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  • Government Mortgage Help for Retirees

    Senior woman

    Do you wonder what kind of government mortgage help there is for you, as a retiree? Some information to help the elderly stay in their homes can be found at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official website, under the category, Information for Senior Citizens. There is information on reverse mortgages for senior citizens.

    If you a retiree and are having a difficult time financially, either because of your mortgage, or for some other reason, a reverse mortgage might help you. Those 62 and older can receive a cash payment for the equity they have in their homes.

    Maybe you are having other bills, such as medical bills, long-term care insurance, or some other major expense, that is making it hard for you to make the mortgage payment, the cash from a reverse mortgage could help you pay off those debts. It might then be easier to make your mortgage payments, or repay your reverse mortgage loan. Because you don’t have to repay the loan as long as you live in the house, a reverse mortgage could help you avoid foreclosure.
    You can receive the money as a lump sum payment, monthly payments, or a combination of both. There are some reverse mortgages, such as HUD’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage that will provide a line of credit you can you use whenever you need cash.
    The advantage of a reverse mortgage is you would not have to repay the loan as long as you live in the house as your principal residence. If you have not paid it back when you die, however, your heirs, if any, will have to pay back the loan out of their inheritance, or their own pockets.

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    You can qualify for a reverse mortgage without a credit check. There are no income requirements. Although the program is often used for other purposes, such as making home improvements, buying cars, or vacations, it can provide mortgage help for those who need it.
    HUD has a list of approved reverse mortgage counselors. You can search by state.

    Another program that can provide mortgage help for retirees is not specifically for the elderly or retirees, but many such people can qualify for the program. President Obama’s mortgage program can help those who cannot make their monthly loan payments to receive a loan modification.

    Your monthly payments might be reduced if your interest rate has increased, or you are receiving less money. You might qualify if your home is your primary residence, your mortgage is equal to or less than $729,750, you are having trouble paying your mortgage, and you received your mortgage before January 1, 2009.

    Your payments would be reduced by reducing your interest rate to 2%, extending the loan term up to 40 years, and if you would defer a portion of the principal until the loan is paid, and waive interest on the deferred amount.

    One other program, not specifically for retirees, but which could provide help for those facing foreclosure, including the elderly, is Fannie Mae’s Deed for Lease program. Those who face foreclosure may be able to stay in their homes by temporarily signing their lease back to the lender and renting the home at fair market value. More information can be found on the official Fannie Mae website.

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