What is a Second Mortgage?

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Second Mortgage Explanation

If you have an existing mortgage, you may still borrow more money against your home with a second mortgage. A second mortgage can be in the form of a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or an additional mortgage (home equity loan).

  • Maximum combined loan-to-value of 80%
  • Higher interest rate compared to a primary mortgage
  • Can be used for anything: home improvements, debt consolidation, down payment on another home, or to invest
  • Fees and interest can be high with a private lender
FAST AND EASY APPROVAl
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Ontario Lic. #13115

Types of Second Mortgages

A second mortgage can be in the form of a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or an additional mortgage (home equity loan). You might also get a second mortgage through a private lender.

HELOCHome Equity LoanPrivate Mortgage
Interest Rate2.95% (Prime + 0.5%)3% - 6%6% - 9%
Type of LoanRevolvingFixedFixed
Minimum Credit Score650+VariesNo Minimum
Maximum Loan-to-Value (LTV)80%80%95%
LendersMajor Banks
Credit Unions
B-Lenders
Private Lenders
Major Banks
Credit Unions
B-Lenders
Private Lenders
Private Lenders

Using a HELOC as a Second Mortgage

A home equity line of credit is a revolving loan that allows you to borrow money at any time up to a certain credit limit. When you get a HELOC in addition to a separate mortgage, your HELOC is considered to be a second mortgage. You’ll be making two monthly or bi-weekly payments: one for your mortgage, and one for your HELOC.

You do not have to get a HELOC with your current mortgage lender. You can get a HELOC with another bank or any lender, though it would mean that you would need to make payments to two separate lenders.

Some banks and lenders offer readvanceable mortgages, which combine a HELOC into your existing mortgage. The HELOC portion of a readvanceable portion has a credit limit that automatically increases as you make your readvanceable mortgage payments. This lets you borrow your mortgage payments, which is a crucial part of the Smith Maneuver tax strategy.

To learn more about HELOCs, including how much you can borrow, how much your HELOC payments would be, and the various ways that a HELOC can be used, visit our home equity line of credit calculator. The latest rates from various HELOC lenders can also be seen on our HELOC rates page.

Home Equity Loan/Private Mortgages

A home equity loan is a fixed-amount of money that you borrow based on your home equity. While HELOCs have variable interest rates that change with the prime rate, home equity loans can have either a variable rate or a fixed rate.

You can borrow up to a combined 80% of the value of your home with your existing mortgage and a home equity loan. To learn more about loan-to-value and to see if the amount that you want to borrow is under the 80% limit, visit our LTV calculator.

Private mortgages are also home equity loans, but they differ in that they are offered by private lenders and have less strict lending requirements. Private lenders may even allow you to borrow up to 95% of the value of your home. To learn more about private lenders, visit our private mortgage lenders page or our private mortgage rates page.

helov-vs-home equity

How does a second mortgage work?

A second mortgage is a secured loan that allows you to borrow money in exchange for putting your home up as collateral when you already have an existing mortgage on the home. It’s called a “second” mortgage because it is second in line to your property title should you default on your mortgage.

You’re able to borrow more money based on your home equity. As you pay off your first mortgage, you’re building up your equity. It also increases if the market value of your home increases. A second mortgage allows you to borrow money by unlocking your home equity, which means that you won’t have to sell your home in order to access your equity.

Your existing mortgage is not affected by getting a second mortgage, since your primary mortgage is still first in line. In a foreclosure, the lender will gain ownership of the home by taking the title, which means that your primary mortgage lender will be the first to be repaid.

There’s also a maximum limit to how much you can borrow that takes into account all mortgages and HELOCs secured against the property. For example, you won’t be able to re-borrow an additional 100% of the value of your home with a second mortgage on top of an already existing mortgage. This limit, called a combined loan-to-value ratio (LTV), is usually 80%.

FAST AND EASY APPROVAl
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Ontario Lic. #13115

Second Mortgage Conditions

Maximum Loan Size

You can borrow up to 65% of your home’s value with a HELOC, or up to a combined total of 80% with your existing mortgage. Private lenders usually allow you to borrow up to 85% with a private mortgage, though some lenders may allow you to borrow up to 95%. The amount that you can borrow from a second mortgage will depend on the amount of home equity that you own. Your combined mortgage size versus your home’s value is called your loan-to-value ratio (LTV). For more information, visit our loan-to-value calculator page.

Home-much-can-i-borrow

Type of Loan

HELOCs are revolving loans while home equity loans and private mortgages are fixed. This means that you can borrow at any time up to your credit limit with a HELOC, making it a more flexible option compared to a fixed loan.

Credit Score

HELOCs require you to have a good credit score, which would be 650 or greater, while private mortgage lenders accept those with bad credit scores or self-employed.

Term Length

HELOCs have extendable terms that can last many years, while private mortgages are short, often ranging from a few months to a few years.

Second Mortgage Rates

HELOC rates are much lower than private mortgage rates. HELOCs have variable rates, while second mortgages can have either fixed or variable rates. To check current second mortgage rates, visit our HELOC rates and private mortgage rates pages.

