December 19, 2018 by HECM Pro
A HECM reverse mortgage is a fantastic mortgage product, but it’s not available to everybody. Yes, a reverse mortgage age limit applies.
However, how it applies depends mainly on the marital status of the borrowers involved.
Before I explain how the reverse mortgage age limit works, let me first address a few basics about what the HECM program is. There is a lot of misinformation floating around out there and I want to make sure the record is set straight.
What is a HECM reverse mortgage?
HECM (which is often pronounced heck-um by industry insiders) stands for home equity conversion mortgage, which is the most common reverse mortgage product in the United States. If somebody you know recently got a reverse mortgage, it’s likely they got a HECM.
The HECM reverse mortgage program is designed to give seniors 62 years of age or older access to a large portion of their home’s value without taking on a mortgage payment or giving up ownership of the home.
Yes, there is a reverse mortgage age limit, but how it applies depends on your marital status.
One unmarried borrower
If you’re unmarried, then you need to be 62 or older to be age-eligible for the HECM reverse mortgage.
Two or more unmarried borrowers
If multiple unmarried borrowers are in the picture, all will need to be at least 62 and living in the home to qualify .
If you’re married, only one spouse needs to be over the age of 62. Theoretically, there’s no reverse mortgage age limit for the other spouse other than the legal age for signing a contract.
If one spouse is younger than 62, he/she will be considered a non-borrowing spouse (NBS). The NBS is not a full borrower, but inherits all the protections under the program if the older spouse passes away. In other words, if the older spouse dies, the NBS can continue living in the home for the rest of his/her life without making a mortgage payment as long as he/she pays the required property charges and maintains the home.
Note that age of the youngest spouse will be used to calculate the HECM proceeds. If the younger spouse is significantly younger, it can substantially reduce the proceeds available.
Note that as of this writing, NBS HECMs are not available in Texas.
No maximum reverse mortgage age limit
This question doesn’t come up a lot, but in case you were wondering, there’s no maximum reverse mortgage age limit. 🙂 You are also not required to repay the loan balance simply because you reach a certain age. Again, the loan balance does not have to be repaid as long as least one borrower is living in the home and paying the required property charges.