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The Do's & Don'ts


  1. Approach the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) as a learning opportunity. It could be a  financial tool you use now, later, or never, but at least you'll understand what it can do for you.

  2. Review the different HECM options available to you. There could be up to 4 different options to structure the loan. The choices will depend on the equity available and your age.

  3. Get HECM counseling through a credible HUD-approved agency. This is required now to start a loan. (Costs $125-$150). Spend some time with your Loan Officer to get the "lay-of-the-land." This time will be well spent so you can fine-tune your thoughts and questions with the counselor.

  4. Review your budget closely to make sure you fully understand your financial situation.

  5. Include your financial advisor, CPA, friends, family, or anyone that might help you decipher your path from the beginning. Having a team help you understand and weigh the pros and cons can be very helpful. 


  1. Get a HECM because someone cold calls you and suggests it

  2. Work with a lender that wants you to "sign today"

  3. Assume there's only one way to use your Equity or how to receive HECM payments.

  4. Let the HECM be a "quick fix" - instead be thoughtful- a good HECM/mortgage professional can help you put together the best plan for your HECM and for your life and financial success.

  5. Assume it's a bad choice-do some research. AARP has positive feedback statistics from over 1500 members who have received Reverse Mortgages (now called HECM's).