Best Equity Release Companies
Finding the best equity release companies can be tricky, even though it’s a trending way of borrowing amongst the over 55s.
Luckily, over 550,000 Britons have released equity in the past 20 years. Their feedback and experiences have helped determine which equity release companies are worth putting your trust into.
We’ve got the answers right here.
As experts in our field, we discuss the following in this article:
Our dedicated team of experts has analysed over 500 equity release plans to determine which companies you can trust with this life-changing decision.
Let’s get into it!
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What to Look for in an Equity Release Company?
The top things to look for in an equity release provider include Equity Release Council (ERC)1 membership and a range of competitive plans.
Here’s a handy list of the top features you should look for in a provider and the plans they offer:
- Member of the Equity Release Council.
- Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)2.
- No negative equity guarantee.
- Right to remain in your property for the rest of your life.
- Right to move to another property should you choose.
- Low early repayment charges.
- Option of voluntary repayments.
- Low interest rates.
- Low admin fees.
- Flexible plans with no hidden costs.
How to Find the Best Equity Release Company?
To find the best equity release provider, get help from a professional whole-of-market financial adviser.
Be sure to find one whose expertise lies in lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans.
Your adviser will firstly determine whether equity release is a suitable option for you.
If they believe it’s, they’ll go on to identify the most appropriate provider and plan based on your financial circumstances and goals.
Any adviser worth your time will be sure only to recommend providers who hold a membership with the Equity Release Council. This in itself will safeguard your decision to go ahead.
Who Are the Top 11 Equity Release Companies?
The top equity release providers include SunLife, Key Later Life Finance, and Aviva Lifetime Mortgage, but there are more!
Here’s an insight into each of them.
SunLife started with offices in the Bank of England in 1810. They’re now one of the top equity release providers in the UK, with over 800,000 clients.
Specialising in products for the over 50s, SunLife has earned the trust of those in or nearing retirement.
Key Later Life Finance
As the name might suggest, Key Later Life Finance specialises in later life mortgage solutions.
Established in 1998, Key Later Life Finance is a member of the Equity Release Council.
Their plans are tailored to suit your needs and include enhanced lifetime mortgages with inheritance and downsizing protection features.
Aviva Lifetime Mortgage
Established over 320 years ago, Aviva is the UK’s largest finance, health, and insurance provider.
Having helped its customers release more than £8 billion in equity since 1998, it’s no surprise that Aviva has won several awards.
The latest notch on their belt includes Best Equity Release Lender in 2020.
Age Partnership has specialised in equity release since 2005 and now arranges 1 in 4 of all equity release plans in the UK.
They’re one of few companies to achieve the highest Investor In Customers (IIC)3 rating.
It’s easy to see how they achieved that, with 99.1% of their customers happy to recommend them.
Their current loan offerings are flexible and include fixed and variable rates on their equity release plans plus voluntary and interest-only payment options.
Established in 2014, Pure Retirement prides itself on its expertise and customer service.
To protect their customers and ensure that all options have been considered, they only accept applications submitted through a qualified financial adviser.
Their equity release options are limited to lifetime drawdown mortgages.
Liverpool Victoria (LV=)
Liverpool Victoria, or LV=, is better known for its car insurance, but in 2002 branched out into the world of equity release.
Their focus is on flexible lifetime mortgages, and they’re one of few lenders to offer lifetime mortgages on a holiday home or second home.
Legal & General
Legal & General has earned its name as one of the UK’s leading retirement and mortgage providers and asset management companies.
Established in 1836, it continues to provide outstanding service, earning the Later Life Lender of the Year award in 2021.
Legal & General offer the added bonus of free access to in-house whole-of-market advisers.
More2Life specialise in lifetime mortgage lending. They’ve expanded to become one of the more prominent leaders in this sector in the UK.
Working solely through accredited advisors, More2Life boast some of the most flexible and customisable lifetime mortgage options for 55s and over.
Just. formed in 2016 through a merger between Partnership Assurance and Just Retirement.
Their equity release plans offer fixed monthly interest rates and flexible terms, should you suffer from ill-health.
Established almost 2 centuries ago, Canada Life provides a wide variety of financial services in Canada, the UK, Isla of Man and Ireland.
Their buy-to-let mortgage and lifetime mortgage plans offer some flexibility in repayment choices.
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Other Equity Release Companies to Consider
Founded more than 300 years ago, Barclays is one of the most well-known and respected British banks.
They operate worldwide either directly or via an intermediary.
Among their services are personal banking, corporate banking, and financial planning.
Although Barclays doesn’t offer equity release, they may be able to refer you to an accredited provider that does.
Equity Release Club
An equity release club is similar to an insurance brokerage.
They have access to direct lenders that offer equity release products and can offer them to you.
They provide advisory services unbiasedly. They may take a small fee for their services, but this is usually very low.
Equity Release Supermarket
Equity Release Supermarket is ranked among the top 5 brokers in the UK for equity release.
