Equity release

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Equity release

Navigating the realm of equity release can seem daunting, especially given the myriad of options, regulations, and financial implications involved. Equity release schemes offer homeowners a pathway to unlock the value tied up in their property, providing financial freedom and flexibility during their later years. Whether you’re considering a lump-sum payout or gradual withdrawals, pondering about the impact on your heirs, or weighing the costs and benefits, this guide provides a detailed overview of everything you need to know.

Delving into the intricacies of various equity release products, we aim to empower you with the knowledge to make informed decisions that best align with your financial and personal goals. From understanding the basics to addressing common queries, we’ve got you covered. Dive in to demystify the world of equity release.

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What is an equity release scheme?

An equity release scheme is a financial product that allows homeowners, typically aged 55 or over, to release some of the equity (value) tied up in their property without the need to sell or move out. This can be achieved either by taking out a loan secured against their home (often referred to as a “lifetime mortgage”) or by selling a portion or the entirety of their home to a reversion company in exchange for a lump sum or regular payments (known as a “home reversion plan”). The funds can be received as a one-time lump sum, regular income, or a combination of both. Importantly, equity release schemes offer the homeowner the right to continue living in their home until they pass away or move into long-term care.

How does an equity release plan work?

Equity release works by allowing homeowners to access the value (equity) tied up in their property without needing to sell or move out. Here’s a basic overview:

Determine Eligibility:

The homeowner must usually be aged 55 or over. The property should be of a certain value and in reasonable condition. Some schemes may have additional criteria.

Choose a Product:

Lifetime mortgage: This is a loan secured against your home. You retain full ownership, and the mortgage amount, along with any accumulated interest, is repaid when you die, sell the property, or move into long-term care.

Home reversion plan: With this product, you sell a portion or all of your home to a reversion company in exchange for a lump sum or regular payments. While you no longer own the part you’ve sold, you can continue living in the property rent-free for the rest of your life.

Receiving funds: Depending on the product and your preference, you can receive the funds as a one-time lump sum, as regular payments over time, or as an initial sum with a reserve to draw from when needed.

Interest accumulation: For lifetime mortgages, interest is usually added to the loan amount. This can be fixed or variable and will compound over time unless you choose a plan that allows you to make regular interest payments.


For Lifetime Mortgages: The loan amount plus any accumulated interest is repaid when you die, sell the home, or move into long-term care. Typically, this is done by selling the property. If there’s any leftover money after the sale and repayment, it goes to your estate.

For Home Reversion Plans: Since you’ve sold a portion or all of your home when the property is sold (usually upon death or moving into care), that proportion of the sale proceeds goes to the reversion company.

Protection: Many modern schemes come with a “no negative equity guarantee”. This ensures that, even if the property value decreases, you or your estate will never owe more than the property’s sale price.

Given the long-term implications and costs, it’s crucial to seek professional financial advice before committing to an equity release scheme.

What types of equity release plans are there?

There are primarily two main types of equity release plans:

Lifetime mortgages:

This is the most common form of equity release. Homeowners borrow a portion of their home’s value. Interest is charged on the amount borrowed, but typically, the homeowner doesn’t make any monthly repayments.

Instead, the interest is compounded or “rolled up” over time. The loan and accumulated interest are repaid when the homeowner dies or moves into long-term care, usually from the sale of the house.

Some lifetime mortgages offer the flexibility for homeowners to make interest payments or repay some of the capital to reduce the overall cost.

Home reversion plans:

With this type of equity release, homeowners sell a part or all of their home to a home reversion company.

In return, they receive a lump sum or regular payments, and they have the right to remain living in the property rent-free until they die or move into long-term care.

When the property is eventually sold, the proceeds are shared according to the remaining ownership proportions. For example, if 60% of the home was sold to the reversion company, they would take 60% of the sale proceeds.

Both types of equity release plans come with their own advantages and considerations, so it’s crucial for homeowners to seek independent financial advice to determine which option suits their needs and circumstances best.

How do I compare different plans?

Comparing different plans is essential to ensure you get the best deal that aligns with your needs. Here’s a step-by-step approach:

Decide on the type of equity release: Understand the difference between a lifetime mortgage and a home reversion plan. Decide which one might be more suitable for your needs.

Interest rate: Look at the annual percentage rate (APR) to understand the overall cost of borrowing. Check if the rate is fixed or variable. A fixed-rate provides certainty over costs, while a variable rate might increase or decrease over time.

Flexibility: Can you make ad-hoc repayments without penalties? Does the scheme offer a drawdown facility, allowing you to take out funds as and when you need them?

No negative equity guarantee: Ensure the offer includes this guarantee, which ensures you (or your estate) won’t owe more than your home’s sale value, even if the debt surpasses the home’s worth.

Early repayment charges: Understand if there are penalties for repaying the equity release earlier than the agreed term.

Inheritance protection: Some schemes allow you to ring-fence a portion of your home’s value to leave as an inheritance for your beneficiaries.

Fees and costs:

  • Application or arrangement fees.
  • Valuation fees.
  • Solicitor fees.
  • Adviser fees if you’re using a financial advisor.
  • Potential charges for switching to a different product or provider.

Portability: If you decide to move homes, can the equity release plan be transferred to the new property?

Regulation: Ensure the provider is regulated by a relevant financial authority. In the UK, for example, it would be the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Customer reviews and reputation: Look at customer feedback and reviews to gauge the provider’s reputation. How do they handle queries or complaints? Are they known for clear communication?

Professional advice: Consider consulting with an independent financial advisor specialising in equity release. They can provide insights, help you compare offers, and ensure the scheme aligns with your financial goals.

Seek legal counsel: Before finalising any agreement, have a solicitor review the terms to ensure there are no unforeseen complications.

Comparing offers isn’t just about the interest rate; it’s essential to consider the full range of features, guarantees, and conditions to find the best equity release plan for your situation.

What are the most important criteria to consider when selecting an equity release plan?

When selecting an equity release plan, it’s essential to consider a range of criteria to ensure the chosen scheme aligns with your financial and personal objectives. Firstly, understanding the type of equity release you’re interested in, be it a lifetime mortgage or a home reversion plan, is foundational. From there, the interest rate is a significant factor; considering whether it’s fixed or variable will determine the overall cost of borrowing.

The scheme’s flexibility is another essential element to examine. This includes the potential for making ad-hoc repayments, drawing down funds as needed, or both. A no-negative equity guarantee is a crucial feature to look for as it ensures that you or your heirs will not end up owing more than your home’s sale value.

