Best Equity Release Companies
Firstly, multiple equity release brands are well-known worldwide. Below we’ll mention them briefly.
Top 20 Equity Release Brands Worldwide
- Age Partnership – member of the Equity Release Council, quality guaranteed
- Ashfords – advisory service on legal elements regarding mortgages
- Aviva – biggest insurance company in the UK and best pension provider
- Barclays – multinational investment bank and best in business worldwide
- BBC – excellent for lifetime mortgages and reversion plans
- Bridgewater – American, but serve foreign banks, investments and pension funds
- Canada Life – allows you to invest in mid-cap companies
- Club Crown – development on real estate and equity release
- Daily Mail – spreading equity release awareness
- Equity Release Club – private capita al initiative
- Equity Release Supermarket – best advisory service in Britain
- Equity Release Wise – manage private equity closed-end money
- Go Compare – a versatile insurance company, even pet insurance
- Guardian – daily newspaper in Britain talking about equity release
- Halifax – private equity firm investing your money in profitable companies
- Hodge – longest-established provider
- HSBC – bank and financial service company
- Just – savings, credit, pensions and mortgages
- Key – equity release advice
- L&G – multinational financial service
And many others. All these brands offer lending services or equity release related services. But let’s look into equity release companies specifically.
2 Types Of Equity Release Plans Or Schemes In The UK:
1. Lifetime Mortgage
This type lets you take out a mortgage on your home if it’s your primary residence. However, you will 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 increase1.
Better yet, if there’s any loan amount or any accrued interest, it’ll 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 be able to find one that suits you perfectly.
2. Home Reversion
You sell some of your property or your whole property. You can sell it to someone like a home reversion provider, and they’ll pay you a lump sum for it, but they can also pay you in regular payments. It’s your choice. However, 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 ensure it. There’s also the option to ring-fence a section of the property for inheritance in the future2.
Now, you might be asking yourself this:
Top 8 Lifetime Mortgage Providers
As you might know, lifetime mortgages are the most sought after equity release plans. Big brands who offer insurance and pension plans also provide equity release schemes. Here’s a list of our top favourites in the UK:
In the UK, Aviva is kind of 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 as over 200 000 people would agree. 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’ll be an excellent choice.
- Hodge Lifetime
In 1965, Hodge Lifetime created 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 market. They’ve created a superb retirement mortgage range to go with the traditional lifetime mortgage plans.
Hodge Lifetime provides an interest-only mortgage plan requiring monthly interest payments. The rest of the loan must be paid back when you pass away or need long term medical care.
You can apply for this plan from the young age of 55. You can borrow up to 70% of your property value, which is excellent if you need that money.
- Just Retirement
Extremely popular in the post-retirement marketplace, they are excellent in giving retirement income in the form of annuities. They’ve also started lending cash through equity release plans or schemes.
Let me tell you:
Just Retirement also has its equity release model, which has proved to be one of their 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.
Best of all…
Just Retirement’s experience with medical underwriting has allowed very ill people to get an increase in maximum equity release lump sum.
LV, or Liverpool Victoria, is known as 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 mortgage: 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
There 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 salary for 10-25 years. This income can start from £200 upward.
Best of all:
Legal & General offers inheritance protection as an option to add to their plan, which is never a bad idea for your heirs.
Started in 2008, More2Life has become a favourite. They’re a leading expert in lifetime mortgages. However, you can only get a plan through unique brokers to select, 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.
Let me tell you:
Any of these plans are very flexible, so you’ll be able to get the right one for your specific financial needs.
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.
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:
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).
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
You need to keep in mind that the money you borrow you’ll have to repay that money at the end of your life or when you go into permanent long term care. However, each company has different parameters and policies. You’ll need to research every company carefully before you take out a plan with them. Some companies have extra charges they don’t initially tell you about, and other companies don’t charge all the fees others do: admin fees, for example.
You have to ensure that the company is a member of the ERC and follow the guidelines of the FCA preferably. Make sure about the company’s policies and terms and conditions so that it doesn’t get you down in the future. Look into things like the no negative guarantee etc. and make sure you’re happy with every part of the company before choosing one.
When it comes to lifetime mortgage equity release used to be much higher, but today it’s at a low 2.25%! It’s shallow compared to past rates of over 5%. However, every company or provider has differing interest rates and rates in general. Do your mathematics before you choose a provider and plan.
More2Life, Aviva and Legal & General are just a few that are great companies for equity release. Read more about them in the article above.
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!