The simple eligibility requirements

You must be age 62 or older 
(applies to all borrowers listed on the home’s title)

You must live in the home as your principal residence

The home must meet minimum property standards set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)—however, you can use your reverse mortgage proceeds to pay for the required repairs to meet them.

You can’t have any outstanding federal tax liens, and must have made your property tax payments for the last two years.

How much you can borrow depends on your age, and your home’s value. 

The more your home is worth, the more you can borrow. Home values have started to recover in many parts of the country, so you might be surprised at how much equity you have. The amount you qualify for also depends on the age of the youngest borrower, with older borrowers receiving more.

You may still be eligible—even if you have an existing mortgage. 

Having a mortgage on your home isn’t necessarily a problem. Your reverse mortgage would first be used to pay off the existing mortgage(s), and then any remaining proceeds would be yours. Many homeowners use a reverse mortgage for this purpose, freeing themselves from the burden of monthly mortgage payments.

The amount of equity in your home makes a difference. 

The more equity you have in your home, the more likely it is that you can get cash from a reverse mortgage to supplement your income, cover health care expenses, or take a trip.