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Which Heartland retirement finance product is right for me?

09 November 2021

Since 2004, Heartland has helped over 22,000 Australians to live a more comfortable retirement with our Heartland Reverse Mortgage.

In March 2021, Heartland launched the new Well-Life Loan to add to our retirement finance offering, as we recognise that it can be a challenge for retirees to qualify for and obtain an unsecured loan.

How does the Heartland Reverse Mortgage differ from our Well-Life Loan?

Heartland Reverse Mortgage

A Heartland Reverse Mortgage is like a normal home loan that’s been designed for the needs of people aged 60 and over. Interest is added to the loan monthly and is only repayable once you move permanently from your home. However, you are free to make repayments at any time. Importantly, reverse mortgages receive borrower protections such as a No Negative Equity Guarantee, Lifetime Occupancy, you can apply for our Equity Protection Option, and more.

A key benefit for our Reverse Mortgage is flexibility, as you can tailor the loan to suit your retirement needs both now, and in the future. The drawdown options you can choose from (lump sum, regular advances for up to 10 years, or cash reserve ‘like a line of credit’) ensures funds don’t need to be accessed until required (as you are only charged interest on drawn funds), and your loan can be used for a range of purposes, both now and in the future, such as consolidating debt, home improvements, day-to-day expenses, upgrading your car, traveling and in-home or residential aged care.

The amount you can borrow is based on your age and the value of your home, with a minimum loan amount of $5,000, and no maximum amount (maximum available amount is limited by your age only).

Well-Life Loan

Heartland’s Well-Life Loan is an unsecured loan for Australian residential property owners aged 60 and over, as long as they own their home, it is mortgage-free and is unencumbered. You can borrow a lump sum of between $5,000 to $20,000 to fund your next step in retirement. Use of the Well-Life Loan can include purposes such as home renovations, debt consolidation, purchasing a new car, or even to take a trip to visit the grandkids.

The key differences to a reverse mortgage is that your home can remain unsecured – you will not be required to offer up your home as security and put a mortgage on your title, and the loan is one lump sum drawing only.

You don’t need to make loan repayments right away, however like a reverse mortgage you can choose to make repayments at any time without penalty.

Interest on a Well-Life Loan is added to the loan monthly up to a limit of $30,000. Once your total loan amount (including interest) has reached this limit, you’ll need to make a payment to bring it below the limit again. Like a reverse mortgage, full repayment is only repayable once you move permanently from your home (such as on sale, if you moved into aged care or pass away).

Heartland’s Well-Life Loan may be more suited to customers who do not wish to have a mortgage on their title, only need a small amount of funds for a one-off purchase to help them in retirement, or require access to funds more quickly than a reverse mortgage. This is because the amount you could borrow is much less than a reverse mortgage, the loan is unsecured, and independent legal advice is not required (though both legal and financial advice is still recommended).

It can be a challenge for those aged 60 and older to qualify for an unsecured loan, so in developing our innovative Well-Life Loan, Heartland knew we could make a real difference to people’s financing options in the Australian community.

Which product is right for me?

Depending on your individual retirement needs and preferences, either product may be a good option.

If you don’t wish to put a mortgage on your title, or only need a loan between $5,000 to $20,000, a Well-Life Loan could be the right choice for you.

If the amount of funds you require exceeds $20,000, or if you require more flexibility around your loan (such as setting funds aside for future needs, or a regular advance) then a Heartland Reverse Mortgage could be a better option.

What if I am an existing customer?

If you have an existing Standard Heartland Reverse Mortgage or Well-Life Loan, unfortunately you cannot have both products at the same time – only one can be obtained at once.

However:

  • If you have a Secondary Property Heartland Reverse Mortgage, but your home is owner occupied and unencumbered, you could apply for a Standard Heartland Reverse Mortgage or a Well-Life Loan.
  • If you currently have a Standard Heartland Reverse Mortgage, and need access to some extra funds, you could request funds from your cash reserve facility or redraw facility (if either is available). Or, if you don’t have either of these facilities available to you, you may be eligible to apply for a further advance.
  • If you have a Well-Life Loan, and your total loan amount has exceeded the $30,000 limit, you’ll need to either make repayments to ensure your loan limit is not exceeded. In order to consolidate your Well-Life Loan, you could also consider applying for a Heartland Reverse Mortgage (which is not guaranteed and subject to terms, conditions and loan approval criteria).

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with our team to discuss what option may be right for you.

Information provided is accurate as of 9 November 2021 and may change from time to time.

Every situation is different – this information has been prepared without taking into account your needs, objectives, or financial situation.  If you are considering applying for a loan, 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.

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).

A $60 drawdown fee will apply for a cash reserve or redraw request. We may, at our discretion, reduce or withdraw any undrawn part of cash reserve or redraw facilities at any time.