The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is FHA’s Reverse Mortgage program. It is a special type of home loan that lets you convert a portion of the equity in your home into cash. The equity that you built up over years of making mortgage payments can be paid to you. However, unlike a traditional home equity loan or second mortgage, borrowers do not have repay the loan until the borrowers no longer use the home as their principal residence or fail to meet the obligations of the mortgage.

To be eligible, the FHA requires that you be a homeowner 62 years of age or older, own your home outright, or have a low mortgage balance that can be paid off at closing with proceeds from the reverse loan, have the financial resources to pay ongoing property charges including taxes and insurance, and you must live in the home.