Older Borrowers

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Older Borrowers

On this episode of the mortgage and protection podcast, David Stirling from Mint Mortgages and Protection answers your questions on mortgages for older borrowers.

How do I improve my chance of securing a mortgage as an older borrower?

There are various options available to older borrowers. If you’re looking at a traditional mortgage, you can borrow up to around the age of eighty if you have a good credit score proof of income.

For Equity Release products, also known as Lifetime Mortgages, there’s not usually a credit check and need for proof of income, because you don’t necessarily have to make a monthly payment to those. For a Lifetime Mortgage where you make monthly payments, however, they do ask for proof of Income.

Can you get a mortgage after you retire?

Eighty tends to be the cap in terms of maximum age to take out a mortgage, as that’s traditionally the age when lenders would want the mortgage repaid. There are Buy to Let mortgages for rental properties, which are available to people in retirement if they want to boost their income.

After you retire the lender is going to assess whether you’ve got a pension or any other form of income, to make sure that the mortgage would be affordable.

Should you use Equity Release?

Equity Release or Lifetime Mortgages are good for the right person, but it’s usually the last option we would look at because they can be quite expensive in the long-term. The interest rolls up and impacts the value of your property and therefore the inheritance that’s left for your family.

Other options, such as government benefits and grants, savings or help from family are often easier than Equity Release, however it does suit certain clients.

What is the age limit for getting a mortgage?

It’s typically eighty, or up to eighty-five for some lenders, such as Leeds building Society. Retirement only products which are for over fifty fives have no maximum age of application, so that’s another product that’s available to the older borrowers on Equity Release. There isn’t an upper limit because that loan is only repaid when you either die or go into care.

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Can I get a thirty-year mortgage at age fifty-five?

I believe that the Leeds building society would be the only option and in Northern Ireland, the age limit is eighty-five. There’s bound to be a lender, it’s just a case of sitting down with a client and going through the options with them.

Can I get a mortgage at sixty?

You can still get a traditional mortgage at age 60, so you would still have access to all the lenders, as long as you can afford the mortgage over a fifteen or twenty-year term.

Why can it be harder to get a mortgage when you are older?

It’s very basic, you have less time to pay the money back and you’re likely to have less income to repay the loan once you retire,  so the lender views lending as slightly riskier.

If you speak to your broker, they will hopefully find a lender that matches your needs.

Which lenders lend to older borrowers?

The main lender dominating the marketplace for older borrowers is Leeds Building Society, as they lend up to the age of eighty-five and also do retirement Interest-only products. So for instance, if an older person has come to the end of their Interest-only mortgage, Leeds Building Society will then lend them the same amount of money, as long as they can afford it, and there is no maximum age cap.

There are lots of seemingly complicated products, but they’re very straightforward when you sit down with a broker. Halifax and Santander usually lend to age seventy-five and most other lenders to seventy.

What mortgages can you get?

Usually, you can get the same as a traditional mortgage. The most common types are Fixed-rate trackers and Lifetime Mortgages or Equity Release. The best option is to take professional advice.

How can a mortgage broker like Mint Mortgages and Protection help?

We’re qualified to look at traditional mortgages, as well as Equity Release. I’m also specially licensed to advise on Lifetime Mortgages, and we have access to a panel of lenders on some exclusive deals that aren’t available on the high street. 

Later life lending is very niche and high street banks are unlikely to be able to help, you need to talk to a specialist in that area to look at all the pros and cons. For instance, what other options are available to avoid having to pay for expensive Equity Release products. You’ll be getting more comprehensive advice and we can look at multiple options for you.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it.

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