From home equity and student to payday and home improvement, there are many different types of loans for senior citizens.
Types of Loan Opportunities
Many senior citizens find themselves in the position of owning a home that has equity built up while they're living on a fixed income. A reverse mortgage, which is a type of home equity loan, allows seniors to collect money from the lender. This is done by converting part of the equity in the home into cash, which homeowners generally receive as monthly payments. The money can be used for any purpose such as:
- Supplementing the homeowner's retirement income
- Paying off the existing mortgage
- Making home improvements
- Paying the expenses of needed healthcare
- Paying bills
There are several different types of reverse mortgages.
- Single purpose reverse mortgages are available from government agencies at the state and local levels and from some nonprofit organizations. This type of reverse mortgage is not available in every state.
- Federally insured reverse mortgages are backed by the United Stated Department of Housing and Urban Development. These types of reverse mortgages are called Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, or HECMs.
- When reverse mortgages are private loans, they are called proprietary reverse mortgagees.
Several of the benefits of this type of loan include:
- Homeowners usually do not need to pay the loan back as long as they reside in the home.
- Generally the money received from a reverse mortgage is not taxed.
- Usually there are not any medical or income requirements for the homeowner.
Payday loans, also known as cash loans, are short term loans that are unsecured and generally approved in a few hours. Senior citizens that occasionally find themselves short of cash before their next retirement check arrives generally qualify for these short term loans.
For senior citizens that are thinking about going to college for the first time or are returning to further their education, there are several types of student loans that they may be qualified to receive.
The most common type of student loan for college undergraduate and graduate students is a Federal Stafford Loan. Two different types of Federal Stafford loans exist, subsidized and unsubsidized. Based on financial need, subsidized loans do not accrue any interest as long as the student is enrolled at least half time. An unsubsidized loan is not based on financial need and interest begins accruing from the disbursement date of the loan.
There are not any age restrictions or credit checks for either type of Stafford loan. They both have low fixed interest rates and are guaranteed by the federal government. Subsidized loans have a slightly lower rate of interest than unsubsidized loans. Regardless of the student's age a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as a FAFSA, must be completed.
Seniors may also be eligible for student loans from private or alternative sources. These types of loans are not guaranteed by the federal government and generally carry a higher rate of interest than Stafford loans.
Home Improvement Loans for Senior Citizens
Many senior citizens face costly and unexpected home repairs such as a leaky roof or a broken pipe. Others may want to update a kitchen or add a wheelchair accessible shower stall. In these instances and many others, a home improvement loan is often the answer. A popular type of home improvement loan for seniors is a secured loan. In most cases, the property itself is used as the collateral to secure the loan.
Home improvement loans are also offered by many individual states, counties and cities. These are usually offered as deferred low interest loans for specific types of home improvements including emergency repairs due to natural disasters.
In addition to loans for senior citizens, there are also a number of federal grants available to seniors.