Five Questions to Ask Your Reverse Mortgage Loan Officer
So you’ve spent time researching reverse mortgages and want to speak with a loan officer.
Congratulations! For Americans aged 62 and up, reverse mortgages can provide benefits in a variety of situations.
When you meet with your loan officer, it’s best to come prepared. Here are some questions you’ll want to ask them:
Why do I need counseling?
Before you’re able to apply for a reverse mortgage, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires you to receive reverse mortgage counseling with a government-approved agency. This helps protect you by ensuring you understand reverse mortgage requirements, costs, and alternatives before applying. Reverse mortgage counseling is also an important protection for the borrower.
Your loan officer will provide you a list of of at least 10 counseling agencies but cannot recommend a specific counselor or agency to contact.
How large of loan can I qualify for?
A range of factors help determine how large of loan you can quality for, including your age, current interest rates, your home’s value, and the amount of equity (wealth) you’ve accumulated. Your loan officer will work closely with you to determine what you can qualify for. This can help you decide if a reverse mortgage is ideal for your financial situation.
What are my different payment options?
Reverse mortgages provide you a range of payment options, including a lump sum, line-of-credit (allowing you to draw upon the loan when you choose), and payments at set times. Each situation has positives and negatives, and your loan officer can help you decide which payment option might be best for your situation.
Before you meet with your loan officer, it’s highly recommended that you think carefully about whether you need your reverse mortgage funds right away, or want to use them to build up your financial nest egg.
What fees will I pay?
Reverse mortgages have fees that are financed into the loan. These can include mortgage insurance premiums, credit report, lender’s title insurance, document preparations and notary services. Your home counseling and home appraisal fees are the only out-of-pocket fees.
Ask your loan officer the exact (and complete) fee totals to prevent any unwanted surprises.
What happens if I pass away?
If you take out a reverse mortgage, your estate will be responsible for settling the debt by either selling or refinancing the loan. Heirs usually pay the loan by selling the home. Ask your loan officer for details about this to help prevent stress in the future. We also highly recommend you advise your heirs that you’re considering applying for a reverse mortgage—instead of telling them once you have received it.
Use your loan officer meeting wisely
Your first meeting with a loan officer is very important, and it’s important to prepare beforehand. Carefully researching reverse mortgages before your meeting and asking your loan officer questions from this blog post will help make your first meeting more valuable.
If you’re interested in reverse mortgages and don’t have a loan officer, please contact me today!