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Published: Jul 02, 2024 19 min read

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A reverse mortgage is a type of home loan for seniors that works backward. Rather than making payments to your lender, you receive payments — sort of like an advance on your eventual home sale.

If you’re considering one of these loans, there are many reverse mortgage companies you could work with. Some offer more loan options or lower rates, while others come with better service, multiple disbursement options or cater to different age groups than the typical 62-plus.

Not sure which one to choose? See our picks for the best reverse mortgage companies below.

Money’s Main Takeaways

  • A reverse mortgage can be a good idea for homeowners 62 and older if they meet the eligibility requirements and plan to stay in the house long-term.
  • However, your heirs must pay off the reverse mortgage balance if they wish to retain the home when you leave the house or pass away.
  • A reverse mortgage is not a good idea if you may have to move out soon due to health issues, your spouse is not yet 62, or you have friends and family living with you.

Why Trust Us?

Our editors and writers evaluate reverse mortgage providers independently, ensuring our content is precise and guided by editorial integrity. Read our full methodology to learn more.

  • Reviewed 18 providers
  • 1,000+ hours of research
  • Based on 13 data points, including HECM offerings, regulatory actions, and fee and rate transparency

Our Top Picks for Best Reverse Mortgage Companies

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If you are over 62, a Reverse Mortgage from AAG (NMLS# 2285) can help you take care of expenses or even invest in things that will improve your quality of life. Click on your state to learn more.
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Best Reverse Mortgage Reviews


Pros
  • Great customer ratings and reviews
  • Informative website with lots of educational resources
  • Specializes in reverse mortgage lending
Cons
  • Charged with deceptive advertising practices by the CFPB
  • Does not service Massachusetts
  • No 55+ loans
  • No brick-and-mortar locations
HIGHLIGHTS
Products
HECM, HECM for purchase, mortgage refinancing
Loan amounts
Up to HECM limit
Estimated upfront fees
$5,800 - $18,000
States served
49 states (not Massachusetts)

Why we chose this company: American Advisors Group (AAG) recently became a division of Finance of America Reverse. Prior to the change, AAG was the largest reverse mortgage lender in the country, ranked by volume.

Customers are quite happy with American Advisors Group (NMLS #9392), which boasts a 4.75 on Trustpilot. Most of the customer reviews on Trustpilot (86%) rate their experience highly — either four or five stars. The lender also has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

The company only offers standard HECMs and reverse mortgages for purchase, so its product offerings are a little more limited than those of other lenders. It’s also worth noting that the CFPB imposed a $1 million penalty on AAG in 2021 for what it termed “deceptive acts aimed at older homeowners.”

For more information, read our full review of American Advisors Group.

See rates on American Advisors Group's Secure Website >>


Pros
  • Quick closing times for HECM for purchases
  • Hundreds of brick-and-mortar locations
  • Good customer reviews and an A+ BBB rating
  • Lots of educational resources and tools
  • Jumbo loans go down to age 55
Cons
  • Does not remain your servicer after closing
  • 55+ loans not available in all states
  • Mortgage applications for properties in the state of New York cannot be processed on the website
HIGHLIGHTS
Products
HECM, HECM for purchase, jumbo loans
Loan amounts
Up to $4 million
Estimated upfront fees
Not specified
States served
All 50 states, plus D.C.

Why we chose this company: We chose Fairway Independent Mortgage as best for homebuyers because the company has particular experience offering HECMs for purchase.

What’s more, because of its streamlined process, Fairway can close an HECM for purchase in as little as 17 days, though its average is 30 days. That’s still a far cry from the 45 to 90 days most lenders quote — and for seniors on a tight timeline, the quick funding might just be a game-changer.

The company also offers a solid array of online resources (including a reverse mortgage blog, an FAQ section and a reverse mortgage calculator), and on the interest rate front, Fairway’s rates fall somewhere in the middle. For more information, read our full review of Fairway Independent Mortgage.

