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How to Pick a Reverse Mortgage/HECM Lender?

Picking a reverse mortgage lender can be overwhelming if one is not familiar with the senior home loans and all the various terminology.

Checking the Lender's License
Lenders need to be licensed with the state they do business in. Each state typically has a real estate, mortgage or some finance department that is in charge of mortgage lending oversight.

National Reverse Mortgage Lending Association (NRMLA)
Most of the reputable and more known reverse mortgage lenders are also members of the NRMLA. Visit the NRMLA website to check to see if your reverse mortgage lender is apart of the NRMLA. This website's directory of reverse mortgage lenders are all NRMLA members.

Online Reviews and Complaints
Visit the BBB to see if there are any complaints or issues with a particular lender. Keep in mind that just because there are complaints, it doesn't mean to stay away from the lender. See how the lender responds to the complaint and whether or not they do it in a timely and professional manner. All businesses at one point or another will face unhappy customers.

At the end of the day, after doing all your careful checks and research into the reverse mortgage lender you decide to go with, make sure you feel comfortable with the loan officer and the company. If you feel pressured in any way or rushed to make a decision without understanding the various parts and clauses of a senior reverse mortgage, just stop and tell the person you are working with that you do not completely understand everything.

At no point should you be paying anything upfront to start a reverse mortgage application. You do need to pay for a reverse mortgage counseling session which comes at a minimal cost. Try to talk to at least 2 different banks to see which one you feel more comfortable with. Since a reverse mortgage is not credit or income dependent, reverse mortgage rates and fees should not vary that much between different banks and lenders.