Long-Term Care: talking, deciding, taking action Home

To find a reverse mortgage lender affiliated with the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association near you, visit Reverse Mortage.org.

To estimate the loan amount you might qualify for, use the Reverse Mortgage Calculator.

Contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to find out more about reverse mortgage loan lending limits.

Reverse Mortgages

A reverse mortgage is a cash loan based on your home’s equity. People apply for this type of loan to help pay for medical treatment, finance home improvements, buy long-term care insurance, or supplement their income. For many seniors, a reverse mortgage is their saving grace. Reverse mortgages allow older adults to convert their home’s equity into cash while retaining their home ownership.

Who qualifies for a reverse mortgage?

An individual who is 62 and older and who owns their home (or has a very low outstanding mortgage balance that can be paid off at the loan closing) can qualify. The home must be their “principal residence,” meaning they live in it 6 months or more out of a year. To apply for a reverse mortgage they must either have:

There are many factors that affect the amount that can be borrowed with a reverse mortgage:

Remember, the loan amount is never 100% of the home value or lending limit. The loan amount is a calculation based upon the age of the youngest borrower and the expected interest rate.

How is a reverse mortgage paid back?

Typically, after the last surviving owner/borrower passes away, heirs pay reverse mortgage loans (plus interest) by selling the home, or using other funds. Sometimes heirs take a new “forward” mortgage against the home. A “forward mortgage” is a traditional mortgage consumers use to buy a home. A reverse mortgage may also be paid back after the surviving owner or borrower permanently moves away. The word “permanently” move away means the owner/borrower has not lived in the home for 12 months in a row.