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Can A 125% Home Equity Loan Really Help You?
By Joe Kenny
Lenders are making the market for new sound so good. Other types of are already on the market, and understood. So, how do you get new people to jump on your bandwagon? You offer something that sounds good, but one that not everybody yet understands. That seems to be the case of the 125% home equity loan, too.

The Promise

The promise that is made is to give you 125% of the value of your house for a second mortgage. This way you can enjoy having extra finances to use as you please. You can pay off other debt, fix up the house, combine both mortgages, go on a vacation, or whatever. The choice is up to you.

What, though, is the truth behind a 125% mortgage? Here are some details. Some of these companies actually want to lend you more money than your house is actually worth. Think about it. Are they really trying to help? With other lenders, it can actually be a little difficult to get 80% of the value of a house (they are the smart ones). Why are these agencies trying to push extra money in your face?

Extra Charges

A number of these companies charge 10% if you want to get a lower rate of interest than what is initially offered. That's just for starters. While they do offer lower rates than what credit cards usually go for, it actually may not be much more, since second mortgages are typically more than a first mortgage. Plus, there is an origination fee, closing costs, and more.

Stay Where You Are

With the extra charges, and owing considerably more than your house is worth, you can plan on not moving anytime soon. This puts you in a negative equity situation. Many people who bought houses even last year are finding out that this is not a good situation to be in. It is possible, in a day of unstable housing markets, that your house could also be devalued making it even harder, if not impossible to sell for years more. It could also mean going into greater debt.

It will also take you a few years just to recover from the various expenses of the mortgage - let alone bring your debt down to where you can make any profit on selling the house. And getting the downpayment for a new house while you owe so much - don't even go there - it will only be in your dreams.

An even greater problem may occur if you have an adjustable rate mortgage. Sooner or


later, there is going to be a rate increase, and it could be as much as 50% higher than it is now.


If you still want to consider a 125% mortgage, then be sure to compare one company's product with another. You will be able to see the features that really stand out, and be able to see what features you may need, or want. Be wary of mortgages that promise no fees, because you can be sure that it has been added in there somewhere - and probably more things, too.


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This page was updated on Nov 2009 and is Copyright © 2003 by Global Com Consulting Inc.