Deciding whether to get a second mortgage or not is a serious financial decision. After all, applying for a second mortgage means using your home equity as collateral for a loan.
How Does a Second Mortgage Work?
When you apply for a second mortgage, the money lent to you is held against the value of your home equity. Failure to repay the loan can mean losing your home to foreclosure because that is the only way the lenders can recoup their losses in the event of non-payment. You have to be sure about the type of second mortgage that you get and the payment terms that you agree to in order to make sure that getting a second mortgage will work for you.
Advantages of a Second Mortgage
Second mortgages are an attractive loan option for homeowners for many reasons. Perhaps the biggest reason is the loan amount. With a second mortgage, you can borrow as much as 80% of your home equity and choose whether to get that as a line of credit or a lump sum. That’s a lot of cash that can be used for a big project.
Another advantage is lower interest rates compared to other types of loans. A credit card loan or a personal loan charges many times the interest charged by a second mortgage. Note that compared to a primary mortgage, a second mortgage’s interest is a bit higher because the loan carries more risks of non-payment for the lender.
Tax Benefits are another advantage. There are some laws that will allow those with second mortgages to deduct their mortgage interest from their taxes especially if the funds were used to improve the home. The tax benefits may vary by province and year.
Disadvantages of a Second Mortgage
The risk of losing one’s home is the biggest disadvantage of a second mortgage. However, this risk can be managed and mitigated if you work with mortgage professionals who will help you decide on a second mortgage with terms that are right for you.
Another disadvantage is loan costs. Getting a second mortgage comes with fees for things such as appraisals, credit checks, origination fees, and more. You have to know that closing costs and the fees can easily amount to thousands of dollars. Choose a lender that will let you know how much you will be expected to pay before getting a second mortgage.
Uses for a Second Mortgage
To make a second mortgage work for you and be worth all the possible disadvantages, it is best to have a clear purpose for the loan. Smart uses for a second mortgage include paying for home renovation or improvement, loan consolidation of high-interest loans, financing higher education that can be used to improve job prospects and pay grade later, and other forms of investing.