Principal limit factor, PL factor

Our content may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive compensation at no added cost to you. We work hard to provide great resources and information. We appreciate your support!

Reverse Mortgage Principal Limit FactorA reverse mortgage principal limit factor, or PL factor, helps determine the proceeds available from a HECM reverse mortgage. PL factors are used to calculate the principal limit, which is the gross pool of cash available before mandatory obligations are paid.

How PL factors are used

Principal limit factors are percentage values published in tables by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for purposes of calculating HECM proceeds.

The appropriate principal limit factor is selected by the lender based on the age of the youngest borrower (or non-borrowing spouse) and the expected interest rate (EIR). The appropriate PL factor is then multiplied by the maximum claim amount (usually equal to the value of the home) to determine the principal limit.

As an example, let’s assume the maximum claim amount is $300,000 and the appropriate PL factor 0.50. To calculate the principal limit, we simply multiply the PL factor by the maximum claim amount:

$300,000 (maximum claim amount) * 0.50 (PL factor) = $150,000 (principal limit)

As you can see, the principal limit in this example works out to be $150,000. This is the total pool of cash available to pay mandatory obligations such as existing mortgage balances, closing costs, property charges due at closing, set-asides, etc. The remaining portion of the principal limit is available for allocation to lump sum, line of credit, term income/tenure income, or some combination of these options.

Principal limit factors tend to increase with age. This means that older borrowers tend to qualify for more money than younger borrowers.

PL factors also tend to increase as the expected interest rate decreases. This means that the HECM tends to offer more money when interest rates are relatively low.

Where to find the reverse mortgage principal limit factor tables

The FHA principal limit factor tables are available on the HUD website at the links below. For case numbers issued:

You’ll need to have Microsoft Excel (or a compatible program) installed to open the tables.

A easier way to calculate PL

Are you interested in a far easier way to calculate principal limits? We’ve already done the work for you! You can easily calculate principal limits for various home values, ages, and expected interest rates using our principal limit calculator.

Download Your Own FREE Reverse Mortgage Calculator

Download your own free Excel-based reverse mortgage calculator. Enter your first name and email address below, then click the Download button.

We hate spam as much as you do! We won’t give your email address to anybody else. We’ll send you updates from time to time, but you can unsubscribe at any time. Here is our privacy policy. The calculator requires Microsoft Excel 97 or later.

Mike Roberts Avatar
About Mike Roberts

Mike Roberts is the founder of, an author, and a highly experienced veteran of the mortgage industry. When he's not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, skiing, camping, traveling, or reading a good book. Roberts is the author of The Reverse Mortgage Revealed: An Industry Insider’s Guide to the Reverse Mortgage, which is available on Amazon.