Reverse Mortgage: Finding a Lender

Calculate Your Eligibility

As senior housing wealth continues to grow1, their homes, in many instances, have become their most valuable asset.  If you are looking to access this housing wealth, a reverse mortgage may be an option.

A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), also known as a reverse mortgage loan, is a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured loan2 that allows adult homeowners, 62 and older, to access a portion of their home’s equity without having to make monthly mortgage payments.3

Finding the right reverse mortgage lender will be one of the most important decisions you make.  But, how do you know which lender is right for you?  Here are some things you might want to consider when selecting your lender.

A Lender that is Honest and has Integrity

From your very first conversation, the lender should understand your situation and take the time to explain all the terms and requirements to you.  They should be transparent by letting you know all the fees involved with a reverse mortgage loan. Any lender that isn’t upfront should be avoided.

Make sure to research a potential lender.  You can check their rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). If they are below an A+, this could indicate they may not be as trustworthy as other lenders.  You should also confirm their loan officers are licensed with the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS), as this is a requirement for reverse mortgage loan originators.

Understand the Lender’s Process

You probably have applied for a loan before, but this may be the first time you’ve applied for a reverse mortgage. You’ll want to know what to expect from the loan process from beginning to end.

  • Once you submit your loan application and complete your reverse mortgage counseling session, it should take between 60 to 90 days for the loan to close. You can ask your lender how long it normally takes them to process their loans.
  • The lender you select should provide fair and competitive pricing. You can always compare with other reverse mortgage providers.
  • You should be able to contact your lender and speak to a live person, during normal business hours, to answer any questions you may have.
  • Your lender should provide weekly updates on the status of your loan as it moves through the process. If you are unable to reach your lender or they are not returning your phone calls, that could be a red flag to look elsewhere.
  • If at any time before the funding of the loan, you change your mind or want to stop the process, your lender should allow you to do so.

Willing to Recommend Outside Advice

A good reverse mortgage lender will recommend you speak with a tax advisor/professional to provide additional information about the tax requirements and the potential implications to benefits after securing a reverse mortgage loan. If they seem uncomfortable with you seeking additional advice, you may want to consider looking for a different lender.

Deciding to get a reverse mortgage is a big decision and you should take your time to find the right lender that fits your needs.  To learn more about reverse mortgages, call (800) 976-6211 to speak with a licensed reverse mortgage advisor.




2 As required by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), you will be charged an up-front mortgage insurance premium (MIP) at closing and, over the life of the loan, you will be charged an annual MIP based on the loan balance.

3 Your current mortgage, if any, must be paid off using the proceeds from your HECM loan. You must still live in the home as your primary residence, continue to pay required property taxes, homeowners insurance, and maintain the home according to FHA requirements. Failure to meet these requirements can trigger a loan default that may result in foreclosure.