Aviva Equity Release & Lifetime Mortgage Review in 2024

Do You Want to Borrow Through Equity Release With Aviva? Learn About the Pros, Cons, Fees and Interest Rates and Read Client Reviews. Find Out Here If Aviva Is the Best Provider for You…
  • Last Updated: 12 Feb 2024
  • Fact Checked
  • Our team recently fact checked this article for accuracy. However, things do change, so please do your own research.

Contributors:

Francis Hui

Key Takeaways

  • Aviva offers lifetime mortgages as their equity release option, targeting clients aged 55 and above.
  • The minimum loan amount is £15,000, with an option for regular access to a cash facility.
  • Aviva's equity release includes a cash reserve feature, allowing interest payment only on withdrawn funds.
  • They also offer an Enhanced Lifetime Mortgage for individuals with certain health conditions or lifestyle factors.
  • Aviva's equity release plans involve fees such as legal, valuation, and arrangement fees.
  • Currently, equity release rates are between 5.20% to 6.30%*

Considering Aviva equity release for a more secure retirement? 

Equity release has helped thousands fund their retirement, with over 90,000 borrowers in 2022 alone.1 

Aviva, an award-winning provider2, may be the answer you are seeking.

In This Article, You Will Discover:

    In this article, the Every Investor team explores Aviva's offerings, uncovering benefits and potential pitfalls. 

    We aim to provide insights on whether Aviva's equity release options can contribute to a financially secure retirement. 

    The Every Investor team conducts in-depth research to provide accurate and up-to-date information. All our articles are fact-checked by our editorial team, and we rely on reputable sources for the most accurate information.

    Read on to see if Aviva’s offerings align with your needs.

    NOTEEvery Investor is an impartial and unconnected third-party information provider via this website, and the details replicated in this commentary represent the opinions of Every Investor only and may not reflect the views or opinions of Aviva. This article must not be interpreted as advice, nor is it a solicitation to conduct transactions in any financial product provided by Aviva.

    What Is Equity Release and How Does Aviva Fit Into This?

    Equity release allows homeowners to access their property's value, with Aviva providing tailored solutions in this sector.

    A Closer Look at Equity Release

    For homeowners over 55, equity release is a mechanism to convert home equity into liquid assets. It offers a way to access the financial value of your property, avoiding a sale.

    The loan's repayment aspect is distinct, as it occurs from the house's sale, typically after events like the homeowner’s passing or entry into long-term care.

    Who is Aviva?

    Aviva is the UK's largest life insurer3 and a prominent provider of pensions and mortgages. 

    With a history spanning over three centuries, Aviva provides planning solutions for unforeseen circumstances.4 

    Headquartered in London, the company serves approximately 18mln clients in the UK, Ireland, and Canada.5 

    Aviva’s Experience and Expertise in the Financial Services Industry

    Aviva's experience and expertise in the financial services industry spans over three centuries since its establishment in 1696. 

    The company offer a range of products including motor, life, and home insurance6, savings and investment options7, retirement products8, and health insurance.9 

    While Aviva strives for quality customer service, individual experiences may vary, as with any financial service provider. This could be due to differences in individual financial circumstances, unique customer needs, or even the complexity of the case.

    Does Aviva Offer Equity Release Plans and How Do They Work?

    Aviva offers equity release plans, enabling homeowners to convert home equity into cash through lifetime mortgages.

    Does Aviva Offer Equity Release or Lifetime Mortgages? 

    Yes, Aviva offers equity release in the form of a lifetime mortgage.10 

    Since 1998, customers have released more than £10bln from their homes for retirement through Aviva.11

    Aviva’s Equity Release Plan

    Aviva’s equity release plan is a lifetime mortgage called the Lifestyle Flexible Option.12 

    This loan may be an option to evaluate if you are exploring comprehensive and adaptable equity release products and services.

    Aviva’s Lifestyle Flexible Option

    Aviva's Lifestyle Flexible Option allows clients aged 55 or older to borrow a minimum of £15,000 against their homes.13 

    With this plan, you can access the funds as a lump sum or opt for an initial lump sum and regular access to a cash facility without selling your house. 

    Cash Reserve

    The plan also offers a cash reserve of up to 50% of the total loan amount, allowing you to pay interest only on the withdrawn funds.14 

    Why use a Cash Reserve?

    You will only be liable to pay interest on the funds withdrawn and not on the money in your reserve.

    This will help you avoid the interest that accrues over time from becoming unmanageable.

    Partial Repayments

    Aviva's lifetime mortgage allows for partial repayments of up to 10% of the loan amount per year15, providing benefits such as managing interest growth, preserving estate value, and financial flexibility. 

