Equity Release Reviews
Whether it’s to help fund your retirement, make home improvements, pay for that trip of a lifetime or help family get a foot on the property ladder, these days an increasing number of UK homeowners are turning to equity release as part of their later life financial planning.
To service this increased demand, there are now a number of different types of plan available offered by a range of leading equity release compaines.
To help guide you through the various options, we have provided equity release reviews on market leading providers across the UK, so you can understand more about what’s available to you.
Our reviews including the following companies: Aviva, Age Partnership, Legal & General, LV, One Family, Hodge Lifetime and the SunLife equity release service are independent and jargon free and you can also use our free equity release calculator to see how much tax free cash you can unlock from your home.
Try the Equity Release Calculator
What’s included in the reviews?
For each review we have included information on the company’s background, awards they may have won, eligibility and the range of products they offer, including additional information we think may be of importance to you such as how interest is calculated.
The majority of providers offer two types of equity release scheme although the details may vary:
- A Lifetime Mortgage
- A Home Reversion Plan
With a lifetime mortgage, a loan is secured against your property that incurs interest and is only paid off once you die or move into care. So you get a tax free sum of money with no monthly repayments and you still own 100% of your property.
Having said that, there are a number of different types of Lifetime mortgage that let you pay some of the interest back, or release the money in stages so you only pay interest on the money you have used.
You can read more about the options available to you in our Lifetime Mortgage section
With a home reversion plan you agree to sell part or all of your home in return for a tax free cash sum. You will therefore no longer own all of your property however you do get to live there rent free for the rest of your life or until you move into care.
At this stage the property would be sold and the plan provider would receive their part of the proceeds, based on the percentage of the property they own.
You can read more about the options available to you in our Home Reversion scheme section
Are you eligible for the schemes on offer?
Terms vary slightly from company to company, so we have included more specific information on eligibility in each of our reviews however in general terms, the following rules apply:
- The youngest applicant is a homeowner aged 55 or older
- You are mortgage free or have a small mortgage – any existing mortgage would need to be paid off with the money you release from your property
- Your property is freehold, worth at least £75,000, based in the UK and your main residence
- You want to borrow a minimum of £10,000 - £15,000
There are exceptions to these rules such as leasehold property may be accepted depending on the time remaining on the lease, so if you are considering releasing money from your home, it is important to seek advice from an equity release expert.
What is the best way to compare equity release?
You will find everything you need to compare equity release and understand how plans work here, but it also makes sense to talk things through with an independent specialist, like Age Partnership.
As you will see from our Age Partnership equity release review, they are a leading specialist that compares the market across the whole of the UK and has agreed special rates and incentives with companies that you may not be able to get elsewhere.
Their advice is free, you only pay if you decide to go ahead and there is no obligation. They can guide you through your options, compare plans available to you and advise you on the best course of action.
Is equity release a safe option?
You can be completely reassured that legally, all equity release companies are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, so you are protected by their rules and code of practice.
In addition most providers, such as the ones listed in our equity release reviews are also members of the Equity Release Council that ensures the following:
- You will never owe more than the value of your home
- Your interest rate will be fixed or variable but with a cap
- You have the flexibility to move in the future
- You can remain in your home either for life or until you move into long term care