Equity Release Advice

Are You Looking for Advice on Equity Release?
Contributors: Nicola Date, Katherine Read. Edited by Rachel Wait & Reviewed by Francis Hui
Do You Need Professional Advice for Equity Release in 2022? Discover the Truth, Where to Find an Equity Release Advisor & What Questions to Ask Them. Here’s an Ultimate Guide.

All your friends have signed up and you’ve done your own research, but if you get it wrong, then equity release can be a very costly mistake. 

With the average UK borrower taking a £125K loan, it would make sense to get the best advice before making a commitment. After all, there’s a lot of money at stake! 

As experts in our field, we discuss the following in this article:

    Our editorial and research teams eat, sleep and breathe equity release to bring you the most up-to-date information in the field. 

    Here’s why we advise you should get equity release advice.

    Before You Start Reading….

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    5 Reasons You Should Get Equity Release Advice

    The 5 reasons you should get equity advice are:

    • To help you choose the best of over 500 plans available.
    • To save you money.
    • To give you realistic expectations of the costs involved.
    • To ensure you’re protecting your family’s inheritance.
    • To discover if equity release is the right option for you. 

    Let’s look at these in more detail. 

    #1. There’s a Large Selection of Products Available

    With over 500 equity release plans available, it can be a daunting task finding one to suit your circumstances. 

    You’ll need to decide between the 2 main product offerings – a home reversion plan and a lifetime mortgage

    Once you’ve got that under your belt, you’ll need to determine which provider to go with and which of their many plans to choose. 

    A professional adviser will be familiar with the industry offerings and will have the knowledge and experience to determine which of the plans best suits your unique financial goals . 

    #2. You Can Save Money With the Right Advice

    An equity release adviser will ‌suggest ways to save you money over the term of your loan.

    The competition is heating up as more equity release products are introduced onto the market.

    Some providers offer low interest rates whilst others waive their early repayment charges, allowing you to pay off your mortgage or downsize, penalty-free. 

    Other lenders allow you to pay interest on your loan monthly, which will keep your total debt at a manageable level.

    Whilst some of these benefits may sound like a great idea, there may be hidden financial implications that aren’t immediately obvious to non-advisers. 

    #3. Equity Release Costs Can Be High

    The cost of equity release can be high if you take it out too early and if you commit to the wrong plan. 

    The crux of equity release is that you borrow money, the lender charges interest, and the total amount is repaid through the sale of your property once you’ve passed away. 

    As your debt grows, you might end up owing more than the value of your home, especially if you take out an equity release plan early on and remain alive for many years. 

    Borrowing money from a member of the Equity Release Council1 will protect you from this ever happening.

    Members are obligated to offer a no-negative equity guarantee, which means your debt will never be greater than the value of your home. 

    Equity release can be costly, but an equity release adviser has the knowledge to recommend additional products that will protect you and your money.  

    #4. Protect Your Family’s Inheritance

    You can protect your family’s inheritance when you take out an equity release plan. There’s no denying the fact that it’ll be affected, but there are ways to mitigate this.  

    When you pass away, your house, which is normally your greatest asset, is sold to repay your mortgage. 

    You may not have much to leave as an inheritance, if any, depending on how much interest you’ve accrued on your mortgage over the term of your loan.

    An equity release adviser will ‌recommend ways to maximise your estate’s value, such as the option of retaining a percentage of your property’s value as a guaranteed inheritance for your heirs.

    #5. Is It the Right Option for You?

    Equity release isn’t always the best solution to your financial problems.

    You may want to consider alternative options, such as downsizing, extending your existing mortgage, or borrowing money from your family. 

    It’s important to understand your current circumstances and your future goals to determine whether equity release is the right move for you. 

    An equity release adviser will run through all of your available options before settling on an equity release plan. 

    Top 10 Equity Release Advice Tips

    Our top 10 equity release tips include considering alternative options, only borrowing what you need, and involving family in our decisions. 

