The reverse mortgage is a home equity loan that’s designed to help seniors turn the equity locked in their home into tax free cash without having to pay monthly mortgage.The funds you receive can be used for almost anything including paying off your existing mortgage (required as part of the loan), eliminating credit card debt, medical and other bills, or simply improving your lifestyle. The amount of your reverse mortgage is based on how old you are, how much your home is worth, and what interest rate the lenders offers to you. Generally speaking, the older you are and the more your home is worth the more you’ll receive.
All loans must eventually be repaid, and the reverse mortgage is no different. The loan is due once the borrower sells the home or passes away. Of course, the borrower may also choose to pay off the loan at any time. In most instances, a reverse mortgage is paid off when the mortgaged home is sold, and equity belongs to the borrower or the borrower’s estate.
Today, almost all reverse mortgages that are originated are Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM). The HECM is a program of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and these loans are guaranteed by the federal government.
You are eligible for a reverse mortgage if:
- You or any other owner of the home (such as a spouse) are at least are 62 years of age or older.
- You own your home and use it as your primary residence.
- The house is single family, multi-family (up to 4), or an approved condominium or manufactured home.
- Your home is in fair condition prior to taking out the loan.
- You must not be delinquent on any federal debt.
- You must discuss the program with a HUD approved counselor from a HUD approved agency.
- You must meet with a HUD approved counselor before obtaining a reverse mortgage to determine if the product is suitable for your needs. The counseling sessions will help you understand how the loan works and different alternatives that are available to you.
- All prospective borrowers must undergo a financial assessment to make sure that they can afford to pay property taxes, homeowner’s insurance can maintain their home in good condition going forward.