How a reverse mortgage works & our funding process

Reverse mortgages explained How a reverse mortgage works
and our funding process

Everything you need to know about Equitable Bank reverse mortgages, simplified.
Get an estimate to discover the possibilities that your home could unlock.

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How a reverse mortgage works & our funding process

How does a reverse mortgage work?

A reverse mortgage is a smart, simple financial tool for Canadian homeowners aged 55+ to unlock the equity they’ve built in their homes—while maintaining 100% ownership and remaining in the home they love.



Hassle-free application

Get a free estimate and work with our specialists to determine how much you can borrow. You may qualify for as much as 59% of your home's value.

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Funds tailored for you

Receive funds fit for your needs—either as a lump sum or spread over time and we’ll beat any reverse mortgage rate posted in Canada.*

See rates & solutions >


Build your dream retirement

Invest in your home, your loved ones, or in yourself. You're free to use your tax-free funds how you wish—with no monthly payments required.

View types of advances >


Repay on your terms

Homeowners typically repay a reverse mortgage upon moving, selling, or passing - capped at the home's market value, given their reverse mortgage obligations are met.

Get repayment details >

Why a reverse mortgage may be a good idea for you

“As a senior citizen, the reverse mortgage allowed me to feel less stressed with no payments to make and enjoy a holiday or renovate my home. Best decision I ever made.”

- Kathleen B. (Gatineau, QC, Canada)

Use your home to boost your finances

It’s a misconception that a reverse mortgage is a homeowner’s last resort. As more seniors wish to remain in their homes longer, it’s often the best choice for those seeking financial flexibility and independence.

Pay off debt

Pay off existing mortgage or other debt

Supplement income

Supplement your income

Help family

Help family buy a property

Cover expenses

Cover unexpected expenses

Renovate home

Renovate or refurbish your home

Travel more

Travel more often

Couple hug

Qualifying made simple

Plan ahead with a free estimate

Get an estimate in minutes—with no strings attached.

Personalized consultation to discover your options

Tailor the terms of the loan to meet your financial goals.

Submit an application and start your journey

Our dedicated specialists are with you every step of the way.

Our reverse mortgage funding process

To help you understand how our funding process works, we’ve outlined these simple and transparent steps to get you started with your reverse mortgage.

1. Receive your conditional approval

At Equitable Bank, the reverse mortgage application process can take as little as 8 business hours to receive conditional approval and 30 days to fund.

  • • Once you've applied, we'll conduct a brief review of your credit history and confirm your eligibility
  • • If eligible, we'll provide a Commitment Letter detailing the terms, qualifying amount, and interest rate
  • • In certain instances, we may send a preliminary quote detailing additional information required before issuing the Commitment Letter.
Reverse Mortgage Process

2. Submit your documents

Sign and return the Equitable Bank Commitment Letter, as well as any required documents to guarantee your rate for 90 days.

  • • If not previously provided and required, a full appraisal will be requested at this time
  • • Remember to provide us the name of the lawyer you are using for this transaction
Reverse Mortgage Process

3. Meet with your lawyer

Connect with your lawyer or notary for independent legal advice (ILA) to review, finalize, and sign off on the Credit Agreement.

  • • This is an important mandatory measure to help you understand the details of the Credit Agreement from an impartial third-party perspective
  • • Once completed, your lawyer will sign the required documents, including an ILA certificate
  • • Work with your lawyer to execute the mortgage and confirm final details (i.e. how you would like to receive your funds)
Reverse Mortgage Process

4. Close your mortgage

    Financial flexibility is just around the corner—and Equitable Bank is right beside you to bring you to the finish line.

  • • Next, sign up for MyEquitable, where you can manage all your mortgage details online at any time
Reverse Mortgage Process

Is a reverse mortgage right for you? Let us help you assess your options.

Give us a call

Reverse mortgage FAQ

General reverse mortgage questions

Qualifying for a reverse mortgage with Equitable Bank is largely based on property type, location, and borrower’s age. We lend to borrowers aged 55+ with homes in urban centres in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec.
The amount Equitable Bank will lend depends on two factors. One, the borrower’s age. And secondly, the home’s appraised value. Borrowers can now access up to 55% of their home's value. Our eligibility calculator helps calculate how much you might be eligible for.
You can. While it’s encouraged to have a sound financial history, life happens and unforeseen circumstances arise. We get it—that’s why we have options for everyone.
You do. You will not transfer ownership of your property to the bank when receiving a reverse mortgage.
As long as you have met your mortgage obligations, the amount you owe on the due date will not be more than the fair market value.
You can take the mortgage proceeds upfront as a one-time advance (an Initial Advance). Alternatively, you can take a large sum upfront (minimum amount of $25,000) and the remaining funds as Single Advances and/or Recurring Advances scheduled over several years.
You must pay property taxes directly to the municipality.
At the time of application or during the life of the reverse mortgage, we may require a holdback to cover home repairs if deficiencies could affect liveability or have the potential to materially affect the home’s future value. We may also require a holdback if there are tax or condominium arrears.
A POA for property may be used when applying for a reverse mortgage. Your attorney must have the ability to deal with real property. The POA will not be permitted to apply on your behalf simply because you are out of the country.
Yes, we’re here to help. In addition, you will need to meet with a lawyer to receive Independent Legal Advice (ILA) to ensure you understand the product and the legal obligations.

You could use the funds to cover daily expenses, home renovations, medical bills, in-home care, family needs, trips, or help a relative with a down payment, it’s up to you.

We also offer a range of home-financing solutions. You can work with a mortgage broker to find a plan that works for you.

