Older Americans may not realize that they can still qualify for a mortgage, even though the Equal Credit Opportunity Act forbids discrimination in the mortgage market on the basis of age.
Yet, Mary Babinski, a senior loan officer with Motto Mortgage Champions in Trinity, Fla., told The Wall Street Journal that when a 97-year-old applicant came to inquire about a mortgage, he was even surprised he could still qualify for a 30-year mortgage. Older borrowers are eligible to get loans that will expire even up to their 130th birthdays.
More lenders are trying to promote to retirees that they can still qualify with special lending programs geared to them.
Borrowers over the age of 65 comprise about 10% of all mortgages that are originated each year, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
But without a full-time job any longer, some retirees may wonder how they’ll qualify with limited monthly earnings. Lenders are qualifying older adults for a mortgage based on their pensions, Social Security, dividends, and interest they have available. They’re also showing more willingness to work with retirees to help qualify them based on either their income, distributions, or assets.
Jumbo mortgages aren’t off the table either. Richard Barenblatt, a mortgage specialist with GuardHill Financial in New York, told WSJ that he was able to get an 83-year-old retired Manhattan co-op owner a $1 million, 10-year, interest-only adjustable-rate mortgage for a refinance at a “highly competitive rate.”
Source: “You’re Never Too Old to Apply for a Mortgage,” The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 16, 2020) [Log-in required.]