Jonathan is a former product and content manager for Retirement Living. His background spans sales/marketing, finance, and telecommunications. Jonathan’s expertise in consumer wellness and research-backed data stories helped educate seniors on financial planning, retirement, and community resources. Jonathan graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in Environmental Sociology.
Edited By: Lauren Hamer
Lauren Hamer Editor
Lauren is the editor for Retirement Living focused on discussing current senior-related issues, including retirement planning, consumer protection, and health and wellness. With six years of finance and career journalism experience, Lauren has edited personal finance content for Credible, Angi, Slickdeals, Jobs for the Future, and more.
A reverse mortgage is a type of home equity loan for those 62 and older that lets borrowers convert a portion of their home equity into cash in the form of monthly payments, a lump sum or a line of credit. When it comes to choosing a reverse mortgage lender, you want to find a company who specializes in reverse mortgages, discloses its fees and offers top-notch customer service.
As one of the largest reverse mortgage lenders in the nation, AAG sets itself apart by offering multiple HECM loan products, including Jumbo HECM loans. If you're considering a reverse mortgage, read our top picks for reverse mortgage lenders.
About American Advisors Group (AAG)
AAG started in 2004 when Reza Jahangiri, newly graduated from Loyola Marymount University, decided to go into the reverse mortgage business. He aimed to help seniors retire more comfortably, so the Orange, California-based AAG was born.
Now, AAG has become the country’s largest reverse mortgage lender in the country. Since its inception, AAG has become fully accredited with the Better Business Bureau and was a finalist for its Torch Awards for Ethics in 2020.
Customers speak highly of the service they get from AAG, because its experience, product range, transparent pricing, and fast closing times are among the best in the industry.
More experience with HECM than any other lender
High customer satisfaction rating
Quick closing periods
Offers Jumbo reverse mortgages
Approved lender with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Available in all states except MA
AAG Reverse Mortgage Costs
Like conventional mortgage loans, you’ll pay upfront fees for a reverse mortgage in addition to ongoing costs, such as loan interest, mortgage insurance premiums, property taxes, homeowners insurance, maintenance and any applicable HOA fees. Below is an overview of common reverse mortgage fees.
Appraisal Fee: $450 on average, but depends on home value and varies by region
Counseling Fee: $125
Credit Report Fee: $20-$50
Document Prep Fee: $75-$150
Escrow Fee: $150-$800
Flood Certification Fee: $20-$30
Pest Inspection: $100
Recording Fee: $50-$500
Title Insurance: Varies by loan amount and region
Initial Mortgage Insurance Premium: 2% of the maximum claim amount, paid to the government
Loan Origination Fee: The greater of $2,500 or 2% of the first $200,000 of your home’s value plus 1% on amounts over $200,000, with a maximum cap of $6,000
American Advisors Group Products
Nearly 98% of AAG customers report being satisfied with AAG’s loans and their experience with the company*. AAG offers an extensive list of reverse mortgage products, including standard HECM loans, HECM for Purchase and HECM refinancing. AAG is also one of the few reverse mortgage lenders offering jumbo loans up to $4 million, which you’ll need if your home’s value exceeds the FHA 2023 reverse mortgage lending limit of $1,089,300.
*Based on survey results from September 2021.
Type of Loan
Standard Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM)
Borrowers can qualify to receive a HECM (adjustable rate or fixed rate) on their home’s value up to $1,089,4300 (as of January 1, 2023).
HECM for Purchase
A loan designed to help senior homeowners purchase a new home while obtaining a reverse mortgage in the same transaction and paying only one set of closing costs.
Reverse Mortgage Refinance
If you have an existing reverse mortgage, a reverse mortgage refinance offers a way to get a better interest rate, access more equity due to an increase in the home’s value, or add a spouse.
Single-Purpose Reverse Mortgage
A single-purpose loan is a less expensive option designed for a specified and approved purpose (i.e., property taxes or repairs). Not backed by HUD / FHA.
