan amount by the project’s total cost and multiplying it by 100 to express the result as a percentage. The formula for calculating the Loan-to-Cost Ratio is:

LTC = (Loan Amount) / (Total Project Cost)


  • Loan Amount: The money borrowed from a lender to fund the project.
  • Total Project Cost: The overall project cost, including construction costs, land acquisition, permits, fees, and other related expenses.

Example of Loan-to-Cost Calculation

LTC is expressed as a percentage. For example, if a project has a total cost of $1,000,000 and a loan of $750,000, the LTC would be:

LTC = $750,000 / $1,000,000 = 0.75 or 75%

In this case, the Loan-to-Cost Ratio is 75%, indicating that the loan covers 75% of the total project cost. This means that the borrower is financing 25% of the project cost with their equity or other sources of funds. Lenders often use this ratio to evaluate the risk and feasibility of a project, with higher LTC ratios suggesting a greater level of risk. A higher LTC ratio could mean a more significant reliance on borrowed funds and potentially greater risk if the project encounters difficulties.


The Loan-to-Cost Ratio (LTC) measures the percentage of a project’s total cost financed by a loan. It focuses on the relationship between the loan amount and the project’s overall cost, including construction expenses, land acquisition, permits, and other relevant costs.

On the other hand, the loan-to-value Ratio (LTV) measures the percentage of a property’s appraised value covered by a loan. It considers the relationship between the loan amount and the property’s market value.

For more in-depth information on the Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV), you can refer to this article: [Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV) guidelines]. This article provides further insights into LTV, its calculation, and its significance in various lending scenarios.

What is a Good Loan-to-cost Ratio for Investors?

The “good” Loan-to-Cost Ratio (LTC) for investors can vary based on factors such as the type of investment, the investor’s risk tolerance, the current market conditions, and the lender’s requirements. Generally, investors and lenders often prefer a lower LTC ratio, as it signifies that the investor has a more significant equity stake in the project, reducing the risk for all parties involved.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer, and the ideal LTC ratio can vary from investor to investor. Thorough financial analysis, an understanding of the local real estate market, and a clear assessment of the project’s potential risks and rewards are essential when determining the appropriate LTC ratio for a specific investment.

List of resources:

  1. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/loan-to-cost-ratio-ltc.asp
  2. https://equitymultiple.com/glossary/loan-to-cost-ratio-ltc