Money is essential for all businesses to start up, operate and expand. The Small Business Administration (SBA) states that while poor management is cited most frequently as the reason businesses fail, inadequate or ill-timed financing is a close second. They go on to say that when looking for money, you must consider your company’s debt-to-equity ratio–the relation between dollars you’ve borrowed and dollars you’ve invested in your business. The more money owners have invested in their business, the easier it is to attract financing.Ideally, it’s best to start your business on money you have in savings or otherwise liquid. But, like most people, you probably don’t have that much money available and you’ll need a loan. About the only way a startup business can get a bank loan is through one of the loan programs offered by the SBA, a federal agency that doesn’t actually loan money directly, but rather guarantees the payback of a certain percentage to banks. Thus, you must prove your creditworthiness with the bank, which requires excellent credit. And, you must meet the complex SBA eligibility criteria.Home equity loans (second mortgages) are cost-effective ways of getting startup capital because they generally offer lower interest rates, the choice of a fixed mortgage rate or an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) and shorter repayment terms and lower payments than other business loans. Unlike business loans, it is easy to qualify for a home equity loan, even if your credit is not perfect. Even if you already have a second mortgage, you may want to cash out on equity through mortgage refinancing because many times, the attractive rates and flexibility of second mortgages make more sense than to refinance your first mortgage, especially if your first mortgage rates are good.
If you have bad credit, but want to save some money and repair your credit score, take out a home equity loan. Of course you need to own a home first, but if you already own a home, and are serious about raising credit score and saving money, then a 2nd mortgage is a great start. Home equity loans will enable you to pay off collections, bad debts, judgements, and past due credit cards. Even if you had a bankruptcy years ago, home equity loans can offer solutions to many high interest debt problems. Second mortgages have become somewhat easier for homeowners to qualify for with credit issues, such as, low credit scores, late payments, or collection accounts.The down-side is that you won’t be offered prime interest rates from any second mortgage lender if you have low credit scores and past late payments reported with your mortgage loans. Is paying a higher rate the end of the world? Of course not… It is a temporary finance solution to get you back on track.The bottom line you need to focus on is whether or not the home equity loan offers you monthly savings by consolidating your debt. If you save a few hundred dollars a month and eliminate revolving credit cards, then who cares what about the interest rate. Besides, as soon as your credit score increases to a 680 fico, you can refinance the sub-prime equity loan for a reduced rate second mortgage and save even more a month. Remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” With debt consolidation, it’s not all or nothing. If you can save money now with a bad credit home equity loan, then take advantage of the monthly savings.
Many people think of a second mortgage as a fixed interest, lump sum loan. However, that is only one form of a second mortgage. A second mortgage is actually ANY secondary lien on your home–secured loan with your home pledged as collateral. Second mortgages are typically categorized as fixed mortgage rate home equity installment loans (HELs), also known as home equity loans, and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) which are adjustable rate mortgages.The Federal Reserve states that the home equity line of credit annual percentage rate (APR) is a variable rate loan based solely on a publicly available index (such as the prime rate published in the Wall Street Journal or a U.S. Treasury bill rate). The APR does not include points or other finance charges. The monthly payment amount will adjust as your loan balance and interest rate changes. Loan terms can be anywhere from 15 to 30 years.HELOCs have a draw period, typically occurring in the first 10-15 years, with the remaining term on the loan referred to as the repayment period. During the draw period, you can draw out money on a revolving basis similar to a credit card without applying for a new loan, as long as the amount does not exceed the total amount of the original HELOC. During the repayment period you may be allowed to renew the credit line. If your plan does not allow renewals, you will not be able to borrow additional money once the draw period ends. Interest is paid only on the amount of equity you use.A Home Equity Installment Loan (HEL) is a fixed mortgage rate loan, which means the annual percentage rate (APR) and monthly payment will stay the same for the life of your loan. The APR for a HEL takes into account the interest rate charged plus points and other finance charges. Loan terms can be anywhere from 5 to 30 years, but are typically 15 to 20 years. Unlike a HELOC, you get a lump sum for which you immediately start paying principal and interest. If you decide later that you need additional funds, mortgage refinancing or getting an additional loan with additional closing costs are your only options.Which type of loan you choose depends on your financial needs. A HELOC may be best if you have a recurring need for money (e.g., home improvements or a home repair project that has anticipated additional expenses). The security of a fixed-rate 2nd mortgage will probably provide much-needed relief for a large one-time expense (e.g., debt consolidation).
