Cash in On Your Home’s Equity

Reverse mortgages have become increasingly popular among seniors especially those considered “cash-poor” but with significant home equity. These unique financial tools offer a wide range of benefits when used correctly. Seniors may remain living in their homes permanently, retain the title to the home and make no payments against the mortgage. They are required to keep up property tax payments, insurance and general up-keep. Borrowers may usually opt for regular payments or a lump sum and are often able to use the cash for whatever they choose.

Illinois seniors interested in pursuing options for a reverse mortgage have a huge array of lenders from which to choose as well as a couple of unique alternative programs.

FHA Mortgage Loan Limits in Illinois

On a county-by-county basis the FHA sets annual lending limits for homes. These limits are also key factors when determining who qualifies for a federally insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage through HUD. This extremely popular reverse mortgage product is well suited to most average homeowners that likely have a home priced within the county FHA limit.

In Illinois most county FHA limits match the national average. Where limits are set higher is where home values are typically higher—in the metro areas, particularly Chicago and surrounding suburbs.

The HUD HECM is in use by over 90% of all reverse mortgage borrowers. Borrowers interested in exploring a HECM are advised to choose a local lender off the HUD-approved list of lenders.

Property Tax Deferral and Low-Cost Single Purpose Loans for Illinois Seniors

Single purpose reverse mortgages are closely related to property tax deferral loans and deferred property loans. These low-cost loan programs are designed for low-income seniors and are offered through many state and local government programs.

  • The Illinois Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral program is designed similarly to a reverse mortgage in that it is based on the equity in the borrower’s home. The difference is that this is a type of single purpose loan—used only to pay property taxes. Eligible borrowers must be at least 65 years old, have a minimal or no income, be the homeowner and remain living in the home.
  • Deferred property loans are available in many Illinois counties directly from local government. These loans offer cash out of home equity for the express purpose of making necessary home repairs. Again, most borrowers must be seniors 65 and older with little or no income and with intentions to remain permanent residents of their home.

Reverse Mortgage Providers for Illinois Seniors

This is a very small sample of the lenders available in Illinois.

First Midwest Bank

This company is a HUD-approved lender for the federally insured reverse mortgage program as well as a provider for the Fannie Mae Home Keeper product. The Home Keeper is quite similar in many ways to the HECM, but with a slightly higher lending limit than the average FHA county limit—allows homeowners with a bit more equity to squeeze every penny they can.

Seniors Equity Income

Seniors Equity Income specializes in reverse mortgages of all kinds. Borrowers will also find a wealth of educational information on the site as well.

Wells Fargo Mortgage

Wells Fargo is one of the leading reverse mortgage lenders in the country. This popular retail lender offers two of the most popular types of reverse mortgages: the federally insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) and the Fannie Mae Home Keeper a similar product with a slightly higher lending limit.