Frequently asked questions

We know that many borrowers may have some concerns based on how the later life lending market used to look years ago, so we have a rather useful checklist of Frequently Asked Questions about Equity Release and Lifetime Mortgages to help.

Is using my house equity safe?

Yes. The plans we recommend carry guarantees and features to ensure that you can release cash from your home safely and securely. They must be overseen by a solicitor and can only be advised upon by professionals like ourselves who hold specific equity release qualifications. All plans are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and we are members of the Equity Release Council (ERC), the industry body for equity release mortgages.

Could equity release lead to negative equity?

No. As standard, all approved products and plans offer a “No Negative Equity Guarantee” that ensures that no matter how long you live or what happens to property prices, you will never owe more than the value of your home, so won’t leave your family with any debt. In fact, the ‘Protected Equity Guarantee’ available on some plans will enable you to protect a portion of the value of your home.

Will I still receive my state benefits if I release equity?

We will do a full assessment of the income available to you, to include any state benefit income received to ensure that any plans recommended will not affect these financial benefits.

Will I reduce the value of my estate?

You will be in control. Plans can allow you to release as much of the value of your home as you choose and from the start you will be taken through a personal illustration that lets you know how much money you could raise and what it will cost.

Will I still be able to leave an inheritance?

You can specify how much inheritance you want to leave to family members. Many lenders offer variations to their schemes, such as inheritance features meaning a portion of your property is guaranteed to your beneficiaries.

What are the pros and cons of lifetime mortgages?

The main pro of a lifetime mortgage is, it’s a good way to raise a lump sum of tax-free cash or ongoing finance. It could also be a well needed replacement for a mortgage that you no longer have enough funds to repay – avoiding having to move home or release ownership before you are ready. The main con is, whether you pay it monthly or as part of the property sale, you are charged interest on the loan. It does not, however, need to be an increasing debt throughout retirement as many interest-only lifetime mortgage plans allow you to overpay an amount without penalty each year, plus the rates of interest available now are very competitive and carry strict guidelines to ensure you and your home are protected.

Call our expert mortgage advisers today

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