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Reverse Mortgage Alert
A reverse mortgage is a unique product that allows Connecticut seniors to convert home equity into cash. Most older homeowners have substantial equity, the result of years of paying down a conventional forward home loan. The most popular version of the reverse mortgage is, by far, the home equity conversion mortgage, also known as the HECM. It is the only one of its kind insured by the United States government through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
We’ve put together this guide for CT seniors considering a reverse mortgage. We’ve also provided data on top lenders, average interest rates, and local counselors and HUD offices.
Find Out if You Qualify
Unlike the conventional mortgages you’re likely familiar with, there are not many qualifications for the HECM program. In short, as a Connecticut senior you must:
- Be 62 years old or older
- Either own your home or have a small mortgage balance that you can pay off using the proceeds of your HECM loan
- Use the home as your primary residence
The FHA also requires that you undergo a basic financial assessment and receive counseling prior to taking out the loan. The financial assessment is to make sure that you are able to continue paying homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and any applicable Homeowner’s Association (HOA) fees. This is to help minimize the risk of what is known as a T&I (taxes and insurance) foreclosure. The counseling is designed to make sure you understand the loan you’re about to take out and are aware of other, possibly more attractive options that are available to you.
Is a Reverse Mortgage Different than a Home Equity Loan?
Yes, these are different financial products. The biggest differences are that it is more difficult to qualify for a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC), and these loans require you to make monthly payments. The HECM program, on the other hand, does not have these stringent income requirements.
In general, home equity loans or HELOCs are better for short-term needs, while reverse mortgages are better suited to a longer time horizon.
Can I Lose My Home?
Can I Leave My House to my Heirs?
It depends. Your reverse mortgage is due when you move out of the home or pass away. At that point, you or your estate must settle the loan, either by repaying the balance or selling the house to repay the balance. You also have the option of repaying your HECM loan at any time.
How Much am I Eligible to Receive?
Your proceeds will vary based on your age (older CT residents receive more), interest rates (lower rates mean more borrowing power), and home value (higher value means more proceeds).
Who are the Biggest Lenders in CT?
Prior to 2012, large institutions such as Webster Bank, Wells Fargo, and MetLife originated most reverse mortgages in Connecticut. Today, however, these institutions have stepped away from the HECM program and the top lenders are companies such as American Advisors Group.
Connecticut Reverse Mortgage Rates
Here are monthly averages for Connecticut calculated using data published by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. NA, or non-applicable, is used when there were no fixed rate HECM loans originated in a given month.