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New mortgages up by more than 60% in seniors aged 73-93: TransUnion

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Summary

Mortgage lending is down across the country, but for seniors aged 73 to 93, it's up 63 per cent year over year

About one in five people the Credit Counselling society helps are seniors

CANADA (NEWS 1130) – Would you take out a mortgage on your home to help cover expenses once you’ve retired? It turns out this is the latest trend among seniors in Canada.

According to the credit monitoring firm TransUnion, fewer Canadians are applying to mortgages, but the seniors aged 73-93 are the outlier, with mortgage lending up by more than 60 per cent years over year.

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“We’ve seen seniors who have taken out a secured line of credit against their home and reaching the limit of that, looking at what do we need to do now and looking to take out further equity against there home,” said Scott Hannah with the Credit Counselling Society.

In some cases that could be to simply fund retirement, but Hannah added many are also trying to help out their adult children or grandchildren.

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“A number of seniors who are parents are also taking money out to help their kids, who are really having a hard time getting to the housing markets,” she said. “And it’s a way in their eyes of providing their kids with their future inheritance early.”

Hannah said costs of living can also be a challenge for those on a fixed income.

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“For a lot of us what we don’t count on is the fact that our health may change and how expensive healthcare is, especially once you’re no longer on a benefit program with your employers.”

Seniors now account for about 20 per cent of the people who turn to his group for help, Hannah added, that’s up from five per cent two decades ago.