Second mortgages appear to be a relatively popular type of loan among corporate executives, according to a firm offering securities-based lending.

In an Equities First Holdings survey of about 400 executives, 53% of respondents said they executed a loan over the last three years. Of that, 17% said they executed a second lien mortgage on their home, while 16% refinanced a primary mortgage with a cash-out.

With a slowly thawing credit market playing havoc on personal lending, the survey found a high use of securities-based lending among U.S. executives.

According to the study by EFH, a non-purpose securities lender, 87% of the participants were familiar with securities-based lending, About one out of five executives surveyed pursued a securities-based loan.

“These loans are versatile, can provide a rapid source of working capital for a business or an individual with a specific need, and do not have the penalties associated with margin loans or the high interest rates that come with credit cards,” said EFH President Al Christy, Jr.

Of the 401 respondents, 36% are former officers of public companies now working in privately held firms; 35% are currently officers of public companies; and 28% are former officers of publicly traded companies.

In March, second-mortgage default rates hit their lowest level since June 2006.

“EFH has seen a significant lending expansion in the last two years in the U.S. and abroad, as executives seek liquidity solutions during the anemic economic recovery," Christy said.