Can Seniors Borrow? Here Are The Facts

Last Updated on January 27, 2024 by Rachel

According to recent statistics, the number of retiring citizens receiving social benefits in 2021 stood at 47.29 million. Further, the aged population above 65 years in the U.S. is approximately 52 million. Therefore this means that there are quite a number of senior citizens with no social benefits and who could be surviving on other income sources such as their savings or business income.

Even though the number of seniors receiving social benefits is impressive, the cash received is mostly just enough to meet basic needs like buying food and medicine. It then begs the question, can seniors get loans to meet other requirements such as pay for emergency repairs, medical insurance, and personal supplies? Why not! In this discussion, we explore whether seniors can borrow and other valuable information.


It’s no secret that most people wind down their active years cash-strapped due to low or no pension payments and relying on social security benefits, which are not so generous. It’s also true that some seniors enter their retirement with savings and an outstanding investment portfolio.

Unfortunately, most people cannot save enough for their golden years and may retire broke. Therefore, it’s not unusual for retirees to run into situations that require spending money. If your cash reserves are insufficient, you may take out a loan even in retirement.

What Types of Loans Are Available For Seniors

Lenders may advance credit to seniors if they meet certain conditions, such as good credit history, and a high credit score. Even in retirement, your lender could appraise your income to determine your ability to pay.

Personal loans, credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages are available to seniors who demonstrate the ability to pay. Usually, a lender may ask for bank statements, copies of IRAs statements, social security, pension letters and 401(k) to determine whether you have any income.

As noted earlier, most seniors get a large percentage of their income from social security benefits. If you’re planning on taking out a loan, you must ensure that your income is sufficient to meet the installments. Thus, the amount approved by your lender could largely depend on the amount you receive on your social security check every month. Often, you can boost your income through other means, such as having a side hustle.

Notably, it was challenging for some seniors to get loans in the past because of low debt-to-income ratios. However, these days some lenders may allow seniors to use revenue from IRAs, retirement assets, and other funds to qualify for their preferred loan.

Even though you may qualify for a large loan, it’s essential to borrow a small amount to have enough money left for your personal use after paying off the monthly payments.

Other Ways To Get Money For Seniors-Grants

Sometimes lenders may decline a senior’s application for several reasons, such as low credit scores and insufficient income. Also, if you entirely depend on your social security benefits, it may not be sufficient to cover your monthly repayments.

With old age, seniors are likely to incur many healthcare expenses which may lead to high insurance costs. Also, those with certain illnesses which may cause them to have mobility problems, could cause them not to take extra jobs to diversify their income.

Luckily, several types of grants are available to seniors, some of which are government-based programs, while private organizations offer others.

Working Capital Grant

If you’re not ready to quit working after retirement and have business prowess, you could get a business grant available to seniors. For instance, a program such as AARP has the Purpose Prize Award to honor seniors who have dedicated their lives to empowering others.

Also, state organizations such as National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) have a program that offers donations and funds for individuals focused on Alzheimer support businesses.

Home Improvement Grants

Usually, paying for a mortgage may take a toll on you, and during your prime years, you may have little left to improve your house. You may consider a home improvement grant from federal-funded organizations if you need money for some repairs or improvements. However, this may depend on whether your state has programs that seek to upgrade homes for low-income people who need urgent repairs. Usually, these initiatives aim to lower energy costs by improving the HVAC system.

The disability housing grant for veterans is an example of a government program that offers housing grants for disabled service members and veterans.

Health Care Grant

Your medical costs may have increased due to chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. As you probably know, you’re eligible for Original Medicare Part A if you’re above 65 years and have paid your Medicare taxes for at least ten years. You can also get Part A at 65 years for free if you receive social security benefits.

Suppose you fail to meet the eligibility requirements and have trouble paying for your medical costs. In that case, you may apply for a healthcare grant from organizations such as HealthWell Foundation that offers grants for seniors to meet healthcare costs for certain illnesses.


From the discussion, seniors can get loan facilities from lenders upon meeting certain requirements such as income ability, credit history, and a good credit score. Nonetheless, if you can’t qualify for funding through loans, you can seek grants from government and privately funded organizations to meet your credit needs.