The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) mandates that homeowners exploring a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) must receive essential counseling.  This counseling, provided by a HUD-approved HECM agency, covers the details and alternatives of reverse mortgages.

To assist you, we are required to offer a list of approved reverse mortgage counseling agencies.  This list includes five nationwide companies as specified by HUD for HECM, alongside local agencies near you.  The number of nearby agencies varies; some borrowers may have several options, while others might need to travel further for in-person counseling.

Additionally, we include agencies offering phone-based counseling, making location less critical, as they are accessible through toll-free numbers.  Your priority should be to select a counselor who aligns with your specific counseling needs, ensuring you make an informed decision about your reverse mortgage.

meeting with a reverse mortgage counselor

Top Reverse Mortgage Counseling Agencies

Counseling AgencyNext AvailabilityHECM PriceJUMBO PricePhoneWebsite
QuickCert24-48 Hrs.$145$145888-383-8885
Hancock Community Development, Inc24-48 Hrs. $130
DebtHelper.com24-48 Hrs.$145$145800-920-2262
Credit.org24-48 Hrs.$150$150800-294-3896
Cambridge Credit Counseling24-48 Hrs.$149 $149888-764-7460Website
Money Management International (MMI)48-72 Hrs.$199$199
National Foundation of Credit Counseling48-72 Hrs.$199$199
GreenPath Financial Wellness1 Week $199 $199 888-860-4167
Hope Inc.1 Week$200N/A844-432-6467
Clearpoint Financial Solutions3 Weeks$199$199877-877-1995
The estimated counseling availability times are approximations, with the latest update provided on May 28, 2024

Steps to receiving your reverse mortgage counseling certificate

  1. Request your pre-counseling document set (Including loan comparison, closing cost worksheet, amortization schedule, and TALC (total annual loan costs)
  2. Have these mandatory documents available: the HUD document titled “Preparing for your counseling session” (PDF file, 4 Pages) and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) booklet “Use Your Home to Stay Home” (PDF file, 26 Pages)
  3. Determine whether you wish to see a counselor in person or obtain counseling by phone
  4. Call around and check counselor availability and pricing.  Some counseling agencies only accept payment upfront, while others allow you to put their fee into the reverse mortgage closing costs
  5. After you have finished your counseling, you will receive three copies of your certificate in the mail and have the option to have your counselor fax or email a copy of the certificate to your lender

In-Person HECM Counseling Locator

Search our newest interactive map that locates HUD-approved agencies nearby with in-person availability.

Counseling for those with a vested interest

  • Independent reverse mortgage counseling is required before closing for the borrower and co-borrower, who will have a vested interest in closing.
  • Non-Borrowing Owners (NBO) coming off title at closing must receive counseling
  • Power of Attorney or Guardian/Conservator must be counseled on behalf of any borrower(s) or vested owner(s) that are legally incompetent.  (Note: POA for convenience is not permitted at this time)
  • CA and AZ – Counseling must be completed before application (and in CA, the lender may not order any services or start the loan until seven days after the date of counseling has passed according to CA law)
  • TX – Counseling must be completed at least five days before closing.  A counseling certificate in Texas is valid for 180 days.  Note: See state regulations for additional requirements and timing.

Restrictions on Applying Prior to HECM Counseling Completion

Lenders and brokers are prohibited from collecting fees or financial details such as bank account or credit card information from borrowers before receiving a HECM Counseling Certificate.  The counselor must sign and date this certificate and all individuals mandated to undergo counseling.  No fees can be charged, and the loan application process cannot proceed without this completed and signed certificate.

Counseling FAQs


What is reverse mortgage counseling?

Counseling on a reverse mortgage is an independent session conducted by a third party.  It is a requirement for all reverse mortgage loans.  The counseling aims to ensure that all borrowers and spouses understand the reverse mortgage and their obligations when they have one.

How long is a reverse mortgage counseling certificate good for?

