Breaking Down Second Mortgage Options and Costs
A second mortgage is an excellent tool for dealing with debt. In recent years, many Canadians have come to recognize the value of using their home to consolidate debt. Today we discuss second mortgage options and costs and the benefits of using your home to deal with debt.
Firstly, a second mortgage is great because it has nothing to do with your first mortgage, so you can structure it like a traditional debt consolidation while taking advantage of lower interest rates.
For example, you don’t HAVE to amortize a second mortgage over 25 years as you would with a first mortgage. You can choose to amortize it over 5 or 10 years to see the debt paid off faster.
Secondly, using a second mortgage to consolidate debt will often result in a much lower interest rate compared to the credit products you are currently concerned about.
There are lots of different second mortgage options depending on your equity positioning and credit standing.
If you have good credit, a line of credit or conventional second mortgage through a bank at a great low rate are two attractive options. With a line of credit, amortization is not required and your monthly payment will be based on the balance. That being said, selecting a line of credit will mean you need to be more disciplined because minimum payments are often 1-2% of the balance and thus very little will get paid to principal if you only make minimum payments. When choosing between a conventional second mortgage and line of credit, be sure to look at how long you want to be paying the debt and reverse calculate what your payments will look like – a good mortgage broker can help you do this.
If you have bad credit, this will likely reduce your options and can mean higher rates, albeit usually still far less than a high interest loan from a finance company. If your credit is only slightly bruised, a finance company or trust company may extend second mortgage financing to you. However, if it is really bad you will need lots of equity and your broker will likely get your mortgage financed through a private lender. Most private lenders charge on an interest- only basis, however some may allow you, as with a line of credit, to pay more than the interest if your budget will permit. In this case, you’ll also want to check if the lender offering the mortgage will allow you to make extra payments without penalty.
Keep in mind that second mortgage financing is a mortgage so you will have some fees. Potential fees could include (and this largely depends on how good or bad your credit is – good credit means fewer fees) a broker fee (lender may pay all or part if credit is good), legal fees (often less with lines of credit), application or administration fees from lender, and an appraisal (if your mortgage is not CMHC insured).
Going directly to a lender is never a good idea. It is better to deal with a broker because they work with ALL lenders and can explore all options to get you the best deal. This is also important if your credit is bad as only brokers can obtain private mortgage financing.
If you’re interested in finding out more about using second mortgage financing to consolidate debt, DebtCare can help.
Call us today at 1-888-890-0888.