What is a reverse annuity mortgage?

What is a reverse annuity mortgage?

What is a reverse annuity mortgage?



A reverse annuity mortgage, also known as a reverse mortgage, is a financial product designed specifically for homeowners who are aged 62 or older. It allows them to convert a portion of their home equity into cash, providing them with a source of income in retirement. Unlike a traditional mortgage, where the borrower makes monthly payments to the lender, a reverse annuity mortgage works in the opposite way. Instead, the lender makes payments to the borrower, either as a lump sum, a line of credit, or in regular installments.

How Does a Reverse Annuity Mortgage Work?

To qualify for a reverse annuity mortgage, homeowners must meet certain eligibility criteria, including being at least 62 years old, owning their home outright or having a low mortgage balance, and living in the home as their primary residence. The amount of money that can be borrowed through a reverse annuity mortgage is determined by factors such as the borrower’s age, the value of the home, and the current interest rates.

Loan Types: There are three main types of reverse annuity mortgages: single-purpose reverse mortgages, proprietary reverse mortgages, and Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs). Single-purpose reverse mortgages are offered by state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations and are typically used for specific purposes, such as home repairs or property taxes. Proprietary reverse mortgages are private loans backed by the companies that develop them. HECMs, on the other hand, are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and are the most common type of reverse annuity mortgage.

Repayment: One of the key features of a reverse annuity mortgage is that repayment is not required as long as the borrower continues to live in the home. The loan is typically repaid when the borrower sells the home, moves out of the home, or passes away. At that point, the proceeds from the sale of the home are used to repay the loan, with any remaining equity going to the borrower or their heirs. If the loan balance exceeds the value of the home, the borrower or their heirs are generally not responsible for the difference.

Benefits and Considerations

Benefits: A reverse annuity mortgage can provide several benefits for eligible homeowners. It offers a way to access the equity in their home without having to sell it, providing them with additional income in retirement. The funds can be used to cover living expenses, pay for healthcare costs, or even finance home improvements. Additionally, the borrower retains ownership of the home and can continue to live in it as long as they meet the loan requirements.

Considerations: While a reverse annuity mortgage can be advantageous, there are also important considerations to keep in mind. The fees and closing costs associated with these loans can be higher than those of traditional mortgages. It’s essential to carefully review the terms and conditions, including interest rates and repayment options, to fully understand the financial implications. Additionally, borrowers should consider the impact on their heirs, as the loan balance will need to be repaid when the borrower passes away or moves out of the home.


A reverse annuity mortgage is a financial tool that allows homeowners aged 62 and older to convert a portion of their home equity into cash, providing them with income in retirement. With different loan types and repayment options available, it’s important for potential borrowers to carefully evaluate the terms and consider their long-term financial goals. While a reverse annuity mortgage can offer benefits, it’s crucial to fully understand the costs and implications before making a decision.


– Federal Trade Commission: www.ftc.gov
– U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: www.hud.gov
– Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: www.consumerfinance.gov