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Secured Loans / Second Mortgages

During the past five years lenders have seen a boom in the demand for second mortgages as borrowers look to capitalise on the equity in their home. The low cost of borrowing coupled with the spiralling value of homes in the UK has led to a substantial strengthening of the equity position of many a homeowner. The equity position of some homeowners is in fact so strong that they now find themselves in the fortunate position of having more equity in their home than they have debts secured against their home on first mortgages and other loans.

Buoyed by the healthy state of positive property equity confidence is running high when it comes to homeowners committing to further borrowing. Many are taking the opportunity to secure second and even third charge loans against the equity in their property in order to release cash funds. Even the more conservative borrowers are now beginning to see the light, despite experts predicting of an imminent slowdown in the housing market.

If you're thinking about releasing equity in your home through a second mortgage, here are some things you'll need to consider before you take the plunge: -

Interest rates on second mortgages

The interest rates charged on second mortgages are often higher than those that are levied on first mortgages. This is because lenders see second mortgages as a higher risk than first mortgages and so compensate for this risk through fixing higher interest rates on second mortgages.

The increased risk factor on a second mortgage is down to the fact that these types of mortgages are a second charge on the property. That is to say that in the event of you defaulting on repayment to the point that your home is repossessed, the first mortgage lender legally gets first bite of the cherry when it comes to recovery of the loan. For second loans secured against the property, the lender has to wait its turn, running the risk that it may recover only part of the loan advanced or in some cases none of the loan advanced.

Lending criteria

Different lenders have different lending criteria for second charge mortgages. Whilst all lenders are likely to assess applicants for a second mortgage on the value of their home, their ability to repay the loan and their current income to debt ratio, not all lenders will give the same weight to these factors in the final analysis. This is why you may be rejected by one lender but accepted by another on an almost identical second mortgage offer.

Can you afford the repayments?

For a lender to be convinced that you are able to meet the repayments on a second mortgage, you'll need to be sure how you're going to repay the loan. You should never take on a second mortgage without first planning how you will pay the money back.

Different types of second charge mortgages

There are several different types of second charge mortgages to choose from. Be sure to get information on all your options and select the type of second mortgage that is most suitable for your circumstances. It is advisable to never borrow more than the current equity value in your home.

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