The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that homeowner(s) interested in pursuing a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) receive mandatory reverse mortgage counseling regarding the implications of and alternatives to a reverse mortgage from a HUD-approved HECM counseling agency.

HUD regulations require us to provide a list of reverse mortgage counseling agencies.  The list must contain Five (5) nationwide companies as directed by HUD for the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, several counseling agencies that are the most local to you (some borrowers will have many companies located nearby while others may need to drive farther if they wish to receive their counseling in person rather than over the phone), and then we can include several more companies who may also provide counseling over the phone and so their physical location is not essential because they have toll-free numbers for borrowers to call to reach them.

What is important is that you find a counselor who can meet your counseling needs.

meeting with a reverse mortgage counselor

Top Reverse Mortgage Counseling Agencies

Counseling AgencyNext AvailabilityHECM Price JUMBO Price PhoneWebsite
QuickCert, Inc. 24 Hrs. $145$145888-383-8885
DebtHelper.com24 Hrs.$145$145800-920-2262
Smart Money Housing24-48 Hrs. $125$150800-403-3807
Hancock Community Development, Inc24-48 Hrs. $130
Money Management International (MMI)48-72 Hrs.$199 (Free in CA)$199
Cambridge Credit Counseling48-72 Hrs.$149$149888-764-7460Website
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
Counseling turn-times are approximate and last updated on 09/12/2023

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.
  • 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.

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.