Reverse Mortgages - January 16th
A recent report by Mission Australia showed around 22,000 people over 55 years of age sought homelessness assistance services between 2015 and 2016 – an increase of 15% from the year before. Some pensioners experiencing financial…– Read more
Reverse Mortgages - January 16th
Please note that this award has been discontinued and there will be no 2019 award. To determine the winner, Canstar Research considered both price and features of reverse mortgage products. The calculation was based on a…– Read more
Reverse Mortgages - August 3rd
The ability to unlock the equity that you have built up in your home could be both tempting, and in some instances, beneficial. This is especially true for those who need to access funds but, like…– Read more
A reverse mortgage home loan is a credit product type of equity release product (ERP), where your loan is based on how much you own of your home (the equity). In a reverse mortgage, the bank lends you a portion of the house’s value, using the house as security.
Some common features of a reverse mortgage include:
|You still own it!||You continue to be the owner of your property.|
|No requirement to pay it back||There is no requirement to repay either capital or interest on the reverse mortgage during the time that you live in the property.|
|Interest is charged on the loan, at a rate that is generally around 1% higher than a standard home loan.|
|Protection||The Government’s 2012 consumer credit reforms included a protection against negative equity in reverse mortgages.|
|Borrow more as you age||As your age increases, so does the proportion of your home’s value that you can borrow.|
|When you move out …||Like a standard mortgage, when you move out the loan (including interest and fees) will need to be repaid, generally from the sale proceeds of the house.|
Written by: TJ Ryan
Yes. You remain the legal owner of your home at all times, and there are several legislative protections of this right under the National Consumer Credit Protection Code 2012 (NCCP) and ASIC Regulatory Guide 209 (Credit Licensing: Responsible Lending Conduct). These regulations include the following protections for borrowers:
Reverse mortgages can have an effect on your Age Pension entitlements so if you are on the pension, you should speak with a Department of Human Services Financial Information Service officer before signing up for a reverse mortgage. You can visit an FIS officer in person at your local Centrelink office or call Centrelink on 132 300.
The repayments on a reverse mortgage are not like in a standard mortgage. In a reverse mortgage, the interest repayments just get added to the balance of the loan and you don’t need to pay the bank any money. The loan is only repaid when you sell your house, move into residential aged care, or pass away.
You can make repayments any time you want to and have enough savings to be able to, but it’s not necessary. You might make repayments if you wanted to be able to pass on a larger portion of the sale price of your house in your will.
When we rated reverse mortgages in early 2017, the interest rates on offer for reverse mortgages ranged from 6.19% to 6.37%, with an average rate of 6.25%.
There are also varying fees charged on a reverse mortgage, much as there are for a standard home loan. The average fees in 2017 were as follows:
Different providers offer varying levels of value when it comes to the features attached to their reverse mortgages. In our research ratings, CANSTAR assesses reverse mortgages for how they provide value through features including:
Mrs Amelia Birch has just celebrated her 75th birthday and has been thinking of reassessing her finances.
She had a small amount in superannuation when she and her husband retired, but after a holiday to the pyramids in Egypt she had used most of it up before turning 70, and her husband has now passed away. It occurs to Mrs Birch that she had been looking forward to making another trip to visit her daughter, who is a missionary in Peru, but she may not be able to afford it on the Age Pension alone.
Mrs Birch does most of her banking on her home computer now that she finds it more tiring to visit a branch. She hops on the computer and uses CANSTAR’s website to research reverse mortgages and how she might be able to use some of her home equity to fund the rest of her retirement. She makes some notes, then phones her financial advisor to set up an appointment to talk over her options.
Mrs Birch asks her financial advisor about how a reverse mortgage product might work in her personal situation.