How to get a mortgage if you are an older borrower

Getting a mortgage can be more difficult when you get closer to retirement. Here is how to find one whether you want to move house or remortgage your current home.

older couple with advisor on laptop

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

It's commonly believed that mortgages for older borrowers are hard to get. That might be true to an extent, but that doesn't mean that older people can't get a mortgage.

What is the age limit for getting a mortgage?

While there is no maximum age for applying for a mortgage, each lender has its own age mortgage age limit:

Typical age limits can be:

  • When you take out the mortgage: Usually a maximum age of 65 to 80

  • When the mortgage term ends: Usually a maximum age of 70 to 85

This means that even if you are below the maximum age for a mortgage, its term could be limited by how old you are.

Can I get a mortgage at 60?

If you are 60 and want a mortgage that must be paid off before you reach 70, its term could be no more than 10 years.

You have a better chance of being accepted if you have a strong credit history and if your income is high enough to easily cover the mortgage repayments.

Why would you need a new mortgage?

  • To remortgage to get a better deal on your current home, especially if a fixed or tracker rate has ended

  • To move house, for example downsizing to a smaller property

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

If you retire before you have finished paying off the mortgage, you will not have a regular salary any more. Your income will usually go down, meaning lenders will be unsure if you will still be able to afford the mortgage repayments.

This means that offering you a mortgage is riskier as you get older. Lenders have to follow the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) rules, which mean they have to make sure you can keep up with repayments over the full term of the mortgage.

Can you get a mortgage after you retire?

Yes, some lenders will let you:

  • Take out a mortgage after you have retired

  • Take out a mortgage that will not be paid off until after you have retired

You will need to prove that the income from your pension would be more than enough to cover the repayments on the mortgage. It is usually easier to do this if you are already retired because you can show how much you get each month.

If you have not retired yet, you will need to ask your pension provider to give confirmation of your:

  • Expected retirement

  • Current pension pot value

  • Expected retirement income

You could also give proof that you will have an income from other investments like shares or property.

What mortgages can you get?

Most mortgages that accept older borrowers come with fixed interest rates, and many offer rates that track the Bank of England base rate.

There are also some offset, cashback, discount and stepped mortgages available too. Here is how to work out which types of mortgage is best for you.

Can you afford a mortgage?

How to get a mortgage for older borrowers

  • Use our comparisons to find mortgages that may accept you if you are over 50 or over 60

  • Check the maximum age you can be when you apply, which is shown for each mortgage in our comparisons

  • Speak to a mortgage broker because some mortgages for older borrowers are only available through them, and they will look at your finances to find you a suitable deal

  • Look for specialist mortgages offered by lenders aimed at older borrowers, which you can usually find through mortgage brokers

  • Pick a mortgage that is right for your circumstances

A complete guide to buying a home

Should you use equity release?

You could use an equity release mortgage to withdraw part of the share of your home that you own as a lump sum or monthly income. You could then use this to:

  • Pay off your mortgage

  • Pay for a major purchase or unexpected cost

  • Fund your retirement

The amount borrowed will be repaid back when the house is sold, usually after the borrower has moved into a care home or passed away.

However, it can be an expensive way to borrow. Here is how equity release works and if it is right for you.

To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration from a lifetime mortgage company. Check that this type of mortgage will meet your needs if you want to move or sell your home or you want your family to inherit it. If you are in any doubt, seek independent advice. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

If you're a first time buyer or looking to move house or remortgage, we can help you find the best mortgage deal to suit your needs.