A reverse mortgage is a powerful tool that can let you harvest the equity that you’ve accrued in your home right now, and leverage that into cash that you can use to enjoy a more fulsome retirement. But there is plenty of misinformation about these loans. We’ll aim to clear some of these up in this explanation that can help you decide what the right move is.
First off, you have to be at least 62-years-old to qualify for a reverse mortgage. What’s more, you have to have substantial equity in your home and be the primary resident. If you meet these requirements, you can get approved. And the loan is not income or credit based, either.
How the Loan Works
A reverse mortgage is where you borrow a portion of the existing equity in your home. You do not have to make payments until after you have passed away. You can take the cash as a lump sum, a line of credit or monthly payments. Interest rates and processing and origination fees still apply.
You Can Use the Funds as You See Fit
The best part is that you can use the funds as you see fit. Want to remodel your home, take a vacation or invest… it’s your choice. If you do decide to sell the home, you will have to pay off the lien before you can keep the difference in cash. Interest is still assessed for any term that you held the loan as well. Reverse mortgages should be carefully considered before taking them out for the best results in retirement.
Primary Residences Only
Unlike other forms of home lending, a reverse mortgage does require that the home you are borrowing against is your primary residence. These owner-occupied home loans are designed to enable you to tap into your existing equity and refinance the home so you can use that equity and eliminate any future mortgage payments during your lifetime. If you do move away, you’ll have to sell the home and pay back the reverse mortgage using the proceeds or refinance it back to a conventional home loan.