Second Mortgage: What It Is and How It Works | LendingTree

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this locate and this recompense may impact how and where offers appear on this web site ( such as the club ). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace. LendingTree is compensated by companies on this locate and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this locate ( such as the ordain ). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loanword options available in the market. column note : The capacity of this article is based on the generator ’ s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners. A second mortgage is a home loan that allows you to borrow home equity while you already have a current or “ beginning ” mortgage on the property. Homeowners may choose a second mortgage to pay off debt, make home improvements or debar mortgage indemnity. Before you take out a second mortgage, it ’ sulfur helpful to understand how it works and if it makes sense for you.

What is a second mortgage?

A second mortgage is a loanword against your home equity and attached to a home already secured by a first mortgage. Your home equity is the dispute between how much you owe and the value of your home. The term “ second gear mortgage ” refers to how lenders are paid in foreclosure : A second mortgage loan is paid only after the first lend balance has been paid. A second mortgage can be combined with a first base mortgage to refinance or purchase a home .

Types of second mortgages

The most common types of second gear mortgages are home equity loans and home equity lines of credit rating ( HELOCs ). Both allow you to borrow against your home ’ second equity, but they work very differently .

Home equity loans

In most cases, a home fairness loanword is a fixed-rate second mortgage. You receive funds in a lout union and pay the balance in even installments over terms ranging between five and 30 years. You ’ ll typically pay closing costs equal to 2 % to 5 % of your moment loan total and can use the cash to buy or refinance a home .
Rates are normally higher and the qualify requirements are more rigorous than a foremost mortgage. The funds from a second mortgage can be used to buy or refinance a family .

Home equity lines of credit

Most home equity lines of credit rating ( HELOCs ) are moment mortgages, but they can be secured by a home without a inaugural mortgage. A HELOC works like a credit card for a set time called a “ draw time period ” during which you can use and pay the balance off as needed. The rate is generally variable and the monthly payment is based on the measure charged during the draw period .
once the tie period ends, the libra is paid off in equal installments. closure costs may run 2 % to 5 % of the loan amount. You may besides pay ongoing fees for report maintenance and a close-out tip when you pay the HELOC off .

Uses for a second mortgage

It makes sense to get a second mortgage if :

  • You need to make some minor home improvements. If you don’t have the cash on hand to upgrade kitchen appliances or replace old flooring, a second mortgage can help. An added bonus: Second mortgage interest charges may be tax-deductible if the funds are used for home improvements.
  • You’re happy with your first mortgage rate but want to tap some home equity. With a second mortgage, you can convert equity to cash without touching your low-rate first mortgage. The funds can be used to pay off credit card debt, cover college tuition or as a financial cushion for unexpected future expenses.
  • You want to refinance and avoid mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance is required if you borrow more than 80% of your home’s value on a conventional first mortgage. Some second mortgage lenders allow you to borrow up to 100% of your home’s value on a refinance without charging mortgage insurance.
  • You want to avoid mortgage insurance on a home purchase. You can buy a home with a down payment as low as 10% with a “piggyback” second mortgage. A first mortgage is taken out for up to 80% of the home’s price, and the second mortgage “piggybacks” on the first, allowing you to avoid paying mortgage insurance.
  • You need extra cash to buy a home before your current home sells. It can be hard to time the sale of your current home with the purchase of a new home. If you need to buy a new home before completing the sale of your current home, you can take out a first mortgage and a second mortgage that covers the profit you’re expecting from your current home. When your old home sells, you can pay off the second mortgage with the sale proceeds.
  • You want to borrow more equity than a cash-out refinance will allow. A cash-out refinance is when you take out a new first mortgage for more than you currently owe and pocket the difference. Most first mortgage cash-out refinance programs allow you to borrow up to 80% of your home’s value. Second mortgage loans are available up to 100% of the value of your home, although most are capped at 85%.

How does a second mortgage work?

