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Our Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does a lifetime mortgage work?

    A lifetime mortgage is basically a loan secured against your home. You are able to keep ownership of the property and are required to maintain it. Interest is charged against what you have borrowed. With several lifetime mortgage options now available, you can choose to repay that interest, or you can just have the interest rolled-up and added to the overall loan balance. The debt is paid when the home is sold, which typically takes place when the last homeowner has either passed away or moved into long term care. Anything left following the sale goes to your estate for your beneficiaries.

  • Why is important to get independent equity release advice?

    The equity release marketplace has grown extensively in recent years, meaning that the number of products and their available features have expanded. By using an adviser who has experience working with the available products, you are able to tailor a product to suit your needs as opposed to having to conform to an existing one, which can happen most when using just one company’s products. By getting advice, you will be able to access over 100 plans currently available in the marketplace.

    To find a local equity release adviser, use our adviser sourcing tool.

  • Do I have to receive advice? I know exactly the product required.

    Yes, you must receive advice. This essentially means that you cannot go directly to a lender for a product. The advice you receive will ensure that you are recommended only a product that is suitable for your situation. It also means that if you are trying to access a lifetime mortgage product that requires repayments, you are able to realistically afford those payments. The requirement to receive advice is mostly a protection for you and is an FCA requirement.

    Even though you require an expert adviser to take out an equity release plan, you can conduct your own self-research with our smartER research tool. It will tell you; whether you’re eligible for equity release, the plans available to you, the interest rates, and the amount of money you can release from your property.

  • How much does it cost to set up a lifetime mortgage?

    Because a lifetime mortgage functions much like a residential mortgage, you should expect the same fees. There are five primary fees incurred when setting up your lifetime mortgage. They are the valuation fee, application fee, solicitors fees, financial adviser fees, and a fee for further advances, if that applies to your product. The only fee that you typically have to pay up front is the valuation fee and this fee will vary depending on your lender and the current market value. If your valuation is higher, you will pay a bigger fee.

    Our smartER research tool will inform you how much it will cost to take our each equity release product available to you.

  • Where can I obtain independent lifetime mortgage advice?

    There are a number of resources available to you if looking for lifetime mortgage advice. You can call us at 0800 689 1176 where a local adviser can give you specialist advice on what product might be most suitable for your circumstance. You can get advice and find your local adviser through this tool. It is important to make sure your adviser is independent so that you are getting unbiased information. Keep in mind your preferred method of communication when choosing an adviser since both phone and face-to-face are available.

  • In what formats can lifetime mortgage advice be provided?

    Lifetime mortgage advice can be given either over the phone or in-person, which can take place in your own home. You do have a choice over how you communicate with an adviser but keep in mind that you must get advice in order to use a lifetime mortgage product. Getting advice is a requirement and is considered a consumer protection.

  • How do I check my equity release adviser is qualified?

    It is important to use an adviser that you trust and that is qualified to give lifetime mortgage advice. If you want to know if your adviser is qualified, you can always check the FCA register which is the most reliable source. Because receiving advice on lifetime mortgages is a regulated activity, those who give out advice must be regulated by the FCA and subsequently must follow its rules. This means that all advisers must have approved qualifications in order to give advice.

  • Which companies offer the best lifetime mortgage plans?

    Lifetime mortgage plans now offer several different features and options and they are not one-size-fits-all. The best lifetime mortgage plan for you will depend on a number of factors. This includes your age, health, property value and location, and any outstanding loan or mortgage balance you may have. Furthermore, the ideal lifetime mortgage for you will be determined based on your objective for the lifetime mortgage product as well as your personal circumstances.

    To compare lifetime mortgage products available on the open-market click here.

  • How much does a lifetime mortgage adviser charge for their services?

    Because different firms charge different rates, it is important to shop around for the right adviser for you. There can also be differences in how firms charge their fees. Some firms charge their fees based on a fixed rate while others charge based on a percentage of the equity release. Some, though not many, may charge you upfront for their fees while others do not. Keep in mind, that the work done for each release is virtually the same, regardless of the size of the equity release. The only extra work required is when borrowing on a joint basis.

  • Can I repay my lifetime mortgage early?

    In short, you are able to pay your lifetime mortgage back early. However, you should keep in mind that you may have to pay an Early Repayment Charge and these charges can often be quite costly. At the time that you apply for your lifetime mortgage, you are given information on Early Repayment Charges and the maximum you may be required to pay if you choose to pay your lifetime mortgage off early.

  • How long after receiving advice should I expect to receive my cash?

    In general, the typical timeline from application to receiving your cash is typically four weeks if there are no issues. Once you have signed your paperwork, your solicitor will forward the documents to the lender’s solicitor. Once this is complete, you should receive your cash within a week or two. There are typically only delays involved if there are legal issues. If there are issues, your solicitor should keep you informed. It is suggested that you do not commit any funds you expect to receive from the equity release until you’ve received confirmation that it is complete.