Equity release advice - our experts thoughts
Equity release lets you access the money that is tied up in your home without the worry of monthly repayments. Whilst tapping into your property wealth this way can have its benefits, releasing equity with a lifetime mortgage is not suitable for everyone.
This guide explains why it is important to get equity release advice, why a specialist equity release broker could be a good option and where you can go for help.
Why getting advice on equity release is important
Releasing equity from your home is a big decision, so getting the best equity release advice is key. Using a specialist adviser who is a member of the Equity Release Council (ERC) means you go through a structured financial advisory process.
In addition to looking at the options available to you, the right adviser will also help you consider the alternatives along with any risks, to understand if it’s the right decision for you.
For your added protection, you will also need to seek independent legal advice, a requirement of the ERC. Choosing a solicitor with equity release experience will help to ensure you receive the best legal advice.
Can a financial adviser help with equity release?
It is a requirement that all firms offering equity release products must provide advice, however the guidance they provide may just be related to the products they offer.
Choosing a qualified independent financial adviser or specialist mortgage broker that has access to more than one lender means you can compare equity release plans across a range of providers, not just individual companies. This will give you a much broader view of the best and most suitable company for you.
A benefit of using an equity release broker is the initial free equity release advice many of them provide. They can talk through your options and help you decide if a lifetime mortgage is the most suitable course of action. Only if you decide to go ahead will you incur any fees.
Top 10 tips - helping you decide whether it's right for you
Here are our top tips on how to get the correct equity release advice:
- Choose a specialist IFA or broker that compares a range of plan providers
- See who offers initial free equity release advice
- Compare lifetime mortgages across a range of lenders
- Get a full break down of initial and projected costs
- Only borrow what you need
- Consider all of the features including any early repayment charges, flexibility to move, ability to drawdown future funds and inheritance protection
- Choose an equity release adviser that is a member of the ERC
- Get help and advice from your family
- Consider repaying some or all of the interest
- Choose a solicitor with experience of lifetime mortgages
Where can I get advice on equity release?
To help you understand more about equity release and answer any questions you may have, we work in association with Age Partnership. They offer initial free no obligation help and advice and have agreed exclusive plans with leading lenders that you may not be able to get elsewhere.
They will talk through your options with you and agree if equity release is the right decision for you. Only if you proceed and your case completes would a typical fee of £1,895 be payable.
Alternatively you can find details for other specialist brokers, IFAs and providers on the Equity Release Council’s ‘find a member’ website.
More help with equity release
If have money concerns but not sure whether releasing equity is the right decision, here are a couple of other organisations that may help:
Moneyhelper – the government backed financial guidance provider that combines the services of Pension Wise, The Money Advice Service and The Pensions Advisory Service.
National Debtline – the charitable organisation that provides free, independent debt advice over the phone or online
You can also see what Martin Lewis thinks about equity release.