See rates on Fairway's Secure Website >>


Pros
  • Wide array of reverse mortgage options
  • Jumbo loans go down to age 55
  • Informative website with lots of resources
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Remains your servicer after closing
Cons
  • Jumbos not available in every state
  • 55+ loans not available in every state
  • Limited brick-and-mortar locations for in-person appointments
  • Mortgage applications for properties in the state of New York cannot be processed on the website
HIGHLIGHTS
Products
HECM, HECM for purchase, jumbo loans, Equity Avail proprietary mortgage, home-sharing
Loan amounts
Up to $4 million
Estimated upfront fees
$5,800 - $18,000
States served
All 50 states, plus D.C.

Why we chose this company: Finance of America Reverse (NMLS #2285) has something for just about everyone, with a large variety of mortgage options.

FAR offers the popular HECM reverse mortgage, HomeSafe jumbo loans up to $4 million and a few alternatives that older homeowners might want to consider.

FAR also offers a home-sharing program called Silvernest. The program matches seniors with rent-paying housemates so they can earn income and put more money toward retirement goals. It can be used in tandem with FAR’s reverse mortgage offers. For more information, read our full review of Finance of America Reverse.

See rates on Finance of America's Secure Website >>


Pros
  • Low interest rates
  • Informative website with lots of resources
  • Jumbo loans go down to age 55
  • Remains your servicer after closing
Cons
  • 55+ loans not available in every state
  • Mortgage applications for properties in the state of New York cannot be processed on the website
HIGHLIGHTS
Products
HECM, HECM for purchase, jumbo loans
Loan amounts
Up to $4 million
Estimated upfront fees
$5,200 - $8,700
States served
50 plus Washington, D.C.

Why we chose this company: Longbridge Financial, LLC (NMLS #957935) is our top reverse mortgage lender. It consistently offers some of the lowest interest rates among the companies we reviewed.

Longbridge offers Home Equity Conversion Loans (HECM) and HECMs for purchase. The lender's proprietary Longbridge Platinum loan is a jumbo reverse mortgage with a maximum loan limit of $4 million. That's the extent of their reverse mortgage products, though, so they don't offer much variety.

The company also has great customer reviews and few complaints regarding its loan officers, and it remains your servicer after closing — meaning you'll do business with the same company for as long as you have the loan. For more information, read our full review of Longbridge Financial Reverse.

See rates on Longbridge's Secure Website >>

 


 

Pros
  • Online dashboard for getting and managing your loan
  • Dozens of brick-and-mortar locations
  • A+ rating with BBB
  • Lots of online resources, videos and tools
Cons
  • Does not serve Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts and New York
HIGHLIGHTS
Products
HECM, HECM for purchase
Loan amounts
Up to $1,089,300
Estimated upfront fees
$7,300 - $18,000
States served
46 states, plus D.C.

Why we chose this company: If you’re looking for a more tech-driven reverse mortgage experience, Open Mortgage’s (NMLS #2975) online loan platform might be for you.

With Open Mortgage, you get all kinds of educational video content and can start your application process online. While you can’t complete the entire process there (HECMs require counseling through a HUD-approved agency), you can use the platform to run through various loan scenarios and, after closing, manage your loan, connect with customer service or request funds from your line of credit.

According to our analysis of HUD data, Open Mortgage has higher average interest rates than some of the others on our list, though not the highest. Make sure you compare rates from at least a few different lenders to ensure you’re getting the best deal. The lender doesn’t serve customers in Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts or New York. For more information, read our full review of Open Mortgage.

See rates on Open Mortgage's Secure Website >>


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Other companies we considered


All Reverse Mortgage

Pros
  • Lowest interest rates
  • ARLO, a reverse mortgage calculator that offers an instant quote
  • Excellent consumer ratings
Cons
  • Not available in all states

All Reverse Mortgage (NMLS #13999) would have made our list because it offers some of the lowest interest rates on the market. Its proprietary All Reverse Loan Optimizer (ARLO) software compares different loan products, instantly determines eligibility and provides real-time rate quotes. The company is family-owned and operated and has a nearly perfect five-star rating with the BBB.

For more details, read our full review of All Reverse Mortgage.

