A second mortgage is an additional loan against your home. There are many reasons people take out second mortgages. Some people will do this to avoid paying PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) when they do not have a large down payment on their home. Other people will take out a second mortgage to cash out the equity on their home. They will use that money to pay off debt, or to do home improvements. They may also take out a home equity loan to make home repairs.
A second mortgage is similar to a first mortgage. It is a loan that is secured by your home. It is for a set amount and you will receive a one time payment for the amount of the loan. Then the payments are for a set amount each month for the set term of the loan. The interest rates on second mortgages tend to be a little bit higher because the second mortgage will receive money only after the first mortgage is paid off.
If you are considering taking out a second mortgage to pay off debt you need to be careful. Many people will consolidate their debt and then find themselves in a large amount of credit card debt again in a short amount of time. This is because they do not address the problems that caused them to go into debt in the first place. It also puts your home at risk because you are moving unsecured debt to your home. If you cannot make your payments you can lose your home. With the changing values of homes, you may end up underwater on your mortgage, if you take out additional loans against your home.
If you have a second mortgage it should be including in your debt payment plan. Since the interest rate is higher, it should not be treated the same way as your primary mortgage. You should work to pay off this debt as quickly as you can. If you are considering a second mortgage for any reason consider carefully the reason that you are doing it and whether or not you can truly afford the additionally cost of a second mortgage. You will usually be better off if you can save up and pay cash for most of your needs. If you are worried about your debt, then setting up a debt payment plan can help you clear up your debt without giving you the same risks as using a second mortgage to pay off the debts.