Reverse mortgages are one of those things where people either love them or hate them. There's not a lot of middle ground. If you think you'd like to set up your house with a reverse mortgage, I encourage you to really find out ALL the facts. And get this information from several sources. Don't just listen to one person.
That out of the way, once you've thoroughly educated yourself and you've decided that a reverse mortgage is still the best option for you, how do you find a lender? If you are still in contact with a good reputable mortgage provider, I would check with them first. Often, the major firms have a division that handles the reverse mortgages. You may find what you're looking for there.
- Referrals are almost always a good way to go. If a friend or relative has worked with a company and has good things to say, then check there. I would always keep in mind your source's financial savvy. Not being financially savvy isn't a character flaw, but taking financial advice from that person doesn't usually improve your financial situation either! Reverse mortgages can be confusing and sometimes downright misleading. You need to be as smart as you can be about the whole process.
- If you haven't yet found someone to work with, doing an internet search is another alternative. There are organizations that specialize in reverse mortgages and can provide a list of lenders. This can be helpful because it should give you several options from which to choose. In addition, an organization will sometimes have some safeguards to help make sure that their members are keeping the client's best interests at heart. This isn't always true, but you should be able to look around the website and see standards and regulations clearly posted and find assurance that the lenders listed are abiding by those rules or are removed.
- Finally, regardless of which lender you choose, don't neglect your gut feeling. If you feel a particular lender is pushing hard, walk away. There are plenty of lenders out there and you should be able to find another one without too much trouble. There's no reason a lender should be pressuring you to make a decision quickly.
Reverse mortgages are by their very nature targeted to senior citizens. Unfortunately, this population segment is often the target of various financial scams. Reverse mortgages aren't a scam; they are a legitimate financial product. But they are sometimes pushed on people that don't need them and the restrictions they include. So if you feel someone is pushing the product on you and you don't fully understand what you are signing up for, step back and get educated first.
Work only with someone you are comfortable with. And I can't stress this enough, make sure this is what you really want to do and make sure there aren't other, more suitable options, for your situation.