Skip to main content

Common questions

We know that you’ll likely have a few more questions about reverse mortgages before you get started. See below for answers to some frequently asked questions.

A reverse mortgage is a loan that has been designed for the needs of people over 60. It allows you to release cash from the value of your home to help fund retirement. No regular repayments are required – the debt is repaid from the future sale of the property.
Importantly, you continue to own and live in your home for as long as you wish, continuing to enjoy the benefits of your community, social network, and family memories.
Your home must be your principal residence, or your secondary property, built using conventional construction and in good repair. It must also meet our minimum property value criteria. Some locations and property types will have restrictions and, in some cases, may not qualify for a Heartland Reverse Mortgage.

The property should be mortgage free. If there is a small mortgage outstanding it must be repaid when the Heartland Reverse Mortgage begins - this can be done by using part of your loan.

As security for your loan, Heartland Bank must be the first and only mortgage on your property. This means you will be unable to take out another mortgage or charge on your home from a different company.
Heartland encourages you to only borrow what you need. We provide three flexible options to help you access the equity in your home when required, which can be used in combination.

When you set up your Heartland Reverse Mortgage, simply tell us how much you would like to access initially, and then how much you may need to borrow in the future. We can make funds available to you now, and you can establish a cash reserve facility or monthly payment to manage your future requirements.

Our cash reserve facility is designed to make it quick and easy to draw further funds, as and when you require them.

You can also complement your retirement income with a monthly advance. This can be taken for up to 5 years, is paid monthly, and helps many of our customers live a more comfortable retirement.

The following table shows the maximum percentage of your home’s value you can borrow at various ages. The percentage is based on the age of the youngest borrower minus 40, and the ages below are shown as examples.

Age of youngest borrower Maximum % of home's value available*
60  20%
65  25%
70  30%
75  35%
80  40%
85  45%
90  50%
*You may be able to access a loan on your owner-occupied home if one borrower is aged between 55-59 but has a partner aged 60 or over.
Yes, you continue to own and live in your home for as long as you wish, benefiting from any potential increase in property values*. The total loan amount, including accumulated interest and any fees charged, is repayable when you move permanently from your home; this could occur when you sell your property, move into long-term care or pass away.

* There is no assurance that property values will increase over time, and property values may also decline.
Once you have a Heartland Reverse Mortgage you are not able to rent out your home full time, or provide a tenant with a long term lease. Your home should remain your place of residence.
If you have a Secondary Property Loan you are able to rent out your property.
To allow us to establish the value of your home, and therefore calculate how much you could be eligible to borrow, we will need to assess the value and condition of your home. We will arrange for a registered valuer to visit your home to assess its value. A copy of this assessment will be provided to you. You will need to pay for the cost of this valuation, which will depend on the location and value of your property. In some instances a valuation may not be required, for example if you are borrowing under $100,000. Contact us for further details of this valuation cost.
With a Heartland Reverse Mortgage you do not need to make regular repayments. The total loan amount, interest and fees charged is repayable when you move permanently from your home. Usually this when you sell your property, move into long-term care, or pass away. The loan is usually repaid from the sale proceeds of your home, and the balance is then retained by you or your estate.

Although the Heartland Reverse Mortgage is designed to last for as long as you choose to stay in your home, you may repay all or part of your Heartland Reverse Mortgage at any time without penalty, providing you with the flexibility to manage your finances in the way that suits you best.
If you have a cash reserve facility, and it is fully drawn you can apply to increase your total loan amount. Increases are based on the age of the youngest borrower, the current property value and the total loan balance, at the time of request. Fees will apply and a new valuation of your home may be required. This will be confirmed at the time of request.
A reverse mortgage may affect your financial arrangements with the New Zealand Government (such as supplementary benefits). We recommend that prior to applying for a reverse mortgage you contact Work and Income to discuss any potential impacts the reverse mortgage may have on your financial arrangements. Visit for more information. This is also something that your solicitor can advise you on.
Some applicants (called nominated residents) may not be the sole owners of the home they live in. For example, the home might be in a family trust, or in the case of a couple, owned by only one person.

As long as the nominated residents of the home meet the age criteria, and all residents are recorded on the loan, you can still apply for a Heartland Reverse Mortgage providing all the owners agree to sign the application form and legal documents. Terms and conditions apply.
If you move into another house, you will repay your current reverse mortgage and you can re-apply on your new home. Fees will apply and your new home must meet our current lending and property criteria, including valuation, size and location. Please contact us for assistance.
At Heartland, we are proud to offer our customers a high level of customer service, and your satisfaction is very important to us. If you would like to make a complaint or offer a compliment, we encourage you to contact us here.

Have another question?

If the information you need isn’t covered here, get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have. Please leave your message below.

Request your FREE reverse mortgage insights guide
Request now
Reverse Mortgage insights guide with the title: Enjoy a better lifestyle in retirement