    Let’s look at these, and more‌. 

    #1. Consider All the Alternatives

    Consider the alternatives available to you before signing up for an equity release plan.

    Some of these may include:

    • Downsizing to a smaller or cheaper home.
    • Borrowing money from loved ones.
    • Tapping into your savings or investments.
    • Checking your benefit eligibility.
    • Applying for government grants.

    #2. Borrow Only What You Need

    Borrowing more money than you need could mean you’ll end up paying an unnecessary amount of interest. 

    As tempting as it might be to have access to a lump sum of money, it’s only going to accrue interest if it isn’t being put to use. 

    Plan out what you’re going to use the money for and only take out enough to cover the costs. 

    Consider a drawdown equity release plan that enables you to access a ‘cash reserve’ when needed. 

    The benefit of this is that interest is only charged on the amount of money borrowed and not on the lump sum in your reserve. 

    #3. Consider Paying the Interest

    Paying the interest on your equity release loan is a great way to manage it.

    Many providers will now allow you to make partial or full interest payments monthly or annually. 

    #4. Don’t Base Your Decision on Interest Rates Alone

    Although interest rates are a significant factor when deciding on an equity release plan, there are other points to consider. 

    These include:

    • Are there any early repayment penalty fees? 
    • Can you port the plan to another property?
    • Will you retain full ownership of your property?
    • Is the provider a member of the Equity Release Council?

    #5. Include Family or a Trusted Friend in Your Decision

    Equity release is a big decision and likely one you would want to include your loved ones in. 

    You may find that your family would prefer to lend you the money than have you take out an equity release loan that could impact their future inheritance. 

    Before You Continue Reading….

    Let’s See How Much You Can Release 👇

     

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    #6. Don’t Skip the Financial Advice

    Getting advice from a qualified equity release adviser will ultimately protect you from signing up for something that could negatively affect your finances in the long run. 

    Advisers are there to offer their unbiased recommendations on a plan that will help you achieve your financial goals. 

    #7. Consult an Experienced Solicitor

    Providers that are members of the Equity Release Council will require you to seek independent advice from an experienced solicitor before signing on the dotted line. 

    Finding a solicitor with equity release experience will be helpful. 

    #8. Think Carefully Before Borrowing Money to Invest

    Releasing equity from your home to invest may not always work in your favour. 

    We recommend seeking specialist advice before making such a move. 

    #9. Consider the Impact On Your Benefits

    Releasing equity from your home as a tax-free cash lump sum could affect your eligibility for state benefits. 

    An equity release advisor will perform a full benefits analysis to ensure you’re already receiving the maximum amount available and measure how borrowing may affect your current and future entitlements.

    #10. Do Your Research

    Do your research and educate yourself on the basics before embarking on your equity release journey. 

    Having an idea of the basic concepts before contacting an equity release advisor will make it seem less daunting.

    Where To Find an Equity Release Adviser

    A qualified equity release adviser can be found through the following channels:  

    • Equity Release Council
    • Personal Finance Society2
    • Retirement Adviser Directory3

    Common Questions

    Why Should I Seek Equity Release Advice?

    How Can I Be Sure My Equity Release Advisor Is Trustworthy?

    Can Anyone Get Equity Release?

    Who Regulates Equity Release Advice?

    Is Equity Release Advice Free?

    Conclusion

    Equity release can be a good way to help those in later life when they need it most.

    However, you should think carefully about the downsides or possible risks involved with this type of funding and be sure that your adviser is able to answer any questions you may have before making any decisions.

    How Much Can You Release?

    Use the FREE Calculator Below 👇

     

    Equity Release Calculator

    Value of Your Home?

    50000

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    100% Secure & Fast

    It’s VERY FAST, takes just 8 seconds

    Editorial Note: This content has been independently collected by the EveryInvestor team and is offered on a non-advised basis. EveryInvestor may earn a commission on sales made from partner links on this page, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations. Learn more about our editorial guidelines.