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How to Get a Reverse Mortgage

The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, known as a reverse mortgage, allows you to cash in on the accrued value of your home. Find out what's involved and how you can benefit from this program.


  • : The FBI has issued a scam warning for conventional reverse mortgage loans, recommending that buyers go with FHA-approved lenders.
  • Step 1: Determine if you're qualified Determine whether you qualify first by being at least 62 years old.
  • Step 2: Determine if you meet home rules Determine whether you meet home ownership rules by owning either a single family residence or one unit of a one- to four-unit property. In some cases, a condo or a mobile home may also qualify. Make sure you meet the criterion that says you must occupy the home in order to qualify.
  • TIP: Because this program targets the principal residence -- the place where the borrower does most of their living -- summer homes, time-shares, and even RVs may qualify.
  • Step 3: Evaluate your mortgage balance Make sure your home has a low enough mortgage balance -- no more than 65 percent of its current value.
  • Step 4: Inquire about calculation Inquire about the official calculation, which includes your age, the home’s appraised value, and the FHA loan limit in the area. There are no income or credit requirements.
  • Step 5: Pay fees Pay fees for origination, appraisal, title, escrow, recording, and monthly service.
  • Step 6: Abide by the loan agreement Abide by the terms of the loan agreement. Failure to do so can cause the loan to be called back.
  • FACT: Reverse mortgages increased more than 1,300 percent between 1999 and 2008.

You Will Need

  • To be 62 years old
  • To own a home
  • A low mortgage balance
  • Money for fees

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