What is equity release?

Equity release is a form of later life lending which enables you to access the equity (cash) tied up in your home if you are over the age of 55. It is an increasing popular way to access money without having to move.

Equity release plans

There are two main types of equity release plans – lifetime mortgage and home reversion:

Lifetime mortgage

You take out a mortgage secured on your property while retaining ownership. The loan amount and any accrued interest is paid back when you pass away or when you move into long-term care. Most people who take out equity release use a lifetime mortgage. In the same way ordinary mortgages vary from lender to lender, so do lifetime mortgages.

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Home reversion

You sell part or all of your home to a home reversion provider in return for a lump sum or regular payments. You have the right to continue living in the property until you pass away, rent free, as long as you maintain and insure it. At the end of the plan your property is sold and the sale proceeds are shared according to the remaining percentages of ownership.

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What is equity release?

Simply put, equity release is a way for you to release tax-free funds from your home without having to move. It is a form of later life lending that doesn’t require you to make monthly repayments. You can take the money you release as a lump sum or, in several smaller amounts, or as a combination of both.

To be eligible for equity release there are a number of criteria you’ll need to meet before you can apply. To qualify you must:

  • Be a UK homeowner (and be living in it as your main residence)
  • Be over 55 years old (both if in a couple)
  • Own a property worth at least £70,000

You will also need to release a minimum of £10,000. The maximum you can borrow will be based on the age of the youngest homeowner, their health and lifestyle, and the property’s value. Essentially the older you or your partner are, the more money you could potentially borrow. You can find out instantly how much you could release.

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Equity release – the facts

Equity release plans have increased in popularity in recent years due to their increased flexibility, competitive interest rates and safeguards. Did you know that…

  • You can still release cash if you have an outstanding mortgage, but this must be paid off with the money released. Equity release is a popular option for homeowners with an interest-only mortgage which needs paying off.
  • Equity release is a big financial decision and you must take advice from a specialist adviser before taking out a plan.
  • Equity release will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits.

To help you get a better understanding of equity release we’ve busted the common myths and misconceptions.

Go to myths and misconceptions

Get a quick quote

Use our free equity release calculator to find out in minutes if you qualify and how much you could release.

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Speak to an adviser

Book a free adviser fact find call to find out from one of our experienced advisers if equity release is right for you.

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Download our guide

Packed full of information, our guide is the perfect starting place for anyone considering equity release.

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Is releasing equity the right option for you?

Whether equity release is the right option for you depends on your circumstances such as:

  • your age
  • your income and savings
  • how much money you want to release
  • your plans for the future

Equity release might seem like a good option if you want some extra money and don’t want to move house. However, there are some important ‘Things to think about‘. You need to look at how it will affect your future choices and financial situation in later life too.

Our friendly advisers can help you to explore equity release – and the alternatives – with no jargon, pressure or bias without it costing you a penny. Only if you decide to go ahead we charge an advice fee of £995, payable on completion.

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What our customers say

Can I say a huge thank you for all your time and patience in explaining and ensuring that I have the best contract for my needs. It was clear that your guidance was not money driven but a concern for my future welfare and again I thank you. I would have no hesitation in recommending your services to anyone in the future.

Mrs C Trigg, Nottinghamshire

From the outset our adviser encouraged us to explore our scepticism thoroughly and this inspired confidence. He listened patiently and carefully assessed our rather complicated set of requirements. He acted in a totally professional yet friendly way, continuously ensuring that we had understood the options and the implications of any decisions to be made. He encouraged us to move at our own pace, retracing steps – sometimes several times – ensuring that equity release was right for us.

Mr and Mrs JD, Berkshire

My husband and I were very happy with the advice our adviser gave to us re equity release. There were several questions I had in relation to releasing some money but had not thought them through. Our adviser explained everything very clearly and I didn’t feel the push to go ahead some firms give. I felt that either way the decision was ours to proceed or not.

Mrs Colley, Wales

Our adviser James was extremely helpful and went through all options with us. He listened to what we wanted and explained everything and took his time.

What really impressed me with James was that instead of thinking of himself he was genuinely trying to find the best option for us, which in today’s world does not happen. I would certainly recommend James to anyone as he is honest, reliable and makes you feel at ease.

Mrs D Pepper, Lancashire

Your safety matters

As members of the Equity Release Council, all of the plans we recommend meet their standards, so that you:

  • Have the right to remain in your home for as long as you want, or until you move into full time residential care
  • Have the freedom to move to another property without financial penalty (subject to criteria)
  • Will never owe more than the value of your home with the no negative equity guarantee