If you continue to meet your mortgage obligations, you should have no concerns about losing your home to the bank.
If you have a mortgage, it must be paid off so that the reverse mortgage can be registered in first priority. You can use the proceeds from the initial advance to pay off your existing mortgage, any outstanding debt, or lien registered against the property.
You do. You must repay the value of the mortgage principal, interest, and any fees. If your home increases in value, the gains are yours to keep.
A reverse mortgage with Equitable Bank is available in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec.
At Equitable Bank, we offer reverse mortgages on detached, semi-detached, townhomes, and condos.
Yes, you can. We recognize needs change and our product is designed for that. That’s why we offer flexible options to repay a portion of principal and interest. If you choose to repay the entire balance, there may be a prepayment charge.
You can. Although no regular payments are required until the reverse mortgage becomes due, you have the benefit of prepayment privileges. This allows you to prepay your principal or interest without being subject to a prepayment charge (which can be calculated here). Of course, certain conditions must be met.

Interest payment - Prepay any of your interest outstanding once per calendar month.

Principal payment - Prepay up to 10% of your principal once per 12-month period (starting from your initial advance).

After 5 years - Prepay in excess of 10% of your principal or the entire outstanding balance within 30 days of an interest rate reset date.

After 10 years - Prepay in excess of 10% of your principal or the entire outstanding balance at any time.

1Subject to certain conditions.


Any payments received will be applied first to fees and charges, then to interest before being applied to principal.

If you exceed your prepayment privilege, you will be subject to a prepayment charge and applicable fees.

The value of the reverse mortgage must be equal to or greater than the value of any loan secured against the property.

For example, a borrower who qualifies for 40% on a $500,000 home could access $200,000, provided any loans they have secured by the home are less than $200,000.

Reverse mortgage rates, fees, and regulations

Yes, you must be at least 55 years old to qualify for a reverse mortgage with Equitable Bank.
However you like. Many Canadians use their reverse mortgage funds to repay existing loans or mortgages, help family members, purchase a new property, or simply to lead a more comfortable life.
Equitable Bank charges a one-time set-up fee of $995. Much like a regular mortgage, there are additional appraisal and Independent Legal Advice fees that come with closing a reverse mortgage.
To reduce interest accumulation, you can limit the amount of your initial advance and take out additional funds only as needed. There’s also the option of paying down interest monthly, without a prepayment charge.
Because no payments are required until the mortgage is due, reverse mortgage rates tend to be higher than standard mortgages. We offer a range of fixed and adjustable interest rates so you can choose the interest rate that works best for you.
There is a setup fee of $995.00, which will be deducted from the initial advance.

Reverse mortgage planning

Since the Equitable Bank Reverse Mortgage is meant for long-term lending with no quantified term, the due date of the mortgage is established on the occurrence of the earliest of any of these events:

  • Sale or transfer of the property
  • Default
  • When the last borrower moves into a long-term care or retirement residence
  • When the last borrower passes away

1Subject to certain conditions.

  • Principal and accrued interest
  • Default expenses, if any
  • Fees and costs
  • Prepayment charge, if any

Technically, you can't "outlive" a reverse mortgage.

As long as you meet your mortgage obligations, like paying property taxes and home insurance, the amount you owe on the due date will never be more than the fair market value.

If both spouses are registered as joint tenants, the surviving spouse can continue to be a borrower and is entitled to all the benefits a reverse mortgage has to offer.
The appraised value of your home must be at least $250,000.
At any time, the remaining equity on your home will depend on the difference between the home’s current value and the amount owing on the reverse mortgage. Learn more.
Provided you have met your mortgage obligations, the amount you owe to Equitable Bank on the due date will not exceed the fair market value.
Fair market value is the amount that would be paid on the open market, on the applicable date, to buy the property, assuming there are no legal claims against the property. This value would be established by a certified home appraiser.

More about reverse mortgages

Reverse mortgages are becoming more mainstream in financial planning conversations for Canadian seniors. This is a logical outcome of an aging population seeking to access a primary source of wealth from home equity—to meet their financial, social, and health needs. In 2019, for example, approximately 3,500 homeowners accessed a portion of their home equity. Read more.
The Equitable Bank Reverse Mortgage is designed to be a long-term solution for retired Canadians. However, we recognize that life changes happen and financial needs evolve. We have created our product with that flexibility in mind. Read more.
Much of the conversation on financial media platforms focuses on retirement. These discussions often centre around the amount of retirement savings needed to live comfortably, and caution against accumulating debt in your retirement years. What this commentary fails to consider are the curve balls that life can sometimes throw at you: family emergencies, unexpected deaths, injuries, job turnovers, and poor investments, just to name a few. Each of these events can have a severe impact on your financial well-being, and could cause you to dip into resources you had intended to use later in life. Read more.

Although Equitable Bank is a Schedule I Canadian Bank—like RBC, TD and Scotiabank—it’s different from its peers in many ways.

One important distinction is that you’ll never see an Equitable Bank brick-and-mortar branch, as the Bank’s branding states we would rather build your savings than build bank branches. Instead, Equitable Bank offers its residential lending products through many of the 15,000+ mortgage brokers operating across Canada. If you’re interested in learning more about mortgage brokers, check out Mortgage Professionals Canada’s website. This industry association represents about 11,500 mortgage broker members and is involved in many important aspects of Canadian residential real estate. Read more

When it comes to any lending product, the mind commonly goes to two places— how much will I get and how much will it cost me?

This post will focus on the “how much will it cost me” part, since interest rates for reverse mortgages are often misunderstood, especially when compared to other lending solutions. Read more.

Whether you’ve learned about reverse mortgages or are largely unfamiliar, it’s important to first shed any biases you may have in regards to carrying debt in retirement. Let’s focus on the facts and consider whether it could be a fit for your financial needs. Read more.