What Is a Second Mortgage? – NerdWallet


Second mortgages, or junior liens, are a strategy to flip your house fairness into available funds with out promoting your own home.

A second mortgage will increase your total debt and may result in foreclosures when you’re unable to pay it again. It is thought-about “second” or junior as a result of, within the occasion of chapter or foreclosures, it is second in line to be paid off, after your authentic mortgage.

How does a second mortgage work?

Taking out a second mortgage means you will have a further mortgage that is secured by your house, despite the fact that usually you haven’t but paid off the primary one.

With a purpose to get a second mortgage, you will want adequate home equity. To estimate your house fairness, subtract the present mortgage stability from your house’s worth — that’s the quantity of your house that you just actually personal.

A second mortgage allows you to convert a few of your house fairness into cash you need to use at this time.

A second mortgage allows you to convert a few of your fairness into cash you need to use at this time with out refinancing or promoting your house. In contrast to a refinance, a second mortgage doesn’t alter your major mortgage one bit — it is a fully separate mortgage.

You will make month-to-month funds on each loans concurrently, however in a worst-case state of affairs the place you go into foreclosures or file for chapter, the lender in your authentic mortgage can be paid off earlier than any funds went to the lender holding the second mortgage. (It is grim, however that is the way it works.)

In such a state of affairs, it is attainable the second mortgage lender wouldn’t totally be repaid. That is one cause why second mortgages are likely to have greater rates of interest than major mortgages. Although greater than common mortgage charges, second mortgage charges are prone to be decrease than rates of interest for private loans or bank cards.

Forms of second mortgages

This is a rundown of widespread second mortgage varieties you would possibly come throughout:

  • A “piggyback loan” is a second mortgage that is taken out concurrently the first mortgage. Additionally known as an 80-10-10 mortgage, it permits debtors to keep away from paying mortgage insurance coverage by combining a second mortgage for 10% of the house’s value with a major mortgage for 80% of the house’s value.

  • A home equity loan, or HEL, is a sort of second mortgage that gives you with a lump sum, which you repay at a hard and fast fee over a set time period.

  • A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, is an adjustable-rate, open-ended second mortgage that you just withdraw from as wanted, then repay over time.

Nerd tip: The time period “stand-alone second mortgage” refers to a second mortgage that is not taken out concurrently your authentic mortgage. Each HELs and HELOCs are stand-alone second mortgages.

In case your authentic mortgage is totally paid off, you may nonetheless take out a house fairness mortgage or line of credit score. In any case, you will have loads of fairness to borrow towards. However the house fairness mortgage or HELOC can be the first mortgage on this case, since it might be your solely mortgage.

Qualifying for a second mortgage

The qualification necessities for a second mortgage range relying on what sort of junior lien you are looking for and the lender you select.

However there’s one qualification requirement that is a relentless: For any stand-alone second mortgage, you will have to have accrued adequate house fairness to borrow towards. The quantity you may borrow with a second mortgage normally tops out at 85% of your fairness.

The quantity you may borrow with a second mortgage normally tops out at 85% of your fairness.

A credit score of 620 is the standard minimal for a second mortgage. Lenders might ask for a better rating, particularly when you’re making an attempt to borrow a big quantity. A better credit score rating can even assist you get a decrease fee.

Simply as with a major mortgage, your debt-to-income ratio — how a lot of your month-to-month earnings goes towards month-to-month debt funds — must be lower than 43% for a second mortgage. Lenders can require a decrease DTI in the event that they select, nonetheless.

How do you get a second mortgage?

Getting a second mortgage is pretty just like getting a major mortgage, although there are just a few variations.

You will not have an actual property agent, and you will not want an inspection. You’ll, nonetheless, want a home appraisal, because the present worth of your house performs a significant position in figuring out how a lot you may borrow.

This is an outline of the steps you will take to get a second mortgage:

  1. Calculate your approximate house fairness and decide how a lot you wish to borrow.

  2. Collect documentation of your present revenue and money owed.

  3. Examine second mortgage lenders.

  4. Apply for the second mortgage.

  5. Evaluation the disclosure paperwork. Confirm that the phrases are what you anticipated and you can afford the second mortgage funds.

  6. Present any further documentation wanted for underwriting.

  7. Shut on the second mortgage.


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