Getting a conventional mortgage is more difficult if you don't have a high credit rating or an adequate down payment.
But credit ratings and down payments are not issues if you are interested in getting a reverse mortgage. Problems that have beset the mortgage market are not affecting reverse mortgages, lenders said.
"If you are old enough and you have equity in your house, you get the loan," said Deborah Decker, vice president of Hilco Mortgage Corp. in Lawrence.
A reverse mortgage is a loan against your home that you don't have to pay back for as long as you live there or until you die. Then the house has to be sold. To qualify you have to be at least 62 years old.
The reverse mortgage is used by senior citizens to get extra money. There are several ways of receiving the money if you are approved. The owner doesn't turn over the home's title to the lender.
There appears to be a growing interest in reverse mortgages because older Americans are facing increasing prescription drug costs and higher taxes, Decker said.
"What was a livable monthly stipend from retirement or Social Security no longer covers everything," she said. "People are living longer and need more money."
Decker thinks many senior citizens don't know about the availability of reverse mortgages.