What is a second mortgage?

A second mortgage is another loan taken against a property that is already mortgaged. Many people consider using their home equity to finance large financial needs, but mortgage industry jargon has confused the meaning of certain terms – including second mortgage home equity loan and home equity line of credit (HELOC). A second loan, or mortgage, against your house will either be a home equity loan, which is a lump-sum loan with a fixed term and rate, or a HELOC, which features variable rates and continuing access to funds.

Is a second home mortgage right for you?

A loan to purchase a home is usually the first mortgage lien recorded on a property; subsequent loans depend on the amount of owners’ equity in the home and generally require a new appraisal. Homeowners may use the money from these second mortgages – available as a lump sum home equity loan or as a home equity line of credit – for any purpose. Deciding which loan is right for you depends on the loan's purpose and your personal spending habits.

What is a home equity loan?

A home equity loan is usually a fixed-rate loan distributed in one lump sum, with terms that range from 5 to 30 years. You pay it back in fixed monthly installments. This might be a good loan if you anticipate a large one-time expense such as a wedding, the purchase of a second home, or debt consolidation. A fixed rate and predictable monthly payment can help you budget as you work toward your financial goals.

When to consider a home equity line of credit (HELOC)

If you need extra money intermittently, a variable-rate home equity line of credit (HELOC) might be your best choice. Once the lender approves you for a maximum line amount, you can access the available funds as you need them. Use your Home Equity Line of Credit Visa® Access Card1 anywhere Visa® is accepted, write a check, visit a branch or ATM, or log in to Online or Mobile Banking and transfer money to your U.S. Bank savings or checking account. You may have ongoing access to funds for 10 years, called the draw period, following the date you open your line of credit. After the draw period you'll have a repayment period of 20 years.

Monthly minimum payments are variable and based on the amount of the line balance and the variable interest rate. As you pay the money back, the funds are available again on your HELOC. This provides you with a renewable source of funding during the 10-year draw period. This is a good option if you anticipate the need to make periodic payments for tuition or remodeling.

Although a home equity line of credit provides ongoing access to available funds, which may be tempting for some people, there are some critical things to consider.

  • You have to pledge your home as collateral
  • If you don’t make payments, your property can go through foreclosure
  • Your credit score is on the line if you aren’t diligent with your payments

Home equity loans and lines of credit are a good choice for many people. The mortgage interest may be deductible, and these second mortgages allow you to use the equity in your home to pay for major expenses. Contact a banker or come into one of our many U.S. Bank locations for more information so they can work to understand your needs and provide options.

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Disclosures
  1. For HELOC accounts secured by property located in Connecticut, any advance made using a Visa® Access Card for purchases must be at least $1,000, and any advance using a Visa® Access Card for cash advances at an ATM is limited to a single withdrawal of $1,000 per day.

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Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rates and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, home equity and credit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.

U.S. Bank and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Your tax and financial situation is unique. You should consult your tax and/or legal advisor for advice and information concerning your particular situation.

The Consumer Pricing Information disclosure lists fees, terms and conditions that apply to U.S. Bank personal checking and savings accounts and can be obtained by visiting a branch or calling 800-872-2657.

Home Equity Line of Credit: The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is variable and is based upon an index plus a margin. The APR will vary with Prime Rate (the index) as published in the Wall Street Journal. As of November 6, 2023, the variable rate for Home Equity Lines of Credit ranged from 8.95% APR to 13.10% APR. Rates may vary due to a change in the Prime Rate, a credit limit below $50,000, a loan-to-value (LTV) above 60% and/or a credit score less than 730. A U.S. Bank personal checking account is required to receive the lowest rate, but is not required for loan approval. Customers in certain states are eligible to receive the preferred rate without having a U.S. Bank personal checking account. The rate will never exceed 18% APR, or applicable state law, or below 3.25% APR. Choosing an interest-only repayment may cause your monthly payment to increase, possibly substantially, once your credit line transitions into the repayment period. Repayment options may vary based on credit qualifications. Interest-only repayment may be unavailable. Loans are subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rates and program terms are subject to change without notice. Credit line may be reduced or additional extensions of credit limited if certain circumstances occur.

An early closure fee of 1% of the original line amount, maximum $500, will apply if the line is paid off and closed within the first 30 months. Property insurance is required. Other restrictions may apply. An annual fee of up to $75 may apply after the first year and is waived or discounted with an existing U.S. Bank Platinum Checking Package or with enrollment in our Smart Rewards Program. Annual fees are assessed based on the tier in our Smart Rewards Program on your HELOC anniversary date. Please refer to your Smart Rewards terms and conditions for more information on tier assignment.

Home Equity Loan: As of March 15, 2024, the fixed Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 7.65% is available for 10-year second position home equity installment loans $50,000 to $99,999 with loan-to-value (LTV) of 60% or less. Rates may vary based on LTV, credit scores or other loan amount. In order to receive the lowest rate advertised, a set-up of automatic payments from a U.S. Bank personal checking or savings account is required but neither are required for loan approval. Customers in certain states are eligible to receive the preferred rate without having automatic payments from a U.S. Bank personal checking or savings account. Loan payment example: on a $50,000 loan for 120 months at 7.65% interest rate, monthly payments would be $597.43. Payment example does not include amounts for taxes and insurance premiums. The monthly payment obligation will be greater if taxes and insurance are included and an initial customer deposit may be required if an escrow account for these items is established. Home equity loans not available for properties held in a trust in the states of Hawaii, Louisiana, New York, Oklahoma and Rhode Island. Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rates and program terms are subject to change without notice. Property insurance is required. Other restrictions may apply.