    Aviva’s Enhanced Lifetime Mortgage

    Aviva provides an Enhanced Lifetime Mortgage option for individuals with certain medical conditions or lifestyle factors, which could possibly result in reduced interest rates or an increased Loan-to-Value ratio.

    We highly recommend you seek financial advice before making any decisions.

    How Much Can I Borrow From Aviva for Equity Release?

    The amount one can borrow from Aviva depends on the property's value and the applicant's age.

    How Much Could I Borrow?

    How much you could borrow depends on age, lifestyle, health, and property value, but Aviva’s loan amounts range from £15,000 to £1mln.16 

    The calculation considers your age and property value

    For instance, equity release for over 55 may borrow at least 19.5% of their equity value, while homeowners aged 85 and older could borrow up to 47.9%.17  

    The cash reserve allows a minimum withdrawal of £500, with a required minimum balance of £5,000 to keep the facility open.18

    Does Aviva Have an Equity Release Calculator?

    Yes, Aviva has an equity release calculator that can help you determine the potential amount of wealth you could release from your property. 

    To give you an approximate indication, you will be required to enter the following information:

    • Your age
    • The type of property you own
    • The approximate value of your property

    What Are the Qualifications and Costs for Aviva's Equity Release?

    Aviva's equity release requires meeting age and property criteria, with costs including interest rates and service fees.

    What Are Aviva’s Qualification Criteria?

    Aviva’s qualification criteria are based on your age, and your property’s value, type, and location.19

    To qualify for an Aviva lifetime mortgage, you need to:

    • Be 55 or older, with the youngest borrower meeting this age requirement.
    • Own a primary residence in the UK (excluding the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) valued at at least £75,000.
    • Want to borrow a minimum of £15,000.
    • Ensure your property is not unoccupied for more than six months.
    • Have a small remaining mortgage (or no mortgage).

    Qualification can vary, so consult a qualified equity release advisor for personalised guidance.

    What Are Aviva’s Equity Release Interest Rates?

    Aviva’s equity release interest rates 5.20% to 6.30% APR*. 

    View the latest equity release rates here.

    *While we regularly review our rates, these may have changed since our last update.

    What Fees Does Aviva Charge?

    The fees Aviva charges during the initial borrowing stage include legal fees, valuation fees, and arrangement fees. 

    The details:

    • Arrangement Fee: Covers the setup cost of the lifetime mortgage plan and is added to the total loan.
    • Valuation Fee: Aviva arranges an independent property valuation. No fee is charged for properties valued at £5mln or less.20
    • Re-Inspection Fee: A £60 fee is levied if the property needs to be inspected again.21
    • Legal Fees: You are responsible for appointing a legal adviser, and these costs are yours to bear.

    Additional fees may be imposed for additional borrowing, change of ownership, moving house, remote valuations, and early repayment of the whole mortgage.22

    What Are the Benefits and Disadvantages of Choosing Aviva for Equity Release?

    Aviva's equity release offers financial flexibility, but it's vital to consider potential impacts on inheritance and state benefits.

    Benefits of Aviva Equity Release

    The benefits of Aviva equity release include accessing tax-free cash with the option of protecting a portion of it for your heirs, a No Negative Equity Guarantee, and flexible repayment options. 

    A closer look at each of these benefits:

    • Tax-Free Cash: The cash you release is entirely tax-free, but it is important to consult a financial advisor regarding potential tax liabilities.
    • No Negative Equity Guarantee: Aviva includes a guarantee that ensures you or your estate will never owe more than the sale value of your property.
    • Inheritance Protection: You can allocate a percentage of your home's value to your estate, protecting your planned inheritance.
    • Flexible Repayment Options: Aviva offers voluntary partial repayments of up to 10% of the initial loan per year, with no early repayment penalties. Repayments must be a minimum of £50, helping minimise compound interest accumulation.

    Keep in mind that while equity release with Aviva has many advantages, there are potential drawbacks to consider.

    Disadvantages of Equity Release through Aviva

    The disadvantages of equity release through Aviva include a number of risks that should be considered carefully.

    Equity release products come with inherent risks, and it is vital to be aware of them before proceeding with an equity release plan.

    Aviva notes the following cons associated with getting an equity release plan:

    • Impact on Benefits: Taking out an equity release loan may affect your eligibility for welfare benefits. Your equity release adviser can provide more information on this.
    • Reduced Inheritance: Equity release reduces the value of your home, impacting the inheritance you can leave behind.
    • Significant Interest: Interest on equity release loans compounds yearly, resulting in a steep increase in the repayment amount over time.
    • Lifelong Commitment: Early repayment of the equity release loan may incur charges. Equity release is a long-term commitment.

