Can you be too old to get a mortgage?
Once you're over 50 your mortgage options begin to change.
But it’s certainly possible for an older borrower to obtain a mortgage. Find out the types of loans available to you below and how you can increase your chances of securing one.
Can I get a mainstream mortgage?
While some lenders are willing to lend to people in their later years, others may label you “too old” for a traditional mortgage product and offer a short-term loan instead.
This option may seem like the perfect answer, but as they cost more per month, short-term loans can be much harder to keep up with because of the income required to service them.
Is the length of the repayment term affected by age?
If your traditional mortgage is accepted, the chances are the lender will say that the mortgage must be paid back by a certain age, which will restrict the borrowing term and increase costs significantly.
For example, if you applied for a home loan aged 55 and were told it had to be repaid by the time you were 70, you would only have a term of 15 years to repay the loan, rather than the standard 25. This could make the mortgage very expensive, maybe even unaffordable.
Before anything else, we recommend speaking to a mortgage broker who specialises in helping older borrowers. They will be able to identify a range of lenders willing to lend to those in their later years.
What mortgage options are available to me?
While you may struggle to get a traditional mortgage from some lenders, others may be flexible and offer a bespoke service once they know more about your circumstances.
You could also think about a retirement interest-only mortgage. This is a lifetime mortgage, meaning that the amount lent to you does not have to be repaid until you die or move permanently into long-term care.
What if I can’t get a mortgage?
If you’re finding it difficult to get approved for a mortgage, you may have to look into other options:
While it’s more common for a parent to help a child get on the property ladder by taking out a joint mortgage, it could also work the other way around.
One way around this is to ensure the younger applicant is able to prove they can cover the mortgage themselves.
Similarly, a guarantor mortgage may be an option for older borrowers. It’s important to note that guarantor mortgages can only be used in certain circumstances and that they come with a number of risks to both the mortgagor and the guarantor, so these should be approached with caution.
Equity release schemes
Equity release mortgage products act as a way of unlocking some of the value from your home after you’ve paid off your mortgage and own your property outright.
One type of equity release product is a lifetime mortgage, like the retirement interest-only mortgage, which is a loan taken out against your property that doesn’t require repayments.
How do I get mortgage-ready?
- Save for the biggest deposit you can as this reduces the lender’s risk and should make them more willing to lend to you.
- Provide the lender with bank statements showing you are managing your finances well.
- Get all your paperwork in order.
- Check your credit report with one of the UK’s credit reference agencies.
- Improve your credit score if possible. Simple ways to do this include getting registered on the electoral roll, clearing unpaid debts and closing credit card accounts you no longer use.
- If you are not already retired, ask for a pension projection from your provider to find out how much income you are likely to receive when you retire.
- If you’re already retired, get a pension statement showing the income you have to fund the mortgage.
- Have details of investments or income from other pots of cash to hand, such as savings.
More guides on Finder
4 steps to remortgage smarter in 2024
If you’re looking to remortgage in 2024, check out how to remortgage smarter – including securing your rate ahead of time.
UK house prices: Predictions for 2024 and beyond
We look at what is happening with UK house prices, including predictions for the future and whether they will go up or down.
Bank of England interest rate predictions
Some of the UK’s brightest minds in economics and property share their interest rate predictions ahead of the next Bank of England base rate meeting.
First-time buyer statistics UK: 2024
We look at the latest first-time buyer statistics to see how difficult it is to get your foot on the property ladder in the UK.
Mortgage statistics 2024: Average UK mortgage size
From the average house price to how many outstanding mortgages there are, we explore all the latest mortgage statistics in the UK.
DIY conveyancing: Learn how to do your own conveyancing
Detailed guide to DIY conveyancing, including what checks you need to make, the searches you need to carry out and when you’re better off employing a professional.
What is a deed of trust and why do you need one?
We explain what a deed of trust is used for and how it ensures that all joint owners of a property get their fair share of the proceeds if it’s sold.
How mortgage retention works
Learn everything you need to know about mortgage retention.
Mortgages for company directors
How to find the best deal if you are a director.
Buying a council house and the Right to Buy scheme
How the Right to Buy scheme works.