The idea of looking after our seniors seems to get lost at times amongst #boomer comments and COVID-related care issues.

However, when it comes to quality of life there are businesses and initiatives that take care of seniors well beyond retirement.

Certain home loan products, for instance, guarantee retirees are well looked after.

Of course, not all products are equal. There are, indeed, home loan products that seniors should steer clear of. Alternately, there are award winning home loan products that take a people-first approach.

InfoChoice's selection for Reverse Mortgage of the Year is in the latter category.  

The winner of the 2020 Reverse Mortgage of the Year is Heartland Seniors Finance, which comes as no surprise, as its New Zealand-based sister bank is also that country's leading reverse mortgage provider. 

Heartland's Australian reverse mortgage leads the way, both in product, as evidenced by this award, and size, helping over 20,000 seniors release over $1.2 billion of equity in their homes. This has served to give them a more comfortable retirement.

That's a lot of Australian seniors looking to the benefits of reverse mortgages! These mortgage types offer enormous flexibility, particularly when less income becomes a factor in living out your days.

If you are unfamiliar with a reverse mortgage, it is a home loan designed for the over 60s market, that allows seniors to unlock their home equity to live a more comfortable retirement. Homeowners retain 100 per cent ownership of their home and do not need to make regular loan repayments, with interest calculated on the outstanding balance and added to the loan. The total loan balance including any interest accrued is due once the borrower/s moves permanently from their home. Heartland offers a 'no negative equity' guarantee, meaning the amount required to pay off the loan will not exceed net sale proceeds on the property.

Heartland Reverse Mortgage facts

  • Variable rate: 5.80% p.a. (comparison 5.82% p.a.)*
  • Maximum LVR: 45% at age 90
  • 5-year term Aged Care Option. (Heartland is one of the only lenders in Australia to provide this service.)
  • 30-day cooling off period
  • Range of drawdown options, including initial advance (lump sum), and regular advance (income stream) for up to 10 years
  • Cash reserve (like a line of credit).
  • Ability to mortgage investment property or holiday home.

Heartland's reverse mortgage is the most flexible on the market

Let's unpack the benefits of a Heartland Reverse Mortgage.

Retirees have a range of needs and, often, retirement income can't match income earned while working a full-time job. As such, those needs can't be met.

So where can retirees get an income that allows them to live their life, not just exist in life?

The answer is in a reverse mortgage that has a positive impact on a retiree's life and lifestyle. 

Heartland's flexible reverse mortgage enables its customers to structure their loan to suit their needs at every stage of retirement.

Importantly, they can remain in their own home without having to sell.

Heartland offers an adaptable loan structure, the ability to repay the loan in part or in full at any time, a redraw facility for all new customers, and significant customer protections. 

Some of the most outstanding features include a low minimum loan amount ($5,000), and no maximum (compared to higher minimums or capped maximums offered by other providers). A redraw available for new loans, where some providers don't allow this at all. It also offers a range of drawdown options including:

  • Initial advance (lump sum)
  • Regular advance (income stream) for up to 10 years
  • Cash reserve (like a line of credit)
  • Some other providers only give the option of a lump sum only, or regular income only being available for a short time period, or limit the amounts you can access.

One final highlight is Heartland's equity protection option of up to 50%. Equity protection allows customers to protect a percentage of the eventual sale proceeds of their home. This means customers are guaranteed to receive a minimum of the sale proceeds when they repay or discharge the loan no matter what the future property value or loan balance will be. This is unique to Heartland, with other providers offering a much lower percentage or no equity protection at all.

Equity protection highlights Heartland's caring attitude towards its customers.  

Heartland cares

Heartland is a worthy winner of the InfoChoice 2020 Reverse Mortgage award.

Not only is it the best reverse mortgage product on the market, but this is a company that walks the walk when it comes elderly care as evidenced by its commitment to the BFO - one of only 14 companies to make this commitment.

The BFO is the Banking and Finance Oath, an independent organisation dedicated to improving society by raising the moral and ethical standards of the banking and finance industry. The BFO is an industry-led initiative launched online in 2013. 

Heartland's commitment to the BFO gives all its customers peace of mind that it is acting in their best interests.

Further to this, in a show of unity with its senior customers, Heartland has partnered with Dementia AU, the national peak body for people living with dementia, including their families and carers. 

This is an important partnership for Heartland, that highlights its matched synergies and ethical approach to senior care management and healthy retirement living.

This includes ensuring seniors are able to make the right financial decisions for their circumstances.

Satisfaction guaranteed

Heartland's caring approach to its customers is one reason why its book has increased so much this year.

It is also why the company has an exceptional approval rating.

A recent customer survey shows that 93% would recommend Heartland to others and 94% would recommend a reverse mortgage.

In fact, Heartland has an exceptional 4.9-star average google review rating, which says a lot about the way it treats its customers and the quality of its products.

Heartland is a worthy winner of the 2020 InfoChoice Reverse Mortgage award. 

Every situation is different - this information has been prepared without taking into account your needs, objectives, or financial situation.  If you are considering a reverse mortgage, we encourage you to understand how it may affect your personal circumstances - talk to friends and family, speak to professionals, and use the resources and tools Heartland has available. 

Subject to complying with the terms and conditions of the Heartland Reverse Mortgage, you will not owe more than the net sale proceeds of your home and you can keep your home for as long as you choose. Loans are subject to loan approval criteria. Terms, conditions, fees and charges apply. Credit provided by ASF Custodians Pty Ltd (ACN 106 822 780 / Australian Credit Licence No. 386781).

*Comparison rate warning