Understanding any early repayment charges is vital as it provides clarity on potential penalties if you decide to settle the equity release earlier than agreed upon. Some plans offer inheritance protection, allowing a portion of the home’s value to be reserved as an inheritance. This might be an attractive feature if leaving a legacy is a priority.

Costs and fees associated with the scheme, like application, valuation, or adviser fees, can influence the overall financial commitment and should be scrutinised. The portability of the plan is another key consideration, especially if there’s a possibility of moving homes in the future.

Lastly, but by no means least, is the regulatory oversight of the provider. For example, in the UK, the provider should be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. And beyond regulations, looking into the provider’s reputation through customer reviews and feedback can offer insights into their service quality and reliability.

What are the pros and cons of equity release?

Equity release can offer several advantages and disadvantages based on individual circumstances. Here’s a breakdown:


Access to funds: It allows homeowners to tap into the equity of their home without selling it, providing a lump sum, regular income, or both.

No monthly repayments: In most schemes, especially lifetime mortgages, there aren’t monthly repayments; the amount is repaid when the house is sold.

Stay in your home: You can continue to live in your home for the rest of your life or until you move into long-term care.

No negative equity guarantee: Many schemes ensure you won’t owe more than the sale value of your home, protecting you from falling property prices.

Flexible use: The released funds can be used for various purposes, such as home improvements, supplementing retirement income, or supporting loved ones.

Tax-free: The money released is tax-free, allowing for better financial planning.


Reduced Inheritance: As you’re accessing the equity in your home, it will reduce the value of the inheritance you can leave behind.

Accumulated interest: Especially in lifetime mortgages, the interest can compound over time, increasing the total amount to be repaid.

Costs and fees: There are various costs associated, such as arrangement fees, valuation fees, and advisor fees.

Early repayment charges: Some schemes may have significant penalties if you wish to repay earlier than expected.

Reduced benefits: Releasing equity might affect your entitlement to state benefits or grants.

Limited future borrowing: It could limit your ability to borrow against your property in the future.

Potential for negative equity: If not covered by a no negative equity guarantee and if house prices drop dramatically, you could end up owing more than your home’s value.

How long does the process of getting an equity release typically take?

The process of getting an equity release can vary depending on the provider, the complexity of the applicant’s circumstances, and the type of plan chosen. On average, the process takes between 6 to 8 weeks from the point of application to the release of funds. Here’s a general breakdown of the process:

Initial consultation: This typically involves meeting with an equity release advisor to discuss your needs, understand the available options, and receive a recommendation. This can take 1-2 hours.

Application: Once you’ve decided on a plan, you’ll submit an application, which includes details about your property and personal circumstances.

Property valuation: The provider will arrange for a professional valuation of your property. This helps determine how much you can borrow. It might take 1-2 weeks for the valuation to be completed and processed.

Legal process: You’ll need a solicitor to handle the legal aspects of the equity release. They will liaise with the provider’s solicitor to ensure all legal requirements are met. This can be the lengthiest part of the process, often taking 3-5 weeks.

Offer: Once the valuation is done and initial legal checks are completed, the provider will issue a formal offer detailing the terms of the equity release.

Completion: After all the checks are done and the paperwork is signed, the funds will be released. The funds can either be sent to your solicitor, who will then transfer them to you, or they can be sent directly to you.

Can I switch between different equity release mortgage products?

Yes, it’s possible to switch between different equity release mortgage products, but whether it’s beneficial or feasible will depend on several factors:

Early repayment charges (ERCs): One of the primary considerations is whether you’ll incur early repayment charges from your current provider. Some plans have significant penalties for early repayment, which could make switching financially unattractive.

Interest rates: If interest rates have dropped significantly since you took out your initial plan, it might be beneficial to switch, even if there’s an ERC. However, the total savings from the new, lower rate must outweigh the costs involved in making the switch.

Changing needs: Over time, your financial needs and circumstances might change. Perhaps you initially took a lump sum but now prefer a drawdown facility, or maybe you’d like a product that allows partial repayments. Switching products can help align your mortgage with your current needs.

Property value: If your property has significantly increased in value since you took out your equity release mortgage, you might be able to release additional funds by switching to a new product or provider.

New products in the market: The equity release market is continually evolving, with new products and features being introduced. There might be a new product available that’s better suited to your needs than your current plan.

Costs involved: Besides potential ERCs, there will be other costs to consider, such as valuation fees, legal fees, and advisor fees. It’s essential to factor in these costs when deciding whether to switch.

Regulations and protections: Ensure that any new product you’re considering is regulated and offers the same protections as your current plan, such as the no negative equity guarantee.

Who can get equity release?

Equity release is designed primarily for older homeowners, but specific eligibility criteria can vary depending on the provider and product. Generally, the following are the typical requirements for those considering equity release:

Age: Most schemes are available to individuals aged 55 or over, although some providers might set a higher minimum age, such as 60 or 65.
Property Value: Your property usually needs to have a minimum value, which can vary by provider but often starts at around £70,000 or more.

Property type & condition: The property should be your primary residence and in reasonable condition. Some providers may have restrictions on the type of property they will accept, excluding, for example, high-rise flats or properties with certain construction types.

Mortgage status: If you have an existing mortgage or secured loan on your property, you’ll typically need to pay it off when you take out the equity release. This can be done using the funds you release.

Location: The property must usually be located in the country where the equity release provider operates. For instance, equity release schemes typically require the property to be in the UK.

Legal advice: Before finalising an equity release, many providers require that you take independent legal advice to ensure you understand the implications and terms of the mortgage.

Financial consultation: It’s also often a requirement (and always a good idea) to consult with a financial advisor specialising in equity release. They can help you understand if this is the right move for your financial situation.

Health and lifestyle: Some providers offer enhanced terms or larger amounts of equity release for individuals with certain health conditions or lifestyles that might reduce life expectancy.

It’s important to note that while many people may meet the criteria for equity release, it’s not suitable for everyone. The decision should be based on a comprehensive understanding of the product’s pros and cons and how it aligns with individual financial needs and goals. Always consult with an expert before proceeding.

How do I calculate how much I can borrow with an equity release mortgage?

The amount you can borrow with an equity release mortgage depends on various factors, including your age, the property’s value, and the specific terms of the equity release provider.

