Retiring? If you need a home loan, get one first

Retired engineers Kelly and Derek Barkey assumed they would be approved when they applied for a $50,000 home equity line of credit two years ago to fix up their new house.

The Barkeys, now 56 and 59, had just sold their longtime home in Southern California and paid cash for a house worth about $850,000 near St. Louis, Missouri. They had retirement accounts worth $3 million, $500,000 in a taxable brokerage account and excellent credit scores.

They were surprised when a national bank turned them down. They tried a local credit union, which also rejected them.

“We haven’t been turned down for credit since about 1987,” says Kelly Barkey, remembering when the couple applied for a rewards credit card while she was still a college student.

In my latest for the Associated Press, learn how to get a home loan in retirement.