Proprietary Reverse Mortgage
Also called Jumbo Reverse Mortgage Loans, these types of loans are for those with substantial home equity who need more than the HECM’s federally set borrowing limit. They are backed by banks and private lending firms and are not insured by the FHA.
Borrowers can qualify to receive a HECM (adjustable rate or fixed rate) on their home’s value up to $1,089,300 (as of January 1, 2023).
HECM for Purchase
Be 62 or older
Own the property or have paid down a considerable amount
Occupy the property as your principal residence
Not be behind on any federal debt
Have the financial resources to make payments of ongoing property charges on time
See a HUD-approved HECM counselor
Single family home or 2-4 unit home with one unit occupied by the borrower
HUD-approved condominium project
Manufactured home that meets FHA requirements
(The property must also meet all FHA property standards and flood requirements)
All income, assets, monthly living expenses and credit history will be verified
Timely payment of property taxes, hazard and flood insurance premiums will be verified
American Advisors Group (AAG) Complaints
The Better Business Bureau rates AAG with an A- based on 750+ reviews. Phrases such as “very patient and professional”; “excellent communication”; and “very positive experience” are frequently found in customer reviews. The majority of the negative reviews seem to stem from things that AAG has no control over, such as HUD regulations.
Like many other large reverse mortgage lenders, AAG has had to reign in its advertising. In 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined AAG and two other reverse mortgage companies after an investigation found they used deceptive advertising practices. AAG paid the $400,000 fine and has since completely revamped its ad campaigns and practices.
AAG Homepage. Source: AAG
Our Experience With AAG
AAG offers an online calculator so you can get an idea of the loan amounts you qualify for (some competitors do not offer this feature). We tested this feature and found its calculator to be the simplest and fastest calculator in the bunch. Simply estimate your home’s value, add the age of the oldest homeowner, and input your current mortgage balance to get a loan estimate in seconds. This feature is great for homeowners and family members who are conducting initial research of reverse mortgages.
We requested a free info kit on AAG’s website and was presently surprised at the number of educational resources that were made available to us. In addition to receiving a reverse mortgage eBook, we also got a guide tailored to children and caregivers with helpful tips on discussing reverse mortgage options with loved ones. We found this very helpful because getting a reverse mortgage is often a family decision that impacts the lives of spouses and heirs for years to come.
Overall, our experience with AAG was positive. We agree with consumer and expert claims that AAG priortizes customer education throughout the lending process. However, other reverse mortgage lenders are more transparent about the fees associated with reverse mortgages, like closing costs or service fees. Moving forward, we’d like to see AAG list applicable loan fees so customers can understand what they’ll need to spend to open a loan and carry it throughout their lifetime.
American Advisors Group (AAG) Product-related Q&A
Does AAG charge a lender servicing fee?
No. Many companies charge a monthly fee to defray the costs of providing customer service, maintaining accurate records, certifying your occupancy status, issuing statements of account, issuing and collecting payments, collecting on the loan when it becomes due and discharging the mortgage. AAG does not charge this type of lender servicing fee.
If I have a reverse mortgage, can the company or government dictate who lives in my home?
As long as you still live in the home, having a HECM doesn’t alter who can live with you. However, if you die or move, the people who live with you may have to vacate if you don’t have a co-borrower and they can’t pay off the loan.
Can I apply for a reverse mortgage if I haven’t fully paid off my mortgage?
Yes. Your existing mortgage is paid off with funds from the reverse mortgage, eliminating monthly mortgage payments entirely.
How long does the HUD-approved reverse mortgage counseling session usually last?
Sessions approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development generally last between one and two hours and can be done over the phone or in person. Once you have completed your session, you’ll receive a certificate that you’ll use in the paperwork phase of the loan.
Do I have to have hazard insurance on my mortgaged property?
Yes. You must have hazard insurance covering your home in an amount equal to at least 100% of the property’s insurable value. You must provide your loan servicer with a copy of your hazard insurance policy when you renew each year. Failure to maintain adequate hazard insurance on your property is considered defaulting on the loan.
