It may not be a common occurrence, but a person in his 50s or 60s can still get a home loan. According to the Australia Bureau of Statistics, the proportion of Australians aged 65 and over increased from 11.8 per cent to 14.7 per cent of the population from 1994 to 2014. This means that there is a growing group of “seniors” or “elderly” with financial needs, such as mortgages.
Age does not decide loan eligibility, as it is against the law to discriminate on the basis of age. What is calculated by lenders is a person’s capacity to repay the home loan--also known as loan servicing.
Loan servicing involves three main determinants for people aged 50 and above. The first one is a person’s income earning potential, as lenders are obliged to ensure that the borrower’s income and employment will continue for the duration of the proposed loan term. In turn, this will ensure that the borrower can meet the repayments both in the short and long term without undue hardship.
Another factor is the loan term, as elderly people may not be granted the standard 30-year loan term that younger people are given. The last determinant is the presence of other assets since lenders are more flexible with mortgages for older Australians who own assets of value. These include properties, businesses, shares, or a super large balance. These assets will ensure that the mortgage will be covered even if the borrower stops working or earning.