The home equity loan has become quite popular in the last five years, and Americans have tapped into the equity of their homes in record numbers. The reasons vary, although home improvement and are the most common reasons for borrowing against a home’s equity.
In the last fifteen years or so, a new twist has arrived in the home equity market – the reverse mortgage. Like a traditional home equity loan or line of credit, a reverse mortgage allows you to borrow against the equity in your home. Unlike those other options, you don’t have to make payments in order to pay it back. The repayment takes place when you die, when you move, or when you sell your home. You must be at least 62 years of age to qualify, but unlike other loans, you do not have to have any appreciable income in order to get a reverse mortgage.
There are a number of advantages of a reverse mortgage over a traditional home equity loan:
– Your options of receiving the money from the loan include a monthly payout, although you may also elect to receive a lump sum or a credit line. A monthly payout would effectively provide you with a regular income during the remainder of your time in your home.
– The loan isn’t due until you move, sell the home, or die. There is no repayment schedule, as with regular installment loans. At the time of your death or when you sell the house, the loan must be repaid with interest.
– The amount you have to repay cannot exceed the value of your home. With this feature, you are protected should your home decline in value. The lender cannot force you to pay more than the value of the home.
Due to the age restrictions on reverse mortgages, they are not for everyone. But if you qualify, it could provide an excellent opportunity to have an income during your retirement years.