The reverse mortgage line of credit growth rate is the annual rate of increase applied to the variable-rate HECM line of credit. The growth rate is calculated by adding the initial interest rate (IIR) to the annual MIP rate. For example, if the initial interest rate is 4.50% and the MIP rate is 0.50%, the growth rate on the available credit line would be 5.00%.
What is the line of credit growth rate today?
The growth rate varies based on market conditions and the lender you’re working with. As already mentioned, the growth rate is determined by adding together the initial interest rate and the annual MIP rate. The initial interest rate is the sum of an index set by the financial markets and a margin set by the lender.
Because lenders have some control over the margin they charge, they have some influence over the growth rate. However, the growth rate is largely determined by interest rate conditions in the financial markets.
If you would like an estimate of today’s growth rate, feel free to check out our reverse mortgage calculator. The growth rate will equal the total rate (IIR + MIP) listed near the top of the Calculation Results on page 6.
How the line of credit growth rate works
The variable-rate HECM line of credit can be a powerful financial tool. This is especially true if your home is free and clear (or very nearly so) and you don’t need the money from a reverse mortgage right now.
If you owe little to nothing on your home, you can maximize the starting size of the line of credit. There’s little or no mortgage to pay off, so more proceeds will be available to leave in the credit line and earn growth.
If you don’t need the money right now, leave the line of credit untouched to maximize the growth over the coming years. By the time you actually need the cash, you’ll have a lot of more to work with.
The line of credit is guaranteed to grow with no limit as long as at least one borrower is paying the required property charges and living in the home.
To see how the growth rate works, let’s check out an example. Let’s assume you qualify for an available credit line starting at $150,000 and the current annual reverse mortgage line of credit growth rate is 5%. Let’s also assume you leave the line of credit completely untouched for 15 years.
As you can see in the table, the growth adds up to a lot of dollars over time! As you can see in the chart, you’ll double your available line of credit over the first 15 years. In year 15, you will have access to over $300,000 tax free with no mortgage payments required. Pretty cool, eh?
Note that growth compounds on growth. This is why it’s important to get the line of credit set up as soon as possible – even if you don’t need the money right now. You want to take advantage of compounding over time to maximize the line of credit growth.
Again, as long as you uphold your end of the bargain (live in the home and pay the property charges, right?), the line of credit is always guaranteed to grow. It could even outgrow the value of your home! If that happens, you’ve officially beat the system! The HECM is a non-recourse loan, which means the most that will ever have to be repaid is the value of the home. If the home isn’t worth enough to settle the entire loan balance, FHA will cover the shortage out of the mutual mortgage insurance fund.
Protect and preserve your financial well being
Life has a way of throwing unexpected expenses at us. It’s good to have as many resources available as possible, right? The HECM line of credit is a great way to protect and preserve your financial well being in retirement.
If you owe little to nothing on your home, don’t need the money right now, and are relatively early in your retirement, you’re in an ideal position to maximize the benefit of a HECM line of credit. Get it set up and let it grow and compound. By the time you actually need the money, you’ll have a lot more than you started with.
Check out our free reverse mortgage calculator
How much can you get from a reverse mortgage? Check out our free HECM reverse mortgage calculator. It's simple to use, fast, free, and no contact information is required. You can access the reverse mortgage calculator here. Our HECM for purchase calculator can be found here.