When you buy a home, generally a mortgage is secured to pay for the home. This mortgage is called the first mortgage. If you receive a second loan against the same home, it is called a second mortgage. When you purchase a home the bank uses the property to secure the loan. This means that if you stop making payments, the bank will take your home through the foreclosure process, in order to pay the loan off. The lien position is important because that determines which loan is paid off first. The first lien is paid in full before the second lien. For this reason the first mortgage will offer a lower interest rate than a 2nd or 3rd lien as the risk to the bank of non-payment increases with each lower lien position.
Higher interest is also charged as the loan to value increases. Loan to value (LTV) describes the ratio between the amount that is owed on the home and the amount of equity. For example if you own a home that is valued at $200,000 and your first mortgage has a balance of $100,000, then you have 50% equity in your home or a 50% LTV. The bank will lend to a specified percentage of the loan to value. Terms will vary between banks along with the approval process. A second mortgage is generally held by the bank and not government backed. This leads to wide differences in the approval process and terms. Some banks lend as high as 90% to 95%, but it is more common to see an 80% LTV maximum.
The loan to value is calculated by taking the percentage first and then subtracting any outstanding loans against the property. This means a $200,000 home with a $100,000 mortgage at 50% LTV will offer a $100,000 second mortgage loan ($200,000 X 50%) – $100,000 = $100,000.
When you have equity in your home, debt consolidation may be the right option. Specialists at Finance Solutions can help evaluate your personal circumstances and help you decide which solutions will be most beneficial.