How much can you Borrow? The question everyone applying for a loan wants the answer to is “how much do I qualify for? Depending on your credit score & the amount of your revolving debt, a few home equity lenders may let you borrow up to 100% of the appraised value of your home. When you apply for a loan online, always ask the lender about the terms for the home equity loan. How many years is the loan for? Is the interest rate fixed or variable? If you are applying for a home equity line of credit, discuss whether or not there is a minimum draw requirement at closing.Don’t forget to find out about the accessibility. In other words, how do you access to your credit line? (ie. checks, credit card, etc.?) Ask the loan officer if after the draw period expires, whether or not it will you may be able to renew your credit line. If you cannot, find out if the interest rate will continue to be variable for the repayment period. If there are fixed rate options, get them.Verify with your loan officer that there is no balloon payment with the second mortgage. If there is, you may be required to pay off the entire outstanding balance, when the balloon payment is due.How much cash can you get out of your home? If you have good credit, and have for example $75,000 in equity, you should be able access the entire $75,000. There are quite a few home equity lenders that offer equity loans up to 100% of the appraised value of your home. A few brokers and lenders, like BD Nationwide Mortgage can offer you second mortgages up to 125% of home’s appraised value. Typically 125% loans will have some cash out limits. Depending upon your credit score, 125% second mortgages will allow cash back between $25,000 and $75,000 in addition to the debt consolidation.
People take on home equity loans (second mortgages) for a variety of reasons. One of the most popular reasons is for debt consolidation–they refinance revolving credit cards and pay off personal loans and adjustable rate interest loans to avoid bankruptcy and increase cash flow. Sometimes, a second mortgage provides shorter terms for paying off debt. George Saenz, a tax advisor with Bankrate gives this example in his article “Loan consolidation: Yes!”Let’s say you have $25,000 in debt you’ve been paying $500 to $600 a month on, and the amount of debt has been the same for a while now. If you refinanced that into a four-year home equity loan at 7.23 percent, your monthly payment would be $601 and you’d get it paid off.Second mortgages consistently offer lowered interest rates than those of credit cards and unsecured personal loans, resulting in lower monthly payments. The tax deductibility and low interest rates of a home equity loan also make it attractive. The saving from consolidating credit card debt make these fixed rate home equity loans even more luring.There are two types of home equity loans: home equity installment loans (HEILS) which are generally fixed-rate loans, and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) which are adjustable rate loans.The home equity installment loan is a lump-sum loan on which you immediately start paying principal and interest. The adjustable-rate HELOC allows you to draw money as you need it and pay just the interest for several years (the draw period), then pay principal and interest later on during the repayment period. The HELOC will generally give you a lower introductory interest rate than fixed-rate loans, but the rates generally change when the Federal Reserve raises or lowers the federal funds rate. Short-term rates are currently on the rise, which is why so many people are considering converting their adjustable-rate home equity lines of credit for fixed-rate loans.Fixed rate home equity loans are good for people who know how much they need, which is why they are so popular for debt consolidation. George Saenz says, “I recommend that if you’re refinancing debt, get a home equity loan rather than a home equity line of credit (HELOC).” Fixed rate loans have a stated interest rate that does not change over the life of the loan, whereas the rates on adjustable rate loans are linked to an index and change as the index rate changes. The greatest savings for fixed-rate loans can be seen over time when rates increase, as they are steadily doing now. By locking in a low rate now, you could save you a significant amount of money over the long term. Fixed rates provide a borrower with the stability of always knowing what their rates will be.
Why should you take out a second mortgage or a home equity line of credit instead of refinancing?Well…You Shouldn’t!Why Not?1. Second Mortgages usually have an interest rant that is twice or even three times as high as your first mortgage rate. You can refinance instead and keep a very low rate. In the long run a second mortgage will just cost you money in interest charges.2. Home equity lines of credit are designed for mortgage account executives (salespeople) to sell you on using it like a credit card attached to your home. They will try to convince you to use it over and over again.3. A refinance loan is better for the equity in your home. Very few companies will refinance your home at 100% of it’s value without forcing you to take out a second mortgage. You don’t want to use 100% of your equity because that means you no longer have that equity to fall back on in emergency situations.4. Second Mortgages and Home Equity lines of credit are designed to provide account executives (salespeople) with another tool to sway you into putting another commission in their pocket.5. Your equity is a precious thing and should not be used for unnecessary add ons or impulse buys. If you don’t need it and there is even a slight chance you can’t afford it, then don’t get a second mortgage to buy it.The only reason that I would ever recommend a second mortgage or a home equity line of credit is in an emergency situation. Only when there is no other option and you must take out a loan would I recommend either one of these options.