Why we didn't choose it: Its geographic service area — just 13 states — was too small. For consumers in the states it does service (California and Texas, to name a few), the company is worth a look.

See rates on All Reverse Mortgage's Secure Website >>


American Senior/HighTech Lending

Pros
  • HECM, HECM for Purchase and jumbo Reverse Mortgages
  • Refinance reverse mortgages available
  • Competitive interest rates
Cons
  • Not available in all states
  • Few independent customer reviews

American Senior (NMLS #7147), the reverse mortgage arm of HighTech Lending, offers the standard reverse mortgage options — HECM, HECM for purchase and jumbo loans. Their interest rates are competitive, but other companies offer lower rates. American Senior offers a loan where you can refinance a HECM loan into another HECM.

Why we didn't choose it: American Senior might have made the list, but its lack of reviews on Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau, and small reach (just 21 states) held it back.

For more details, read our full review of American Senior/HighTechLending.

See rates on American Senior/HighTech Lending's Secure Website >>


Liberty Reverse Mortgage

Pros
  • HECM and HECM for purchase loans
  • Low interest rates
  • Easy eligibility calculator
Cons
  • No jumbo loan options
  • Mortgage applications for properties in the state of New York cannot be processed on the website

Liberty Reverse Mortgage — also called Liberty Home Equity Solutions (NMLS #2726) — was the No. 9 reverse mortgage loan originator by volume in 2022. The company offers both HECMs and a proprietary jumbo reverse mortgage, which goes up to $4 million and is available for borrowers 55 and up. The lender also offers some of the lowest rates on the market.

For more details, read our full review of Liberty Reverse Mortgage.

Why we didn't choose it: Liberty's main drawbacks are due to its parent company — PHH Mortgage/Ocwen — which was sued by the state of Florida in 2020 for servicing failures, including overcharging for property inspections.

See rates on Liberty Reverse Mortgage's Secure Website >>


Nationwide Equities Corporation

Pros
  • Full range of reverse mortgage options
  • Proprietary co-op reverse mortgage option
  • Competitive interest rates
Cons
  • Available in only 16 states
  • A 2021 enforcement action with the CFPB regarding deceptive advertising practices

Nationwide Equities Corp. (NMLS #1408) has solid reviews and a full suite of reverse mortgage options, including HECM loans, HECMs for purchase, jumbo reverse mortgages and refinancing for reverse mortgages. A standout option is the company’s proprietary NY Co-op reverse mortgage.

Why we didn't choose it: Their small reach (just 14 states), plus allegations of deceptive advertising from the CFPB in 2021 are what pushed the company out of the running.

For more details, read our full review of Nationwide Equities Corporation.

See rates on Nationwide Equities Corporation's Secure Website >>


Reverse Mortgage Guide

Reverse mortgage programs are complicated products. While they don’t require traditional monthly mortgage payments, they are a debt — and they do need to be repaid eventually.


How to choose a reverse mortgage lender

Choosing the right reverse mortgage lender is critical, so be sure to shop around and consider at least a few options before moving forward.

When choosing a mortgage lender, you should:

  • Consider the different types of reverse mortgages. Carefully consider all the reverse mortgage loan options and learn about the pros and cons of each one. Being knowledgeable about available loans and how they are best used will help you find the right reverse mortgage — and lender — for your personal finance goals.
  • Look for lenders that are members of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA). This organization has an established designation — and corresponding code of ethics — for lenders offering reverse mortgages. It also provides educational resources for consumers on the pros and cons of this type of loan.
  • Get quotes from different lenders. Reverse mortgage companies can differ quite a bit in pricing, so getting quotes from several is important to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
  • Compare rates and fees. Review each lender's loan estimate. Pay particular attention to the interest rate and any upfront costs, origination fees, closing costs, servicing fees or mortgage insurance premiums.
  • Read customer reviews and ratings. Look for companies with A+ ratings or higher. The Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot are great resources for gauging customer sentiment about a company. Be wary of aggressive sales tactics. Heed these tips for avoiding reverse mortgage scams, and if something feels off or suspicious, report the lender to the Federal Trade Commission and your state’s attorney general.