What if the loan amount ends up being more than the value of my home?
Reverse mortgages are non-recourse loans, which means that after the last borrower dies or moves out, the proceeds from the sale of the home are the only asset that can be taken to pay the loan balance. If the loan balance is more than the home’s value, the FHA’s insurance fund covers the difference.
When it comes to reverse mortgages, experience counts. AAG has the expertise to make the process easier for you. With its long track record and excellent reputation for customer service, AAG is one of the most trusted reverse mortgage lenders—particularly for those with high-value homes looking for large loans. Whether a reverse mortgage is the right choice for you depends on several personal factors. So, talk to an AAG loan counselor and ask detailed questions before signing any paperwork.
It was great at first. However sold our loan after about year. Didn't know our loan was sold until the company that bought it notified us they was in bankrupt court. Then a company purchased our loan that doesn't do reverse loans.
Now this last Connie trying to take our home we have been in for 30 years.. My husband has developed high blood pressure. Taking 3 b/p meds due to the situation. He is so stressed..and the lying AAG don't give a fart.. Most awful Co. after they get your business..
Had we been told up front how this would turn out..Stay away from Carrington.loan. They bought our loan now..and they tell me we can't have a reverse mortgage.
We are on fixed income and can't pay all these extra charges they are charging us. What I don't understand is WHY would a loan Co. buy a reverse mortgage loan when they never do these loans?
January 21 2023 5:39PM
Dealing with these sorry people was an experience. Their biggest problem was the left and right hand did not a clue what was going on at any given time. The first red flag was they wanted me to insure my property at the full value. ($897,000.00) Homeowners insurance is priced replacement value.
Not once did they mention anything about a jumbo loan. This is why they kept ordering appraisals trying to get below the $762,000.00. These people are nothing more than crooks. They had our income totally was false. The wife and I FICO score over the 800s.
Not once did they ask about any IRAs since the wife and were retired. The next red flag was they wanted me to provide documentation of my dead sister-in law and the proof of payment of property. I guess they did not believe what was filed with the county for the title/deed.
I then made contact with financial advisor. She advised withdraw the application after reviewing our worth. Our goal was to get out debt, not to go further into debt. By proceeding with reverse mortgage, her recommendation was we would go further into debt.
I then sent an email to AAG to withdraw the application. Two weeks later I received a phone call wanting to set up a date for another appraisal. This would be the third appraisal in four months.
Again, this proves as stated earlier that the left and right hand does not have clue at any given time. Tom Selleck, you should ashamed associating with this organization of CROOKS!
Harry (Dennis) H.
March 31 2022 7:16PM
These people are pathetic. They changed my rate 5 hours after guaranteeing it. Then the next day they raised it again. I was lied to many times. They took 7 months to complete my loan, and I have a FICO score of over 800.
I had to get a 2nd appraisal and was told I would not have to pay for it...WRONG. On the closing papers, they charged me $755 for the 2nd mortgage. I have a lot more to disclose of these people but will do it at the BBB.
St. Louis, MO
July 07 2021 11:31PM
I started the reversed mortgage process in May of 2021. It is now July 2021 and still have no loan. I own my home. No mortgage, I have a high credit score and no outstanding debit. However they have proceeded to make multiple mistakes.
I live in Tennessee and I am dealing with people in Southern CA and Maryland. I have done everything they have ask. The appraisal person appraised the wrong property, they did not want to accept the Death Certificate from the state of Tennessee for my husband.
They found a for a little over $800.00 on his Citibank card. I had paid in full but had to jump through hoops to prove to them.
Then they questioned a $15.00 late charge on my HOA FEES. This was a time in March 2020 when my husband was on hospice and we missed a payment. I immediately paid it and the next month as well and they waived the late fee.
