Reverse Mortgage

How reverse mortgages work

A reverse mortgage allows you to borrow money using the equity in your home as security. The loan can be taken as a lump sum, a regular income stream, a line of credit or a combination of these options.

While no income is required to qualify, credit providers are required by law to lend you money responsibly so not everyone will be able to obtain this type of loan.

Interest is charged like any other loan, usually at the standard variable rate, except you don’t have to make repayments while you live in your home – the interest compounds over time and is added to your loan balance. You remain the owner of your house and can stay in it for as long as you want.

You must repay the loan in full (including interest and fees) when you sell your home or die or, in most cases, if you move into aged care.

The risks

  • Interest rates are higher than average home loans almost 2% higher, application fees are about /$990
  • The debt can rise quickly as the interest compounds over the term of the loan – this is the effect of compound interest and is something you need to be aware of before making any decisions
  • The loan may affect your pension eligibility- please check before applying.
  • You may not have enough money left for aged care or other future needs
  • If you are the sole owner of the property and someone lives with you, that person may not be able to stay when you die (in some circumstances)
  • If you fix your interest rate then the costs to break your agreement can be very high