When it comes to taking out a second mortgage, there are a few different options to consider – each with their own set of pros and cons. For instance, you could take out a home equity line of credit (HELOC), get a cash-out refinance, or simply take out a second mortgage. So, which option is right for you?
To help you make the best decision, let's take a closer look at each of these options, as well as the key considerations to keep in mind when choosing a second mortgage.
Second Mortgage vs HELOC vs Cash-Out Refinance: The Basics
As we mentioned, there are a few different ways to take out a second mortgage. Here's a quick overview of each option:
Second Mortgage: A second mortgage is a lump sum loan that is taken out against the equity in your home.
HELOC: A HELOC is a line of credit that is secured by your home equity. This means you can borrow against your home equity as needed, up to the credit limit.
Cash-Out Refinance: A cash-out refinance is a new mortgage that is larger than your current mortgage. This allows you to take equity out of your home in the form of cash.
Now that we've covered the basics, let's take a closer look at each option in more detail.
Taking out a second mortgage is one way to access the equity in your home. With a second mortgage, you'll receive a lump sum of cash that can be used for any purpose.
One of the main benefits of a second mortgage is that you'll have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. This can provide some peace of mind, knowing that your payments won't increase over time.
However, one downside of a second mortgage is that you'll need to make two separate monthly payments – one for your first mortgage and one for your second mortgage. This can make it more challenging to keep up with your payments if you hit a financial rough patch.
A HELOC is a type of home equity loan that allows you to borrow against your home equity as needed, up to your credit limit. This can be helpful if you need money for a one-time expense or if you want to have access to cash in case of an emergency.
HELOCs typically have variable interest rates, which means your payments could go up or down over time. However, most HELOCs have a "draw period" where you only need to make interest payments. This can give you some flexibility in how you use the funds from your HELOC.
One potential downside of a HELOC is that you may be tempted to spend more than you originally intended since you have access to extra cash. It's important to be mindful of this and only borrow what you need.
A cash-out refinance is a type of mortgage refinancing that allows you to take equity out of your home. With a cash-out refinance, you'll refinance your current mortgage and take out a new mortgage for more than you currently owe. The difference will be paid to you in cash, which you can use for any purpose.
Like a second mortgage, a cash-out refinance typically has a fixed interest rate. This can give you some predictability with your monthly payments. However, one potential downside is that you may end up paying more in interest over the life of the loan since you're starting with a new 30-year term.
Key Considerations When Choosing a Second Mortgage
Now that we've covered the basics of each option, let's take a look at some key considerations to keep in mind when choosing a second mortgage.
Purpose of the Loan
One of the first things to consider is the purpose of the loan. Do you need a lump sum of cash for a one-time expense? Or do you need access to cash in case of an emergency? Knowing how you'll use the money from your second mortgage can help you choose the best option.
For example, if you need a lump sum of cash for a major purchase, a second mortgage may be the best option. On the other hand, if you need access to cash in case of an emergency, a HELOC may be a better choice.
Another key consideration is the interest rate. As we mentioned, second mortgages and cash-out refinances typically have fixed interest rates, while HELOCs usually have variable interest rates.
If you're concerned about rising interest rates, a fixed-rate loan may be the best option. However, if you're comfortable with the idea of your payments changing over time, a variable-rate loan may be a better choice. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide what type of interest rate gives you the most peace of mind.
It's also important to consider your monthly budget when choosing a second mortgage. For example, if you're already struggling to make ends meet, adding another monthly payment may not be the best idea. In this case, a HELOC with a draw period may be a better choice since you won't have to make monthly payments during the draw period.
On the other hand, if you're comfortable with your current budget and can afford another monthly payment, a second mortgage or cash-out refinance may be the way to go.
There are a few different options to consider when taking out a second mortgage. Each option has its own set of pros and cons, so it's important to choose the one that's right for you. Keep in mind the purpose of the loan, the interest rate, and your monthly budget when making your decision.