What is Reverse Amortization? Deffinition, Example, Overview

Reverse amortization is a financial accounting technique used to calculate the cost basis of an asset. It is based on the idea that the cost of an asset decreases as its value increases. By doing so, the company is able to offset its losses against future income.

What is Reverse Amortization?

Reverse amortization, often known as negative amortization in the lending sector, allows loan amortization to proceed backwards.

The principal and interest on a standard loan, such as a mortgage, are included in the monthly payment. These loans often have a high initial interest rate, which might be several hundred dollars in comparison to a few hundred dollars in principle payback.

What is Reverse Amortization?

Reverse amortization interest rates begin low and climb as the loan develops. This is true for many other types of loans, including adjustable rate mortgages and maybe reverse mortgages.

How does Reverse Amortization Work?

In the context of a traditional loan or mortgage, amortization refers to the process through which principle and interest are paid back progressively over a certain length of time.

Borrowers frequently make interest payments for some time before moving on to the loan’s principal balance while paying off a traditional mortgage, for example.

Reverse mortgages differ from traditional loans in that they employ a technique known as reverse amortization. Interest charged to the outstanding debt inhibits the borrower from gradually lowering the sum.

If the borrower picked a line of credit as a funding option, the overall loan amount will rise as the borrower draws on the line. The obligation of a borrower in repaying a loan to a lender, such as a reverse mortgage lender, involves repaying the loan’s principle as well as any interest or fees incurred on the loan.

Non-recourse is a revolutionary feature of reverse mortgages that ensures borrowers and their successors are never held liable for more than the loan’s appraised value at maturity and repayment.

What is Reverse Amortization?

Reverse Amortization Table Schedule

A sample amortization plan for a 5-year term is shown above. Assume for a moment that a borrower has to obtain a loan and decides to take out a reverse mortgage on their $100,000 home. They receive a $50,000 cash advance and can maintain the remainder as a line of credit.

This borrower’s interest and principal payments are described in an example of a reverse mortgage amortization schedule below.

$50k Advance 5% Interest Rate
Year Interest Balance
1 $2,500 $52,500
2 $2,625 $55,125
3 $2,756 $57,881
4 $2,894 $60,775
5 $3,038 $63,813


It is crucial to understand that the above image does not include all potential reverse mortgage charges. As examples, consider the following:

  • FHA mortgage insurance
  • Origination fees
  • Closing costs such and inspection fees
  • Taxes
  • Credit checks

GoodLife Reverse Mortgages, on the other hand, are designed to be easy and inexpensive, allowing our clients to save money without losing convenience or quality.

Furthermore, while using the HECM program to finance the purchase, the borrower never owes more than 95 percent of the home’s appraised worth. Mortgage insurance prevents you from losing any of the loan’s principal value if something goes wrong.

What is Reverse Amortization?

When is a reverse mortgage due and payable?

Reverse mortgages, unlike other forms of mortgages and loans, do not become due for payment until a specified point in time.

A traditional loan, such as a mortgage, frequently requires monthly payments to be paid during the loan’s term. However, reverse mortgages work in the other way, paying recurring payments to you (or in a lump sum, or line of credit).

However, after a loan’s maturity date has passed, repayment to the lender is expected. Maturation can occur in a variety of ways:

  • Failure of the borrower
  • The borrower is vacating the premises.
  • Because the borrower is no longer residing there full-time, the borrower no longer qualifies as
  • Further violations of the FHA HECM terms

Borrowers who have not yet reached the maturity event can make monthly payments on their reverse mortgage.

Reverse Mortgage Heirs’ Options

When a borrower dies and the reverse mortgage becomes due and payable, the borrower’s heirs can decide what to do with the property depending on their own priorities and financial resources. To begin, inheritors might choose to repay the loan.

A decision must be made within 30 days. If they choose to return the loan, they have three to twelve months to do so. When a reverse mortgage loan becomes due and payable, the borrower’s heirs may select one of the following options:

Sell the home: If the value of the property exceeds the amount still owed on the mortgage, the difference can be used to pay down the debt and the remainder can be kept by the heirs.

