Should we get a home equity line of credit in order to pay for nursing home care until my parent's home is sold?

Diaharco asked...

Should we get a home equity line of credit in order to have money to pay for a nursing home, until we can get the parent's home sold?

Expert Answer

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for Caring.com.

There is no question that selling a house in the current real estate market is a challenge. Many people find themselves in your situation when loved ones need to move out of the house into a long term care facility, and their house is their only asset.

A home equity line of credit is an option, if your parents can qualify. To qualify, your parents will need to demonstrate that they have enough income to cover the monthly payments. They also need to have a good credit score, which many seniors lack. Sometimes, a local bank where your parents have been good customers will be able to structure a loan. Or if you are willing to co-sign the loan, your bank may accept that.

Because this situation is becoming more common, there are new programs springing up to help. Some realtors will guarantee to buy the house for cash if they cannot sell it within a predetermined time period. Other companies aggregate relatives and friends to jointly borrow the money. These programs may be available in your area.