Reverse mortgages (also called home equity conversion loans) enable elderly homeowners to tap into their equity without selling their home. The lender pays you money based on the equity you’ve accrued in your home; you receive a lump sum, a monthly payment or a line of credit. Repayment is not necessary until the borrower sells the property, moves into a retirement community or passes away. When you sell your home or no longer use it as your primary residence, you or your estate must repay the cash you received from the reverse mortgage plus interest and other finance charges to the lender.
Most reverse mortgages require you be at least 62 years of age, have a low or zero balance owed against your home and maintain the property as your principal residence.