ALLURING PROPOSITION: Reverse mortgages are billed as way for seniors to draw income from the equity they have built in their home while they continue to live there. Borrowers have to be 62 or older and can opt for a lump sum, line of credit or stream of regular payments over time.

PRICEY LOAN: Reverse mortgages often carry hefty closing costs, servicing and origination fees, a mortgage insurance premium and an interest rate. In some cases, that could add up to more than 5 percent in fees.

ALTERNATIVES: Some experts recommend consumers investigate other options, like selling their home.