A reverse mortgage is a legal agreement that allows a homeowner to receive cash from a lender in exchange for equity in their property. The lender gives the homeowner that equity in one lump sum, monthly payments for a predetermined amount of time, or monthly payments for as long as they continue to live in the house. This post will review the best and worst reverse mortgage companies and consumer reports on them in 2023.
The best reasons to think about a reverse mortgage include addressing a long-term issue while your spouse is also 62, you don’t want to move, and you have no plans to leave your house as a bequest. People currently in financial difficulty shouldn’t consider getting a reverse mortgage because they risk losing their homes to foreclosure if they don’t follow the terms of the agreement.
We combed through over a dozen reviews of reverse mortgage companies to compile the best and worst options for you in 2023 based on their prices, simplicity of qualification, nationwide reach, responsiveness to client requests, dependability, and reputation.
What Is a Reverse Mortgage?
With a reverse mortgage, homeowners who are 62 years of age or older can withdraw a portion of their home equity and turn it into cash. The lender gives out the money as a lump sum, a line of credit, regular monthly installments, or a mix of these. As opposed to a forward mortgage, the homeowner is not required to make monthly payments. The loan balance is instead due when the homeowner dies, vacates the property, or sells it.
How Does a Reverse Mortgage Work?
In essence, a reverse mortgage is a loan against the proceeds of your future property sale. The lender will grant you that advance through one sizable payment, several smaller monthly payments, or a line of credit.
As long as you reside in the property, you won’t be required to pay principal or interest to your lender; nevertheless, you will be responsible for paying property taxes, homeowners insurance, and HOA dues. Your lender will also want you to maintain the property and keep it in good condition to safeguard its investment.
Your loan won’t become due until you die, sell the house, or vacate the property for at least a year, such as moving into an assisted living facility. If you were to pass away, it would be the responsibility of your heirs to pay back the loan from your estate with their own money or by selling the property.
Best Reverse Mortgage Companies
To ensure you choose the best lender for your financial circumstances, it’s crucial to thoroughly select and research the reverse mortgage companies you plan to work with. Learn more about the reviews of the best reverse mortgage companies in 2023 by using this guide.
#1. American Advisors Group (AAG)
American Advisors Group (AAG), one of the biggest reverse mortgage companies with a solid reputation, provides two essential characteristics that elevate it to the position of best companies overall for reverse mortgages in its reviews for 2023. Various mortgage-type options are available, and experts can help you decide which is best for you.
- A free loan calculator online
- Effective client assistance
- Up to $4 million in loans
- Fees can soon accumulate.
You can choose from several borrowing techniques. AAG, the largest provider of reverse mortgages in the nation with a long history of stability in the financial sector, has the knowledge to guide you through the decision-making process. AAG should be the first place you contact with inquiries because it received our pick as the best overall reverse mortgage provider.
#2. Liberty Reverse Mortgage
Our top choice for customers with solid credit is Liberty Reverse Mortgage because of its flexible terms, specialty in reverse mortgages (it’s all they do), price match promise, and closing date guarantee.
- Makes loans in all states bar Hawaii, New York, South Dakota, and Utah.
- Partners can find free web materials
- Liberty Iron Clad Warranty
- The website offers comprehensive information
- Strict eligibility standards
- There are few online tools.
The Liberty Reverse Mortgage is best for consumers with good credit since it offers flexible terms and affordable pricing, can frequently include up-front expenses in the loan amount, and will match or better a competitor’s program offering with its Liberty Iron Clad Guarantee.
#3. Reverse Mortgage Funding
Reverse Mortgage Funding offers our best reverse mortgage plan for more straightforward qualification. It allows non-FHA-approved condos in addition to having reduced borrower age criteria and more extensive equity access.
- Provides learning resources, such as a recorded webinar
- Offers price matching to compete with interest rates and fees offered by other lenders
- Provides borrowers with $1,000 gift cards when they cannot match a competitor’s rates.
- Except for North Carolina, Texas, and Utah, you can qualify at age 60. Some states even offer loans to borrowers as young as 55.
- Provides limited online resources and tools
- Constrained loan options
- Equity Elite® is not associated with the FHA-insured HECM loan program.
#4. Longbridge Financial
Longbridge Financial’s website offers easy access to educational resources and is the best online quote generator in the industry. It is the best online alternative for reverse mortgages, governed mainly by the FHA guidelines.
- No-cost identity theft defense
- It avoids transferring closed contracts to loan servicers that can tack on extra expenses.
- Low initial expenses
- A small number of proprietary loans
- Absence of local counseling centers in the regions
#5. Finance of America Reverse
Our best option for using a reverse mortgage to buy a new home or condo is Finance of America Reverse’s (FAR) HomeSafe program, a non-government reverse mortgage product that is ideal for seniors who want to move into a new home to downsize their living space, live in a home that better suits their physical limitations, or possibly move closer to their kids.
- Affordable fixed interest rates
- A promise to match prices
- Up to $4 million in loans
- Only 27 states have proprietary products.
Many adults in their 60s have raised their families and now inhabit enormous homes with rooms they no longer require as empty-nesters. The best option for those looking to combine the advantages of a reverse mortgage with purchasing a new house that better suits their location, size, and layout needs are FAR’s HomeSafe program.
