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Older man rowing in a green canoe.

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

​​Get the facts about reverse mortgages. We explain what they are, how they're used, and the steps you can take to be sure this type of loan is right for you.

Watch Our Video_



​​​​Convert some of your home's equity to cash with a Reverse Mortgage.

Reverse mortgages allow homeowners age 62 and older to convert some of their home's equity into cash – without having to worry about making monthly payments. You'll still own your home, and the bank will be repaid later, once your home is sold or your estate is settled.

Read on to learn more about this unique loan type, and visit our frequently asked questions for even more helpful information.










Available Funds

Your available funds depend on several factors including the youngest homeowner’s age, type of reverse mortgage, interest rates, the FHA reverse lending limit and any real estate liens on the property.

Payment Options

Payments can be received in a variety of ways, allowing you to tailor a payout plan to meet your needs. You can receive funds that are usually not taxedDIS-51-DIS in the form of a lump sum, a monthly check, a line of credit or any combination of these options.

There are virtually no restrictions on how you can use your reverse mortgage proceeds – other than having to pay off any existing liens on your property (a prior mortgage, home equity loan, tax lien, etc.).

Here are a few of the more common ways people use their funds. Be sure to consult your financial and tax advisor(s) regarding your particular situation.

  • Consolidate debt. After paying off any real estate secured loans (mortgages, home equity loans, etc.) if they are present, you may consolidate other debts such as car loans, credit cards and any other unsecured debts
  • Cash for daily living. Use your additional funds for things like utility and medical bills, landscaping or snow removal services, home repairs, travel or an emergency fund
  • Medical expenses. Including insurance deductibles, co-payments, in-home caregivers, physical rehabilitation or medical equipment
  • Prescription drug costs. A reverse mortgage can help you obtain extra cash for prescriptions
  • Home improvements. Such as siding, a new roof, deck, patio, landscaping, an addition, energy efficient windows and more
  • Aging in place. As unique challenges arise, a reverse mortgage can help you make significant home improvements, such as curbless showers, handrails and grab bars, main floor laundry room, elevated toilets, lower kitchen cabinets, stepless entryways, wider door/hallways and stair/chairlifts
  • Purchasing a new home. Purchase a new primary residence without qualifying for a traditional mortgage or making monthly payments – you need your own funds or investments to cover the difference between the price of your new home and the reverse mortgage proceeds
  • Wealth management. Leveraging the equity in your home can potentially reduce your total estate value subject to taxation (consult your tax advisor). You can use your reverse mortgage proceeds to help in estate planning, early gift inheritance, supplemental income due to loss of a spouse, enhancing your total financial plan or reducing the draws needed to be taken from an investment portfolio during a market downturn

Costs and Fees

Closing costs can be paid out of the loan proceeds or with your own funds at closing; however, appraisal, credit report and counseling fees may apply during the application process.

Tax Consequences

Reverse mortgage proceeds are typically considered loan advances and are not taxable.DIS-51-DIS Similarly, your Social Security or Medicare benefits should not be affected. If you receive SSI, Medicaid or other public assistance, your loan advances are typically counted as "liquid assets" if kept in an account past the end of the calendar month in which you receive them. You must be careful not to let your total liquid assets become greater than these programs allow. Consult your tax advisor.

Repayment Options

The loan is repaid when the home is sold or the estate is settled. The repayment amount of a reverse mortgage cannot exceed the home's value. In the event the home sells for less than the loan amount, your heirs are not responsible for the balance.

When you are evaluating your reverse mortgage options, there’s always the chance a disreputable reverse mortgage lender could take advantage of a borrower. You and your loved ones should:

Look out for scams.

Be leery of any person attempting to sell an annuity using reverse mortgage proceeds or suggesting a younger spouse, under age 62, be removed from the title of the home in order to qualify.

Work with a reputable lender.

M&T has been a reverse mortgage provider since 1998. As an active member of NRMLA (National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association), we ensure our Reverse Mortgage Specialists receive comprehensive reverse mortgage training.

Take advantage of the process.

Reverse mortgage counseling is required prior to applying and is provided by a HUD-approved counseling agency. This simple step can be completed over the telephone and is another opportunity to ensure everyone understands how a reverse mortgage works. Some counseling agencies may charge a fee for this service.

Know the TALC.

TALC (Total Annual Loan Cost) combines all of the reverse mortgage costs into a single annual average rate and can be very useful when comparing one type of reverse mortgage to another. Your M&T Reverse Mortgage Specialist can help you with this calculation.

Involve trusted advisors in your decision.

Family, friends and professional advisors can provide outside counsel if you are unsure whether a reverse mortgage makes sense. The lender selected should welcome the participation of family or trusted friends in the process, if that’s what you wish, and encourage everyone to ask as many questions as possible.

Call us.

Give us a call, and an M&T Reverse Mortgage Specialist can answer your questions and provide you with an estimate – or we can arrange to meet at a location that is convenient for you.

Monday–Friday 8:30am–5:00pm ET

Have us call you.

Send your name and contact information, and an M&T Reverse Mortgage Specialist will get in touch.

Submit Contact Request Form ›​​