Introducing The Top Companies

Best Equity Release Companies

Equity release is a way of getting some extra cash by releasing it from your home or property. If you’re a 55-year-old homeowner or older, then you can do this. Now, let’s look a bit more at equity release.
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There are multiple equity release brands that are well-known worldwide. Below we’ll mention them briefly.

Top 20 Equity Release Brands Worldwide

  1. Age Partnership – member of the Equity Release Council, quality guaranteed
  2. Ashfords – advisory service on legal elements regarding mortgages
  3. Aviva – biggest insurance company in the UK and best pension provider
  4. Barclays – multinational investment bank and best in business worldwide
  5. BBC – excellent for lifetime mortgages and reversion plans
  6. Bridgewater – American, but serve foreign banks, investments and pension funds
  7. Canada Life – allows you to invest in mid-cap companies
  8. Club Crown – development on real estate and equity release
  9. Daily Mail – spreading equity release awareness
  10. Equity Release Club – private capita al initiative
  11. Equity Release Supermarket – best advisory service in Britain
  12. Equity Release Wise – manage private equity closed-end money
  13. Go Compare – a versatile insurance company, even pet insurance
  14. Guardian – daily newspaper in Britain talking about equity release
  15. Halifax – private equity firm investing your money in profitable companies
  16. Hodge – longest-established provider
  17. HSBC – bank and financial service company
  18. Just – savings, credit, pensions and mortgages
  19. Key – equity release advice
  20. L&G – multinational financial service

And many others. All these brands offer lending services or equity release related services.

2 Types Of Equity Release Plans Or Schemes In The UK:

1.      Lifetime Mortgage

This type lets you release equity from your home if it’s your primary residence. However, you’ll remain the owner. You’ll have the option to ring-fence part of your property for your family to inherit. You can also make repayments or let the interest roll-up1.

The loan amount and any accrued interest will be paid back when you pass away or need long-term medical care. You can choose from 221 different types of lifetime mortgage plans, so you’ll certainly be able to find one that suits you.

2.      Home Reversion

You sell a portion of your property or your whole property. You sell it to a home reversion provider, and they’ll pay you a lump sum for it, but they can also pay you in the form of regular payments. It’s your choice. You have to be at least 60 years old to apply for this.

Now, listen to this:

You can live in that property until you pass away without paying rent. The only catch is that you have to keep the property in good order and keep it insured. There’s also the option to ring-fence a section of the property to ensure a certain inheritance for your beneficiaries2.

Now, you might be asking yourself this:

Which plan should I choose? Which provider or lender should I go with? We’ve put together a list of all the top providers, according to the Equity Release Council‘s 2019 report.

Top 8 Lifetime Mortgage Providers

As you might know, lifetime mortgages are the most sought after equity release plans. Big brands that offer insurance and pension plans also provide equity release schemes. Let’s look into these equity release companies specifically. Here’s a list of our top favourites in the UK:

  • Aviva

In the UK, Aviva is a household name. They’re known mainly for their pension plans and insurance products. To add to that, they’re one of the oldest providers. If you’re considering them, it’s good to know that their equity release products are award-winning and that over 200 000 people would agree with their top spot. Since 1998, Aviva has helped people release a total of £7 billion.

Aviva’s primary services include:

  • Inheritance guarantee services
  • Voluntary partial repayments
  • Enhanced borrowing if you have certain medical conditions
  • Downsizing protection services
  • Relaxed lending services

Aviva has a lot to offer, and they’re an excellent choice.

  • Hodge Lifetime

In 1965, Hodge Lifetime launched its first equity release plan, making them the longest established provider in the UK. Julian Hodge Bank Limited is the product provider. As one of the oldest providers, they’ve built up an excellent equity release selection. They’ve created a superb retirement mortgage range to go with their traditional lifetime mortgage plans.

Hodge Lifetime provides an interest-only mortgage plan requiring monthly interest payments. The rest of the loan will be paid back when you pass away or need long term medical care.

You can apply for this plan from the age of 55. You can borrow up to 70% of your property value, which is excellent if you need the money.

  • Just Retirement

Extremely popular in the post-retirement marketplace, they’re excellent in giving retirement income in the form of annuities. They’ve also started lending cash through equity release plans or schemes.

Just Retirement also has its equity release model, which has proved to be one of its strengths. Not only do they lend money, but they also fund other company’s equity release plans. Their equity release plans include a wide range of traditional lifetime mortgages; drawdown lifetime mortgages, interest-only lifetime mortgages, lump-sum equity plans, and enhanced equity release plans.

Just Retirement’s experience with medical underwriting has allowed very ill people to get an increase in their maximum equity release lump sum.

  • LV=

LV, or Liverpool Victoria, is a mutual society and was created in 1843. They work primarily for working-class people. They offer a range of equity release plans such as drawdown lifetime mortgages and lump-sum schemes. You can get equity release on your primary residence, your secondary residence, and your holiday home.

They’re offering structured lifetime mortgage schemes, and they have outstanding guarantees that most other providers don’t provide. They’re suitable for secure repayments or if you want to access future drawdown money.

