Having a Senior Moment

Dictionary.com defines the word “senior” as meaning: 1. older or elder; 2. of earlier appointment or admission, as to an office, status, or rank: a senior partner; 3. of higher or the highest rank or standing. In mortgage lending, “senior” can mean several things.

What probably comes to mind first is about age. A “senior” for purpose of a reverse mortgage is a homeowner aged 62 or older.  In regular lending, age doesn’t matter. Sometimes I am asked if we can write a 30-year loan for someone in their 80s, and we can.

Another meaning of “senior” can refer to the liens against your home. The first mortgage is generally thought of as being senior to any subsequent loans, like a home equity line of credit. In a foreclosure, sometimes the senior loan gets paid off by the bank’s sale of the home, and the juniors do not get repaid.

What about the designation “senior” when it comes to your lender?  You don’t have to guess what it means, there is a place to check and see how much lending experience your loan officer has. Google the term “NMLS consumer” to access the National Mortgage Licensing System database. Every loan originator is required to have their NMLS number in ads or on written correspondence. Right there on the screen you can see what your lender has been up to for the last dozen years or so. Then you get to decide what makes them “senior”: Is it two months in lending? Two years? Twenty or more?

Be an educated consumer when it comes to the largest financing you’ll ever do. Check out the credentials of your lender.

Tammy Engel is your local Mortgage Advisor. She’s been working for your best interest since 1990, and can be reached at 661/822-7325 for your next purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage.  NMLS #235051 CaDRE#01273839