However, to get a rough idea, you can use the following general approach:

  • Determine Maximum Loan-to-Value (LTV) Percentage: The older you are, the higher the percentage of your home’s value you can typically borrow. For example:
  • At age 55, you might be able to borrow around 25-30% of your home’s value.
  • By age 70, this might increase to around 40-50%.
  • At age 80 or older, it could be 55% or more.

Estimate your property’s value: You can get a rough idea by checking online property websites or by looking at recent sales of similar properties in your area. For a precise figure, you’d need a professional valuation.

Calculate: Multiply your property’s estimated value by the LTV percentage to get an idea of how much you might be able to borrow.

For example:

If you’re 70 years old and your home is worth £300,000, and based on your age, the maximum LTV offered is 45%:

£300,000 x 0.45 = £135,000.
So, you might be able to borrow up to £135,000.

It’s important to remember that this is a simplified calculation, and the actual amount you can borrow can vary based on:

  • The specific equity release product.
  • The provider’s terms and conditions.
  • Any existing mortgages or debts secured against the property.
  • Health and lifestyle factors, which some providers take into account to offer enhanced terms.

To get a definitive figure and understand the best options for your situation, it’s advisable to consult with a financial advisor who specialises in equity release. They can guide you through the available products and provide accurate calculations based on your individual circumstances.

How will an equity release plan affect my heirs and estate?

An equity release plan can have a significant impact on your heirs and estate. Firstly, the most noticeable effect will be the reduction in the value of your estate that your heirs will inherit. As you’re releasing equity from your home and accruing interest on it, when the home is eventually sold to repay the plan, there will be less left over from the sale proceeds to pass on to your heirs.
Secondly, the interest on equity release mortgages, especially on lifetime mortgages where no regular repayments are made, compounds over time. This means the amount owed can grow faster than some people expect, which further reduces the potential inheritance.

Additionally, many equity release- lifetime mortgages come with a no negative equity guarantee, ensuring that the debt will never exceed the property’s value. While this offers protection to you as the borrower, it means that in many cases, the primary asset to be inherited (the property) may be significantly or entirely
consumed by the mortgage debt.

However, some plans offer features to safeguard a portion of the estate for heirs. For instance, there are products that allow you to ring-fence a percentage of your property’s value, guaranteeing that portion will remain as inheritance regardless of how much interest accrues on the loan.

It’s also worth noting that if property values rise significantly over time, this could offset some of the reductions in the estate’s value, although this is not guaranteed and is speculative.

Lastly, the decision to take out an equity release plan might affect your heirs emotionally and financially. They might have been expecting to inherit the property or benefit from its full value. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to discuss your plans with your heirs so they are prepared and understand your reasons for pursuing equity release. They might also offer alternative solutions or financial assistance you hadn’t considered.

How to minimise risk when taking out equity release

Minimising risk when taking out equity release is crucial to ensure your financial well-being and protect your property’s value. Here are some strategies to consider:

Professional advice: Always consult with an independent financial advisor specialising in equity release. They can guide you on the best products for your situation and inform you of potential risks and benefits.

Choose a reputable provider: Opt for providers who are members of industry associations, like the Equity Release Council in the UK. These providers adhere to a code of conduct that includes providing products with a no negative equity guarantee, ensuring you’ll never owe more than your home’s value.

Interest rate consideration: Ideally, choose a fixed interest rate or, if going for a variable rate, ensure there’s a cap. This provides predictability on how the debt will grow over time.
Flexible Options: Look for plans that offer flexible features like the ability to make partial repayments, drawdown facilities, or the option to switch from one plan to another. These can help manage and reduce the debt over time.

Inheritance protection: If leaving an inheritance is essential, consider plans that allow you to ring-fence a portion of your property’s value to ensure a guaranteed inheritance for your heirs.

Thoroughly review terms: Ensure you understand all terms and conditions, including any penalties for early repayment or moving to another property.

Impact on benefits: Be aware that the money released might affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits. Check this beforehand to avoid unexpected reductions in any benefits you receive.

Regularly review: Periodically review your plan, especially if it’s a drawdown product. Ensure it still meets your needs and that you’re aware of how much you owe.

Discuss with family: Equity release can impact your family’s inheritance. It’s a good idea to discuss your intentions with them so they’re informed and can plan accordingly.

Legal advice: Ensure you get independent legal advice before finalising any equity release plan. A solicitor can help you understand all legal implications and ensure your interests are protected.

Consider alternatives: Before deciding on equity release, explore other options like downsizing, borrowing from family, or other forms of loans. It’s essential to be sure that equity release is the most suitable solution for your needs.

By being diligent, informed, and proactive, you can minimise the risks associated with equity release and ensure that you make a decision that’s in your best long-term interest.

Are there any fees or charges with equity release plans?

Yes, there are several fees and charges associated with equity release plans. The exact costs can vary depending on the provider and the specific product chosen, but generally, the following are the typical fees one might encounter:

Arrangement or application Fee: This is a fee charged by some equity release providers for setting up the mortgage. It can sometimes be added to the loan amount if not paid upfront.

Valuation fee: Before approving an equity release, the provider will need to assess the value of your property. This typically requires a professional valuation for which there is a charge. The cost can vary based on the property’s value and size.

Solicitor’s fees: Legal work is required for equity release, and you’ll need to pay for a solicitor’s services. This will cover the cost of legal advice and the necessary legal processes to set up the plan.

Completion fee: Some lenders might charge a fee upon the completion of the equity release process.

Early repayment charges (ERCs): If you decide to repay the equity release mortgage earlier than agreed or switch products, there can be significant penalties. These charges can vary widely among providers and can be a fixed amount, a percentage of the loan, or linked to interest rates.

Advisor’s fee: If you seek advice from a financial advisor specialising in equity release (which is highly recommended), there will typically be a fee for their services. This can be a fixed fee, a percentage of the amount borrowed, or a combination of both.

Surveyor’s fee: In some cases, especially if the property is unique or complex, a more detailed survey might be required, leading to additional costs.

Possible maintenance costs: If the valuation reveals that certain repairs or maintenance tasks are needed before approval, you may have to bear these costs as well.

Monthly or annual service fee: Some plans might have ongoing service fees, though this is less common.

Possible ground rent or service charges: If you live in a leasehold property, these charges might be applicable.

Interest: While not a fee in the traditional sense, it’s crucial to remember that interest will be accumulating on the amount released (unless you have a product that allows for regular interest payments). The compounding of interest over time can significantly increase the amount owed.

What are the interest rates associated with equity release mortgages?

