What are the differences between a Reverse Mortgage and HELOC

Reverse mortgages and Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) can both be attractive options for those looking to tap into the equity in their homes.
elderly couple planning retirement
Retirement should be a time to relax, spend time with loved ones, and enjoy your golden years after decades of hard work. But if you’re an elderly home owner who has a fixed social security income then financial worries can overshadow the joys of retirement. That’s why it is important to learn about the different financial options available which can help make life easier during your twilight years—such as Reverse Mortgages or a Home Equity Line of Credit (known as HELOC). In this blog post we will provide a side-by-side comparison of these two strategies so that you can make an informed decision about which one would best suit your current needs and future goals.

Overview of Reverse Mortgages and HELOCs

Reverse mortgages and Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) can both be attractive options for those looking to tap into the equity in their homes. A reverse mortgage allows you to borrow against the equity in your home while you continue to live in the property. HELOCs, on the other hand, essentially function as a second mortgage, with a revolving line of credit based on the equity in your home. Both of these options can be great for seniors who may not have the income to make monthly payments on a traditional mortgage or who simply want to supplement their retirement income. However, it’s important to carefully consider the terms and fees associated with each option before making a decision. As always, it’s best to discuss your situation with a trusted financial advisor or lender.

How a Reverse Mortgage (HECM) Works

Are you wondering how reverse mortgage works? It’s a financial option that allows homeowners who are 62 years or older to convert a portion of their home equity into cash or monthly payments to you as a supplement to your existing income. There are 2 main options for reverse mortgages, you can refinance your existing mortgage or you can sell the home you are now in and purchase a new home that is more conducive to your life style and situation. You don’t have to make any mortgage payments during the life of the loan, but you do have to pay property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and home maintenance costs. When you pass away, your heirs can choose to keep the home by paying off the loan or sell the home to repay the loan. A reverse mortgage can be a useful tool for retirement planning if used correctly. By tapping into the equity built up in your home, you can supplement your income and have more financial flexibility. Of course, it’s always important to talk to a financial advisor or mortgage counselor to ensure it’s the right option for you.

How a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Works

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is a common financial option that allows homeowners to borrow against the equity in their homes. Essentially, a HELOC works as a revolving line of credit that can be drawn upon as needed up to a predetermined limit. Unlike a traditional loan, a HELOC offers flexibility in terms of repayment, as you can control how much you borrow and when you pay it back. Plus, the interest you pay on a HELOC can be tax-deductible, making it an attractive option for those looking to consolidate debt or make home improvements. However, it’s important to understand the terms and risks associated with a HELOC before taking one out, so consulting with a financial professional is always recommended.
happy elderly couple hugging

Comparison of Reverse Mortgages and HELOCs

Reverse Mortgage (HECM) HELOC

Minimum Age
62 yrs old
18 yrs old
Line of Credit Term
10 years
Line of Credit Growth
For Life
No growth
Income Requirements
Credit Score
Required Equity
Min. 15%

Let's wrap things up!

Ultimately, whether a reverse mortgage or home equity line of credit is the right choice is dependent on individual circumstances. It’s important to consider the pros and cons of each option and ensure that the terms of your loan are understood and agreed upon. If you ever have any doubts or questions, it’s best to consult a financial advisor before taking out either type of loan. Therefore, with the careful planning and due diligence from both borrowers and lenders, reverse mortgages and HELOCs can be powerful tools for achieving homeowners’ financial goals.

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Mandy Page

Hello, I'm Mandy Page

I have been in the real estate industry since 2003, with most of my background focused on multifamily and single family rental income properties. I also have a heart for helping others with housing solutions ranging from property management consulting to land development to senior housing solutions. I’m excited to meet new people and find more ways I can offer housing assistance.

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Hi I'm Mandy!

Mandy Page

I would love to talk to you more about how you can use your existing home equity as a way to increase your financial security! I have personal experience with my parents that has led me to have a passion to help people who qualify for a reverse mortgage gain financial peace of mind. Please fill out the form below or you can also text ro call me at 208.985.4933.