|Chapter 5: Getting Started
If you have decided that you want to get a reverse mortgage the first step is to find a lender. You can find FHA-approved HECM lenders by going to www.hud.gov or calling (800) 225-5342. You may want to talk to several lenders before choosing one. Who offers the lowest interest rate and closing costs is an important consideration, but it is also a good idea to choose a lender who treats you with respect and explains things in a clear manner. Avoid lenders who make you feel pressured.
In order to get the loan you will need to go through counseling with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco is approved by HUD to do reverse mortgage counseling. To set up an appointment please call us at 800-777-7526. During the session the counselor will go over the basics of reverse mortgages, an estimate of how much you can receive from the reverse mortgage and how much equity you will have left in your house, and other options besides a reverse mortgage. (There is usually a fee charged for this service, but you may be able to have it waived if your income is limited.) This is a good time for you to discuss any questions or reservations you may have. If after getting a reverse mortgage you decide that you no longer want it you have three business days to cancel it, in writing. You should be given a form at closing that you can use to cancel it.
People take out reverse mortgages for many reasons. While it may work for some it is not necessarily right for others. A careful examination of your situation and options will help you to determine if a reverse mortgage is right for you.