A home equity conversion mortgage is a type of mortgage that allows seniors to withdraw a portion of the equity in their homes, supplementing Social Security, according to HUD.gov. Additional mortgage options for seniors include the Home Affordable Refinancing Program and the FHA Short Refinance Program, states SeniorLiving.org.
Mortgages can help with access to cash and can lower current mortgage rates or help avoid foreclosure, according to SeniorLiving.org. Each type of program has specific qualifications that the homeowner must meet in order to qualify. For instance, the home equity conversion mortgage purchase option allows the purchase of a new residence with the proceeds from a reverse mortgage. Some qualifications for this type of mortgage include being at least 62 years of age, not owing any federal debts, and having a great deal of equity in the home.
Seniors who are delinquent on their current mortgages also have options, states SeniorLiving.org. For instance, the Federal Housing Agency offers Streamlined Modification Initiative, a program designed specifically for people who are at risk of losing their homes. Qualifications include being 90 to 720 days past due on mortgage payments, having a loan that is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and a first loan that is least 12 months old.