Third Mortgage Loans – The Basics of 3rd Mortgage Loans

Even when you already have a first and second mortgage on your home, you may want to secure a third mortgage. You may use the cash for some value-adding feature to your home, like a swimming pool or a new kitchen may be the reason. However, securing a third mortgage is not very easy.

A third mortgage loan stands subordinate to the first and second mortgage liens that exist. For this reason, it is very difficult to find lenders offering third mortgage home loans. The risk is much greater for the lender in case of a foreclosure. If the loan does get approved, which is difficult, it would be at a much higher rate of interest as compared to the earlier mortgages.

A third mortgage is a hard equity loan. The approval usually depends on the LTV or Loan to Value and SSR or Superior mortgage to Subordinate mortgage ratio.

LTV is expressed as a percentage of the present appraised value of the house, as against the total outstanding mortgage debt(s). Lenders expect the LTV for hard equity loans in the case of first mortgages to be sixty five percent and between fifty to sixty five percent, in the case of second mortgages. For third mortgages, it is anything between fifty to sixty percent.

The SSR is calculated by dividing the amount of the superior mortgage loan amount by the amount of the subordinate mortgage and expressed as a ratio between the two. For example, if the superior mortgage were for $100000 and the subordinate mortgage for $25000, the SSR would be 4:1. For hard equity lending, the SSR is usually in the range of 1:1 – 7:1. With a low LTV and SSR, a third mortgage loan may possible.

In a foreclosure proceeding, the first mortgagee is given preference over the subordinate/subsequent mortgagees as a general rule. This means that the entire debt of the first mortgagee is first satisfied, after which any remaining amount is applied towards the debt satisfaction of the second mortgagee. If anything is left after that, only then is the third mortgage paid off.