Second Mortgage Versus Home Refinancing

Compare Refinancing and Second Mortgage Loans with helpful tips and advice from the home equity loan experts at BD Nationwide. Choosing the right loan is critical to maximizing your homeownership and creating wealth. Certainly, the market conditions and interest rate trends are the driving forces in choosing a 2nd mortgage or refinance loan.

Keep reading to learn more about each option, when to use one over the other, and how to determine which choice is best for your needs. The correct answer will vary depending upon the year and the borrowers circumstances and financial goals. So, how do you decide between a second mortgage and home refinance? 

Refinance vs Second Mortgage

2nd mortgage vs refinanceWhen trying to determine what to do about your home, you have so many options to consider.

As various companies disclose their terms, you may find it difficult to decide between a second mortgage and home refinancing.

We suggest getting organized and doing the math.

Write down your present monthly payments so that when you speak with loan officer and get rates and terms, you can compare apples to apples when considering a second mortgage versus refinancing your existing mortgage.

Here, we’ll take you through the basics of each so that you can make the best choice for your situation.

  • Utilizing a second mortgage or refinancing can provide access to the equity in your home.
  • Your individual financial circumstances and overarching objectives dictate whether a second mortgage or refinancing aligns with your needs.
  • A 2nd mortgage suits individuals seeking immediate access to a lump sum or revolving line of credit while maintaining their original mortgage terms.
  • On the other hand, a cash-out refinance is preferable for those aiming to leverage their home equity without acquiring a second mortgage. Through refinancing, borrowers have the opportunity to modify their mortgage rates and terms, potentially reducing their monthly payments.

Second Mortgage
Obtaining a second mortgage is often referred to as borrowing against a home’s equity. It is also synonymous with home equity loans and home equity lines of credit. A second mortgage loan allows you to get cash immediately when you want to remodel your home, pay off bills, or consolidate debt.

Home equity loans and home equity lines of credit are two types of second mortgages. An equity home loan allows you to get an immediate amount of cash; these are generally set at a fixed interest mortgage rate. On the other hand, a home equity line of credit provides the borrower with the ability to borrow against the equity up to a certain amount; the HELOC account, as it is commonly called, is usually set at a variable interest rate. What is home equity loan vs line of credit?

Home Refinancing
Home refinancing means that you’ll be getting an entirely new mortgage with a new interest rate and term. Usually you will be refinancing in order to lock in at a lower interest rate. When applying to refinance your home, you’ll still have to pay some of the same fees you paid when getting your first mortgage: loan application fees, loan origination fees, and appraisal fees. We suggest that you weigh the pros and cons of a cash out refinance and home equity loan programs.

What Is the Difference Between a Second Mortgage and Refinance?

refinancing second mortgaeBeing a homeowners provides many financial benefits.

Should you seek to tap into your home’s equity for such purposes, you might consider refinancing your mortgage or obtaining a second mortgage.

When weighing the merits of a second mortgage versus a cash-out refinance, it’s crucial to assess their respective advantages and drawbacks to determine the best fit for your needs.

Both second mortgages and cash-out refinances afford you the flexibility to utilize the funds as you see fit.

However, leveraging your home equity through either option is advisable primarily for debt consolidation or home renovation projects.

In both scenarios, your property serves as collateral, implying that failure to meet payment obligations could potentially result in foreclosure.

Yet, disparities exist between second mortgages and home refinancing. Second mortgages typically entail higher interest rates compared to cash-out refinances. Conversely, while cash-out refinances often involve higher closing costs than home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) or home equity loans, they constitute a single, larger loan as opposed to an additional loan alongside your primary mortgage. Additionally, whereas a second mortgage may only provide access to a portion of your home equity, a cash-out refinance may offer the option to tap into the entirety of your property’s equity.

When opting for a second mortgage, you have the flexibility to select how you receive funds. With most home equity programs you can either receive money as a lump sum or through a revolving line of credit. Should you require a lump sum for purposes such as debt consolidation or home renovations, a home equity loan is the suitable choice. Conversely, if a revolving line of credit better suits your needs, perhaps due to uncertainty regarding the required amount or a desire to defer payments during a draw period, a HELOC is the preferred option.

How Much Do You Want to Borrow?


See Lenders for Terms and Conditions

Second mortgages entail distinct interest rates and repayment schedules. Typically, the interest rates on second mortgages are higher than those for primary mortgages but lower than rates for personal loans or variable rate credit cards. Both HELOC credit lines and home equity loans necessitate meeting equity and credit prerequisites, along with potential closing costs. While certain lenders may assist with covering some of these fees, not all providers extend second mortgage options.