Worst Reverse Mortgage Companies
Here are the reviews for the worst reverse mortgage companies for 2023. However, bear in mind that each person’s experience may vary.
#1. DHI Mortgage
It appears that this Texas-based mortgage provider made more mistakes than progress. According to a statistical analysis by The Markup, this lender has a poor history of lending to minority applicants, in addition to being found to charge excessive interest by California’s Department of Business Oversight in 2013 and 2017 (for which they had to pay penalties to settle accusations).
They discovered that compared to white applicants, it was 160% more likely to reject Black applicants and 100% more likely to reject Latino applicants.
#2. Sage Mortgage
Sage Mortgage is a relatively new mortgage lender and is only available in the following states: California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, or Texas. If you’re a borrower who wants a lot of options and the ability to buy in many different states, Sage Mortgage is probably not the right choice for you.
The best candidates for this lender are those who don’t mind doing things independently and don’t require a lot of guidance. The $548,250 loan cap may also restrict where you can buy a home. Additionally, to apply, you must have a credit score of 660.
#3. Chase Bank
One of the largest banks and mortgage companies in the United States is Chase. They provide a variety of loan programs and accept minimal down payments of 3% and higher, much like other lenders.
However, compared to other lenders, US News and World Report only gave them a 3.7 out of 5 on the affordability scale. They only received a B+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Larger lenders occasionally require more time to close a deal. Chase imposes costs for items like rate-lock, underwriting, and origination fees.
Consumer Reports Reverse Mortgage Companies
Consumer Reports asserted that this product “could put your entire retirement security at risk” in an article with the provocative headline, “Don’t Be Suckered Into Buying a Reverse Mortgage companies,” while citing a recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) report that claimed, “many advertisements [for reverse mortgages] are incomplete or contain inaccurate information.”
According to John Councilman, CMC, CRMS of AMC Mortgage Corporation and president of NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals, “I think that reverse mortgage companies in 2023 have earned a terrible reputation because they have been overused.” We’ve discovered that dangling money in front of people can result in some of them taking out loan products that aren’t right for them.
Consumer Reports asserted that the product will become more appealing due to an increase in the number of elderly Americans and recent studies that found nearly half of retired Baby Boomers face a future with insufficient financial resources, even though it was acknowledged that reverse mortgage companies only make up 1% of the overall mortgage product market. Consumer Reports asserted that older Americans ran the risk of being duped into obtaining a reverse mortgage due to celebrity-filled television advertisements for the product without naming any specific companies.
“In the over 20 years that I have worked as a representative for reverse mortgage companies, I have never heard Consumers Reports express a favorable opinion of reverse mortgages. According to Peter Bell, president, and CEO of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA), they frequently state flat-out wrong things.
Additionally, Consumer Reports highlighted alleged issues with this product, such as assertions that “reverse mortgage companies do not guarantee financial security for the rest of your life” and that “the interest rate you pay is often higher than for a standard mortgage.”
Who is the largest reverse mortgage lender?
The biggest reverse mortgage lender in the United States is, by far, AAG. The reverse mortgage packages offered by Reverse contain unique options for various borrower categories.
What are the 3 types of reverse mortgages?
There are several kinds of reverse mortgage loans: (1) those insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA); (2) proprietary reverse mortgage loans that are not FHA-insured; and (3) single-purpose reverse mortgage loans offered by state and local governments.
What is the average fee for a reverse mortgage?
2% of the first $200,000 and 1% of the sum beyond $200,000 of the property’s worth. A maximum origination cost of $6,000. If the market value of your house is less than $125,000, a lender may impose a HECM origination fee of up to $2,500.
Who shouldn’t get a reverse mortgage?
A reverse mortgage borrower must be at least 62 years old. 1 Getting a reverse mortgage is not the best option if you are married and your partner is under 62. New regulations may save your non-borrowing spouse from losing the house if you pass away first, but if the borrower dies, non-borrowers are not eligible for any money from the loan.
What is the new limit on a reverse mortgage?
The maximum reverse mortgage ceiling for the government-insured House Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is $970,800 (updated January 1st, 2022), even if your home is valued more significantly than that.
How long does the average reverse mortgage take?
Roughly 30 to 45 days
The five main parts of a reverse mortgage application procedure typically take between 30 and 45 days to complete. The decision-making stage before the application is the longest in the reverse mortgage loan process.
What is the downfall of a reverse mortgage?
The loss of home equity is one of the significant drawbacks of reverse mortgages. You’ll make less money when you sell the property or have less borrowing capacity if you need a new loan if you don’t pay down the reverse mortgage sum. You’ll have to spend a lot in advance.
What are the three primary requirements to qualify for a reverse mortgage?
In addition to age, the following conditions must be met for a reverse mortgage:
- Your home must be your principal residence, meaning you live there most of the year.
- You must either have a low mortgage balance or own your house entirely.
- You cannot have any federal debt, such as federal student loans or income taxes.
Your goals as a borrower, the sort of loan and loan amount you require, and the level of service you require will all influence the reviews of the best and worst reverse mortgage companies and consumer reports on them in 2023. Even while our guide to the best and worst reverse mortgage companies in 2023 and consumer reports on them is a fantastic place to start your search for lenders, evaluating at least a few different companies when requesting estimates is crucial.