You may have noticed that many mortgage providers haven't adapted to people living longer and buying their first homes, having children and retiring later in life.

In fact, as they have sought to lessen their risk by making their lending criteria stricter, many have instead lowered the maximum age of borrowers they'll lend to!

You may be trying your best to clear your debts before retirement, but many have found this difficult, with nearly a fifth of over 55s still paying back a mortgage.

On top of this, thousands of retired borrowers' interest only mortgages are due to mature in the coming years, and many of them won't yet be in a position to pay them back. As a result, many will need to extend their mortgage deals well into their retirements.

Will providers offer a mortgage for over 60 year olds?

When looking into remortgage deals over 60s are often told that their lenders impose strict age limits. The Financial Conduct Authority does not impose these limits; the firms decide on them individually depending on their own appetite for risk.

In many cases, lenders won't like to offer a mortgage with a term that runs beyond the date of your retirement. Others may lend a little beyond this but often have an upper limit of 75.

Not being able to get a new deal might leave you stuck with your existing lender's standard variable rate, rather than being able to search for the most competitive product on the market.

If you're looking for a new mortgage, you'll find things just as tough. You'll need a large deposit and decent income to convince the lender that you'll be able to pay back the mortgage quickly.

Having said that, there are options available, especially if you can prove to lenders that you'll be able to pay them back comfortably.

Helping your chances

Lenders are far more likely to offer a pension backed mortgage for 60 year old borrowers if they think the loan will be of low risk to them.

Save a deposit

If you need a mortgage with low LTV (the loan to value ratio) - preferably well below 80% - this will significantly help your case. You will need to have a decent deposit, often made up from equity in your current home.

Prove your income

Pensioners often have more secure finances than working age borrowers, whose income is reliant on their job; a pension linked income, however, is usually a guaranteed amount for life.

So if your pension based income is provable and regular, your application is far more likely to look attractive to lenders.

Look in the right place

Even if the bigger banks turn you down, some of the smaller building societies and specialist companies aimed at older borrowers have less strict age limits. It's also worth considering mortgage brokers, who will be able to scour the market for you to find the best deal for OAPs.

Buy to let mortgages for over 60 year olds

Buy to let mortgages are still available if you're over 60, but having a large deposit and a provable income will greatly help your chances, as lenders still won't want to offer a mortgage with a term that ends too long after you retire.

Interest only mortgages for over 60s

If you currently have an interest only mortgage, once the current deal matures you'll still need to repay the original amount you borrowed.

If you find that the plans you put in place to repay the balance don't quite foot the final bill you might have to look at reconsidering your options.

It's unlikely that you'll be able to take out another long term interest only mortgage into your retirement unless you can show that you alternative way of securely repaying the capital.

At this point you'll probably need to go with a repayment mortgage instead, which will involve higher monthly payments. Our guide explains the merits of repayment and interest only mortgages.

Compare the best mortgages for over 60s

Once you've worked out your best way forward, have a look at our comparison. This will help you work out what's out there and compare mortgages for the over 60s.

You should also keep an eye out for any fees and charges that might drive up the overall cost of the mortgage and consider if a fixed, tracker or discount mortgage best suits your circumstances now and after you retire.

Options other than an over 60 mortgage

Downsizing

Downsizing involves selling your current house, paying the mortgage off and using the remaining cash - the equity you've built in your current home - to buy a smaller property.

Many people can be put off by the idea of living somewhere smaller, especially if they're attached to their current home. But a smaller house can be more manageable and cheaper to run, especially once any children have left home. Downsizing to reduce or even wipe out the amount you owe can therefore be an attractive option.

Equity release

You could also consider equity release, which allows you to withdraw some of the equity from your home as a lump sum - you can then use some or all of this to pay off your mortgage.

Although it's an expensive way to borrow, it can sometimes be useful for retirees. The money borrowed is paid back when the house is sold, generally after the borrower has moved into a care home or passed away. Our guide explains the pros and cons in greater detail.