How Old is Too Old For a Mortgage?

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Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Have you ever wondered what the maximum age for a mortgage is?

Not too long ago, the aim of the average Brit was to be mortgage free by the age of 55. That was during a time when people were able to buy a property when just starting out in the world, but with lending criteria becoming much stricter, people are getting onto the property later in life. The average age of someone in the UK buying their first home is 30 years old, compared to 23 in the 1960s.

The world’s population is ageing at such a rate that 10% are now over the age of 60 and this is likely to rise to over 20% by 2050. But what does this mean for older home buyers trying to secure a mortgage?

Most banks and building societies are adapting to these changing times and as a result, it’s now possible to get a mortgage later in life.

In the past, banks required customers to prove they could, in theory, afford a more expensive repayment mortgage where you pay back some of the capital as well as interest each month. This was possible for many borrowers because banks only allowed them a mortgage term up to their 65th or 70th birthday. Given that the repayments due were spread over a short period, those borrowing would have faced monthly bills of thousands of pounds making it unaffordable. However, under the new Financial Conduct Authority rules, customers could only need to show only that they can meet interest-only repayments.


If you should retire before you have finished paying off the mortgage, you won’t have the same regular salary and your income is likely to go down. This will result in lenders being unsure that you’ll no longer be able to meet your repayments. Therefore, the older you are the more of a risk you are. Lenders are required  to follow Mortgage Market Review (MMR) rules, which mean they have to make sure you can keep up with repayments over the full term of the mortgage.

The maximum age

There isn’t a maximum age for a mortgage application. However, many lenders have their own age limits. When you take out the mortgage there is usually a maximum age of 65 to 80. When the mortgage term ends there is usually a maximum age of 70 to 85.

This means that even if you are below the maximum age for a mortgage, its term could be limited by how old you are e.g. If you are 60 and want a mortgage that must be paid off before you reach 70, its term could be no more than 10 years. You have a better chance of being accepted if you have a strong credit history if your income is high enough to easily cover the mortgage repayments.

Talk to us at Derngate to find out more about the mortgage market, and to find the best mortgage deal for your individual circumstances.

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