If you are a homeowner and in need of some extra cash, one possibility you could consider is taking out a second mortgage. If the present value of your house exceeds the amount you paid for it (your mortgage total), then you have equity that can be used to borrow more money. This is basically a loan that is secured on your house � and is sometimes termed a further advance.
Finding Another Lender?
You can approach your existing lender for a second mortgage, or shop around for a lower interest rate. It�s likely your second mortgage will be for a lesser amount of capital, but will nevertheless be subject to higher interest rates and possible charges. This is because it represents more of a risk to the lender � the lender takes a �second charge� over your property, which means that if the debt was recalled and your house repossessed, they would be second in line after your main lender to receive their debt.
For What Purpose?
Secured loans and second mortgages are popular with people who want to raise extra funds � for example if you want to carry out home improvements or set up in business and need capital to get going. Although it can be a good way to find a cash lump sum fast, be aware that you are eating into the investment that your property should be. You should make sure that you have planned for the extra cost of repayments beyond what you initially were bound to. If the mortgage term will last into your retirement, will you be in a position to keep up the repayments?
Understanding The Small Print
While there are any number of lenders offering second mortgages, before you commit yourself to one you should be totally clear about the terms offered. Although there may be a special offer or discounted period of low interest, often these will revert to a higher rate after the set period � once again, you need to take the long term view rather than the short term. Also, your equity can provide a security cushion so that if market prices fall, you will avoid the negative equity �gap� � taking out a second mortgage means you will lose that safety feature. (This is where the phrase �mortgaged up to the eyeballs� is particularly apposite.)
You should also take into account any other costs that you may incur � arrangement fees, a re-valuation survey, additional payment protection etc.