Interest rates associated with equity release mortgages can vary based on the provider, the specific product, market conditions, and the broader economic environment. Generally, there are two main types of interest rates you’ll encounter with equity release:

Fixed interest rates: With a fixed interest rate, the rate remains the same throughout the life of the equity release mortgage. This means you’ll always know in advance how much the loan will cost over time, offering predictability. Fixed rates are common in equity release products because they provide certainty to borrowers about the future cost of the loan.

Variable interest rates: Variable rates can change over time based on external factors such as the Bank of England base rate or other market indicators. Some equity release products with variable rates might have a “cap” or “collar,” which sets a maximum or minimum limit on how high or low the interest rate can go. This provides some level of protection against drastic rate fluctuations.

Several factors can influence the specific interest rate you’re offered:

Your age: Generally, the older you are when taking out the product, the more favourable the interest rate, as the expected loan duration might be shorter.

Property value: The value and type of your property can influence the rate, as it affects the lender’s perceived risk.

Health & lifestyle: Some lenders offer “enhanced” equity release schemes where you might get a more favourable rate if you have certain health conditions or lifestyle habits that could shorten life expectancy.

Loan amount: The amount you want to borrow as a percentage of your home’s value (the loan-to-value ratio) can also affect the rate.

Interest on equity release mortgages typically compounds, meaning you’re charged interest on the original amount borrowed plus any accumulated interest from previous years. This can lead to the debt growing quickly over time, which is why understanding the interest rate and its implications is crucial.

Is releasing equity the right option for me?

Whether releasing equity is the right option for you depends on various factors related to your financial situation, goals, and personal preferences. Here are some considerations to help you determine if an equity release is suitable:

Financial needs: Why are you considering equity release? Common reasons include supplementing retirement income, funding home improvements, helping family members, or consolidating debts. Assess if equity release is the best way to meet these needs compared to other financial solutions.

Other assets and savings: Before tapping into your property’s equity, consider if you have other savings or assets that might be more cost-effective or accessible to use.

State benefits: Releasing equity can affect your entitlement to means-tested state benefits. If you currently receive or anticipate receiving such benefits, it’s essential to understand how equity release might impact them.

Inheritance concerns: Equity release reduces the value of your estate, which could decrease the inheritance you leave for your heirs. If leaving a legacy is important to you, consider how equity release aligns with these goals.

Moving or downsizing: If you’re considering moving to a smaller property or a different area, this might free up cash without the need for equity release.

Long-term perspective: Equity release is a long-term commitment. Interest compounds over time, which can grow the debt significantly. It’s crucial to understand how this might affect your financial situation in the future.

Terms and conditions: Fully understand the terms of the equity release product. Consider factors like early repayment charges, the flexibility to move homes, and interest rates.

Future borrowing: Releasing equity now might affect your ability to borrow more in the future, whether it’s another equity release or different types of loans.

Professional advice: Given the complexities and long-term implications, it’s highly recommended to seek advice from a financial advisor specialising in equity release. They can provide personalised insights based on your situation.

Family implications: Discuss your plans with close family members. They might offer alternative solutions or insights you hadn’t considered.

Future changes: Consider potential future needs or changes, like future care needs, which might require substantial funds.

Equity release isn’t suitable for everyone, and it’s essential to assess its implications fully. Weigh the advantages and drawbacks in the context of your personal and financial situation before making a decision.

Are there tax implications of releasing equity from my home?

Releasing equity from your home can have tax implications, though it largely depends on your jurisdiction and specific circumstances. Here’s a general overview based on the context of the UK:

Income tax: The money you receive from an equity release is not considered income; therefore, it’s not subject to income tax. This means you can use the funds without any immediate tax implications.

Inheritance tax (IHT): Equity release can reduce the value of your estate, which may, in turn, reduce any potential inheritance tax liability when you pass away. If you’re concerned about IHT, it’s crucial to factor in how equity release might impact the future tax liabilities of your estate.

Gifts and potentially exempt transfers (PETs): If you use the released funds to gift significant amounts to family members or others, it could have implications for inheritance tax. In the UK, if you gift an amount and then survive for seven years after the gift, it’s generally exempt from IHT. However, if you don’t survive for seven years, it might still be counted as part of your estate for tax purposes.

Capital gains tax (CGT): Typically, your main residence is exempt from CGT when you sell it. Since equity release doesn’t involve selling your home, there are no immediate CGT implications. However, if you have additional properties and you use the equity release funds to invest in or improve them, any future sale of those properties might incur CGT, depending on the gain and circumstances.

Means-tested benefits: While not a direct “tax,” it’s important to remember that the funds from an equity release might affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits. If your savings go above a certain threshold due to the released equity, you might lose access to some benefits.

Tax on investment income: If you use the released funds to invest and those investments generate income (e.g., interest, dividends), that income might be subject to tax, depending on your overall income and allowances.

How does the age of the borrower impact the equity release mortgage amount?

The age of the borrower plays a significant role in equity release. As equity release schemes are primarily designed for older homeowners, age directly affects various aspects of the agreement.
Generally, the older you are when you take out an equity release plan, the more money you can potentially release from your home. This is because, statistically, the expected term of the loan is shorter the older you are, which means there’s less time for interest to accrue.

Moreover, age can affect the interest rate offered by some providers. Older applicants might be offered more favourable interest rates since the loan duration is expected to be shorter. On the other hand, younger applicants might face higher rates due to the potentially longer duration of the loan will be outstanding.

Age also plays a role in the eligibility criteria. Most equity release schemes have a minimum age requirement, often set at 55 years, though some plans might have a higher age threshold.
Lastly, age can influence the type of equity release plan that’s suitable. For instance, some plans might be more beneficial for those in their 60s, while others might cater more to those in their 70s or 80s. This suitability often ties back to the financial objectives of the borrower and the terms of the equity release product.

What happens if I want to move or sell my home after getting an equity release plan?

If you want to move or sell your home after taking out an equity release plan, the process and implications can vary depending on the terms of your specific equity release product.

Here’s a general overview:

Portability: Many modern plans are designed to be “portable.” This means you can transfer the plan to a new property without facing early repayment charges, provided the new property meets the lender’s criteria. If the new property is of lower value and doesn’t secure the full loan amount, you might have to repay a portion of the equity release.

Early repayment charges: If your equity release plan isn’t portable, or if you decide to repay the loan rather than transferring it, you might face early repayment charges. These charges can be substantial, so it’s essential to understand them before committing to any action.

