Senior Resources » **Who Qualifies for a Reverse Mortgage? Here’s What Seniors Should Know.

Who Qualifies for a Reverse Mortgage? Here’s What You Need to Know.

As we age, many of us face the financial challenge of living on a fixed income while the cost of living rises. In situations like this, a reverse mortgage can be a useful tool to supplement your income and provide some financial relief. However, not everyone qualifies. Here’s everything you need to know about reverse mortgages.


The Basics of Reverse Mortgages

woman holding a model house

Before we delve into the eligibility criteria, it’s important to understand what a reverse mortgage is. This type of mortgage allows homeowners aged 62 or older to borrow money against the equity they have built up in their homes. Unlike a traditional mortgage, the borrower doesn’t need to make any payments to the lender. Instead, the loan is repaid after the borrower dies, sells the home, or moves out.

Who Qualifies for a Reverse Mortgage?

To qualify, you must be at least 62 years old and own your home outright or have a substantial amount of equity in it. You must also use the home as your primary residence and demonstrate the financial ability to pay taxes, insurance, and upkeep. Additionally, you’ll need to attend a counseling session with a HUD-approved counselor to ensure you understand the terms and risks of the loan fully.


While the borrower doesn’t need to make payments on the loan, they are responsible for paying property taxes, homeowners insurance, and any necessary repairs. To determine whether the borrower can manage these obligations, lenders will check their credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and other financial factors.

What Are the Benefits of a Reverse Mortgage?

piggy bank with heart and houses in background

The primary benefit of a reverse mortgage is that it provides additional financial freedom during retirement. You can receive a lump sum payment, a line of credit, or monthly payments from the lender. Also, you won’t need to make monthly payments to the lender and the loan won’t have to be repaid until you sell the home or pass away. This can alleviate the financial stress of low monthly income during retirement.

What Are the Risks of a Reverse Mortgage?

Shocked couple looking at a reverse mortgage

While a reverse mortgage can provide financial relief, you also need to understand the risks. Due to the lack of monthly payments, interest, and fees will accrue on the loan balance. This, in turn, can diminish your home equity over time. If you pass away, the lender will sell the home to recoup the loan balance. Unfortunately, this could result in your heirs receiving less or nothing from the sale.

How Can Seniors Determine If a Reverse Mortgage Is Right for Them?

thinking retiree

Seniors should consider their current financial situation, including their current income, expenses, and long-term financial goals. Also, they should discuss their options with their family and a financial advisor to ensure they understand the risks and benefits of a reverse mortgage fully. Don’t be afraid to consider alternative options, such as downsizing, refinancing, or applying for government assistance.


A reverse mortgage can provide financial relief during retirement, but it’s not the right choice for everyone. It’s important to consider every option before taking out a reverse mortgage. With the right information and support, seniors can make an informed decision that perfectly aligns with their financial goals and overall well-being.

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Want to read more great articles? Then check out our Retirement Lifestyle blog!

Originally published June 06, 2023

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