Difference Between Reverse Mortgage and Home Equity Loan

When considering ways to access the equity in your home, two popular options are reverse mortgages and home equity loans. Each of these financial goods has pros and cons that you should think about. Knowing the differences between them can help you choose the right one.

Choosing between a reverse mortgage and a home equity loan depends on your financial situation, age, and objectives. A reverse mortgage is suitable for retirees who want to use the value of their home without paying it back immediately. In contrast, a home equity loan is ideal for those needing a lump sum for specific purposes and can afford regular repayments.

Reverse Mortgage

People aged 60 and up can get a reverse mortgage, a loan that permits them to access some of their home's value without selling it. It enables retirees to convert a part of their home equity into cash, which can be received as a lump sum, regular income stream, or a combination of both. Here is the Method:


In Australia, you must be a homeowner aged 60 or older, and the home must be your primary residence to get a reverse mortgage.


Unlike traditional loans, you do not need regular repayments. The loan is usually paid back when the homeowner dies, sells the house, or enters an assisted living facility.


Interest accrues on the loan balance over time and is added to the loan amount. This means the loan balance grows over time.


It offers flexibility in how you receive the funds, such as a lump sum, regular income, or a line of credit.

Home Equity Loan

A home equity loan, also understood by a second mortgage, lets homeowners Take a lump sum of money against the equity in their home. Unlike a reverse mortgage, home equity loans are typically available to homeowners of all ages who have built up equity in their property. Here's how it differs:


A home equity loan sometimes called a second mortgage, lets people take a large amount of money against the value of their home.


Monthly repayments of principal and interest are required, similar to a traditional mortgage. The loan term is fixed, typically between 10 to 30 years.

Interest rates on home equity loans are generally lower than those on reverse mortgages because the home's equity secures the loan.


Home equity loans are often used for specific purposes, such as renovations, debt consolidation, or education expenses.

Key Differences

Age Requirement

Reverse mortgages are available to seniors 60 and older, while home equity loans have no age restrictions.


Reverse mortgages do not require regular repayments; the loan is paid back when the house is sold. Home equity loans must have the capital and interest paid back monthly.


Reverse mortgages accrue interest over time and add it to the loan balance, increasing the debt. Home equity loans have set interest rates and need to be paid back regularly.


Reverse mortgages offer more flexibility in receiving funds (e.g., lump sum, income stream), while home equity loans provide a lump sum amount.


Reverse mortgages are generally used to supplement retirement income, while home equity loans are often used for specific expenses like renovations.


  1. Costs: Both types of loans have associated fees, such as establishment and legal expenses.
  2. Impact on Heirs: Reverse mortgage, the loan amount can make the inheritance less valuable for the next generation. There is a set plan for paying back home equity loans.
  3. Regulation: The government regulates Reverse mortgages to protect seniors, ensuring they have adequate safeguards.


☎️ (02) 7900 3288

⏲️ Monday to Friday, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM