The Million Dollar Question: Cash-Out Refinance vs. Reverse Mortgages vs. HELOCs

3 Mortgage Options for Seniors: Which One Is Right for You?

As a senior, you have unique financial needs and challenges. And one of the biggest decisions you'll face is choosing the right mortgage.

You may be looking to downsize, buy a second home or tap into the equity in your home. Whatever your reasons, it's important to understand the different mortgage options available to you.

Here's a look at three popular mortgage choices for seniors and the pros and cons of each.

Cash-Out Refinance

A cash-out refinance is when you take out a new loan to replace your existing mortgage and borrow more than you owe. The difference is yours to use as you see fit.

Many seniors use a cash-out refinance to pay for home improvements, consolidate debt or pay for unexpected expenses.


• You can lower your interest rate if rates have gone down since you took out your original mortgage.

• You can extend the term of your loan, which can lower your monthly payments.

• You can tap into the equity in your home without having to take out a separate loan.


• You could end up paying more in interest over the life of the loan if you extend the term.

• It can be difficult to qualify if you don't have a lot of equity in your home.

Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage is a special type of loan that allows seniors to tap into the equity in their home without having to make monthly payments. Instead, the loan is repaid when the borrower dies, sells the home or no longer resides there.


• You don't have to make monthly payments, which can free up money for retirement expenses.

• The loan is repaid from the sale of your home, so there's no risk of leaving your heirs with a debt they can't afford.

• You can use the money from a reverse mortgage for any purpose.


• The interest on a reverse mortgage is not tax-deductible.

• You could owe more than your home is worth if the value of your home declines and you live a long time.

• Reverse mortgages are complex and there are a lot of fees to consider.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

A HELOC is a line of credit secured by the equity in your home. It works like a credit card, allowing you to borrow against your home's equity when you need it and pay it back over time.


• HELOCs typically have lower interest rates than credit cards.

• You only pay interest on the amount you borrow, so it can be more affordable than a traditional home equity loan.

Get Started