Selling process: If you decide to sell, the proceeds from the sale will first be used to repay the equity release loan and any accumulated interest. If there’s any surplus after repaying the loan, it will be yours to use as you see fit.

Downsizing protection: Some equity release plans come with a feature called “downsizing protection.” This allows you to repay the loan without any early repayment charges if you decide to sell and move to a smaller property after a specific period, typically 5 years from the start of the plan.

Moving to a different type of property: The lender will need to approve the new property if you’re transferring the equity release plan. Some properties might not be acceptable to the lender due to their type, value, location, or condition. In such cases, the loan would need to be repaid, either from the sale proceeds or other means.

Partial repayment: If you sell your home and buy a cheaper one, transferring the equity release might lead to borrowing more than required. Some plans allow for partial repayments, enabling you to reduce the loan amount without incurring penalties.

Before making any decisions about moving or selling, it’s essential to consult with your equity release provider and understand all the terms and potential costs associated with your specific plan. If needed, seek advice from a financial advisor familiar with equity release to ensure you make an informed decision.

How do equity release lifetime mortgages differ from home reversion plans?

Equity release lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans are both ways to unlock equity from a property, but they operate differently and come with distinct features. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences:


Equity release lifetime mortgage: This is essentially a loan secured against your home. You retain full ownership of your property and borrow a portion of its value. The loan amount, plus any accumulated interest, is repaid typically when the homeowner either dies or moves into long-term care.

Home reversion plan: With this arrangement, you sell a portion or all of your property to a home reversion company in exchange for a lump sum or regular payments. While you lose ownership of the part of the property you’ve sold, you have the right to live in the home, rent-free, for the rest of your life.


Equity release lifetime mortgage: The loan is repaid from the sale proceeds of the house, usually when the homeowner passes away or moves into care. If there’s any remaining equity after the loan is repaid, it goes to the homeowner or their heirs.

Home reversion plan: When the property is eventually sold, the proceeds are split based on the ownership proportions. If you sold 40% of your home, for example, the home reversion company would receive 40% of the sale proceeds.

Equity release lifetime mortgage: Interest accumulates on the amount borrowed. The rate can be fixed or variable, and the interest typically compounds, which can cause the debt to grow rapidly over time.

Home reversion plan: Since it’s not a loan, there’s no interest. However, you’ll generally receive a sum that’s below the market value for the portion of the property you sell because you continue to live there without paying rent.


Equity release lifetime mortgage: These often come with more flexible options, such as the ability to draw down funds in stages or the choice to make interest payments to prevent the debt from increasing.

Home reversion plan: The terms are generally set at the outset, based on the percentage of the home you sell and the amount you receive.

Eligibility age:

Equity release lifetime mortgage: Typically available from age 55 onwards.

Home reversion plan: Usually requires the homeowner to be older, often 65 or 70, because the company bases its offer on the expectation of a shorter duration before the property is sold.

Both options have pros and cons, and the best choice depends on individual circumstances, financial needs, and preferences. It’s essential to get advice from a financial professional familiar with equity release products before making a decision.

What happens to my equity release plan if I pass away or move into long-term care?

If you pass away or move into long-term care, the equity release plan typically comes to an end and specific actions are taken to settle the loan:

Repayment: Upon death or moving into long-term care, the equity release loan, along with any accumulated interest, becomes due. This is typically repaid from the sale of the property.

Duration for sale: After the borrower’s death, the representatives or heirs usually have a set period (often 6 to 12 months) to sell the property and repay the loan. If you move into long-term care, a similar timeframe might apply.

Proceeds from the sale: Once the property is sold, the proceeds are used to pay off the equity release loan. Any remaining amount after the loan is settled will go to the borrower’s estate or beneficiaries.

Joint plans: If the equity release was taken out jointly, and one partner passes away or moves into long-term care, the plan continues in the name of the surviving partner. The loan would only need to be repaid when the second person either passes away or moves into long-term care.

Negative equity guarantee: Many modern equity release schemes come with a “no negative equity guarantee.” This means that if the sale proceeds of the house are not enough to cover the loan amount, the remaining debt is written off, and the heirs won’t be responsible for any shortfall.

Protecting inheritance: Some plans offer an inheritance protection option, allowing you to ring-fence a portion of your property’s value to leave as an inheritance. Even if the loan grows, this portion remains protected for your beneficiaries.

Early repayment: If the family or heirs decide they want to keep the property, they can choose to repay the equity release loan from other sources, such as personal savings or another type of loan.

It’s essential to have a will in place and to communicate with family or beneficiaries about the equity release plan, ensuring they are aware of the steps to take upon your passing or if you move into long-term care.

How is the interest compounded in an equity release mortgage?

In an equity release mortgage, interest is typically compounded on a roll-up basis. Here’s a breakdown of how this compounding works:

Interest calculation: The lender calculates interest on the amount you’ve borrowed (the principal). At regular intervals (this can be annually, semi-annually, or even monthly, depending on the specific terms of the plan), this interest is added to the principal.

Accumulating interest: Once the interest is added to the principal, it, too, starts earning interest in subsequent periods. This is the essence of compounding – you’re charged interest not just on the original amount you borrowed but also on any interest that has already been added.

Roll-up effect: Over time, thanks to this compounding effect, the total amount owed can grow significantly. This is often referred to as “roll-up” interest, as the interest rolls up onto the principal and subsequently earns interest itself.

Final repayment: Since most equity release schemes don’t require monthly repayments, the compounded interest continues to accumulate until the plan ends. The loan, along with the compounded interest, is typically repaid when the homeowner either sells the property, moves into long-term care, or passes away.

Fixed vs. variable rates: The rate at which interest is charged can be fixed or variable. A fixed-rate remains constant over the life of the loan, whereas a variable rate might fluctuate based on market conditions. The way interest compounds remains the same in both cases, but the actual rate might change if it’s variable.

Impact on loan amount: Due to the compounding nature of the interest, the amount owed can grow substantially over the years, especially if the equity release plan lasts for a long duration. It’s essential to understand this when considering equity release, as it affects the final amount that will be repaid and, consequently, the amount of equity left in the property.

What happens if the housing market crashes – how does it affect my equity release plans?

If the housing market crashes, it can have several implications for homeowners with equity release plans:

Property value: A crash means that the value of your property could decrease. If the value drops below the amount you’ve borrowed (including the compounded interest), it could potentially mean you owe more than your home is worth. However, many equity release plans come with a “no negative equity guarantee.” This means that even if your house’s value drops below the amount owed, you (or your estate) will never have to repay more than the property’s sale price.