  • Legal & General

They’re also a household name and joined the lifetime mortgage field in 2015. They have two options for lifetime mortgages: L&G Income Lifetime Mortgage and L&G Flexible Lifetime Mortgages.

Let’s take a look.

  • L&G Flexible Lifetime Mortgages

You get colour-coded to indicate the amount of money you can borrow according to your property’s value (LTV). For example, “Flexible Pink.” Furthermore, the amount of interest you’ll pay will depend on the LTV.

All these are drawdown plans that L&G offer. With these, you’ll be able to borrow a minimum amount of £10,000. The “Flexible” mortgages range allows voluntary repayments which give you up to 10% of what you borrowed annually, but you won’t be penalised.

  • L&G Income Lifetime Mortgage

These are also colour-coded. The same rule applies where you’ll pay more interest when the LTV is high. These plans give you a fixed monthly income for 10-25 years. This income can start from £200.

Legal & General offers inheritance protection on their plans, which is great for your heirs and your own peace of mind.

  • More2Life

Started in 2008, More2Life has become a favourite equity release provider. They’re a leading expert in lifetime mortgages. However, you can only get a plan through unique brokers, for example, Equity Release Supermarket.

Now, they have four options:

  • More2Life Flexi Choice Plans

These are funded by a life insurer that’s leading in the UK. There are different types of choice plan. They also have differing loan sizes as well as the interest rate and min-max amounts. It’s very flexible and customisable to meet your specific needs.

  • More2Life Tailored Choice Plans

If you’re suffering from qualifying medical conditions, this one’s for you cause you’ll be able to borrow more.

  • More2Life Maximum Choice Plans

If you’re looking to get the most money possible, this is the plan for you. You can take the money out lump-sumly or as a drawdown.

  • More2Life Capital Choice Plans

There are a few versions of this option. For example, taking a small loan will equal less interest. You’re allowed to make repayments of 10% annually, and you don’t have to pay early repayment charges either6.

Any of these plans are very flexible, so you’ll be able to get the right one for your specific financial needs.

  • OneFamily

Formed in 2015 when Engage Mutual and Family Investments merged, this provider is one of the largest in the UK. They offer variable and fixed lifetime mortgages.

  • OneFamily Variable Lifetime Mortgages

You’ll be offered a variable interest rate on your plan according to the CPI, or the Consumer Price Index. It also comes with a cap and collar to safeguard you against future increased rates. They meet the guideline of the Equity Release Council.

  • OneFamily Fixed Lifetime Mortgages

Fixed-term and lifetime interest rates are also an option. You’ll get flexible features and choices which you can discuss with them. You can pick an interest-only payment or a voluntary payment, and even an interest roll-up option exists where no repayments are needed to be made!

  • Pure Retirement

Last but not least, a company that has been around since 2014. They’re known as a specialist lifetime mortgage company provider. They offer two ranges of lifetime mortgages: Pure Max Drawdown and Pure Sovereign.

  • Pure Max Drawdown

This range is for people who want to borrow as much money as possible. It gives you higher LTV’s and a drawdown capability. This means that you can borrow money now and later in your life from your reserve amount. Within this range are a few options for you to choose from.

Simply put…

You can mix and match fees like legal, arrangement and valuation fees for a fee-free process.

  • Pure Sovereign

This range works similarly to the Max Drawdown options. However, the only difference is the interest rate. With the Pure Sovereign range, the interest rate is lower since the LTV is less.

As we’ve covered the lifetime mortgage providers, we should also cover the home reversion providers. They’re listed below.

Top 16 Home Reversion & Retirement Mortgage Providers

Even though most people opt for lifetime mortgages, you can also decide if you’d like to have a home reversion mortgage or retirement mortgage instead.

Here we’ve listed our best Home Reversion providers:

  1. Bridgewater

This company is one of the more prominent companies within the Retirement Bridge Group that manages more than 4500 reversion plans in the UK. Bridgewater was created in 1912, and they’re regulated by the FCA (or the Financial Conduct Authority) and the ERC (Equity Release Council).

Now:

Bridgewater offers many home reversion options. Most of these offers are focussed around tenants paying rent to the homeowner. The first option is no rent, the second option is fixed rent, and lastly, there’s escalating rent.

Simply put…

If more rent gets paid, then more money will be released lump-sumly by Bridgewater. And if you want an inheritance guarantee, home reversion can help you with that as well.

  • Crown

Let’s take a look at Crown, founded in 2001. This provider uses private investors for funding their plans. All their plans are according to the ERC’s code of conduct. This ensures all members peace of mind – tenants can’t be evicted according to this code of conduct.

Listen to this:

Crown is one of the few providers that offer great flexibility because investors fund them. Crown accepts property that most lenders won’t – property that falls outside the standard property criteria.

Best of all…

They also will sell your property up to 100% of its value while you can pay monthly, according to the plan you choose.

Here we’ve listed our best Retirement Mortgage providers:

  1. Bank of Ireland

This is a provider associated with Post Office Money®. They offer a range of mortgage options specially created for borrowing money even into your retirement.