What is a reverse mortgage?

Reverse mortgage funding is a type of loan for older homeowners — generally, those aged 62 and up (though some lenders allow borrowers to be as young as 55). It is essentially a home equity loan with unique repayment terms.

Like a home equity loan, a reverse mortgage allows borrowers to turn their home equity into cash, which is typically used to supplement Social Security and other retirement income, cover the costs of aging-in-place, home repairs or improvement projects or reduce monthly housing expenses. Depending on the type of HECM, reverse mortgages can be disbursed as a one-time lump sum payout, installment or monthly payments, a line of credit, or any combination of the three.

For more details, read Money’s reverse mortgage guide.

How does a reverse mortgage work?

You can take out a reverse mortgage on several types of real estate, including a single-family home, a multi-unit property that you currently live in, a townhouse or a condo (with HECMs, it must be an FHA-approved condo).

Unlike what happens with a traditional mortgage, where you have to make monthly payments, your reverse mortgage loan balance won’t come due until you pass on, sell the home or move out of the home for at least 12 months — to an assisted living facility, for example. In the case of your passing, your heirs would be responsible for repaying the lender out of your estate, or, if that’s not possible, via their own cash or by selling the property.

Reverse mortgage qualifications

To get a reverse mortgage, you must own your home outright or have built up enough equity so that the proceeds from the loan cover your remaining mortgage balance. You will also need to have enough income to continue paying property taxes and homeowners insurance, as well as to keep the home properly maintained. Reverse mortgages don’t have minimum credit score requirements, so you don’t have to worry if yours isn’t that high.

Reverse mortgages are not ideal if you struggle to cover these costs, your home’s value has decreased significantly or you’re not planning to stay in the home for the long term. Make sure you understand all the pros and cons of a reverse mortgage before making your decision.

Reverse mortgage rules

Reverse mortgage qualifications vary by loan program and lender but typically follow a set of rules.

For HECMs:

  • Meet the minimum age requirement of 62
  • Have a substantial amount of equity in the home
  • The house must be your primary residence
  • Complete the mandatory, in-person reverse mortgage counseling with a non-profit housing counseling agency
  • Stay current on home maintenance, property taxes, HOA fees and homeowners insurance premiums

For proprietary jumbo loans:

  • Meet the minimum age requirement of 55
  • Meet lender credit and income standards
  • Have enough equity in your home

Selling a house with a reverse mortgage

Like other mortgages, a reverse mortgage uses your home as collateral. So when you sell the home, the loan amount, plus interest, comes due, and you must use the proceeds to pay off the balance. This is true whether you sell the house or your heir does after you pass.

HECMs and many proprietary mortgage loans have non-recourse clauses. This means that if you default on the loan, you won’t owe more than the home's sales price.

How to get out of a reverse mortgage

With most reverse mortgage loans, you have what’s called a right of rescission. Legally, this means you have up to three business days after closing to cancel a reverse mortgage and get your money back, including closing costs. You’ll have to notify your lender in writing if you plan to cancel, so make sure to send it via certified mail. This will alert you once it’s been received. (Note: There is no right of rescission with HECM for purchase loans unless your state specifically offers it.)

You can also get out of a reverse mortgage by refinancing — either into a new reverse mortgage loan or into a conventional loan. Follow these mortgage refinance steps if this is a strategy you’re considering.

Types of reverse mortgages

There are four types of reverse mortgages: Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), proprietary reverse mortgages and single-purpose reverse mortgages.

Here’s how those differ:

  • HECMs: HECMs are reverse mortgages insured by the federal government — specifically the Federal Housing Administration — and issued by FHA-approved lenders.
  • HECM for purchase: Government-backed loans designed solely for purchasing a home versus leveraging the equity in one you already own.
  • Proprietary reverse mortgages: These are private mortgage loans that are unique to the lender offering them. Some lenders call them jumbo reverse mortgages, as they usually have higher limits than HECMs.
  • Single-purpose reverse mortgages: The loan proceeds from single-purpose reverse mortgages can only be used toward one specific purpose — like covering home improvements or paying property taxes.