Making home improvements, home remodeling, adding onto a home and debt consolidation are some of the most popular reasons people cash out on their home equity. But the question is, which should you choose, mortgage refinancing or a home equity line of credit (HELOC)?A mortgage refinance loan is when you replace your current mortgage with a new loan. People refinance their mortgages for a variety of reasons including, refinancing from adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) to fixed interest rate ones, liquidating equity into cash (cash-out refinance) or to reduce monthly payments and extend the loan term. A mortgage refinance has the same costs as a mortgage, such as loan application fees, loan origination fees, and appraisal fees.A variable rate HELOC, where the interest rate and annual percentage rate (APR) can move up or down, depending on the Prime Rate published daily in the Wall Street Journal, is one of two popular second mortgage options, with the other being a home equity installment loan (HEIL). HELOC second mortgages provide you with the flexibility of borrowing all or part of your equity and you only pay interest on what you use unlike a HEIL or refinance. Because HELOCs work like credit cards, you can pay down your balance and borrow again without having to apply for a new loan. And, according to ehow.com, there are no closing costs for second mortgages, as there are with refinancing.If you have an adjustable rate or high interest rate mortgage that you want to refinance into a lower fixed rate while cashing out on equity for home improvements or other purposes, a mortgage refinance may work the best for you. However, according to ERATE.com, if the rate on your existing first mortgage is substantially lower than that of current market rates and if you have been making payments on your mortgage for a period of five years or more, then a second mortgage may be a more sensible financial solution than starting over with a new first loan.
Applications for home equity loans and second mortgages recently hit a 15 year high. According to Freddie Mac, “88% of homeowners who refinance their homes in the 1st quarter got a mortgage at least 5% larger than their first loan.” Since this was the largest increase since 1990, and the Fed continues to increase key interest rates, it is my contention that the demand for cash and the ability to finance quickly is the greatest it has been since World War II.”The reality is that some people still believe the interest rate are under 6%,”said John Allen from Laguna Beach, California. John continued, “If I need cash for home improvements..Why wouldn’t I just take out home equity loan since my first mortgage rate is under 5%.” John’s mentality mirrors many of my borrowers’ frames of mind of late. Consumers are much more educated than they used to be about financing and taking out second mortgages. First time homebuyers don’t hesitate to get subordinate financing to help them accomplish their goals. Some people like John just want to finance the construction for pool and spa, but most of my borrowers are focused on consolidating credit card debt so they can cut their expenses and have access to more money at the end of the month.Some interesting home equity products have rolled out recently. Companies like BD Nationwide Mortgage and Ditech are offering larger 125% loans, and convertible equity credit lines. They are called convertible, because they start out as variable rate credit lines, but at any point you can convert portions of the line to a fixed rate loan, and still keep the unused portions of the line of credit open for revolving credit. These hybrid home equity loans are changing the face of second mortgage products and they offer powerful features that meet the needs of a typical family as well as the savvy real estate investor.
If you are like most Americans you’ve probably racked up considerable debt trying to keep up with the Smith and Jones families down the street. According to Cardweb.com, the leading online publisher of information pertaining to credit and other payment cards, you are not alone. In 2004, individuals who earned between $75,000 and $100,000 per year, and had at least one credit card, carried an average revolving balance of nearly $8,000. This does not even include other personal debts such as car loans, which can total in the tens of thousands.If credit card debt is keeping you up at night, you’re probably wondering what you can or should do about it. File for bankruptcy? Refinance? If you refinance, is a fixed mortgage rate or an adjustable rate mortgage better? What about a home equity loan? The simplest answer of course is to get a debt consolidation loan.What is a Debt Consolidation Loan?Simply put, a debt consolidation loan lumps all of your debts together and pays them off using a single new loan. The next question of course is how to go about getting a debt consolidation loan. Visit a loan shark? Take out a second mortgage on your home? Apply for an unsecured loan at the bank and hope for the best? For the majority of folks a visit to the local loan shark is not a viable option; but taking out a 2nd mortgage or obtaining an unsecured loan from the bank are both excellent choices.Whether you use a second mortgage or an unsecured loan to pay off credit card debt, often depends on several important factors including whether you actually own a home, what your credit rating is, and what the total dollar amount of the credit card debt is that you owe to various financial institutions. According to one expert we spoke to who used to work in the unsecured loan business but now runs his own mortgage broker business, “The most important consideration is the borrowers credit history.”2nd MortgageA second mortgage is a loan or mortgage that is taken out after a first mortgage. It is similar to a first mortgage in that it uses the equity built up in a home