  • Beverly Building Society

Beverley Building Society is a provider that’s Yorkshire-based and regional society. They offer a mortgage that’s an interest-only retirement mortgage, which is excellent for your finances! I mean, no one wants to pay too much interest.

  • Buckinghamshire Building Society

Buckinghamshire Building Society is a small, village-based society. They offer options of fixed as well as discounted rate retirement mortgages.

  • Family Building Society

Family Building Society is a provider that borrows money to retired people. They have a variety of retirement mortgages so that your individual needs are met.

  • Hanley Economic Building Society

Hanley Building Society was established in 1854 in Stoke on Trent. They are willing to borrow money to people up to the age of 80. This allows you the freedom to borrow money into your retirement if you choose them as your provider.

  • Hinckley and Rugby Building Society

Hinkley and Rugby Building Society offer fixed as well as discounted retirement mortgages. You can employ them once you turn 55 years of age with no maximum age. They’ll lend you up to 60% of the value of your property, also known as the LTV. Best of all, they don’t require early repayment charges.

  • Hodge Lifetime

As mentioned above, Hodge Lifetime was launched in 1965 when they introduced their first equity release plan. They’re the longest-existing provider in the UK. Their retirement mortgage is a hybrid of residential retirement and lifetime mortgage plans.

Listen to this!

It’s interest-only, and you’ll have to repay the interest on a month-to-month basis until the owner of the property dies or goes into long term medical care.

  • Ipswich Building Society

They’re situated in Suffolk, and they offer options like discounted and fixed-rate retirement mortgages. You have to be 55 years or older to take this mortgage. The minimum that you can borrow is £25,000 and £500,000 maximum.

  • Leeds Building Society

Leeds Building Society has a residential mortgage range for people up until the age of 80. therefore they’re all so perfect as retirement mortgages, so it isn’t for younger people only.

  1. Mansfield Building Society

Mansfield Building Society gives you RIO mortgages options with fixed or discounted rates. They have different lengths you can choose from, terms of 2 to 3 years. They aim to be a trustworthy and secure mutual organisation. They’ll use 100% of your pension salary, and they assess each individual’s situation to determine your plan.

  1. Marsden Building Society

Another society created in 1860 and offered fixed and discounted rate retirement mortgages with a three or 5-year fixed-rate RIO for those over the age of 55 who own a home. They’ll borrow you money up to the value of 50% of your property, with the minimum value being £150,000.

  1. Newsbury Building Society

Newbury Building Society a smaller mutual society which offers a single discounted rate 5-year retirement interest-only (RIO) mortgage. They’ll pay about £700 of your property valuation fees, so you don’t have to, and they also don’t charge you legal fees either.

Better yet:

The RIO is discounted, and overpayments are allowed. However, you’ll have three years to do early repayment charges. Within this ERC period, you can overpay up to 20% of your initial loan.

  1. Penrith Building Society

Penrith Building Society offers an entire residential mortgage range. It’s suitable as a retirement mortgage as there’s no age limit attached to it. You’ll also be borrowed up to 50% of your property value if you’re 55 years or older.

  1. Scottish Building Society

Established in 1848, Scottish Building Society is the only society situated in Scotland. They allow homeowners to borrow money up to the age of 85. You can borrow up to 50% of your property value, minimum being £30,000, maximum being £300,000. Your income determines the maximum you can borrow, and that could be your pension income as well.

  1. Swansea Building Society

Swansea Building Society was born in 1923. They’re offering one retirement mortgage plan that’s solely for properties in Wales. They’ll lend you up to 60% LTV (your property’s value). You’ll need to receive an income of £18,000 minimum, you have to be retired, and 50% of your income must come from your retirement income specifically. You’ll be lent money up until the age of 85.

  1. Tipton and Coseley Building Society

‘The Tipton’, a small building society, is situated in the West Midlands. With them, you’ll be able to get a fixed or discounted rate retirement mortgage of many varieties. They have options like a three and 5-year terms as well as a whole term discounted mortgage with their “later life lending range.”

High Street Banks & Lifetime Mortgages

The ‘big 6’ high street banks are Halifax, Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). They don’t offer lifetime mortgages at the moment. They also don’t provide other equity release plans. Therefore, you’ll need one of the companies or societies listed above to provide you with a mortgage.

In recent years, Nationwide has joined the lifetime mortgage market too. However, they don’t have their plans. They use Pure Retirement instead to do those services on their behalf.

Common Questions

What Is the Catch With Equity Release Companies?
What Are Pitfalls of Equity Release Companies?
How Much Interest Do Different Companies Ask You Pay Back on Equity Release?
Which Is the Best Company for Equity Release?

In Conclusion

When you’re looking to release equity from your home, it’s better to shop around. After looking at all these beautiful options, you’ll end up with the perfect provider to suit your needs exactly. Every provider has its quirks and features, so you must look at all of them in detail to determine which one’s for you.

You can choose from lifetime mortgages or home reversion mortgages. Your choices are unique, so not to worry! Your money borrowing days are going to be much easier from now on!

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