How to apply for a second mortgage

How to get a second mortgage

Applying for a second mortgage is similar to applying for your first mortgage

  1. Choose a lender: While it’s common to get a second mortgage with your current mortgage lender, you should compare second mortgage rates offered by other lenders.
  2. Provide documents: You will need documents to prove your employment and income, your financials, and details about your property
  3. Home appraisal: Since second mortgages are based on your home equity, your mortgage lender will require you to get a home appraisal so that your home’s value is up to date
  4. Pass the mortgage stress test: You will need to undergo a mortgage stress test when applying for a second mortgage at any federally regulated lender. HELOCs and home equity loans require you to pass the stress test. Private mortgages do not require a stress test. To learn more about the stress test, visit our mortgage stress test guide.
  5. Closing: If you’re approved for a second mortgage, you’ll now have to pay for any closing costs. If you applied for a HELOC, you can now access your funds freely. If you applied for a home equity loan or a private second mortgage, you will receive the entire amount that you borrowed as a one-time cash payment.
Ontario Lic. #13115

Second Mortgage Lenders

The major banks aren’t the only second mortgage companies in Canada. While the Big 5 Banks all offer HELOCs, RBC and BMO are the only major banks to offer home equity loans. Here are some second mortgage lenders in Canada:

HELOC and Home Equity Loan Lenders
RBC
RBC
TD
TD
Scotiabank
Scotiabank
CIBC
CIBC
BMO
BMO
HSBC
HSBC
Tangerine
Tangerine
Laurentian
Laurentian
motusbank
motusbank
Meridian
Meridian
National Bank
National Bank
ATB Financial
ATB Financial
First Ontario
First Ontario
DUCA
DUCA
Butler Mortgage
Butler Mortgage
MCAP
MCAP
Home Trust
Home Trust
Canadalend
Canadalend
Akal Mortgages
Private Mortgage Lenders
Canadalend
Canadalend
Clover Mortgage
Clover Mortgage
Westboro Investment
Westboro Investment
Cannect
Cannect
Alpine Credits
Alpine Credits
Dhugga Mortgages
Dhugga Mortgages
VWR Capital
VWR Capital
Cliffton Capital Corporation
Private Lender Inc.
Guardian Financing
Calvert Home Mortgage
Prudent Financial
Akal Mortgages

Second Mortgages Toronto

If you’re looking to get a second mortgage in Toronto, you have many lenders and options to choose from. While Canada’s Big Five banks all operate in Toronto, you may also consider smaller or specialized lenders as well.

HELOC rates offered by Canada's major banks is Prime + 0.5% (currently 2.95%), with Tangerine offering HELOC rates in Toronto as low as Prime - 0.1%. To view the latest bank prime rates, visit our prime rates page. Home equity loan rates in Toronto range from 3% to 6%, while private mortgage lenders in Toronto have rates from 6% to 9%.

Second Mortgage Lenders in Toronto

Clover Mortgage
Clover Mortgage
Cannect
Cannect
Alpine Credits
Alpine Credits
Dhugga Mortgages
Dhugga Mortgages
Equitable
Equitable
Interfinance Mortgage Corporation
Xpert Credit Control Solutions
Tembo Financial
Circle Mortgage Group
Mortgage Kings
360Lending
PARAMA Credit Union
CapitalDirect
Mortgage Central Nationwide
Burke Financial
Tribecca Finance
Private Lender Inc.
Calvert Home Mortgage
Prudent Financial
FAST AND EASY APPROVAl
Get Second Mortgage
Ontario Lic. #13115

Second Mortgage FAQ

What are second mortgages used for?

A second mortgage is a way for homeowners to borrow money using their equity in their home. The money that homeowners borrow from a second mortgage can be used for paying off high-interest debt, such as credit cards. It can also be used for debt consolidation, home renovations, home improvements, tuition, medical expenses, or investments.

What second mortgage fees are there?

When applying for a second mortgage, you will have to pay fees such as an appraisal fee, title service fees, and legal fees. Some private mortgage lenders may also charge additional lending fees.

Some common second mortgage fees include:

  • Administrative Fees: $150 - $200
  • Legal Fees: $500 - $1,500
  • Home Appraisal Fee: $300 - $600
  • Title Search: $250 - $500
  • Private Mortgage Lender Fees: 1% - 3%

These fees are paid when opening your HELOC or private mortgage, which means that it will increase your cost of borrowing over just the interest on the second mortgage alone. A second mortgage’s APR will have fees factored in.

What happens if I default on my second mortgage?

Loans secured against your home will have a priority in which they will be repaid if you default on your loans. If you default and foreclosure occurs, the loan that is first in line will be repaid in full before any other loans secured against your home. The remaining amounts after the first loan have been paid off will go to the second mortgage, and so on.

For example, if your home’s value is $500,000 and you have a first mortgage balance of $300,000 and a second mortgage of $100,000, both of your mortgage lenders will be able to be repaid in full. If your home’s value is only $350,000, your first mortgage will be repaid in full while your second mortgage lender will only be able to recover $50,000.

Second Mortgage Statistics and Facts 2021

  1. The average homeowner in Canada has a loan-to-value ratio of 27%. That means that the average home equity is 73%.
  2. 91% of homeowners have a LTV of less than 75%. That means that over 91% of homeowners are eligible for a second mortgage.
  3. 17% of all homeowners have a second mortgage consisting of a mortgage and a HELOC, up from 14% in 2019
  4. The average credit limit for a HELOC in Canada is $152,000, while the average amount used is $59,000.
  5. Purpose of borrowing a second mortgage (and compared to 2019 levels)
    • Debt consolidation - 25% (up from 23%)
    • Investments - 24% (up from 18%)
    • Home renovations or repairs - 23% (down from 39%)
    • General spending - 19% (up from 12%)
    • To help a relative purchase a home - 4% (up from 2%)
    • Other purposes 6% - (no change)

Source: Mortgage Professionals Canada Year-End 2020 Report

The calculators and content on this page are provided for general information purposes only. WOWA does not guarantee the accuracy of information shown and is not responsible for any consequences of the use of the calculator.