The HUD HECM program limits the youngest borrower to the age of 62 or older to be eligible for the reverse mortgage program. If there is a spouse of a borrower who is not yet 62, the older spouse can still get a reverse mortgage and the younger spouse can remain on title and would be known as an “eligible non-borrowing spouse”.
Eligible Non-Borrowing Spouses
An eligible non-borrowing spouse can also live in the home for life, even if the older spouse passes or should have to leave the home, as long as the younger spouse still meets the reverse mortgage conditions (pays the taxes and insurance on time as well as any other liabilities on the property such as any HOA dues or other assessments, if any, they must continue to live in the property as their primary residence and maintain the home in a reasonable manner).
As a non-borrowing spouse, the underage spouse is not on the loan and would not be able to access any funds still on the line of credit if the older, borrowing spouse should pass or leave the property for any reason. The only age limitation is legal age so that would be 18 years of age.
The benefit available to the borrower or the loan amount would be determined based on the age of the younger spouse since he/she could live in the home for life as well and therefore, depending on how much below the minimum age of 62 that individual is at the origination of the loan, the amount available could be greatly reduced based on the lower age. But if one of the married individuals is 62 or over, the loan can still be obtained by the married couple.
Caution: TWO People On Title – But Only ONE on Loan
If there are two people who are not married on title (unmarried individuals could be siblings, parents/children or unmarried partners), and one or more of the people on title are not 62 or over, they would not qualify for the reverse mortgage loan unless the underage individual was willing to relinquish their interest in the property by Deed.
People need to seriously consider the consequences of this action before doing it. It is true they can be added back to title after the loan closes, but even so, the loan becomes due and payable when the person on title at closing is no longer living in the property and if the plan is for another person to continue to live in the home after the older borrower passes or must leave the home for any reason, they would need to refinance the loan at that time in order to pay off the loan that would then be due.
That is not always possible which would require them to sell and move if they did not have the funds available. It is a very difficult time to be thinking about alternatives when you have just lost a loved one and much easier to have your plan in place before you need to execute it.