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How difficult is it to qualify for a second mortgage refinance?


When you are a homeowner, you can use the home as collateral to take out money whenever you want. You can take out the money from your property by refinancing your existing mortgage. In some cases, you may even refinance your second mortgage.

But refinancing a second mortgage is extremely complicated and not everyone can qualify for it. Moreover, after the bursting of the housing bubble, lenders are very reluctant to give a second mortgage. So, you can understand how difficult it will be to qualify for refinancing that mortgage.

Why is it difficult to qualify for a second mortgage refinancing?

In order to get a second mortgage refinancing, the loan has to move to the first place. This is known as re-subordination. The first mortgage lender has to agree to offer the first place to the refinanced loan. Most of the first mortgage lenders don't agree to this as they will lose the first right to get back their money in case of a foreclosure sale or a short sale of the property.

If the fist mortgage lender refuses to re-subordinate, then you'll either have to consolidate both the loans into one or pay off the second loan or avoid the refinancing. Moreover, the whole re-subordination process is costly. In order to review the re-subordination package, the lender may charge you around $75 to $100.

Apart from this, in order to refinance your second mortgage, you need to have ample equity in your property. Unless, you have around 20% equity in your property, it will be difficult for you to qualify for refinancing. Moreover, the lenders are giving high importance to income and credit requirements.

You should have a credit score of around 700 to qualify for it. You will also have to prove that you have a stable employment for the past 2 years.

How can HARP help you get second mortgage refinancing?

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) can help you in refinancing your second mortgage as it seeks to remove the clause of re-subordination for applicants with second mortgages.

Under HARP, a large number of lenders have agreed to re-subordinate their second liens. However, if there is a change in property ownership or if the mortgage holder is not on the property title, then they may refuse the re-subordination request.

You can read more details about the Home Affordable Refinance Program at

What to do when re-subordination is denied?

If the lender refuses to re-subordinate, then you will have the option to pay off the second loan. Once you pay it off, the lender may then consider offering you some other type of loan. At that point of time, you may even decide whether or not you want to refinance anymore.

You will also have the option of keeping both loans as is instead of refinancing and keep on making regular payments on them. However, it may not be the cheapest option for you.

You can also refinance your first and second mortgage with some other lender provided you have equity in your property. This will help you convert both the loans into one and you can even cash out the equity.

Thus, when you apply for a second mortgage refinancing, always remember that it will be a lengthy process and in the end you may be disappointed. So, while you negotiate with your lender, you will have to keep your cool.

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