Maximum Age For A Mortgage

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Home Mortgages For Pensioners Maximum Age For A Mortgage
Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: March 11, 2024

When it comes to borrowing later in life, it would be easy to assume lenders’ doors are closed once you reach middle age. However, that’s not the case any more with most mortgage providers willing to accept applications from retirees and pensioners.

Find out here what the situation is with mortgage age limits, how to qualify for one once you reach a certain point in your life and how to get help that puts you and your prospects in a strong position.

What is the maximum age for a mortgage?

The minimum age for a residential mortgage is 18 (21 for buy-to-let). While there’s no fixed maximum age, lenders establish their criteria, typically capping between 65-80. Individual factors such as income, employment status, and credit history influence eligibility.

Some lenders might also stipulate an age limit at the point of application, such as Kensington Mortgages, which states that borrowers can’t be over 55-years-old at the application stage, and for professional mortgages this age reduces to 40.

Most lenders hover somewhere between 70 and 90 for their upper age limits, however, and those who don’t have limits often require a higher LTV, as we’ve already detailed earlier.

Each lender has its own benchmark for lending age limits, so it’s impossible to give a single definitive maximum. It’s worth noting that there is greater flexibility when it comes to this area of eligibility than there used to be, with most providers offering some leniency when considering lending into retirement age.

Of course, securing a mortgage is not just about how old you’ll be at the end of the term. Many other stringent conditions come into play with eligibility, such as affordability and your credit history.

Simply because a lender sets its maximum age for mortgage lending at 90, for example, does not automatically mean you’ll be granted a 30-year-mortgage at the age of 55. Getting a good mortgage broker on board with experience in older-age borrowing will increase your chances of success here, as they’ll have a more in-depth view of the market and how your circumstances might fit with which appropriate lender.

Can you get a mortgage at 80 years of age?

Yes, it’s possible. Many niche lenders go up to the age of 75 and it’s not uncommon for them to offer mortgages for over 80s and beyond. Mainstream lenders tend to be slightly more conservative in their age limits, with some generally setting a limit of about 70 or typical retirement age. However, there are exceptions to these too.

Some lenders don’t stipulate a limit at all, instead making each decision on a case-by-case basis for those who can prove they can afford to borrow.

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Can your age affect how much you borrow?

Yes, while many lenders set high maximum mortgage age restrictions, they each have their own regulations around borrowing limits. For example, Vernon Building Society will consider lending as follows:

Loan-to-value (LTV) max Maximum age Term length
95% 85 35
65% No limit 25

Whereas, The Loughborough Building Society could potentially offer:

Loan-to-value (LTV) max Maximum age Term length
90% 70 Not stated
70% 80 Not stated
60% No limit 35

The last example here means someone aged 80 could potentially have a mortgage until they are 115 years old.

Interest-only mortgage age limits

These kinds of loans are also on the table for certain homeowners, but the terms differ from repayment mortgages. Usually the age limits are lower, albeit still relatively generous (for example, 95-years-old at Suffolk Building Society and 75-years-old at HSBC if you have a fully funded repayment strategy in place). Speak to your broker if you want to go down the interest-only route because there may be a specific product that might work better for you.

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How a broker can help you secure a mortgage as an older borrower

Firstly, a knowledgeable mortgage broker with expertise in later life mortgages can talk you through your circumstances and intentions, and will offer guidance in what will work for you best, as well bring clarity, support and practical help.

For example, how can your pension income help you when it comes to affordability? Would you be better suited to a lifetime mortgage or go down the route of equity release, rather than a standard mortgage? Perhaps you want to know what happens when you remortgage later in life? Once you know how you’d like to proceed, a broker will then search the market for the best deals and help you put together a strong application.

Get matched to one of the brokers in our network by calling us free on 0808 189 2301 or make an online enquiry.

How does age affect your eligibility for a mortgage?

What a lender wants to know is what level of risk is involved in lending to you and getting a full return on their investment. There are two main reasons why age directly affects eligibility:

1. It’s more likely older people will be on a lower income because they’re either not working full time or are retired.

2. The older we get, the more health becomes an issue, and there’s a greater chance of a borrower not living as long as their full mortgage stretch.

Despite all this, lenders do acknowledge that times are changing. People are living and working far longer than they ever have, and they may also be prosperous having built up a nest-egg in equity throughout many years of homeownership. This is why putting down a large deposit sum and proving you can comfortably make your repayments for the whole loan duration will bring you favourable terms and a greater chance of securing a mortgage.

Which lenders have age limits?

All lenders have them set against their mortgage criteria, apart from a handful who choose not to set any maximum limit at all (but do still come with strict terms, so always check the small print). The most flexible tend to be the niche, smaller lenders rather than the high street names, but that’s not to say they don’t have some loans that might be favourable.

For example, Barclays will be amenable on joint mortgage age limits if one applicant is younger than the stipulated limit of 70 or when retired.

What other factors could impact your ability to get a mortgage when you’re older?

Other circumstances that could interfere with securing a mortgage include a bad credit history, attempting to borrow to finance a non-standard property, market fluctuations in the economy and housing market, and the cost of the home you’re attempting to buy (some lenders have a cap on value if you’re older).

Speak to a broker experienced in later life mortgages

Before you begin to approach lenders and put together your application, finding the right broker who specialises in later life mortgages is a fundamental first step.

There’s no doubt that borrowing when you’re older incites more hurdles to overcome and that products are harder to come by, but with the help of one of the specialist five-star brokers in our network, you will have a greater chance of success. Call us today on 0808 189 2301 for free so we can start the process of matching you to the right professional, or make an online enquiry.

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FAQs

Yes, both upper and lower age limits are set by lenders for this type of borrowing. The circumstances are similar to a residential mortgage, in that most lenders will review your situation on affordability and eligibility, but they will also take into consideration the potential income you’d receive. Read more about buy-to-let age limits.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for Online Mortgage Advisor of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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