Founded in 2004, American Advisors Group (AAG) is now recognized as the largest reverse mortgage lender in the U.S. and as one of the best reverse mortgage companies overall. Concentrating purely on home equity solutions, AAG offers refinance loans, jumbo loans, and also helps older adults sell their homes and relocate through its residential services arm.
In closing more reverse mortgages than other lender in the country, AAG is the most popular of the top reverse mortgage companies. At the same time, alongside the overarching company, the AAG Foundation aims to help older Americans most in need. It also invests in supportive organizations and looks to inspire change on a wider scale.
American Advisors Group review: Application process
Application process: Online and by phone
Fees and interest rates: Revealed during application
Service: Online calculator, accessible support, outstanding reviews
- Online information kit
- Calculator doesn't require contact details
As you would expect of an established lender, the AAG website is easy to use and well laid-out. If you want to get an idea of how much AAG might be willing to lend first, there's a handy reverse mortgage calculator which simply asks about your home value, mortgage balance and age, before giving you an estimate of how much you may qualify for - no contact details are required at this stage. If you want a more detailed assessment, you can leap directly from the calculator to pre-qualification online.
This actually turns out to be the same process that you can undertake directly from the home page when registering for a free information kit. By entering the aforementioned details, plus your name, address and age, AAG says you will find out in two minutes if a reverse mortgage loan is right for you and qualify for the kit that includes a DVD and mailer, a qualification questionnaire and contact information.
The kit is designed to give you all the details you need before you engage with one of AAG’s professional advisors - you can either wait for their specialist to call you, or you can give them a call. The rest of the process is handled in the traditional manner with paperwork, approvals and processes managed over email and the phone.
American Advisors Group review: Fees and charges
- Articles examine potential fees
- Actual charges revealed when applying
While the website contains articles that all look in great detail at the various types of interest rates and fees that will likely need to be paid, there are no indicative interest rates actually listed on the website, and the rundown of potential fees involves explaining the range of charges that lenders are permitted to make by regulators, rather than a definitive indication of what AAG will charge. The articles are also quite hard to find, and would certainly benefit from better signposting.
It is only when you start your conversations with AAG proper that you will find out about the fees, interest rates, and the terms and conditions that will apply to your reverse mortgage loan. The fees and interest rates of your reverse mortgage loan are tied to fixed or variable rates and based on an index and a margin.
American Advisors Group review: Service
- Good range of resources
- Excellent customer satisfaction
If you're new to the concept of reverse mortgages, AAG offers plenty of clear and concise information regarding exactly what a reverse mortgage is, who it’s good for, how it works, who qualifies, and the various safeguards that lenders must adhere to. A separate tab explains the different types of reverse mortgage loan and tries to help you work out which is right for you. There's also a FAQ section, which answers most of the basic questions anyone looking to take out a loan might have.
Separately, the platform plays host to a more generic Articles tab, which contains a number of retirement tips and guides, ranging from how to increase your credit score to the biggest financial regrets. Perhaps most helpful is the reverse mortgage loan glossary, which explains all the relevant key terms.
AAG boasts a 98% customer satisfaction rating from client surveys, and is also A+ Accredited with the Better Business Bureau, and a two-time Torch Awards for Ethics finalist.
Enjoying an impressive rating of four out of five stars on Consumer Affairs, AAG receives praise for its “professional and knowledgeable” customer service specialists. It is also noted that any complaints are usually in respect of a lengthy process and the amount of paperwork required, although given the complex nature of the proposition, this is typical of most reverse mortgage lenders.
Should you use American Advisors Group reverse mortgage?
AAG offers almost everything required to make an informed decision about a reverse mortgage and retirement planning. The website is accessible and easy to follow, and the reverse mortgage calculator gives an idea of what you might be able to borrow without having to share any personal contact details. As a company, AAG has more experience to draw on than any other reverse mortgage lender out there.
More upfront information on its own fees and rates would be welcome, but this generally applies to most reverse mortgage companies, and everything will become clear once the application process is properly underway. Ultimately, when it comes to something as important as a reverse mortgage, the most valuable endorsement will likely come from its customers - and in this respect, AAG certainly has the backing of those it has already served.