    It is also important to note that Aviva defines specific criteria for what qualifies as long-term care. 

    Changing living arrangements without meeting Aviva's definition may unexpectedly incur repayment charges.

    How Can I Apply for Aviva Equity Release and What Support Can I Expect?

    Applying for Aviva's equity release involves a straightforward process, supported by expert advice and customer service.

    How to Apply for Aviva Equity Release

    To apply for Aviva equity release, you can request a callback from a team member, and an independent external advisor will contact you to obtain the ball rolling.23

    Note that it is the responsibility of advisors to help you assess whether equity release is really the best solution in your situation, but you will only be charged if you decide on a product.

    Aviva’s Commitment to Customer Satisfaction

    Aviva's commitment to customer satisfaction can be gauged by looking at the company’s recent industry awards.

    These accolades include: 

    • ‘Best Provider for Products and Best Overall Provider for Lifetime Mortgages’ at the 2023 Mortgage Solutions 2023 Equity Release Awards.24
    • ‘Best equity release lender customer service’ and ‘Best equity release lender’ during the What Mortgage Awards in 2022.25
    • “Best equity release lender” for 2021 / 2022 during the Personal Finance Awards.26

    To make life easy for customers, Aviva has also developed an app called ‘MyAviva’ that allows you to view and make changes to your policies directly from a mobile device.27

    Customer Testimonials and Reviews

    Aviva’s online reviews are mostly positive, with many clients praising their efficiency and prices. 

    Read more reviews below:

    Note: These scores were accurate as at 17/06/2023 but may have changed since our last update. 

    What Does the Future Hold for Aviva’s Equity Release Services?

    Aviva aims to innovate and expand its equity release services, adapting to regulatory changes and customer needs.

    Aviva’s Future

    To ensure a better future for everyone, Aviva’s committed to becoming a net-zero carbon emissions company by 2040 and is helping its clients become greener through ethical investing.28

    Ensuring the reliability of its services, Aviva adheres to strict regulatory standards.

    Regulatory Compliance

    Aviva’s equity release arm (Aviva Equity Release UK Limited) is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and holds membership of the Equity Release Council (ERC).

    Being authorised by the FCA and thus having to adhere to their regulations, ensures that customers are protected against abuse or any other maltreatment against them by their financial services provider.

    Registration Numbers:

    FCA Ref Number: 310433

    Companies House Number: 03286484

    Aviva Equity Release’s Location and Contact

    Aviva Equity Release’’s location and contact details are listed here.

    You can contact the company on:

    • +44 207 283 2000
    • helpdesk@aviva.co.uk
    • Wellington Row, York, North Yorkshire, YO901WR.

    Frequently Asked Questions on Aviva Equity Release Solutions

    This section provides answers to common queries, helping homeowners understand Aviva's equity release options.

    How Can I Get a Job at Aviva?

    How Do Aviva Complaints Work?

    Does Aviva Offer Equity Release Plans Nationwide, or Are They Limited to Specific Regions?

    What Is Aviva’s Reputation in the Equity Release Market?

    How Long Has Aviva Been Offering Equity Release Plans?

    What Sets Aviva’s Equity Release Plans Apart from Competitors?

    Does Aviva Provide Personalised Advice and Support Throughout the Equity Release Process?

    Can Aviva Equity Release Be Accessed Online, or Do Customers Need to Visit a Physical Location?

    What Is the Typical Timeframe for Processing an Application with Aviva?

    Are Aviva’s Equity Release Plans Available for Both Residential and Buy-to-Let Properties?

    Can Customers Switch from an Existing Equity Release Plan to Aviva’s Offerings?

    How Does Aviva Handle the Valuation of Properties for Equity Release Purposes?

    Does Aviva Offer Any Incentives or Rewards for Choosing Its Equity Release Plans?

    In Conclusion

    Along with a wide range of financial products and services, Aviva offers award-winning lifetime mortgages to customers in the UK.

    Before considering an equity release loan, remember to evaluate the fees and eligibility criteria, and to consider the product’s benefits and disadvantages.

    Aviva’s advisors are experienced and expertly trained to help customers make the best financial decisions for their circumstances, so get in touch today if you are considering Aviva equity release.

    So if you are potentially in the market for equity release, speak to an advisor to find out if Aviva has the best equity release plans for your needs.

    The features mentioned and the amounts raised, are subject to the lender’s criteria, terms and conditions. These may take into account the age, health and lifestyle factors in order to provide an enhanced amount. To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration.

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