One of the things the Internet has done for the mortgage industry is to provide a place for more people to find information about available programs. There is no shortage of Web sites that allow you to compare mortgage loans from multiple lenders, and apply online. And now, Eric Bachman of Golden Gateway Financial, wants to bring that same model to the reverse mortgage.
“The reverse mortgage is a very important product,” Bachman tells me over the phone. “But, historically, it has not been easy for seniors to learn about reverse mortgages and determine it they are the right solution.”
Bachman’s company, Golden Gateway Financial, offers a Web site that does just that. The site offers calculators, educational information and comparisons. “We’ve created a comparison engine that will create competition in the marketplace and provide better products and pricing.”
Golden Gateway Financial offers a way for seniors to find out for themselves about whether a reverse mortgage is the right option in their situation. “We are a shopping experience for them,” Bachman insists. “We are very heavy on education, and we don’t hesitate to tell people that a reverse mortgage may not be right for someone.”
The Web site offers access to different reverse mortgage programs in addition to providing education and even a limited suite of financial planning tools (such as setting up the reverse mortgage to automatically pay bills). The services and comparison tools offered by Golden Gateway are free to use.
It’s not all altruism, though. Golden Gateway Financial does have some arrangements with some of the lenders to receive compensation for bringing loans. However, Bachman emphasizes that “the seniors choose, and we will help them regardless of compensation.” He also goes on to point out that the transparent Web site will create challenges: “We’ve had a number of seniors come to the Web site and shop the reverse mortgage loans. Then they go directly to the bank, instead of through us.”
Bachman concedes that while the interest rates on home equity loans are lower, there are specific advantages to getting a reverse mortgage: “There are no income to credit requirements, and there are no payments to be made to the bank until after the home is no longer lived in and sold.” But he is upbeat about the benefits of the reverse mortgage: “Seniors who don’t have a lot of income or assets beyond
their homes can use this money to allow them to be comfortable.”