A reverse mortgage is a loan product which allows one to convert some of their home’s equity into cash without having to sell their house at the present time. Many seniors aged 62 and up have found this to be a convenient way to liquify some of their assets to finance home improvements/safety additions, supplement their retirement income, pay for out of pocket healthcare expenses or as a means to paying off the remainder of their current home mortgage.
Instead of making monthly payments to a lender as required under the terms of a conventional mortgage, a reverse mortgage works in the opposite manner: You or your loved one receives money from the lender and in most instances, aren’t required to pay it back long as you live in your home. The loan is later repaid when you sell your home, when you move or when you finally pass away. The proceeds of a reverse mortgage generally are tax-free, and many reverse mortgages have no income restrictions.
The three main types of reverse mortgages are:
- Single-purpose reverse mortgages – offered by some state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations
- Federally-insured reverse mortgages – known as Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) and backed by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- Proprietary reverse mortgages – private loans that are backed by the companies that develop them
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