A reverse mortgage counseling certificate is valid for 180 days.  For HECM loans in most states, the certificate must be current at case number assignment, but the loan can close if the certificate has expired.  For example, in some states like Texas, the certificate must be unexpired at closing, or the borrower must complete another counseling session before the loan closes.

Why is counseling a requirement to get a reverse mortgage?

A reverse mortgage loan is a complex financial instrument; counseling is required to safeguard the consumer.  FHA and reverse mortgage lenders must ensure that all reverse mortgage applicants understand what a reverse mortgage is and their requirements as a homeowner obtaining a reverse mortgage.

Who is required to complete reverse mortgage counseling?

All borrowers on the loan, as well as any non-borrowing spouses, must be counseled.  Additionally, any Remainderman of a Life Estate or other parties holding title to the property and not eligible borrowers must also be counseled for the reverse mortgage.

Are the heirs responsible for reverse mortgage debt?

There is no personal liability for the reverse mortgage loan to the borrower or their heirs.  The sole collateral for the reverse mortgage loan is the property.  Suppose the property value is lower than the accrued balance on the loan.  In that case, the heir can repay the loan in full at 95% of the current market value as determined by an appraisal at that time or can walk away and let the lender worry about the disposition of the property and owe nothing.

What happens after your counseling session?

After you have completed your counseling, you will be mailed a certificate of completion (view sample certificate).  This Counseling certificate should be signed and returned to your lender if you wish to proceed with processing the loan.  3rd party services, such as Appraisal, Title, or Escrow, may only be ordered once the lender has your signed certificate.

Can a counseling certificate be transferred from one lender to another?

Counseling certificates come from agencies approved by HUD.  They can be used with any lender which isn’t tied to a specific lender.  This means you don’t have to transfer the certificate to a different lender if you decide to switch, unlike the HUD Case Number, which must be transferred to a new lender if you change your mortgage company.

How much is the counseling?

Counselors or counseling agencies decide their fees, but HUD sets a cap. Occasionally, you can find free counseling if the agency has grant money to cover the costs for borrowers.  Currently, the fees are around $125-150, but you’re encouraged to shop around and see if any counselors offer lower rates.

Can a borrower who is refinancing their HECM use their original counseling certificate?

Many states have rules for reverse mortgage counseling in addition to HUD’s requirements.  The specific counseling needed depends on location and when you last received counseling.  You may need counseling again, but it’s always a good idea to check and ask.

Do all trust beneficiaries need to be counseled?

Yes, all trust beneficiaries need to undergo counseling. When a property is part of a trust, the beneficiaries are viewed as the owners. For a HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) reverse mortgage on a trust-owned property, every beneficiary must be listed as a borrower. Moreover, they all need to attend the mandatory HECM counseling session.

Can a Power of Attorney attend the counseling on the borrower’s behalf?

Yes, a Power of Attorney (POA) can attend the counseling session for the homeowner.  However, the POA must have been signed before the homeowner became incapacitated.  The lender will also need to verify that the homeowner could grant the POA when it was signed, which involves getting notes from a doctor.  This is a standard procedure required by HUD whenever a POA is used.

How long after counseling does it take to get the certificate?

The time it takes to get your certificate after counseling can vary depending on the counselor.  If the agency sends your certificate by mail, expect to wait a week or more.  However, request your counselor to email the certificate directly to you or your lender.  You can often receive it on the same day.  If you or your lender have a good printer, you can print out an original copy to sign with ink, avoiding delays.

Do we need to complete the counseling before we apply?

You can start or request an application without completing counseling first.  However, lenders can only begin loan processing services once you’ve completed counseling.  This means your loan process won’t progress until after counseling.

Where can I find a job as a counselor?

Reverse mortgage counseling companies are approved by HUD but run independently. If you’re interested in working for one, it’s best to reach out to them directly.  You can find contact details for these companies through HUD’s counselor locator tool on their website.  I recommend starting with agencies in your area. You can access the HUD counselor locator page at this link:

Additional Documents for CA Homeowners: