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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
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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