What is a HECM reverse mortgage?

Reverse Mortgage HECM

The Different Types of Reverse Mortgages 

There are many different types of reverse mortgages; some with adjustable rates, some with fixed rates, some FHA-insured, and some not.  We are a brokerage which allows us access to the various reverse mortgage programs- there isn’t a reverse mortgage that we can’t offer.

  • The most common reverse mortgage is the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), which is insured by the FHA. To learn more about HECM loans, watch this video on our website here.
  • An alternative option is a proprietary reverse mortgage, which is not insured by the federal government and therefore is not a HECM loan. Learn more about our proprietary programs on our website here.

HECM Reverse Mortgages 

A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is an FHA loan available to seniors aged 62+ that requires no monthly mortgage payments. The HECM reverse mortgage pays off any current mortgage they may have, freeing up the cash they had needed previously to make their monthly mortgage payment and allowing for more discretionary income. If the homeowner qualifies for more cash than the balance of their current mortgage or does not have a mortgage on their home, the funds can be paid to them as cash, a line of credit, or monthly payments; it is their choice how to take their funds. The amount a person may qualify for is determined by their age, the value of the home, and the current interest rates. The funds can be used for anything they may want or need, such as home improvements, unexpected medical costs, and in-home care. Because the loan does not require monthly mortgage payments, it allows the homeowner the flexibility to retain ownership of their home while they utilize the equity to fund their retirement. HECM reverse mortgages are the most common type of reverse mortgage.  All HECMs are reverse mortgages but not all reverse mortgages are HECMs; some reverse mortgages are proprietary loans available through specific lenders and are not FHA insured.  HECM reverse mortgages were created to give seniors aged 62+ access to funds to stretch their retirement savings and provide additional financial security. To learn more about proprietary loans, click here. Ultimately, the goal of the HECM reverse mortgage program is to allow seniors to maintain their homeownership and live a more quality life.

How Does a HECM Reverse Mortgage Work?

A HECM reverse mortgage allows homeowners aged 62+ to borrow money based on their age, their home’s value, and current interest rates. Older people qualify for a more significant percentage of home equity than younger people do. Making monthly mortgage payments on what is borrowed is optional and some people do choose to pay down the loan balance, but monthly mortgage payments are never required.

This type of loan is called a HECM reverse mortgage because instead of the borrower making monthly mortgage payments to their lender as they would with a traditional mortgage, the lender pays the borrower. Unlike a traditional home equity loan or second mortgage, a HECM reverse mortgage does not have to be repaid until the borrower no longer occupies the home as their primary residence or fails to meet other obligations of the loan. The borrower can receive their money as a lump sum, line of credit, or monthly payments.

Is a HECM right for you? Every situation is unique, click here to see our helpful infographic that may guide you to the optimal decision for your situation.

HECM vs. a Traditional Mortgage

With a traditional mortgage or home equity loan, the homeowner must have the income and credit to meet the qualifications to borrow a large amount of cash and are then obligated to make monthly mortgage payments back on it or risk foreclosure. With a reverse mortgage, there are minimal qualifications and no monthly mortgage payments to make. As a consumer protection, borrowers have to prove they can maintain their property taxes and homeowners insurance. Depending on how much cash you may qualify for, you may gain access to a reverse mortgage line of credit that can grow over time and cannot be frozen, giving you tax-free access to your equity whenever you may need it.

What Are the Benefits of a HECM Reverse Mortgage? 

A HECM reverse mortgage allows homeowners aged 62+ to convert home equity into flexible, tax-free income to use however they want and:

  • Continue to live in and own your home without making monthly mortgage payments.
  • Receive your cash benefit as a tax-free lump sum, monthly payments to you, a line of credit, or a combination of these, giving you the flexibility and control to adjust your payment options as needed.
  • Repay the loan or make optional monthly mortgage payments at any time without penalty.
  • HECM loans are not considered income, are not taxed, and will not affect Social Security or Medicare benefits. Consult your local program offices to determine how, or if, monthly HECM loan payments might affect your eligibility for other programs.
  • There is no time limit to how long the loan stays active.

Would you like more cash in your pocket? Wondering how much you may qualify for? Call us today at (800) 806-1472 or fill out the form on the top right of this page for more information.

Want to keep up to date on the latest reverse mortgage news and information?
Sign up for our email newsletter here!

Follow Northwest Reverse Mortgage On Social Media

Northwest Reverse Mortgage - logo

Call or Text Your Local Professional Now!


© 2019 Northwest Reverse Mortgage, LLC
Powered by Amerifund Home Loans Inc. NMLS #347051

amerifund logo

Licensed in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Arizona, Texas and Florida.

Office: (800) 806-1472
Toll Free: (800) 806-1472
Fax: (541) 253-4370


Equal Housing Opportunity Logo

Contact Us

Northwest Reverse Mortgage
10121 SE Sunnyside Rd
Ste 300
Clackamas, OR 97015
Phone: (503) 427-1667

Gresham Area

Northwest Reverse Mortgage powered by Amerifund NMLS #347051. Equal Opportunity Mortgage Broker licensed in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Arizona, Texas and Florida. Credit on approval. Terms subject to change without notice. Not a commitment to lend. Contents not provided by, or approved by FHA, HUD or any other government agency. All potential tax benefits should be verified with a professional licensed tax advisor. NMLS Consumer Access

At the conclusion of a reverse mortgage, the borrower must repay the loan and may have to sell the home or repay the loan from other proceeds; charges will be assessed with the loan, including an origination fee, closing costs, mortgage insurance premiums and servicing fees; the loan balance grows over time and interest is charged on the outstanding balance; the borrower remains responsible for property taxes, hazard insurance and home maintenance, and failure to pay these amounts may result in the loss of the home; interest on a reverse mortgage is not tax deductible until the borrower makes partial or full re-payment.