Reverse Mortgage Information


Reverse Mortgage or Home Equity Loan?


Which is better for senior homeowners, HELOC or HECM Saver?


I’m certain I have a biased opinion but wanted to catch your attention.  Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.

I’ve heard that most financial advisors will suggest to a senior that a home equity line is a better option for them than a reverse mortgage.  I think that’s because they believe the upfront costs on a reverse mortgage are just too high.  Now, with the HECM Saver program, a reverse mortgage may be an option.

Some comparisons follow…


  • Traditional Home Equity Lines often have very low or even zero upfront costs, depending upon creditworthiness and loan to values you can often find a great deal.
  • The HECM Saver will have some upfront fees including Upfront MIP (.01% of the lending limit or home value, whichever is less).  On a $600,000 home you would find the upfront MIP Premium to be $60. You can expect escrow, title, recording, appraisal, and other fees as well and they can all be financed into the loan.


  • You must “qualify” for a Traditional HELOC.  The lender will look at your credit history and evaluate your ability to repay the loan. Minimum credit scores are required.
  • HECM Saver has no minimum credit score requirement, but all owners must be over 62 years of age and live in the property.  Borrowers are required to complete a HECM Counseling session with a HUD approved counselor prior to applying for the HECM Saver loan.


  • With a traditional HELOC you will be required to make at least interest payments on any amounts advanced.  There may also be annual fees.  At some point (usually 10 to 15 years) credit will no longer be advanced and the borrower must refinance.  VERY IMPORTANT TO CHECK THE TERMS OF YOUR LOAN AGREEMENT ON THIS ONE!
  • With a HECM Saver, there are no required payments of interest or principal.  The loan is not required to be paid off until the last remaining borrower no longer lives in the home.


  • Traditional HELOCs will determine the loan amount based upon home value, credit score and your income.  
  • A HECM Saver will loan an amount based upon a formula derived from the youngest borrowers age, the expected interest rate, and the home value or lending limit.

I’d love to hear the opinions of any financial experts who chance to read this article, what do you think of FHA’s newest HECM Saver as an alternative to a traditional home equity loan?





By Deborah Nance


Your Local Southern California Reverse Mortgage Professional

How Much Do You Qualify For?

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Equal Housing Lender

iReverse Home Loans, LLC, NMLS#810502 originates reverse mortgages in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona (MB-0919584), California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon (ML-5378), Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont (1164-MB), Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. 

Important Information: Reverse Mortgages are neither "endorsed" nor "approved" by the Federal Government. The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) provides certain insurance benefits for lenders and borrowers in connection with the lender’s HECM loans; the FHA does not make or originate loans. The owner(s) retain title to the property that is the subject of the reverse mortgage until the person sells or transfers the property and is therefore responsible for paying property taxes, insurance, maintenance and related taxes. Failing to pay these amounts or failure to maintain the condition of your property may cause the reverse mortgage loan to become due immediately. A reverse mortgage is a complex loan secured by your home. Whether such mortgage makes sense for you depends on your financial situation and needs. For these reasons, we strongly recommend that you consult with a qualified independent housing counselor, family members and other trusted advisers before making this decision. This website is not from HUD or FHA and was not approved by HUD or any government agency.

Comment balloon 0 commentsDeborah Nance • December 05 2010 10:23PM


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