AFG appoints Heartland Reverse Mortgages to lending panel

Australian Finance Group has today announced the appointment of specialist lender Heartland Reverse Mortgages to its extensive lender panel.

AFG Head of Sales and Distribution Chris Slater said the appointment of a lender focused on customers over the age of 60 is in response to a growing need for choice of finance options for broker customers. “The personal expertise a broker offers to their clients is what sets brokers apart in the market. With more than 70 lenders on the AFG panel, our brokers have access to finance solutions that meet the needs of their clients at all stages of life.

“Ageing in place and access to equity are important considerations and the finance products offered by Heartland will help AFG brokers and their clients navigate these important decisions.”

Heartland Head of Operations Sharon Yardley said, “One of the key findings made in the Retirement Income Review by the Federal Government, released by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in November 2020, was that “a more optimal retirement income system would involve retirees more effectively drawing on all their assets, including the equity in their home, to fund their standard of living in retirement”.

Recent research supported by Heartland by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) about financing ageing in place found that most Australians want to remain in their home as long as possible, but many don’t have the funds to do so. This is due to limited superannuation and the rising cost of living.

Furthermore, 36% of older homeowners said they live in a home that may be unsuitable for ageing in place, without upgrades or renovations. “This research shows there is demand in the market for financial products designed for retirees, such as reverse mortgages, which can facilitate ageing in place and a more comfortable retirement,” said Sharon.

Updates to the 2018 Banking Code of Practice by the Australian Banking Association have led to an increased focus on ensuring finance and mortgage brokers are sufficiently educated on reverse mortgages and equity release products.

“The provision of choice for clients is at the centre of every broker’s business,” said Chris. “Heartland is known for being passionate about training and educating brokers about reverse mortgages to give them the knowledge to succeed in helping their clients live a more comfortable retirement.”

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