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A guide to getting a mortgage if you’re over 50

A guide to getting a mortgage if you’re over 50

The closer you get to retirement, the harder you might find it to get a mortgage. But with an ageing population and more people working for longer, there are mortgage deals that could meet your needs in your later years. Let’s take a look at the key points. 

Tobi Owens
From the Mortgages team
3
minute read
posted 30 DECEMBER 2019

1. Lenders set their own age limits on mortgages

Each lender usually sets its own age limits around applying for a mortgage. Typically, this tends to be either:

  • your age when you take out a new mortgage, with the limit ranging from around 70 to 85
  • your age when the mortgage term ends, with the limit ranging from about 75 to 95

Regardless of your age when you take out a mortgage, you’ll need to be sure you can afford the repayments throughout the full term, including on any outstanding balance after your retire.

2. You can get a mortgage after you retire

A lender will accept you for a mortgage if they are confident that you’ll be able to pay back your loan each month. If you’ve retired, it’ll help if:

  • you have a decent amount of savings 
  • you have a strong credit score – our guide outlines several things that you should look for in your credit report.
  • you own your current home outright – if you do, you’ll be able to access some of the equity (or, money) that’s tied up in your current property. This can be used as an up-front payment on another home
  • if you can show a lender proof of any ongoing income, you’ll be in a stronger position when applying for a mortgage. Examples could include a private pension, or earnings from shares or other investments  

It’s also likely that you’ll have a longer history of borrowing as you get older – so, if you’ve proven to be responsible with your money in the past you might be viewed more favourably by a lender. 

3. The older you are, the more strict your lending criteria will be 

Generally speaking, as you get older you’re likely to be offered a shorter repayment period on a mortgage than a younger borrower would (typically, mortgages last 25 years). That could be the case even if you’re, say, 15 years younger than the lender’s maximum age for a mortgage. You might also find that you are offered fewer deals, for example it might be harder to find interest-only mortgages which tend to have lower monthly repayments. 

If you’re an older borrower and you’ve still got a few years left on your current mortgage, you might want to think about getting a remortgage instead of finding a new deal. While you might be offered better terms by your current lender, you’ll still need to meet their eligibility requirements.

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