You can make the most of your retirement with less stress, more choice and a whole lot of fun with an SBS Unwind Reverse Equity Mortgage Loan ('SBS Unwind'). You take out a home loan using your property as security. The loan incurs monthly interest, but rather than making regular payments, this interest is added to your loan with the loan not being repaid until you permanently move from your home - this is achieved using the eventual proceeds of sale.

Taking out a loan against your home is a big decision, especially when you’re retired. If you’re seriously considering a Reverse Equity Mortgage, we require you to discuss this with your legal adviser and you should also consider talking it through with trusted family members. You may wish to bring them or another trusted person to meet one of our team to discuss your options. Our team are able to answer any questions or concerns you may have about SBS Unwind to help determine if it is the right product for you. Simply give us a call on 0800 727 2265 to find out more. 

Why choose a Reverse Equity Mortgage 

  • You stay in your own home
  • Free up some of your money tied up in your home without needing to sell it 
  • Use your money however you like
  • No regular payments required
  • You can repay the loan, in full or in part, at any time
  • The loan is repaid following either the sale of your home or when you and any nominated residents no longer reside in the property

SBS Unwind Features

Nominated Residents

Nominated Residents are the people you nominate who live in the property. Nominated Residents may include the owners but they may also include their spouse or partner and beneficiaries or life tenants when the property is held under trust. Each SBS Unwind loan requires at least one Nominated Resident, up to a maximum of two people.

The Nominated Residents in the property will affect the amount you can borrow and they can also affect when the loan is required to be repaid. A common example is you may need to move into care but your partner may wish to continue to reside in your home, having them listed as a Nominated Resident means you won’t have to repay the loan until they leave the property as well.

It is important that you let us know if you want to change the Nominated Residents for your SBS Unwind Loan. We may need to reassess your situation to determine whether you have enough equity remaining in your property to do so and we don’t want them to be left in a situation that requires the loan to be repaid after something happens to you, while they are still living in the property.

Loan Repayment Guarantee 

The Loan Repayment Guarantee (also called no negative equity guarantee) applies to all SBS Unwind loans and means that if the sale of your home is not enough to repay the loan, SBS will not require you, or your estate to repay the shortfall.

Lifetime occupancy guarantee 

As a Nominated Resident, you can continue to stay in your home for the rest of your life until the last nominated resident moves out of your home, they pass away, or the home is sold, at which point your loan will be required to be repaid. Any leftover proceeds from the sale of your home is paid to you or your estate. 

Equity Protection 

Our Equity Protection option helps ensure there is some equity left for you or your estate to access when you leave your home. We agree with you a Protected Equity Percentage, which protects a percentage of the value of the home, no matter the amount required to repay your loan or movements in the value of the home. The fixed percentage will impact the maximum amount you can borrow.

Age and borrowing restrictions

One of the key eligibility criteria for an SBS Unwind Loan is the age of you and any other nominated residents who also occupy the property. To be eligible, you must all be at least 60 years of age. 

We also set the maximum amount you can borrow based on the age of the youngest Nominated Resident. You may be eligible to borrow 15% of your home’s value at age 60, up to 35% at age 80, up to a maximum of 50%. If you would like to know how much you could potentially borrow, please contact us.

It is important to be aware that if you have borrowed the maximum amount for your age group, your ability to increase your lending in future may be limited due to the compounding of interest on your loan. 

In some cases, you may be able to borrow more, especially if your property value has increased. Please let us know if you are looking to borrow more, and we can explore if this is an option. We may require that a new valuation is undertaken for your property, which you will need to pay for and there is some risk that we may still decline your request based on the results of the valuation. 

Interest Rates and Payments 

SBS Unwind has a floating interest rate (we currently do not offer fixed interest rates) and these can be found here.  The loan is designed as a flexible facility which gives you the freedom to draw down to your limit as you wish.* You can also pay back the loan anytime you wish.

There are no regular repayments like regular home loans, interest is charged monthly and added to your loan until it is repaid. The interest added to your loan will then also be charged interest, in addition to the original amount you borrow. This means the loan grows at a faster rate because interest is not repaid as it is incurred. However, provided you meet your loan conditions, the Loan Repayment Guarantee provides the ability to ensure that you never need to pay more than the value of the house, you can ensure a payment to yourself or your estate when the loan is repaid.

