What are the age requirements for a reverse mortgage?

The reverse mortgage product was specifically designed to meet the needs of an older borrower. As it was envisioned, this type of loan is available to help people access their home equity later in life when they may have a need to supplement a fixed income in retirement.

And while historically reverse mortgages were available only to people who are at least 62 years old, recent product developments and private reverse mortgage loans available on the market today offer reverse mortgage options to some borrowers who are not yet 62.

In this article you will learn:

  • Age requirements for government-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgages
  • Considerations when only one borrower is at least 62
  • Recent private product developments and the age requirements for some non-HECM products
  • Where to learn more

Age requirements for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages

The minimum age requirement for getting a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, which is the Federal Housing Administration-insured reverse mortgage, is 62 years old. It is a hard and fast rule that at least one borrower must be 62 as of the date of the loan closing for this program.

Historically, however, the rules were a little different. As recently as several years ago, all borrowers on the loan, meaning all borrowers on the home title, had to meet the age requirement of being at least 62 years old. In some instances where a married couple included two people of different ages — one meeting the requirement and the other being too young — the couple could remove the younger homeowner from the home title to qualify for the reverse mortgage.

This led to some issues with respect to these non-borrowing spouses who because they were not on the title or the loan, did not have the same borrower protections that the primary borrower did. Today’s reverse mortgage rules are different, allowing for a borrower who is under 62 if one spouse is 62 or older.

Because the principal limit, or the amount that a borrower can qualify to borrow, depends on the borrowers’ ages, those borrowing couples with a much younger spouse will qualify for less than an older couple with the same home equity and interest rate.

However, those younger spouses if they are on the home title and loan, will enjoy the same protections as the borrower. These protections include the right to remain in the home should the older borrower pass away, as well as the guarantee that proceeds will be made available as specified in the terms of the loan, even if the lender should go out of business or otherwise fail to adhere to the loan terms.

Reverse Mortgage Age Chart

Age of Borrower Loan-to-value HECM Lending Limit
62 34.5% $970,800
65 36.6% $970,800
70 40.3% $970,800
75 43.2% $970,800
80 47.7% $970,800
85 54.0% $970,800
90 61.0% $970,800

*Principal Limit Factors source: HUD.gov 

When only one borrower is at least 62

In the case of a married couple in which only one spouse is 62 or older, the couple can still qualify for a reverse mortgage. The main downside may be that the couple qualifies to borrow less than the single older borrower based on the same home equity and interest rates. Today’s principal limit factors extend to include younger ages, showing the borrowing power of couples of various ages.

When only one borrower is 62 or older, the other borrower as a named borrower is entitled to all the same protections as the older borrower.

Age requirements for private reverse mortgages

There are many non-HECM reverse mortgage products available today. These private or proprietary reverse mortgages are not insured by the government, and they are not subject to the same rules and requirements. While they are similar in many ways, there are a few key differences:

  • Private reverse mortgages do not have the same lending limits that HECM loans do, meaning they can offer more borrowing power for borrowers with home values well above the HECM limit of $970,800
  • Private reverse mortgages may be available to borrowers who are not yet 62 years of age. Some private products are available to borrowers starting at age 60, for example, with at least one private reverse mortgage currently available to borrowers who are 55 and older.

There are other distinctions that vary by product, so it is important to explore all the options available, particularly for borrowers who may be younger than 62 years old or who are couples where both parties are under 62 years old. Despite not being 62, there may be private reverse mortgages available.

Where to learn more

There are lots of resources available where prospective borrowers can learn more about reverse mortgages, their age requirements, and how the borrowers’ ages impact the amount that can be borrowed. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, which administers the HECM program, provides information on HECM loans and considerations for spouses and non-borrowing spouses of reverse mortgage borrowers.

Regardless of the younger borrowers’ ages, it is always a good idea to disclose all homeowners and their ages during the reverse mortgage application process.

If you are considering a reverse mortgage, whether you are 62 years old or have yet to reach the HECM age requirement, contact All Reverse Mortgage to learn more about the reverse mortgage loan programs available to you.