Equity release

Find out what equity release is, how it works and important things to consider before applying

Equity release has become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing homeowners to unlock some of their property wealth, but it shouldn’t be entered into lightly.

What is equity release?

Equity release is a way of freeing up some of the wealth tied up in your home, without having to sell it. For some, it can be a useful way to raise cash to pay off debts, clear an existing mortgage, boost retirement income, or help out family.

However, equity release has its drawbacks and can have a significant long term financial impact on your wealth – it is certainly not suitable for everyone. Our guides are here to help you understand what equity release is and how it works, so that you can make an informed decision about whether it might be right for you.

Am I eligible for equity release?

Equity release isn’t available to everyone and you’ll need to meet certain eligibility criteria before you can apply For instance, the minimum age for being able to access equity release is 55 and there are a number of restrictions on the type of property that might be eligible.

Find out more about who can access equity release.

Looking for equity release help?

How much does equity release cost?

As you might expect, the costs associated with taking out an equity release product can vary widely depending on a number of key factors. The single biggest cost is almost always the interest you will end up owing on the amount you borrow.

In this guide, we cover the costs involved in equity release, how to reduce them, and where to get help and advice.

See how much you could unlock from your home with this free, easy to use calculator. Fill in a few details to get an estimate – and if you’d like some advice, arrange to speak to an expert.

What are the risks of equity release?

Equity release is a significant financial decision that needs to be thought through carefully.

In the guides below, we’ll cover the risks and pitfalls, as well as what you should ask yourself before considering equity release as an option.

Types of equity release

With a growing number of mortgage and equity release options available for borrowers aged 55 and up, it’s not always easy to work out which one might be right for you. In these articles, we explain how retirement interest-only mortgages and lifetime mortgages work and examine their similarities and differences, to help you decide whether either option might be worth considering.

We also dive deep into the two main types of equity release: lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans below.

Lifetime mortgages

Lifetime mortgages are by far the most popular type of equity release plan in the UK. This is where you take out a mortgage secured on your home, which does not need to be repaid until you die or go into long-term care. Unlike home reversion plans, with lifetime mortgages you’ll retain ownership of your property. If you want to see how much a lifetime mortgage is likely to cost you, our lifetime mortgage calculator can help.

Home reversion

Home reversion plans involve you selling a percentage of your property to an equity release provider, in return for a cash lump sum or a regular income. You’ll have the right to continue living in your home rent-free until you die or go into long-term care. Once that happens, your property will be sold and the proceeds divided between you and the equity release provider based on the proportion of equity you each own.

Alternatives to equity release

Taking out an equity release product is a big financial decision and it may not be your only option. Before committing to any particular course of action, it can be helpful to consider if there are any other potential alternatives that might help you achieve what you need.

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