1st Mortgage Refinance vs. 2nd Mortgage

When homeowners seek to access the equity in their homes, they often consider home refinancing and second mortgages. Both options can provide the necessary funds for various financial needs, but they function differently and suit different situations. Understanding the distinctions between home refinancing and second mortgages is crucial for making an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals.

Home Loan Refinancing
Home refinancing involves replacing your existing mortgage with a new one, typically to take advantage of lower interest rates, better terms, or to change the loan type (e.g., from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage). There are two primary types of refinancing: rate-and-term refinancing and cash-out refinancing.

Rate-and-Term Refinancing: This option allows you to change the interest rate, loan term, or both without withdrawing any equity. Homeowners often choose this type of refinancing to reduce their monthly payments or pay off their mortgage faster.

Cash-Out Refinancing: With cash-out refinancing, you take out a new mortgage for more than you owe on your existing mortgage, receiving the difference in cash. This is an effective way to access your home’s equity for major expenses like home improvements, debt consolidation, or educational costs.

Pros of Home Refinancing:

Lower Interest Rates: Refinancing can secure a lower interest rate, reducing monthly payments and overall interest costs.
Improved Loan Terms: You can switch from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage, providing more stability.
Debt Consolidation: Cash-out refinancing can consolidate high-interest debt into a lower-interest mortgage.
Potential Tax Benefits: Mortgage interest on refinanced loans may still be tax-deductible.

Cons of Home Refinancing:

Closing Costs: Refinancing involves closing costs, which can be substantial.
Extended Loan Term: Extending the loan term can result in paying more interest over the life of the loan.
Credit Impact: Applying for a new mortgage affects your credit score.

Popular Second Mortgage Loans

A second mortgage involves taking out an additional loan against your home’s equity while keeping your existing mortgage intact. There are two main types of second mortgages: home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).

Home Equity Loans: These are lump-sum loans with fixed interest rates and fixed repayment terms. They are suitable for large, one-time expenses.

Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs): HELOCs function like a credit card, offering a revolving line of credit with variable interest rates. You can borrow as needed during the draw period and repay during the repayment period.

Pros of Second Mortgages

Access to Equity: Second mortgages provide a way to access home equity without altering the primary mortgage.
Flexible Use: HELOCs offer flexibility for ongoing expenses or projects.
Fixed Rates: Home equity loans provide fixed interest rates, offering predictable payments.

Cons of Second Mortgages:

Higher Interest Rates: Second mortgages generally have higher interest rates compared to primary mortgages.
Risk of Foreclosure: Defaulting on a second mortgage can lead to foreclosure, as your home serves as collateral.
Additional Payments: Managing two mortgage payments can strain your finances.

Making the Right Choice Between 2nd Mortgage and Refinancing

Deciding between refinancing and taking out a second mortgage depends on your individual situation and goals. Here are two common scenarios to consider:

You Need Money for a Major Expense
If you need funds for a large expense, such as a significant home renovation, you could choose either a cash-out refinance or a second mortgage. For flexibility, especially when dealing with unpredictable costs, a second mortgage—particularly a HELOC—might be a better option. A HELOC allows you to borrow as needed and offers flexibility in managing expenses that may fluctuate.

You Want a Lower Mortgage Rate
If your goal is to lower your mortgage payments, a rate-and-term refinance is likely your best option. This could be beneficial if market conditions have resulted in lower interest rates or if your credit score has improved, making you eligible for a better rate. Unlike a cash-out refinance or a second mortgage, a rate-and-term refinance won’t provide extra funds for spending but will replace your existing mortgage with one that has more favorable terms, ultimately reducing your monthly payments.

Choosing between home refinancing and a second mortgage depends on your financial situation, goals, and the current market conditions. Home refinancing may be ideal if you want to lower your interest rate, change loan terms, or consolidate debt. On the other hand, a second mortgage might be more suitable if you need a lump sum for a specific expense or want a flexible line of credit.

Before making a decision, evaluate your financial goals, consult with a financial advisor, and consider the long-term implications of each option. By carefully weighing the pros and cons, you can make a choice that best supports your financial health and future objectives.

Tapping into your home’s equity through a second mortgage or refinancing can increase your cash flow, pay off debt, or cover large purchases. But how do you choose the right option? When comparing a second mortgage and refinance loan, it’s essential to consider your goals. Both options allow you to leverage your home’s equity, but refinancing often offers lower interest rates, which can reduce your monthly payments.

BD Nationwide will help you shop competitive lenders for the best refinance and second mortgage programs in the country.