May 24, 2024


Mad about real estate

Truth About Second Mortgage and HELOC: Are They One and the Same?

A lot of people often confuse second mortgage with home equity loan. While both are associated with each other, they have their own benefits. But distinguishing one from the other should not be difficult.

A second mortgage is a type of home equity loan. Equity refers to the difference between the current appraised value of your home and the amount you have paid towards the first mortgage. The amount you can borrow on a second mortgage is usually based on the difference between the current value of your home and the remaining principal balance on your first mortgage. The second mortgage is an effective means of tapping the asset value of your home so that you can meet your financial needs and avoid acquiring high interest unsecured debt like the one offered by credit cards.

Generally, one can get a second loan wherein the total loan-to-value ratio of your first and second loans equals 85 percent of your homes appraised value. On the other hand, there are lenders in almost all states that allow you to take out a second mortgage that equals to 125 percent of the appraised value of your home.

Second mortgages usually have a fixed interest rate that runs.  Also, it is usually a 15- to 30-year loan. As with the initial loan, the rate of interest and points for a second mortgage will be based on credit history, home price, and the current interest rate. The second mortgage may have a higher interest rate, but the fees are typically lower.

Furthermore, second mortgages are also used to pay out a fixed sum of money to be repaid on an appointed schedule. People who are in an emergency situation usually opt for a second mortgage. This is because when you get approved for such mortgage, you will receive a lump sum, which you can use for expenses like roof repairs and home renovations. You may also use the money from your second mortgage for expenses not entirely related to house expenditures, like school tuition, car repair, vacations, debt consolidation and other financial needs.

Home equity loan is different. This is used to refer to a home equity line of credit (HELOC). A HELOC is often revolving and is similar to a credit card, wherein the interest is charged, and the amount you are allowed to borrow is based on your creditworthiness. Like the second mortgage, a HELOC may be used for any type of expense, but anything that is paid back above the interest owed will be returned to the account and can be used again when needed.

Usually, home equity line of credit loan has a term of up to 15 years. If you sell your home before you have repaid the line of credit completely, you will then have to do it upon completing the sale. This feature is applicable to both the HELOC and the second mortgage. In determining the limit of your HELOC, lenders examine your homes appraised value and start calculations at 75 percent of that value. They then deduct the remaining balance owed on your mortgage.

Your current financial needs will help distinguish the type of loan that is appropriate for you. For one-time expenses, you can opt for a fixed-rate second mortgage. But if you have a frequent need for extra money, a HELOC would be right for you.