Equity Release Supermarket provides clients with unbiased advice as part of its skilled advisory service.
Additionally, they’re familiar with the entire market of equity release products and will be able to help you choose the best one.
Halifax doesn’t offer equity release themselves, but will refer you to Scottish Widows with whom they’ve partnered for lifetime mortgages.
A reputable and well-established organisation, Hodge has been assisting their clients with their financial needs for over 50 years.
Mortgages, commercial borrowing, and savings planning are their specialities.
Hodge no longer takes on new equity release clients, but should be able to refer you to an intermediary that can assist you.
HSBC is a well-known household brand and global banking institution.
They operate in 64 countries and look after around 40 million clients.
With a worldwide reputation for service and excellence, HSBC will no doubt be able to offer you a suitable plan.
Money Saving Expert is a top UK website offering consumer saving tips. They have traffic from over around 16 million users a month.
They’re set on providing the latest financial information to the public.
Their thorough journalistic approach to information makes them an excellent financial resource to use if you are looking for equity release information.
They offer equity release to those aged 55 or more in the form of a fixed-rate lifetime mortgage.
Based in Scotland, NatWest is one of the UK’s largest banks.
They have a strong focus on the business banking sector and offer banking and financial services.
NatWest offers equity release products for homeowners over 55.
Responsible Lending specialises in equity release and has a range of products to choose from.
To qualify for one of their equity release products you must be over 55.
They offer both a drawdown mortgage and a lump-sum lifetime mortgage option.
Retirement Bridge Group
Retirement Bridge specialises in home reversion plans.
They’re the largest administrator of these plans in the UK.
They’re members of the Equity Release Council and have been awarded the best home reversion provider for several years.
Retirement Plus offers home reversion plans for homeowners over 65.
They organise and administer the property plan and are members of the Equity Release Council.
Saga personal finance has been in business for over 20 years.
They specialise in looking after the financial needs of those over 50.
They have an equity release offer that HUB Financial Solutions Limited provides.
To qualify for their equity release plans, you need to be 50 years old, and your home must be valued at £70 000.
Santander UK is one of the larger banks in the UK and is owned by Banco Santander.
It boasts 14 million active customers and offers retail and commercial banking.
The government backs their help-you-buy equity loan for new homes.
This means Santander will cover 75% of the new property price, and the balance will be government-funded, interest-free for 5 years.
You will need to put down a minimum 5% deposit.
Repayments must be a minimum 10% of the amount loaned and can be made at any time.
Scottish Widows was established in 1815 to help women and children left behind in the Napoleonic wars.
Scottish Widows offer equity release plans for those over 55 and only work through accredited advisors.
Solar Equity Release is a specialised provider offering solar buy-back solutions. They’re the leader in this type of equity release in the UK.
You will receive an equitable lump sum for your feed-in tariff rights while retaining ownership of your solar PV system.
You can utilise the energy they provide for free, unlocking the equity in your solar panels.
Standard Life Home Finance
Standard Life Home Finance only works through accredited advisors who will assist you in choosing the right product.
They have two options available to over 55s, a drawdown and a lifetime mortgage plan.
Which? is a leading consumer organisation focused on consumer rights.
They’re a non-profit organisation providing unbiased financial advice.
Which? offer valuable market information that you may want to explore before choosing a provider or particular product.
How We Chose the Best Companies
We chose the leading companies by considering the following factors:
- If the company is a member of the Equity Release Council and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.
- The company’s reputation and customer satisfaction ratings.
- How experienced they are in the equity release field.
- The variation of products offered by the company.
- It’s product flexibility and innovation.
- The interest rate applied to its products.
- The best and most cost-effective deals on the market.
Which Companies Offer Equity Release?
Companies that offer equity release include SunLife, Aviva, Age Partnership, Legal & General, but there are many more.
Who are the Best Equity Release Advisors?
It’s always good practice to use an independent financial adviser who’s not tied to a specific provider’s employ.
By doing so, you ensure you receive independent advice while selecting the best plan.
Advisors need to be certified members of the Equity Release Council.
Which Is the Best Equity Release Company?
The best equity release company in 2022 is More2Life.
Offering the most flexible products on the market, their early repayment charges are low and are removed entirely after 10 years.
The administrative fees are low when changing your loan, and their downsizing protection covers you should you move to a smaller home of less value.
How Do I Know if an Equity Release Lender Is Legitimate?
You will know if an equity release lender is legitimate if they’re a member of the Equity Release Council.
Members agree to abide by the rules set out by the council and pledge to follow a strict code of conduct which protects the consumer.
With so many banks, building societies, and mortgage providers offering equity release plans, the selection process in itself can be overwhelming.
We recommend contacting a certified whole-of-market financial advisor to help you through the process. They’ll be able to analyse your circumstances and recommend the right plan to help you reach your financial goals.
Best Equity release companies can be a complicated process that makes finding the right lender all the more critical.
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