What is a hard money lender? The real estate term may conjure up visions of crooked-nosed guys who’ll cut off a borrower’s pinkie finger for flaking on a hard money loan. But you can rest assured that, despite the “hard money” moniker, these professionals aren’t thugs. In fact, these lenders fill a legitimate niche in the housing market for quick, asset-based home loans. And they loan money for massive real estate investments and regular homes alike.