I had to send some documents to them over night. My cost over $50.00 which sat on someone’s desk for over a week. Now they are saying that my HOA fees do not match the county office. I have never know that the county has anything to do with HOA fees only taxes.
Now they are waiting for information from the appraisal people regarding this issue. Now I am told that they will have to re-title and others things because due dates have come and gone. I have never dealt with so many people that can’t get their jobs correctly.
I was naive to believe that people that had a high credit score and no debt and a home that was paid for would be so hard, also money in the bank. I will give them one more week then I will withdraw my application. I will go elsewhere to help me.
April 19 2021 6:55PM
After going to the point of receiving my appraisal AAG then proceeds to tell me that I do NOT have enough residual income to cover my credit card payments along with my yearly taxes!
AAG knew long before we even got to this point that the whole purpose of my wanting the reverse mortgage was to "pay off" my credit cards! Is this not what a reverse mortgage is advertised for, to PAY OFF bills?
Day one after the closing I would have ZERO credit card debt, and my yearly property taxes would be no issue with my social security. If the FHA people are so stupid as to not understand this, and AAG are so stupid as to not catch this far earlier in the process, then what is the point?
I am very, very disappointed in Hamilton ** (AAG Employee) for NOT catching this when I provided all my financial information early on in the process. I paid for the useless counseling and I will never see that money again!
I highly recommend that everyone stay away from AAG and do not believe Tom Selleck's down home commercials. AAG needs to hire people who know what they're doing!
February 13 2021 4:57PM
Excellent! I was helped with every step of the process with my Reverse Mortgage Professional (and still is here for me with any questions). It has been almost one year since closing and everything has gone smoothly. I'm VERY happy! Thank you!!!
February 09 2021 7:51PM
This process began in September of 2020. Since that time, we have been lied to by so many employees and departments. This continued until February 2 when we went to a different reverse mortgage company.
They must some cheat sheet with different answers they can use when someone calls. I said someone call during the 4 1/2 months we dealt with them. They never returned any calls. It would take a week and I would have call them back.
My new mortgage company sent a letter to them that we were cancelling our account with. The new company said legally they have to send that information within 72 hrs. From that day on I was being bombarded with voicemails and texts from a Rob **.
I spoke with him on February 6 and he continued to try to make us change our mind. I repeatedly said no. He was very persistent. I told him legally he had to mail those papers within 72 hrs.
At that point, he said he knew that but he wasn't ready to send them. I would warn anyone contemplating AAG. Don't.
Grove City, OH
November 16 2020 3:29PM
AAG Is horrible. Gauged on fees at closing and are impossible to get draws from. Processing and processing time was over four or five months. They made mistakes at closing and simply said sign or cancel the loan.
Afterwards, trying to get a draw was a nightmare. They even told me my signature in the withdrawal form didn’t match the HUD 1. They don't accept an electronic signature and they don’t accept a signature written with a finger in Dotloop.
I spent money to get what they wanted printed and scanned at UPS. THEY said I need it notarized. Six times I followed their instructions and they come up with something else. I’m retired from being an FHA underwriter and know all about these mortgages.
The customer service and fees at AAG are atrocious. I’m also a Real Estate broker. They’re taking advantage of Tom Selleck as a trusted and loved actor and taking advantage of seniors that choose them because of Tom.
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
November 07 2019 7:11PM
Tiegs **, she was my AAG ADVISOR and she was outstanding. She was always there for us and able to answer all our questions and concerns. A lot of paperwork but dealing with Tiegs made it alot easier. She did everything for us to get through the process and always kept us updated. She was very friendly and true professional advisor at American Advisor Group. We now call her a friend at AAG.
January 09 2019 1:37AM
Mike ** was our go-to guy for arranging our reverse mortgage in Northern California. Despite the complexity and length of the process of filing paperwork and dealing with multiple agencies, Mike was completely reliable and maintained regular contact with us. He always kept his word and was helpful in navigating the burgeoning reverse mortgage industry. We found him to be completely trustworthy at every level.