What Is A Reverse Mortgage And What Are Its Benefits?

How to Shop for Reverse Mortgages in Illinois ? - Z Reverse Mortgage
Source: Flickr

When it comes time to think about the future because you are getting older and closer to retirement, you may want to consider getting a reverse mortgage for your home. This is a rather new thing among mortgages, but it can provide you with a stable income until you no longer have need of the house. Here are some things you should know about a reverse mortgage.

The idea of a reverse mortgage is to provide you with an income in your senior years when your income level may be lower or nearly non-existent. To start with, you must be at least 62 years old, and have some equity in your home. Other considerations of how much you can get include the value of the home and how much remains on the mortgage that is unpaid.

What Is It For?

The goal of getting a reverse mortgage is to tap into the equity of your home and use it to provide you with cash so that you can either meet upcoming expenses (possibly medical), or simply use it to maintain a certain level of living. Payments from the mortgage company to you can be obtained in a number of ways, including monthly payments as long as you live in the house, a lump sum, monthly payments over a term, payments plus a line of credit, and combinations of these things. Your options and amount you can receive are based on things like age and the amount of equity that you have in the house. The older you are the larger payment you will be eligible to receive.

How Does It Work?

A reverse mortgage works differently than a regular mortgage. The first difference is that they pay you instead of you paying them. You make no payments until you, or those also named, no longer live in the house. At that time, however, the full amount becomes due, and generally will need to be sold in order to make the payment.

Who Qualifies?

Another difference that applies to a reverse mortgage is that it does not matter how much you make in income at any time. Since you are not paying them – you can automatically qualify. There are, however, some things that remain the same as a regular mortgage – the fees and closing costs. When you no longer need the house, that is, either you move to a nursing home, or, at death, the house will be sold and you will pay back the principal and the interest. Any mortgages that exist on the house when you get a reverse mortgage will automatically be paid off at that time.

Many people find that reverse mortgages can be rather confusing. This demands that you take a little extra time to learn about them well enough to know what is involved. Different lenders have different features, and you need to know that there are scams out there that deal with reverse mortgages. Compare each of them carefully. Most agencies, especially the Federal ones, will require counseling to help you understand all the options of a reverse mortgage before you apply.