Idaho's Reverse Mortgage Counseling: What to Expect

Idaho’s Reverse Mortgage Counseling: What to Expect

As the population ages and retirees seek ways to secure their financial futures, reverse mortgages have become a financial tool for seniors. In Idaho, like in many other states, obtaining a reverse mortgage requires mandatory counseling. This step is crucial to ensure that potential borrowers fully understand the implications of this financial decision. This article will delve into Idaho’s reverse mortgage counseling process, what to expect, and why it is essential to financial security during retirement.

The Basics of Reverse Mortgages

Before diving into what to expect during reverse mortgage counseling, it’s important to grasp the fundamentals of reverse mortgages. In simple terms, a reverse mortgage is a loan that allows homeowners, aged 62 or older, to convert a portion of their home equity into tax-free funds. Unlike traditional mortgages, where homeowners make monthly payments to lenders, reverse mortgages provide homeowners with a regular stream of income, which they don’t need to repay as long as they live in the home.

The loan is repaid when the borrower no longer occupies the home, typically through the sale of the property. In Idaho, as in the rest of the United States, most reverse mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to protect borrowers.

Reverse Mortgage Counseling: The Mandatory Step

To safeguard the interests of seniors seeking reverse mortgages, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has mandated reverse mortgage counseling for all potential borrowers. This counseling ensures seniors fully comprehend reverse mortgages’ terms, costs, and benefits.

Here, we’ll explore the key aspects of reverse mortgage counseling in Idaho and what to expect during the process.

Finding a HUD-Approved Counselor

The first step in reverse mortgage counseling is locating a HUD-approved counselor. The counselor plays a crucial role in explaining the intricacies of reverse mortgages, providing unbiased advice, and ensuring you have all the necessary information to make an informed decision.

In Idaho, you can easily find a HUD-approved counselor through the Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA). They maintain a list of approved counselors, making it simple for seniors to connect with a professional who can guide them through the process.

The Initial Meeting

The counseling process typically starts with an initial meeting between the borrower and the HUD-approved counselor. This meeting can occur in person, over the phone, or via video conferencing, depending on your preferences and the counselor’s availability.

During this meeting, you can expect the following:

Identification Verification

The counselor will verify your identity and age to ensure you meet the minimum age requirement of 62 years to qualify for a reverse mortgage.

Exploring Your Goals

The counselor will discuss your financial goals and why you are considering a reverse mortgage. This step helps in tailoring the counseling session to your specific needs.

Understanding Your Financial Situation

You must provide details about your income, expenses, and outstanding debts. This information helps the counselor determine whether a reverse mortgage is a viable financial option for you.

Explaining the Basics

Once the initial information gathering is complete, the counselor will provide you with a detailed explanation of reverse mortgages, covering the following areas:

Loan Types

The counselor will outline the different types of reverse mortgages available, including Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) and proprietary reverse mortgages. You’ll learn the key features and differences between these options.

Loan Costs

Understanding the costs associated with reverse mortgages is essential. The counselor will break down the fees, interest rates, and how they impact your loan balance over time.

Repayment Terms

You’ll learn about when the loan becomes due, typically when you no longer occupy the home. The counselor will explain the consequences of not meeting the loan obligations and the potential impact on your heirs.

Home Equity

The counselor will provide insights into how a reverse mortgage can impact your home equity over time. It’s essential to understand the potential implications for your estate.

Alternative Options

Reverse mortgage counseling isn’t solely about promoting reverse mortgages; it’s also about exploring alternatives. Your counselor will discuss alternative options that may suit your financial goals, such as downsizing, refinancing, or accessing government assistance programs.

Benefits and Risks

During counseling, you’ll receive a balanced perspective on the benefits and risks of reverse mortgages. This includes:


  • Financial Freedom: Fund access can help cover daily living expenses or medical bills.
  • No Monthly Payments: You don’t make monthly mortgage payments with a reverse mortgage.
  • Stay in Your Home: You can continue living without fearing foreclosure if you meet loan obligations.


  • Loan Costs: High upfront costs, including closing fees and interest, can impact the total amount available.
  • Reduced Home Equity: Over time, a reverse mortgage can reduce your home equity, potentially affecting your estate.
  • Future Obligations: Failing to meet loan obligations could result in the loss of your home.

Questions and Concerns

You are encouraged to ask questions or express concerns during the counseling session. The counselor addresses your needs and clarifies any aspect of the reverse mortgage process.

Certificate of Completion

At the end of the counseling session, you will receive a Certificate of Completion if you choose to proceed with a reverse mortgage. This certificate is mandatory to apply for a reverse mortgage in Idaho.


Our Lending Team has been serving our clients since 2004. We are passionate about serving our clients with integrity to help them achieve their financial goals.

Similar Posts