Other Features, Terms and Fees

  • Minimum age of 60 applies for personal borrowers and nominated residents.
  • Minimum loan amount is $5,000.
  • Loan top ups, subject to eligibility criteria.
  • Provided you meet the terms of your loan, you can remain in your home for the rest of your life
  • Minimum property value required:
    • Auckland - $750,000
    • Invercargill - $450,000
    • Rest of New Zealand - $600,000
  • Restrictions may apply on properties in certain locations
  • Eligible properties must be located in either an urban area with a population greater than 30,000 people, or in an area that has an SBS Bank Branch
  • Property cannot be sublet, tenanted or used for business purposes
  • You will need to ensure you continue to maintain your home
  • You need to keep your rates and house insurance up to date
  • A $828 Lender Documentation Fee for individuals and a $885.50 Lender Documentation Fee for trusts applies
  • Additional Reverse Equity Mortgage Fees and Charges apply
  • Specific credit and eligibility criteria apply
  • Lending Standard Contract Terms for SBS Unwind Reverse Equity Mortgages apply
  • Lending Standard Contract Terms and Reverse Equity Mortgage Fees and Charges are also available on request from any branch of SBS Bank or by calling us on 0800 727 2265

Independent Advice

You will need to obtain independent legal advice before you take out an SBS Unwind loan. Your loan documentation is provided to your solicitor so they can help ensure you fully understand the product and your commitments before proceeding with the loan.

Our team members only provide financial advice in relation to the financial products we offer. We therefore recommend you seek independent financial advice in relation to any decision to take out an SBS Unwind loan. This allows you to compare the SBS Unwind loan with a wider range of alternative options available to you. For more information on the financial advice services we can provide please refer to our Financial Advice Provider Information available on request and free of charge in any SBS Bank branch, or here.

Alternatives to SBS Unwind

A Reverse Equity Mortgage won’t suit everyone and there are alternative options you may wish to consider helping fund your needs during your retirement years. These include:

  • Other loan products
  • Council Rates relief
  • Taking on a boarder
  • Downsizing (either selling or renting your old home)
  • Subdividing
  • Selling to family
  • Borrowing from family

SBS Unwind – Frequently Asked Questions


Yes, you will continue to own your home and live in it just as you do now.


Yes, with the Lifetime occupancy guarantee SBS Unwind will allow you stay in your home for as long as you choose, and only needs to be repaid when you no longer live there (e.g. when you sell your property, move into long-term care or pass away).


No, your home should remain your place of residence and cannot be rented out


We require a registered valuer (from a panel of valuers acceptable to SBS) to undertake a registered valuation. You will need to cover the costs of this.


The total amount borrowed under your SBS Unwind Loan, plus interest and applicable fees and costs, is only due to be repaid when all the Nominated Residents, including yourself move permanently from your home.  The loan is usually repaid from the sale proceeds of your home, and the net proceeds are then retained by you or your estate.

You can also repay your loan any time you like.


So long as you observe the terms and conditions of the loan (e.g. maintain the property), the amount to repay the loan will never exceed the net sale proceeds of the property.  If you breach the terms and conditions we will only claim up to what the breach cost us to remedy any loss from that breach (e.g. if you fail to conduct repairs to the house when required, e.g. leaks, and at end of mortgage this failure causes the value of the house to decrease by $50,000 as a result, we could claim up to $50,000).


Any increases will depend on the age of the youngest Nominated Resident, the current property value and the total loan balance.  A new valuation of your home may also be required but contact SBS before you do this.


If you are the sole owner of your home and you have a relative living with you, you may want them to also be listed as a Nominated Resident under your Loan Agreement. This can provide peace of mind that they will be able to continue to live in the property should you need to move into care or pass away.  If they are not named as a Nominated Resident and you move out or pass away, the loan will need to be repaid.


SBS Unwind loans are available for trusts. Although not always the owner-occupier of the property, the Trustees would sign and be responsible for meeting the terms of the Loan Agreement.

A trust can have up to two Nominated Residents who live in the property, this includes a person who is a:

  • Beneficiary of the trust
  • Life tenant residing in the property; or
  • Trustee

Beneficiaries are not able to obtain an SBS Unwind on behalf of a trust, the trustees will need to make this decision and complete this process with us. If you are a beneficiary who would like SBS Unwind to be considered by your trust, discuss this with your trustees.


If you move into another house, you may apply to transfer your SBS Unwind Loan to your new home. If we agree to this transfer, fees will apply and be added to your loan balance and depending on the value of the new house and the outstanding, we require a partial payment (e.g. if you are downsizing, the value of the new property may not be sufficient to support the current loan requiring a partial repayment).

For more information please fill out the details below and we will have one of our friendly staff contact you

Important Information

For our current interest rates for SBS Unwind Reverse Equity Mortgage please click here.

SBS Unwind Reverse Equity Mortgage lending and eligibility criteria apply. Standard Contract Terms and additional Reverse Equity Mortgage Fees and Charges also apply and are available on request and free of charge by clicking the above links, from any branch of SBS Bank, or by calling us on 0800 727 2265. 

The information on this page does not take into account your individual circumstances and is not personalised financial advice. You should seek financial advice before you make any decision to open an account.