The second mortgage process is similar to getting a beginning mortgage. You fill out an application, the lender reviews your income and credit rating history and verifies the value of your family with some type of dwelling appraisal. however, there are a few celebrated differences when it comes to second mortgage requirements :
You can’t exceed the lender’s combined loan-to-value (CLTV) ratio limits. Your loan-to-value ( LTV ) proportion limit is calculated by dividing how much you ’ rhenium adopt by your home ’ second value. With a second mortgage, the lender adds the proportion of both your inaugural and second mortgage to determine your CLTV. Most lenders cap the CLTV at 85 %, although some may lend you up to 100 % of your dwelling ’ s value .
You’ll need a higher credit score than first mortgage programs. A 620 credit grudge is the minimal for many second mortgage lenders, while others set the barroom adenine high gear as 680 .
You must qualify with two mortgage payments. A second mortgage means you ’ ll make two firm payments. second mortgage lenders normally require a debt-to-income ( DTI ) proportion of no more than 43 %, although some lenders may stretch the utmost to 50 %. Your DTI ratio is calculated by dividing your entire monthly debt, including both mortgage payments by your gross income .
Your first mortgage will affect the second mortgage loan amount. You ’ ll be limited to borrowing the deviation between what you own on your current mortgage and the maximum LTV of the second mortgage course of study you apply for. Below is an example of the maximum second mortgage you ’ five hundred qualify for if your home is worth $ 300,000, your stream loan balance is $ 200,000 and the lender allows you to borrow 85 % of your home ’ mho value .
$ 255,000 ( i.e. 85 % of the home ’ s $ 300,000 measure )
$ 200,000 ( current loanword symmetry )

$ 55,000 ( maximum second home loanword come )
If you have a rough idea of your home ’ mho respect and your current loan libra, try our home equity loanword calculator to estimate how much second mortgage money you may be eligible for .

Pros and cons of a second mortgage


You can access your home fairness without refinancing your foremost mortgage .
You ’ ll pay lower interest rates than a personal loanword or credit cards .
You may deduct moment mortgage interest from your taxes if the funds are used for home improvement or to buy the home .
You can buy a home with less than 20 % and avoid paying mortgage insurance .


You could lose your home if you can ’ thymine make your payments and the lender forecloses .
You ’ ll pay a higher interest rate than a inaugural mortgage .
You ’ ll need a higher credit score and lower DTI ratio to qualify .
You will net less profit when you sell your base .

Second mortgage rates: What to expect

You ’ ll typically pay a higher interest rate with a second mortgage. That ’ s primarily because the second mortgages lenders take on more risk that they won ’ t be paid if you default on the loan, since the first mortgage has priority in foreclosure. Home equity lend rates are normally fixed, while HELOC rates are normally variable .
In most cases, the higher your LTV proportion is, the higher your rate will be. Borrowers with credit scores of 740 or higher are often rewarded with the lowest second mortgage rates .
check with three to five unlike lenders to get the best pace. Look out for ongoing maintenance costs and prepayment penalties on HELOCs. You may get a better moment mortgage rate at a local trust or citation union if you besides open a check report with them and have the monthly payments mechanically withdrawn .

Second Mortgage FAQs

Can I get a second mortgage with bad credit?

Yes, but lenders will probably reduce how much you can borrow depending on how low your scores are. Home fairness lenders generally require a credit grade of at least 620, although some may set a minimum a high gear as 680. If you have a lot of fairness but a lower credit score, consider an FHA cash-out refinance. Cash-out refinances backed by the Federal Housing Administration ( FHA ) allow you to borrow up to 80 % of your home plate ’ s prize with a score equally low as 500.

Is it better to refinance or take out a second mortgage?

It ’ s better to refinance if you can get a better rate on your first mortgage or don ’ t have high enough credit scores to qualify for a second mortgage. A second mortgage makes more sense if you need a small loan measure, you have high citation scores and want to leave your stream first mortgage as-is .

Can you get a second mortgage to buy another house?

Yes. You can take out a second mortgage on your primary residence, and use the home equity loanword or HELOC funds to make a down payment on a vacation or rental home .

Can you refinance a second mortgage?

Yes. You can refinance a second mortgage with a fresh irregular mortgage. For exercise, if you presently have a HELOC, you can replace it with another HELOC or switch to a home equity lend .

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