Pros / Homebridge aspires to be a lender you can turn to in a variety of life stages.
Cons / A sporadically updated online presence and a short time in the reverse mortgage field may warrant some extra research into whether it’s a good fit for your needs.
Verdict / If Homebridge interests you, it may make sense to reach out for direct correspondence with this fairly new entrant in the reverse mortgage field.
Homebridge has been around since 1989 as a traditional lender, but has only been offering reverse mortgages for a few years. It acquired Prospect Mortgage in 2016, allowing the company to become one of the largest nonbank lenders in the country (though it was in 41st place in volume of reverse mortgages in 2017). Homebridge hopes to be what people in the industry call a "generational lender," meaning it can be the company you turn to when you're young and buying your first loan, when you're older and want to refinance, and when you're retiring and are considering a reverse mortgage.
The Homebridge site presents all loan options before you narrow your choice down to reverse mortgages. Once you click on reverse mortgage under Home Mortgage Loans, you can read a wordy explanation of home equity conversion mortgages (HECM). The good news is the site doesn't shy away from explaining the eligibility requirements, payment obligations (property taxes, homeowner's insurance, and any maintenance costs), and closing costs and fees involved. The bad news is that no one has updated the site since those fees changed in October 2017.
As an overall lender, Homebridge receives good reviews from most of its customers. There are, however, a number of complaints about the company filed in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau database. Only one of those had to do with a reverse mortgage. It has an A rating from the Better Business Bureau, with 35 complaints that have been resolved.
Fixed-rate lump sum disbursement: The interest rate remains the same for the life of the loan (great if it's low when you apply), but you can only receive your loan in one lump sum, which will be determined by your home equity, your age, and the first-year draw limit (60 percent of the loan total).
Adjustable-rate term disbursement: You can receive the amount of your loan in fixed monthly payments for a set number of months, but the interest rate will be variable from year to year or month to month, based on the London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR).
Tenured: You can receive a set amount of money from your loan every month for the life of your loan (calculated by assuming you will live to 99), and the rate varies based on the LIBOR.
Line of credit: Instead of receiving your loan payment upfront, you can leave it as a line of credit, and the amount you don't draw down will grow with compound interest each year, based on the LIBOR.
Combination: This adjustable-rate loan can be a combination of all of the above, at the adjustable rate based on LIBOR.
HECM for Purchase: This type of loan allows you to buy a new home directly with a reverse mortgage.