Reverse Mortgage Counseling

by Francine Huff
August 4th, 2010

Reverse mortgage counseling is required before you can apply for a loan. So what can you expect from a reverse loan counseling session, and how do you know which counselors are knowledgeable about these mortgage products? Use the following tips when scheduling a counseling session.

  • Anyone who offers counseling about Home Equity Converstion Mortgages (HECMs) must pass an exam that is approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). They also are required to have access to technology that allows HUD to track the results of counseling to clients and retake the HECM exam every three years.
  • Reverse mortgage counselors must give clients a copy of the National Council on Aging’s (NCOA’s) 28-page booklet on reverse loans.
  • Reverse mortgage counselors also are being required to use the Financial Interview Tool (FIT) when working with potential borrowers. FIT is a series of additional questions that counselors can ask about a borrower’s financial situation that might influence whether or not a reverse mortgage is appropriate for their situation.
  • Counselors also use the NOA’s BenefitsCheckUp, which determines whether seniors are getting access to benefits programs for people with limited income and resources. It has informaton on more than 2,000 public and private benefits programs.

No Obligation with Reverse Mortgage Counseling

Just because you get reverse mortgage counseling doesn’t mean you are obligated to borrow money. Counseling should familiarize you with reverse mortgage guidelines so that you can make the right decision for your situation. A reputable and knowledgeable counselor uses the interview process to determine what your personal needs are and informs you of alternatives to getting a reverse loan.

If you choose to apply for a reverse mortgage after getting counseling, you can begin shopping for loan quotes here.

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