Reverse mortgages can also come with either an adjustable or fixed interest rate. With an adjustable rate, your interest rate can change over time. Fixed rate loans have a consistent rate for the entire loan term.

Reverse mortgage pros and cons

Reverse mortgages can be a handy product in retirement, but they have some notable drawbacks. Here’s a quick look at both the good and bad for these unique mortgage products.

Pros
  • Increase cash flow
  • Supplement income
  • Tax free
  • Non-recourse loans
Cons
  • Closing costs
  • Risk of foreclosure
  • Impact on eligibility for other benefits
  • Complications for heirs

As you can see, reverse mortgages have risks. If you’re not sure one is right for your scenario, talk to a financial professional for personalized guidance. They can help you determine the best way to achieve your retirement goals.

Reverse Mortgage FAQs

How do you pay back a reverse mortgage?

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You pay back a reverse mortgage out of pocket, by selling your home or refinancing the mortgage into a traditional mortgage loan. You may also opt to give the lender the deed to your property. This is typically an option if you're facing foreclosure.

Remember: Repayment isn't required until you live outside the home for at least 12 months, pass away or stop making your property tax and insurance premium payments.

How much money do you get from a reverse mortgage?

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The amount of money you can get from a reverse mortgage depends on the home value and type of loan you get. With a HECM, you can get up to $1,149,825 as of 2024 (this changes annually). If you opt for a proprietary reverse mortgage, the limits range from $3 million to $4 million depending on the lender. Your credit score, the amount of home equity you have, any existing mortgage balance on the property and the appraised value of your home will also play a role.

How does a reverse mortgage work when you die?

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A reverse mortgage comes due when you pass on. This means your heirs will either need to pay off the loan out of pocket, through your estate or by selling the home and using the proceeds from the sale. They usually have 30 days to settle up with the lender, though they may be able to file for an extension of up to one year.

Is a reverse mortgage a ripoff?

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Reverse mortgage scams are out there, but they're not the norm. As long as you understand how these loans work, choose an experienced and vetted mortgage company and use a reverse mortgage calculator to gauge the costs and financial repercussions, a reverse mortgage can be a useful tool for many homeowners. The federal government has also taken steps to protect reverse mortgage borrowers in recent years. In 2021, the CFPB took action against at least two lenders for misleading advertising practices, and HUD also provided extra protections for non-borrowing spouses.

What is the downside of a reverse mortgage?

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The biggest downside of a reverse mortgage is that it puts your home at risk of foreclosure if you don't keep up with property taxes, insurance, HOA dues or home maintenance. Your heirs also stand to inherit less with a reverse mortgage, and there are many costs to consider, too — including interest, mortgage insurance, servicing fees and more. Reverse mortgages can also impact your eligibility for Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) — though not Medicare or traditional Social Security benefits.

How long does it take to get a reverse mortgage?

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The time it takes to get a reverse mortgage depends on the lender's processing time, the completeness of your application, and other necessary steps like appraisals and the mandated reverse mortgage counseling session.

Generally, the process can take several weeks to three months from application to closing. Some lenders may have streamlined processes that can expedite this, but it's essential to be prepared for potential delays and to work closely with your lender throughout the process.

How We Evaluated the Best Reverse Mortgage Companies

When evaluating reverse mortgage lenders, we considered a variety of factors, including:

  • Products offered: We looked for companies with a variety of loan options, including fixed- and adjustable-rate loans, jumbo loans and loans for homeowners under age 62.
  • Customer reviews: We favored lenders with strong customer ratings and few complaints.
  • Regulatory actions: We favored companies with few regulatory actions against them — particularly actions that pertain to customer service and sales/advertising practices.
  • Geographic accessibility: We considered the geographic reach of companies and favored those that serviced the most U.S. states and territories.
  • Online presence: We looked for lenders with robust web presences that inform and engage potential reverse mortgage borrowers.

Some of the resources we used when determining our best reverse mortgage lenders include:

Summary of Money’s Best Reverse Mortgage Companies of July 2024

Companies are listed in alphabetical order: