Reverse Mortgage Rates

Reverse Mortgage Rates

Reverse Mortgage Interest Rates

Interest rates with reverse mortgages are a funny thing.

You have a choice of either a fixed or variable interest rate.  It really depends on your specific situation as to which rate is best for you.  Here are the facts of how each choice works:

Fixed Rate

The interest on a fixed rate reverse mortgage is fixed for the entire life of the loan.  It never changes.  The only down side with this option is that you have to take all the money from the loan at the time of the closing.  This means that you cannot receive the money as a monthly payment or a line of credit.  There are also limits on the amount of money you can receive within the first 12 months of the loan.

Annually Adjustable Variable Rate

With the annually adjusted variable rate option, the interest rate can change one-time per year.  The maximum annual rate change can be no more than 2.00% up or down.  This is called the annual cap.  The maximum the rate can change over the life of the loan is 5.00% up or down.  This is known as the lifetime cap.

Monthly Adjustable Variable Rate

With the monthly adjusted variable rate option, the interest rate can change every month.  The maximum it can change is by 5.00% on any given change.  This is the monthly cap as well as the lifetime cap.

A lot of people’s initial reaction when they hear the word “variable” is negative.  However, once you have the loan in place, increases or decreases in the interest rate do not affect you directly since you do not make payments based on the rate as you do with a regular “forward” mortgage.  Changes in the rate simply cause the loan balance to grow at a faster or slower pace.*

*If you elect to set up a reverse mortgage line of credit plan, increases in the rate can actually have a net benefit for you because the line of credit has a growth rate attached to it that increases or decreases along with the rate that you are charged on the balance owed.

The biggest difference between the fixed or variable rate is how you receive the funds.  

With the fixed rate, you must take whatever amount is available to you in one lump sum.*  No other payment option is available.  This can work great if you have a big mortgage that you need to pay off and plan to take most of the money anyway.  But if you own your home free and clear, or don’t need a lot of money upfront, the fixed rate option may not be in your best interest.

*If a fixed rate is chosen, the maximum cash at closing is restricted to 60% of the principal limit or enough to pay off an existing mortgage or lien, plus up to 10% of the principal limit, or up to the maximum principal limit, whichever is less.  No line of credit or monthly payment is allowed.  Any remaining available funds will be forfeited.

Variable Rate Payout Options

With the variable rate, you have a choice of how you receive the money but the initial disbursement rule of 60% still applies.  You have five different pay out options:

Line of Credit

The available money is placed into a credit line that you can draw on whenever you wish, up to the credit limit. You are only charged interest on the amount of money you have actually used.*

Lump Sum

Just like the fixed rate, you take all the money that is available to you, (within the 60% cap limits, but any amount left over can be left in the line of credit and are available 12 months after the closing ).

Tenure Payment

This is where all the money that is available is paid out in equal monthly payments for as long as either homeowner lives in the home.*

Term Payment

All the money that is available to you is paid out in equal monthly payments over a set period of months or years. At the end of this “term”, the payments will stop. However, you can continue to live in the home.*

Combination of any of the above options

You can take an immediate cash advance at the closing of any amount (up to the 60% limit), and either place the rest of the money in a line of credit, receive it as a monthly payment, or a combination of both.*

*The above payment plans assume all homeowners are at least 62 years old at the time of the reverse mortgage application.  Any existing line of credit or monthly payments will be frozen and unavailable if a younger, non-borrowing spouse, (NBS) is still living in the home when the older borrower passes away.

Payout Requirements

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which oversees the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), dictates to the lender how much can be borrowed on a HECM.  It is based on the following factors:

  • The age of the youngest homeowner – (This applies even if there is a “Non-Borrowing spouse” under age 62)
  • The appraised value of your home – up to a maximum value of $1,149,825
  • The current  “expected” interest rate *

In general, the more your home is worth, the older you are, and the lower the interest rate, the more you’ll be able to borrow.

The lender is required to make that full amount available to you.  However, you do not necessarily have to take it all…unless you chose the fixed rate.  The adjustable rate can provide you with more flexibility.

The HECM reverse mortgage program restricts the amount of upfront funds that you are allowed to draw out at closing to 60% of the “principal limit”, unless the funds are being used to pay off an existing mortgage or lien on the home.  In this case, you can draw enough to pay off the mortgage or lien, plus up to 10% of the principal limit, or up to the maximum principal limit, whichever is less.  Any remaining funds will be available as a line of credit or monthly payment after 12 months from the date of closing.  

*The “expected” interest rate is based on the 10-year U.S. Treasury Index + a margin.

The “Principal Limit” is the total amount that you are allowed to receive from the reverse mortgage before closing costs and lien payoffs.  (See the “Definitions” page at the end of this guide)Prin

Reverse Mortgage Rates As Of April 23, 2024
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