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Retirement Mortgages and Mortgages for Over 60s

  • Published 21.02.2024
Retirement interest-only mortgage

As people enter their 60s and beyond, navigating the world of retirement mortgages can seem daunting. However, with so many options available today, from retirement interest-only mortgages through to lifetime mortgages, finding a retirement mortgage is now easier than ever before.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the different mortgages for over 60s, address common concerns and provide an overview of the available options.

If you already know which type of retirement mortgage you’re after, you should speak to a mortgage broker and they’ll be able to search the market for you to get the best deal. As retirement mortgages are quite a specialist part of the market, it is often better to have a professional advisor guide you through the process.  

Retirement Mortgages

There are a number of mortgages for over 60s which could be available to you. The following is an overview of some of the main types of retirement mortgages. The best one for you will depend on your personal situation and financial objectives.

1. Traditional Mortgages

Traditional mortgages, including fixed-rate, trackers and discounted variable-rate mortgages, are available to individuals over 60 who meet lender requirements. Typically, lenders will want to know you have adequate income to cover repayments until the end of the mortgage term.

As all lenders will have an upper age limit, often between 70 and 90, mortgage terms are shorter and that means repayments are generally higher. As is the case with all mortgages, your home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments.  

2. Retirement Interest-Only Mortgages

Retirement interest-only mortgages allow borrowers to pay only the interest on the loan each month. The principal amount is repaid from the sale of the property, or through other means upon a specified event, such as death or moving into long-term care.

As the capital is not repaid until the end of the loan, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to borrow as much as you would on a standard mortgage.

3. Lifetime Mortgages

Lifetime mortgages are a type of equity release, offering homeowners a way to access the equity in their property without the need for monthly repayments. With these mortgages, borrowers retain ownership of their homes while borrowing against their equity. These loans are typically repaid from the sale of the property upon the homeowner’s death or move into long-term care.

Interest typically ‘rolls up’ on the loan balance over time, meaning you’ll pay more in total at the end of the term. While lifetime mortgages can provide valuable financial flexibility in retirement, borrowers should carefully consider the impact on inheritance, interest rates, regulatory protections, and seek independent financial advice before proceeding.

4. Home Reversion

Another form of equity release, home reversion involves selling a portion of the property in exchange for a lump sum or regular payments. Following the sale, you will retain the right to live in the property.

The amount you receive will generally be based on a below market value for the house. After the homeowner’s death or move into long-term care, the property is sold. The home reversion provider then receives their share of the proceeds.

5. Older People’s Shared Ownership Mortgages (OPSO)

OPSO schemes allow older borrowers to purchase a share of a property (usually between 25% to 75%) and pay rent on the remaining share. These schemes can be beneficial for those who wish to reduce their housing costs while retaining homeownership.

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Approved for Retirement Mortgages

There are several ways to improve your chances of being approved on mortgages for over 60s, including:

  • Improve Your Credit Score: Focus on increasing your credit rating with firms such as Experian. The higher your credit rating, the easier it will be for you to get approved for a retirement mortgage.
  • Maintain Stable Income: Lenders assess income stability when considering mortgage applications. Ensure you have a reliable source of income, such as pensions, investments, or part-time employment, to demonstrate affordability.
  • Manage Debts and Credit: Maintain a good credit score by managing debts responsibly and making timely payments. Clearing existing debts and reducing credit utilisation can enhance your creditworthiness.
  • Provide Documentation: Prepare documentation of retirement income, including pension statements, investment portfolios, and any other relevant financial records to support your mortgage application.
  • Consider Alternative Products: Explore alternative mortgage products tailored for older borrowers, such as retirement interest-only mortgages or equity release schemes. These products may offer more flexible eligibility criteria.
  • Seek Advice: Consult with a qualified mortgage advisor or financial planner specializing in retirement planning. They can provide guidance on suitable mortgage options, assess your financial situation, and offer personalised recommendations.
  • Review Lender Criteria: Research lenders that cater to older borrowers and review their eligibility criteria. Some lenders may have specific age limits or income requirements tailored for retirees.
  • Increase Deposit: If possible, consider increasing your deposit to reduce the loan-to-value ratio and improve your chances of mortgage approval. Using savings or other assets to increase your deposit can enhance affordability.
  • Consider Joint Applications: Applying for a mortgage with a spouse, partner, or family member can increase affordability and strengthen your application. Particularly if they have a stable income or good credit history.
  • Address Property Condition: Ensure the property you intend to purchase or refinance meets lender requirements. Address any maintenance issues or property concerns that may affect the valuation or mortgage approval process.
  • Be Transparent: Provide accurate and transparent information on your mortgage application, including your financial situation, assets, and liabilities. Disclose any relevant details upfront to avoid delays or complications during the underwriting process.

Mortgages for Over 60s: Alternative Options to Consider

  • Joint Mortgages: As noted above, co-owning a property with a family member or partner can increase affordability and eligibility for mortgage financing.
  • Guarantor Mortgages: Having a guarantor with a strong credit rating and income can enhance the likelihood of mortgage approval, especially for borrowers with limited income or credit history.
  • Downsizing: Selling your current property and purchasing a smaller, more affordable home can release equity and reduce housing expenses.
  • Using Pension Funds: Some retirees may consider using a portion of their pension funds to pay off existing mortgages or purchase a property outright.

What are The Risks of Taking Out Retirement Mortgages?

Although mortgages for over 60s can provide financial flexibility and access to housing wealth, they also carry risks, including:

  • Financial Strain: Monthly mortgage payments may strain retirement finances, especially if unexpected expenses arise or income sources diminish.
  • Equity Erosion: Borrowing against home equity through mortgages or equity release schemes can reduce the inheritance for beneficiaries. It could also limit future housing options.
  • Interest Rate Risk: Variable-rate mortgages are susceptible to interest rate fluctuations, which can increase borrowing costs over time.
  • Property Market Volatility: Changes in property values can impact the equity available for repayment. This is particularly true for home reversion and equity release schemes.

Most important of all, your home could be at risk if you do not maintain your repayments or adhere to the terms of your retirement mortgage. Speak to a mortgage advisor, who can help you understand the terms and ensure the product you’re choosing is right for you.


Navigating mortgages for over 60s requires careful consideration of financial goals, lifestyle preferences, and risk tolerance. Whether refinancing an existing mortgage or simply exploring mortgage options, retirees can leverage a range of mortgage products tailored to their needs.

By understanding the options available, weighing the pros and cons, and seeking guidance from financial professionals, individuals can make informed decisions that support their retirement aspirations and enhance their financial well-being in later life.

If you’re looking for other financial help and support, check out our latest top offers available. We work with hundreds of well known brands to offer exclusive discounts to people in the UK aged 60+. Register for free today and start saving.

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