Reverse Mortgage Lenders
When you’ve made the decision to get a reverse mortgage loan, choosing the right lender is the next step. With hundreds of reverse mortgage lenders and brokers available, this can seem a bit overwhelming. Here are a few ways to narrow down the options and find the right lender for you:
There are many websites that can generate a quick quote or estimate your potential rate. However, if they aren’t a licensed originator, they can’t provide you with an offer or give you a personalized loan assessment. Some of these companies are known as lead-generation websites. Instead of giving them your information to share with multiple lenders, cut out the middleman and work with a reverse mortgage lender directly.
History & Industry Expertise
You want to find a credible lender who has been in the industry for many years. With national banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America exiting the reverse mortgage market, bigger isn’t necessarily better. A great place to start is by checking if the lender is part of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA). NRMLA’s mission is to educate consumers about reverse mortgages while also enforcing a Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility1 to protect borrowers. As a NRMLA member, lenders must adhere to strict requirements and must sign the Code of Ethics when joining or renewing their membership annually.1
Any lender can follow rules and regulations, but their commitment to provide a positive borrower experience can vary. The Better Business Bureau is one of the most well-known, nonprofit organizations that rates companies based on the public’s perception. Their ratings are given on a letter scale from A+ (highest) to F (lowest) with respect to the following factors2: complaint history, type of business, time in business, transparent business practices, licensing and government actions, advertising issues, and commitments to BBB. If a lender you are considering has a score below what you think is acceptable, or they are not accredited, it might be a good idea to research another company.
Ease & Accessibility
Lastly, find a lender who can provide you with the customer service you need, when you need it. If online capabilities are important to you, find a lender with a website that is professional and easy to use. If their calculator takes you through 10 different steps on 10 separate pages, maybe it makes sense to find a website that is simpler. If speaking 1-on-1 to a live person is important to you, pick up the phone and dial your lender directly. The process of getting a loan can sometimes be difficult, working with your lender shouldn’t be.
If you’re interested in getting the process started with a licensed loan advisor, fill out the calculator above or call 1.800.976.6211.
1NRMLA Code of Ethics & Professional Responsibility: https://www.nrmlaonline.org/about/nrmla-code-of-ethics-professional-responsibility
2 BBB Overview of Ratings: https://www.bbb.org/en/us/overview-of-bbb-ratings