Selling or moving: If you decide to sell your home or move during a market downturn, you might get less for your property than anticipated. This could affect plans such as downsizing or transferring the equity release plan to a new home.

Interest rates: While a housing market crash doesn’t directly affect the interest rates on existing fixed-rate equity release plans, the broader economic implications of a crash could influence variable interest rates. If you have a variable rate plan, your interest rates could change depending on broader economic factors and central bank policies in response to the crash.

Refinancing or switching plans: If you’re considering refinancing or switching to a different equity release product, a crashed market might limit your options. Lenders may tighten their criteria or offer less favorable terms in uncertain market conditions.

Protection measures: Equity release products in many countries come with protections for consumers. In the UK, for example, members of the Equity Release Council have to adhere to standards that provide certain safeguards, like the no negative equity guarantee. This ensures that borrowers are not left in a vulnerable position due to market fluctuations.

Emotional and psychological impact: Beyond the financial implications, seeing a significant drop in your home’s value can be distressing, especially if you had viewed your property as a primary asset or legacy for heirs.

How do I choose a reliable equity release provider?

Choosing a reliable equity release provider is essential for both lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans. Here’s a guide to help you make an informed decision:

Regulatory compliance:

  • Ensure the provider is regulated by the appropriate authority. In the UK, for example, this would be the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A regulated provider offers more protection and recourse should anything go wrong.
  • Membership with Industry Associations: Check if the provider is a member of industry-specific organisations, such as the Equity Release Council in the UK. Membership indicates a commitment to uphold industry standards and best practices.

Reviews and reputation:

  • Look at customer reviews, testimonials, and any industry awards.
  • Be wary of providers with a history of complaints or poor service.

Product range and flexibility:

  • A good provider will offer a range of products to suit different needs.
  • Check for options that allow for early repayments, inheritance protection, or downsizing protection.

Transparent fees and charges:

  • Providers should clearly outline all fees, charges, and potential penalties.
  • Avoid providers that have hidden fees or are not transparent about costs.

Interest rates:

  • Compare interest rates and understand if they are fixed or variable.
  • Ensure you understand how the rates will affect the total amount repayable over time.

No negative equity guarantee:

  • This is a crucial feature to protect you from owing more than your home’s value.
  • Ensure your chosen provider offers this guarantee.

Professional advice:

  • Reputable providers will encourage (or even require) you to seek independent financial advice before finalising the agreement.
  • An advisor can help you understand the product’s implications and whether it’s right for you.

Customer support:

  • Check how easy it is to contact the provider and their responsiveness.
  • Good customer support can be invaluable, especially if you have questions or concerns in the future.

Financial stability:

  • Look for providers with a strong financial track record and stability.
  • This ensures they are likely to be around for the duration of your plan and can meet their commitments.

Are there specific lenders who specialise in equity release?

Yes, there are specific lenders who specialise in equity release. The market has grown over the years, with both specialised firms and traditional high-street banks offering equity release products. Here are some types of lenders you might encounter:

Specialist equity release providers: These are firms dedicated solely to equity release products.

They might offer a range of options, from lifetime mortgages to home reversion plans. Examples include:

  • Aviva
  • Legal & General
  • Pure Retirement
  • More2Life
  • OneFamily

High-street banks and building societies: While not all traditional banks and building societies offer equity release products, some have ventured into the market due to its growing popularity.

Examples might include:

  • Santander
  • Nationwide Building Society

Home reversion specialists: Some providers might specialise exclusively in home reversion plans, which are a specific type of equity release.

Broker services: Some firms operate as brokers, offering equity release products from a range of providers rather than lending directly. These brokers can help compare different plans and choose one that fits the customer’s needs.

Members of the equity release council: In the UK, the Equity Release Council is a trade body that represents providers, qualified advisers, intermediaries, and surveyors who work in the equity release sector. Membership requires adhering to a strict code of conduct, which is designed to protect consumers. If you’re in the UK, choosing a provider that’s a member of the Equity Release Council can add an extra layer of security and peace of mind.

What are the implications of negative equity with an equity release mortgage?

Negative equity in the context of equity release occurs when the total amount owed on the loan, including accumulated interest, exceeds the current value of the property. This situation can arise if property prices significantly drop after taking out the equity release or if the compounded interest accumulates to a large sum over a long period.

The implications of negative equity with an equity release mortgage are:

Firstly, it can be a concern for homeowners who are worried about passing on debt to their heirs. If there’s negative equity and the home is sold for less than the amount owed, the estate might be left with a debt.

However, many modern equity release schemes come with a “no negative equity guarantee.” This guarantee ensures that even if the sale proceeds of the house are not enough to cover the outstanding loan amount, the remaining debt is written off. This means the homeowner or their heirs will never owe more than the value of the home when it’s sold.

Another implication of negative equity is that it can limit flexibility. For homeowners thinking about moving or downsizing, being in negative equity can complicate these plans, as the sale of the property might not generate enough funds to repay the equity release loan and still leave enough to purchase a new property.

Lastly, negative equity can have emotional and psychological impacts. Knowing that your home, often considered your most significant asset, is worth less than what you owe can be distressing. It can also cause stress when considering the financial legacy you might leave behind for heirs.

How does equity release impact the inheritance tax?

Equity release can have implications for inheritance tax (IHT). When homeowners take out an equity release scheme, they are essentially borrowing against the value of their property or selling a portion of it. This reduces the overall value of their estate, which is the total value of all their assets at the time of their death.

If the value of the estate (including the home) is reduced due to the equity release, then the potential inheritance tax liability may also be reduced. This is because the inheritance tax is usually levied on estates that exceed a certain threshold, and any amount below this threshold is generally not subject to the tax.

By taking out an equity release, the homeowner may reduce the estate’s value to a level below the inheritance tax threshold, thereby minimising or eliminating the tax liability.

However, it’s essential to remember that the money received from an equity release can increase the value of other assets in the estate if not spent. For example, if the funds from the equity release are saved or invested, they can add to the value of the estate, potentially increasing the inheritance tax liability.

Another consideration is the interest that accumulates on some equity release products, like a lifetime mortgage. Over time, the interest can compound, and the amount owed can grow significantly. This growing debt further reduces the property’s equity, which can further lower the potential inheritance tax liability.

