What’s the maximum age for a mortgage?

There’s no set maximum age to be able to get a mortgage. But most lenders have their own age limits.

Limits might apply to:

  • your age when you take out a mortgage (often 65 to 70)

  • the age you’ll be at the end of the mortgage (usually 70 to 85)

Most age limits relate to how old you'll be at the end of a mortgage.

Here are the age limits at the end of the mortgage term set by some of the big banks:

These age limits can make getting a mortgage tricky even if you’re middle aged.

For example, if you’re 45 you may struggle to take out a 30 year mortgage. This is because you’ll be 75 before you pay off the loan if you do not switch your mortgage.

That would make you too old for Barclays and RBS.

Some lenders, often building societies, have no age limit.

Your retirement plans

Most lenders state a maximum age at the end of the mortgage. But they can also include a rule saying you must pay the mortgage off “by the stated age or retirement age, whichever is earlier”.

This rule takes into account your individual retirement plans. This might be state pension age, or earlier or later.

So if you plan to retire at 65, your lender will want your mortgage paid off before then.

The average age to pay off a mortgage

A survey by financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown⁷ found:

  • the average age people expect to repay their mortgage is 57

  • 1 in 6 homeowners will be over 65 when they pay off their mortgage. Or never expect to pay it off

Why is there an age limit on getting a mortgage?

Lenders set an age limit as they need to be sure you can afford to repay your mortgage.

Lenders have to follow the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) rules. This means they have to make sure you can keep up with repayments over the whole mortgage term.

Mortgage lenders will assume that when you'll not be working when you get to retirement age. Thus you will not have enough income to make repayments.

But you might continue working beyond retirement age. Or you may have enough pension or investment income to cover your mortgage payments.

Getting a mortgage as an older borrower

As an older borrower, you must prove your income will cover all the mortgage repayments.

Your income

If you’ve already retired you can show the lender proof of your income.

If you're not retired yet, you can ask your pension provider to confirm your:

  • expected retirement age

  • current pension pot value

  • expected retirement income

You can also show the lender proof that you’ll have an income from other investments such as shares or property.

Your mortgage term

Another way to get a mortgage as an older person is to choose to repay it over a shorter time.

If you’re 60 and want to take out a 25 year mortgage, you can only use a lender that allows an age of 85 at the end of the term.

But if you chose a 15 year term, you’d have more lenders to choose from. You'd have access to those who accept people who will be 75 at the end of term.

Repaying your mortgage over a shorter term would mean higher monthly payments.

Types of mortgages for older borrowers

Most older borrowers can apply for standard mortgage deals.

There are 2 other mortgage types for older people:

Lenders for older borrowers

Building societies and smaller lenders are more likely to lend to older borrowers.

These lenders will look at your case and decide whether to approve you for a mortgage.

According to the Building Societies Association, the following building societies do not have an age limit:⁸

  • Bath

  • Buckinghamshire

  • Cambridge

  • Chorley

  • Cumberland

  • Dudley

  • Harpenden

  • Hinckley and Rugby

  • Ipswich

  • Leek United

  • Loughborough

  • Marsden

  • Penrith

  • Saffron

  • Tipton & Coseley

  • Vernon

 If you want to do equity release, you’ll need to go to a specialist equity release provider. 

Mortgage brokers for older borrowers

It’s best to use a mortgage broker if you’re an older borrower. They know the smaller lenders and building societies that are more likely to accept you.

If equity release is an option for you, a broker may be able to recommend an equity release specialist to talk to.

Sources

¹ Barclays

² Santander

³ Nationwide

⁴ Lloyds

⁵ RBS

⁶ HSBC

⁷ This is Money – Will you be shot of your mortgage by 65?

⁸ Building Societies Association – Building societies' lending age limits and retirement interest-only mortgages

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