An 80 20 mortgage is also called a zero down loan or no money down loan. It is actually two loans, a regular home mortgage which constitutes 80% of the price of the home and a second mortgage or home equity loan that consists of 20% of the cost of the house. The idea behind this type of loan is avoiding mortgage insurance (PMI) by using the home equity loan as the down payment.
Just about all mortgages require some form of mortgage insurance if you are unable to make a down payment of at least 20 percent. By obtaining a second mortgage or home equity loan for 20 percent of the homes cost you can circumnavigate this requirement by using that second loan as the down payment.
There are variations of this type of mortgage such as an 80-15-5 loan. This means that the borrower got a main mortgage of 80 percent of a home's purchase price, a piggyback loan for 15 percent, and made a 5-percent down payment. This can be a good option if you have some money for a down payment but not enough to cover the entire 20%.
The second mortgage can either be a fixed second mortgage or it can be a line of credit. If it is a fixed second mortgage then the interest rate is normally fixed for the entire length of the mortgage. Most fixed second mortgages are a 30 due in 15 which means that the second mortgage is amortized over 30 years, but is due in 15 years. The benefit of going with the line of credit as the second mortgage is that the interest rate is normally much lower than the fixed second mortgages rate. They can also be an interest only loan which could save you hundreds of dollars in mortgage payments every month.
The 80 percent first mortgage can be a fixed-rate (15-year or 30-year), adjustable-rate (usually 5/1, 7/1 or 10/1fixed period ARM) or interest-only loan. Typically, the interest rate on the second mortgage loan is higher than the interest rate of the first loan. But because the borrower doesn't have to pay mortgage insurance, the overall cost is less than a traditional mortgage even with the higher mortgage interest rate on the second loan.
Plenty of mortgage programs allow borrowers to buy houses with little or no money down, but they usually require private mortgage insurance, or PMI. Getting an 80 20 mortgage can be a good way to avoid the extra cost that PMI will add to your monthly payments.