A reverse mortgage is a complex home loan for senior homeowners who have built up substantial equity in their property.
In a reverse mortgage, the lender loans you money based on the value of your home, the amount of equity you have in the home, and your age at the time of the loan application. The lender pays you the money either in a lump sum, in monthly installments, or as a line-of-credit.
Unlike a traditional home equity loan or second mortgage, repayment is not required until you sell your home, move out permanently, or die. The amount of money you owe increases over time because you do not make payments. If you sell your home, you can keep any proceeds from the sale of your home in excess of what you owe the lender.
To qualify for a reverse mortgage, the borrower must be at least 62 years old. The borrower must receive counseling in advance from an approved counseling agency. The mortgage on your home must be completely or nearly paid off. You can get a reverse mortgage regardless of your current income.