Retain the home: To keep the house, borrowers must pay back either the loan’s principal or 95% of the home’s value, whichever is lower.

Walk away: Heirs can walk away from a property’s foreclosure without being held responsible in any manner.

What is Reverse Amortization?

When a borrower dies, his or her heirs should contact the lender to determine what to do next. If the beneficiaries agree to the voluntary foreclosure of the house, their financial status and credit score will not be harmed.

Understanding everse Amortization

The principal balance reduces when monthly payments are made on the loan. In the instance of a reverse amortization loan, the principal debt actually rises due to the borrower’s failure to make payments.

Some mortgage loans, such as payment option adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), allow homeowners to pick how much of each monthly payment goes toward interest. If they do not pay all of the interest due, the amount is added to the principal of the mortgage.

Another mortgage product that employs reverse amortization is the “graduated payment mortgage” (GPM). The interest that will accumulate during the life of the loan is spread out across the amortization schedule, with just a portion of the interest paid in the first instalments.

Until these interim payments are completed, the unpaid interest will be rolled back into the loan’s principal. When the monthly payments include the whole interest component, the principal amount will decline at a quicker rate in later time periods.

Borrowers benefit from reverse amortizations in terms of flexibility, but this flexibility may come at a steep cost. Over example, a borrower may choose to pay the interest on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) for an extended period of time.

Although this can help cut monthly outlays in the short term, it exposes borrowers to considerable payment shock if interest rates rise in the future. Borrowers who adopt a reverse amortization schedule may wind up paying more interest overall.

Real-World Example of Reverse Amortization

Consider the following make-believe scenario: Mike is looking for the most reasonable mortgage plan as a first-time buyer. He chooses an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) to achieve this aim by paying only a portion of the monthly interest owed.

Assume Mike obtained a mortgage at a period of unusually low interest rates. Even though he is taking advantage of the ARM’s reverse amortization, his mortgage payments still eat a significant percentage of his monthly income.

What is Reverse Amortization?

While Mike’s payment plan will assist him in meeting his immediate financial commitments, it will also put him at risk of falling behind on payments if interest rates rise in the future.

Furthermore, Mike will have to return more principal and interest in the future than if he had just paid the entire interest and principal owing each month. This is due to the fact that his low-interest payment plan causes his loan debt to decrease more slowly than it would otherwise.

The purpose of reverse amortization

Reverse amortization gives low initial payments to make loan repayment more reasonable. Borrowers frequently anticipate for increased income as the loan term progresses to pay the increasing principal and interest commitments.

A structure like this is typical in several forms of business loans, such as those with balloon payments. Because most businesses do not have the money to make large loan payments right immediately, the interest and principle are kept low.

Balloon payments are required after three to five years and are often made up of interest to compensate for the lower monthly payments made at the start of the loan’s duration.

Understanding A Home Mortgages

Aside from mortgages, student loans are another popular type of debt that involves reverse amortization.

It’s conceivable that the mortgages in question are ARMs, which stand for “adjustable rate mortgages” and signify that the loan’s initial interest rate is lower than the amount that would eventually be charged.

What is Reverse Amortization?

A 5/1 ARM, for example, indicates that the loan’s interest rate may rise by one percentage point each year after the first five years. Mortgage debt enters negative amortization since interest rates almost always rise, making the loan more expensive in the long term.

Another danger with ARMs is that borrowers may find themselves unable to continue making the increased payments.


Negative amortization is a financial term referring to an increase in the principal balance of a loan caused by a failure to cover the interest due on that loan. Negative amortizations are common among certain types of mortgage products.

Although negative amortization can help provide more flexibility to borrowers, it can also increase their exposure to interest rate risk.

For example, if the interest payment on a loan is $500, and the borrower only pays $400, then the $100 difference would be added to the loan’s principal balance.

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