Lastly, while equity release can be a tool to manage potential inheritance tax, it’s crucial to view it in the broader context of overall financial and estate planning. Other factors, such as gifts made during one’s lifetime, the distribution of assets, and any reliefs or exemptions, can also play a significant role in inheritance tax calculations.

Can I make monthly repayments on an equity release plan?

Yes, some equity release plans, particularly certain types of lifetime mortgages, do allow for monthly repayments. Here’s how it typically works:

Interest-only lifetime mortgages: With this type of plan, you borrow a lump sum against the value of your home, and instead of allowing the interest to roll up and compound, you make monthly interest payments. By doing this, the amount you owe remains constant, ensuring that the loan’s balance doesn’t grow over time due to accumulating interest. This can be a way to preserve more of the home’s value for inheritance purposes.

Voluntary repayment plans: Some schemes offer flexibility in how you repay. You might not be obligated to make monthly payments, but you have the option to make voluntary repayments up to a certain limit each year. This can help in reducing the overall debt over time.

Flexible repayment options: Some providers offer plans where you can choose to make either interest-only payments or ad-hoc capital repayments, giving you control over the loan balance.

However, there are some considerations to keep in mind:

Eligibility: Not all plans come with the option for monthly repayments. It’s crucial to clarify this with the provider before finalising any agreement.

Penalties: Some plans might have early repayment charges if you decide to pay back more than the agreed-upon limit in a given time. Ensure you understand any penalties associated with making additional repayments.

Affordability: If you opt for an interest-only lifetime mortgage or another plan that requires monthly repayments, the provider will assess your ability to make these payments. This is to ensure you can afford the repayments without significant financial strain.

End of interest-only period: Some interest-only lifetime mortgages may have a set period where you make interest payments, after which the product might convert to a roll-up interest plan. It’s essential to be aware of such terms.

Can I transfer an equity release plan to a different property?

Yes, many equity release plans, especially lifetime mortgages, offer a “portability” feature, which allows homeowners to transfer their equity release plan to a different property. This is particularly useful for individuals who wish to downsize or move to a different location in their later years. Here’s how it generally works:

Eligibility of the new property: When transferring an equity release plan to a new property, the new property must meet the provider’s criteria. This typically involves a valuation to ensure the property is of adequate value and condition.

Equity adjustments: If the new property is of a lower value than the original one, you may need to partially repay the loan. This could be from the proceeds of selling the original property. Conversely, if the new property is of higher value, there might be potential to release more equity, depending on the terms and conditions of the provider.

Costs and fees: Transferring your equity release plan to another property might incur additional fees. These can include valuation fees for the new property, administrative fees, or potential early repayment charges if you’re required to reduce the loan amount.

Approval process: The transfer isn’t automatic. Once you’ve identified a new property you’d like to move to, you’ll need to inform the provider. They will then assess the property and confirm if the transfer is possible.

Home peversion plans: If you have a home reversion plan (where a portion of your home is sold to a reversion company), transferring the plan to a different property becomes more complex. It may not always be possible, and it would typically require buying back the sold portion of the original property at market value.

What are the most common misconceptions about equity release schemes?

Equity release schemes have grown in popularity, but they remain surrounded by several misconceptions. Some of the most common misconceptions include:

Loss of home ownership: Many people believe that taking out an equity release means they will lose ownership of their home. In reality, with a lifetime mortgage (the most common form of equity release), homeowners retain ownership of their property. It’s only with home reversion plans that a portion or all of the property is sold to the provider, but even then, you have the right to live there rent-free for life or until you move into long-term care.

Leaving a debt for heirs: Some fear that equity release will leave a massive debt for their heirs. While it’s true that the loan and any accrued interest will need to be repaid, typically from the sale of the home, many plans come with a “no negative equity guarantee.” This ensures that the debt owed will never exceed the property’s value, so other assets in the estate won’t be at risk.

You can’t move house: As discussed previously, many equity release plans are portable, meaning they can be transferred to a new property if you decide to move. The new property will need to meet the lender’s criteria, but moving isn’t impossible.

High costs and fees: While there are costs associated with equity release, such as setup fees and interest, these can vary widely between providers. It’s essential to shop around, compare rates, and understand all costs before committing.

Only for the desperate: Some people believe equity release is only for those in dire financial straits. In reality, many individuals use equity release as a tool for financial planning in retirement, whether it’s to supplement income, renovate their home, help family members, or even take a dream holiday.

It affects your state benefits: There’s a belief that releasing equity can automatically impact entitlement to state benefits. While it can affect means-tested benefits, proper planning and understanding the rules can often mitigate these impacts. Seeking advice can help individuals navigate this.

All equity release schemes are the same: This is far from the truth. There are various types of equity release products, each with its terms, conditions, and features. It’s crucial to understand the differences and choose the one that aligns best with individual needs.

Interest rates are exorbitant: While historically, some equity release schemes had high interest rates, the market has become more competitive. Rates can vary, but many are now more in line with standard mortgage rates. Still, it’s essential to compare and understand the long-term implications of the interest.

How can I protect myself from potential scams or fraudulent equity release schemes?

Protecting oneself from potential scams or fraudulent schemes, including those related to equity release, is crucial. Here are some steps and considerations to ensure you’re entering into a legitimate and suitable equity release plan:

Regulation: Ensure the equity release provider is regulated by the appropriate financial authority in your country. For instance, in the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates financial firms. A regulated firm has to adhere to specific standards and provides certain protections for consumers.

Seek professional advice: Always consult with a financial advisor who specialises in equity release. Ideally, they should be a member of a recognised professional body, like the Equity Release Council in the UK. This ensures they adhere to a code of conduct and provide appropriate advice.

Check reviews and reputation: Research the equity release provider’s reputation. Look for reviews online, ask for testimonials, and see if they have any industry awards or recognitions.

No pressure: Legitimate providers and advisors won’t pressure you into making quick decisions. Be wary of anyone rushing you or using high-pressure sales tactics.

Transparent costs and fees: Ensure all costs, fees, and charges associated with the equity release scheme are clearly explained and transparent. If anything is unclear or seems hidden, seek further clarification.

No negative equity guarantee: This is a feature where the amount owed, even with accumulating interest, will never exceed the property’s value. Most reputable equity release schemes offer this guarantee, protecting you and your heirs from unforeseen debt.

Understand the product: Make sure you fully understand the type of equity release product being offered, its terms, conditions, and potential implications. If something seems too complex or isn’t explained well, seek a second opinion.