as collateral. Similar to a first mortgage, a second mortgage consists of a fixed dollar amount that is paid out in one lump sum and repaid over a period of time typically 15 or 30 years. A 2nd mortgage may be either a fixed rate or an adjustable rate mortgage.Sometimes called a junior mortgage or junior lien, a 2nd mortgage is subordinate to a 1st or primary mortgage. What this means is that in the case of default, the lender for the first mortgage gets paid before the lender who issued the second mortgage does. As such, a 2nd mortgage is considered to be a higher risk and lenders often charge a higher interest rate; however, this rate is generally lower than an unsecured loan or the interest charged on most credit cards.Second mortgages are tax deductible, a major advantage for most people. The payback period is over a fairly long period of time so monthly payments are lower and the total loan amount is generally larger. “There are some cons to consider when thinking about taking out a second mortgage,” explains Brett Bostwick, owner of Snowbird Mortgage Company. “It takes longer to get approved, there is more paperwork involved, and because it is a mortgage loan, there are closing costs such as appraisals and title searches,” he says.Unsecured LoanAn unsecured loan is a lump sum payout that is repaid at a fixed rate of interest in equal payments over a short period of time, typically 5 years or less. Unlike a second mortgage, collateral is not necessary to secure the loan. Loan amounts are relatively small, usually less than $15,000.Interest rates on unsecured loans, which are sometimes called signature or personal loans, are determined by whether you are considered a good credit risk. In other words, the higher the credit score, the lower the interest rate will be and vice versa. A bad credit score will earn you a higher interest rate, sometimes the same or higher than the credit card interest you are paying. This is compounded by the fact that an unsecured loan is considered a higher risk (no collateral), and lenders may charge interest rates that are often quite high, generally higher than the interest rate on a second mortgage would be, but usually less than that 18%-plus interest credit card debt you are trying to pay off.Unsecured loans have a couple of advantages over second mortgages in that approval process is much quicker and there are no additional costs involved. Because the loan period is shorter and the interest rates are higher, monthly payments are also higher. Nor is the interest is not tax deductible. However, if you default on the loan, it may damage your credit but you won’t lose your home.The Bottom LineIt really depends on your situation. What is best for a co-worker or neighbor might not be the best choice for you. Most experts advise getting a 2nd mortgage if you are paying off a larger amount of bills and you don’t mind paying closing costs or the longer approval process required for a second mortgage. If you need money quickly and only have a small amount of debt to consolidate, it’s probably better to go for the unsecured loan.Of course unless you exercise restraint, change your spending habits, and stop using those credit cards, you will fall right back into credit card debt. With a little hard work and perseverance however, you will remain credit card debt free…and able to keep more of those hard-earned dollars in your pocket instead of handing them over to the bank.
A home equity loan may be the solution to your looming debt problems. You can obtain an second mortgage loan, even if you have bad credit. With the loan you can consolidate all of your debt into one easy to make payment.Before you can obtain an equity home loan, make sure you have equity in your home; you must owe less on your home than what it is currently valued at. The difference between your home’s current assessed value and your balance is the amount of equity you have in your home.AdvantagesHome equity loans are a great way to consolidate your other debt, because you can often obtain a much lower interest rate than with traditional loans or credit cards. By consolidating all of your debt into an equity loan, you will pay off your debt quicker and will actually save money in the long run from a much lower interest rate.If your monthly payments are too much for you to pay this loan loan can also help you. Often times, when you consolidate your bills into an equity loan, you will actually be able to pay out less money each month and you don’t have to worry about falling behind on your payments.DisadvantagesUsing a home equity mortgage loan to consolidate your bills is not without risks. With the loan, you are using your home as collateral. This means if you cannot make the monthly payments or cannot continue paying off the loan, you could potentially lose your home.With that said, before obtaining an equity mortgage loan to consolidate your debt, you will need to closely evaluate the situation and make sure you will be able to pay off the loan with no problems.Finding Reputable Home Equity LendersYou can obtain a second mortgage loan through a variety of different lenders. You can check with your current mortgage company to see what type of terms they can offer you. Also remember to check with online companies as well as other local financial institutions.When choosing a company, only choose a reputable one. Make sure that you work with a lender that offers you the best terms and rates available. As some institutions will charge a fee should you choose to pay off the loan early, be sure you choose one that will not charge you if you plan to do so.Debt consolidation can often be a great way to easily lower your monthly payments as well as quickly improve your credit score. And a home equity loan is one of excellent sources to help you consolidate your debt. If you do your homework, you could be on the right path to paying off your debt.