The government is changing the loan’s insurance costs and reducing how much applicants can borrow—and the window for borrowing under the old rules is closing fast.
In a surprise move, the government is changing the reverse mortgage rules again. And the changes, which affect the cost of insurance and borrowing limits, are a mixed bag for borrowers.
Upfront mortgage insurance premiums will be a flat 2% for every loan, a change that means some applicants will pay more, while others will save. If you qualify to take up to 60% of the eligible loan amount in the first year with the remainder available the following year, your upfront cost will rise one and a half percentage points from the previous 0.5%. For those who qualify to take more than 60% in the first year, generally because of an outstanding mortgage that must be paid off, the upfront cost drops by half a point, from 2.5%.
Ongoing insurance costs will drop for all borrowers, with the annual premium falling from 1.25% to 0.5%. “Over time, that could have a significant impact,” says Peter Bell, president of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. For every $100,000 in loan balance, you’ll save $750 a year. The lower ongoing cost may offset much or all of the higher upfront cost.