Beware of unsolicited offers: Be cautious if you receive unsolicited calls, emails, or mail regarding equity release. Scammers often use these methods to target potential victims.

Research the company: Ensure the company has a physical address contact number, and is not just a website. Visit the office if possible. Verify the company’s registration details and cross-check them with the regulatory body.

Consult with loved ones: Discussing such significant financial decisions with trusted family or friends can provide an additional perspective. They might spot red flags that you’ve missed or offer valuable advice.

Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always prioritise your safety and financial security, and never hesitate to seek additional information or advice when considering equity release or any other financial product.

Things to consider before equity release

Before delving into equity release, there are several crucial considerations to bear in mind to ensure you’re making a well-informed decision. Here are some of the main things to think about:

Alternatives: Consider other financial alternatives like downsizing, using savings, or seeking help from family. Sometimes, these options might be more suitable or cost-effective.

Impact on benefits: Equity release can affect means-tested benefits. If you’re receiving state benefits, it’s essential to understand how releasing equity might influence your eligibility.

Inheritance implications: Equity release reduces the value of your estate, which will impact any inheritance you plan to leave behind. Discuss this with family members to ensure they understand and are on board with your decision.

Long-term commitment: Equity release is a long-term commitment. Ensure you understand the terms and how they might impact you in the future, especially if your circumstances change.

Interest rates: The interest rates on equity release products, particularly lifetime mortgages, can be higher than standard mortgages. Over time, the amount you owe can grow significantly due to compound interest.

Early repayment charges: Some plans come with hefty early repayment charges. If you think you might want to repay the loan sooner than expected, these fees can be a significant factor to consider.

Flexibility: Consider how flexible the equity release plan is. Can you release money in stages? Is there an option to make repayments? Can you transfer the plan to a new property?

Professional advice: It’s essential to seek advice from a financial advisor specialising in equity release. They can help you understand the product’s nuances and ensure it aligns with your needs.

Costs and fees: Apart from interest, there might be other costs, such as valuation fees, solicitor’s fees, and setup fees. Ensure you’re aware of all associated costs.

No negative equity guarantee: Opt for a plan that includes a “no negative equity guarantee.” This ensures that you’ll never owe more than your home’s value, protecting you and your heirs.

Future changes: Consider potential future needs, like long-term care. How might equity release affect your ability to cover these costs? Will you have enough flexibility or funds available?

Provider reputation: Research potential providers to ensure they’re reputable. Look for reviews and customer testimonials, and check if they’re members of industry bodies, like the Equity Release Council in the UK.

Potential for moving: If you might want to move in the future, consider how this will impact the equity release plan. Some plans might be portable, while others could have restrictions.

Taking the time to understand these considerations and seeking advice will put you in a stronger position to determine whether equity release is the right option for your circumstances.


Can I get an equity release plan if I have an existing mortgage on my property?

Yes, you can get an equity release plan if you have an existing mortgage. However, the equity release funds must first be used to pay off any outstanding mortgage on the property. Once the existing mortgage is cleared, any remaining funds from the equity release can be used as you see fit.

Can I get an equity release plan on a non-traditional property, like a houseboat or mobile home?

Most equity release plans are designed for traditional brick-and-mortar homes. Non-traditional properties, such as houseboats or mobile homes, typically don’t qualify for standard equity release products due to their perceived higher risk and different depreciation rates. However, specialised lenders might offer solutions for these types of properties, though terms and conditions may vary and could be more restrictive.

Can I repay my equity release plans early? If so, are there penalties?

Yes, many equity release plans allow for early repayment. However, there can be substantial early repayment charges, which can make it expensive to repay the plan early. It’s essential to understand the terms and conditions of your specific plan regarding early repayments and associated penalties.

How do interest and repayments work?

For most equity release products, particularly lifetime mortgages, interest is added to the loan amount over time. This is typically compound interest, meaning interest is charged on the original loan and on the accumulated interest from previous periods. In most cases, the loan amount and the accrued interest are repaid when the homeowner dies, sells the property, or moves into long-term care.

Some equity release plans offer the flexibility to make interest payments monthly or annually, which can reduce the amount of interest that compounds over time.

There are also plans that allow for partial capital repayments, helping to manage the overall debt.

Will you receive your money all at once?

The manner in which you receive money from an equity release scheme depends on the type of plan you choose:

Lifetime mortgage:
Lump-sum lifetime mortgage: With this option, you receive the entire amount all at once, providing you with a substantial sum upfront.

Drawdown lifetime mortgage: This option offers more flexibility. You can take an initial amount and then draw down further amounts as and when you need them, up to a specified limit.

Home reversion plan:
In a home reversion scheme, you sell a portion or all of your home to a reversion company in exchange for a lump sum or regular payments. Typically, when opting for a home reversion plan, the proceeds from the sale (whether it’s for a part or the entirety of your home) are given as a one-time lump sum.

It’s vital to consider the nature of your financial needs when deciding on the most suitable plan. If you need intermittent funds, a drawdown might be more fitting, but if you have a large, immediate expense, a lump sum could be more beneficial.

Some equity release plans offer the flexibility to make interest payments monthly or annually, which can reduce the amount of interest that compounds over time.

There are also plans that allow for partial capital repayments, helping to manage the overall debt.

Can I use an equity release scheme to purchase another property?

Typically, equity release is designed to release funds from your current home. However, some providers may allow you to use the funds for various purposes, including purchasing another property. It’s essential to discuss your intentions with the equity release provider or seek advice from a financial advisor to ensure the use of funds aligns with the terms of the scheme.

What are my options if I'm under 55?

Most equity release schemes are designed for older homeowners, typically aged 55 or over. If you’re under 55, standard equity release might not be an option. However, other financial products or solutions could be considered, such as remortgaging, taking out a secured loan, or exploring other property investment strategies. Consulting a financial advisor can provide clarity on the best options for your age and situation.

How much does equity release cost?

The cost of equity release varies based on several factors. These can include:

Set-up fees: These can encompass arrangement fees for the mortgage, property valuation fees, and solicitor’s fees.

Interest rates: The rate will determine how much the amount you owe grows over time. This can vary between providers and products.

Early repayment charges: If you decide to repay the mortgage earlier than agreed, there might be substantial fees.

Annual management fees: Some schemes, especially home reversion plans, may have these.

Financial advice fees: It’s advisable (and sometimes mandatory) to consult with a financial advisor before taking out an equity release product, and they may charge for their services.

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