Liverpool Victoria Equity Release & Lifetime Mortgage Review in 2024

Are You Considering LV= Equity Release? Do You Want Clarity on Liverpool Victoria’s Services, Fees, and Interest Rates? Discover All That and More Here.
  • Last Updated: 01 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

  • Liverpool Victoria equity release is a financial scheme that allows homeowners over 55 years to unlock the value of their home while retaining ownership.
  • Their equity release works by providing a lump sum or regular income drawn from the value of your home, repayable upon sale of the property or death.
  • Benefits include providing a tax-free cash lump sum, no monthly repayments, and the ability to stay in your home while accessing its equity value.
  • To apply, you can directly contact their advisers who will guide you through an initial consultation, valuation, and application process.
  • While their equity release offers financial benefits, risks may include a reduced inheritance for your heirs, potential impact on means-tested benefits, and the accruing interest on the loan.

Is your search through equity release lenders leading you to LV= (Liverpool Victoria) equity release?

Established in 1843, LV= has grown to serve over 1.3mln members as one of the UK’s largest insurance providers.1

Of course, the longevity and size of a company do not necessarily guarantee the quality or suitability of it's products for individual clients, so could LV= also offer you a potential solution to your retirement planning needs?

In This Article, You Will Discover:

    At Every Investor, we are committed to providing you with accurate and up-to-date information on equity release and other financial topics. 

    Our team of financial experts and researchers thoroughly fact-checks every article and ensures the information we provide is obtained from reliable sources. We also update our content regularly to reflect any changes in the market or legislation. 

    Our goal is to assist you in making informed decisions about your financial future, which, in this case, includes exploring equity release options from LV=.

    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 LV=. This article must not be interpreted as advice, nor is it a solicitation to conduct transactions in any financial product provided by LV=.

    What Is LV=?

    LV= is a UK-based insurance company previously known as Liverpool Victoria. 

    The company was first established in 1843 and has since grown to become one of the largest insurance companies in the UK.

    It is structured as a mutual society, meaning that it is owned by its members—the policy holders— rather than shareholders.2

    The company has a reputation for it's customer service, often receiving good rankings in consumer satisfaction surveys.3

    What Is An Equity Release Mortgage?

    For those over 55, equity release is a financial avenue to access their home's equity in cash form, without the need to move out.

    It’s an approach to financially benefit from your home's value.

    Equity release mortgage in the UK distinguishes itself with its repayment term; the loan plus interest is repaid from the property's eventual sale, usually after the homeowner’s death or entry into full-time care, offering a delayed repayment model.

    What Are the Features of Liverpool Victoria Equity Release?

    Liverpool Victoria equity release is a financial product designed to unlock the equity you have tied up in your property.

    This scheme offers a lifetime mortgage with a fixed interest rate, where you can choose to take the loan as a lump sum or in smaller amounts.

    You also have the option to protect a percentage of your property's value for inheritance purposes.

    This equity release scheme is designed with flexibility in mind, allowing you to make voluntary repayments without incurring any penalties.

    Plus, with Liverpool Victoria, you are guaranteed a 'no negative equity' assurance, meaning you will never owe more than the value of your home.

    Their robust customer support system ensures you are informed and confident about your decision, demonstrating their commitment to transparency and customer satisfaction.

    What Does LV= Offer?

    LV= offers a wide range of insurance products and services, including car, home, pet, travel, life, and other types of personal insurance.4

    The company also offers investment products5 and retirement solutions like Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs)6, annuities7, and equity release plans.8

    Equity Release Schemes Offered by LV=

    The equity release schemes offered by LV= (Liverpool Victoria) are lifetime mortgages that can be taken out as lump sum or drawdown plans.

    These options in more detail:

    Lifetime Mortgage Lump Sum+

    The Lifetime Mortgage Lump Sum+ plan offered by LV= gives you access to a portion of your home’s value as a tax-free lump sum.9 

    Some of the plan’s features include: 

    • No interest payments during the life of the loan; repayment happens when you either pass away or move to long-term care.
    • Potential for additional borrowing, although this is not guaranteed.
    • Loan limit capped at £1.5mln.
    • A No Negative Equity Guarantee
    • Fixed charges for early repayment that end after a decade.
    • The option to make unlimited repayments, from a minimum of £50 up to 10% of the initial loan amount each year without incurring early repayment charges.
    • Downsizing Protection, allowing for full repayment from the end of the fifth year onwards.

    Lifetime Mortgage Drawdown+

    The Lifetime Mortgage Drawdown+ option enables you to leverage a portion of your property's value via an initial loan, while retaining the flexibility to access additional funds from a previously agreed reserve as needed.10

    Some of the features of this plan include: 

    • No interest repayments throughout the loan period; full repayment (loan and accumulated interest) is due at your death or when you move to long-term care.
    • An initial loan of at least £10,000.
    • Additional withdrawals once a month, each being no less than £1,500.
    • An upper lending limit of £1.5mln.
    • A No Negative Equity Guarantee.
    • Fixed early repayment charges that cease to apply after ten years.

    Although the flexibility of this option may be useful, depending on your circumstances, it is important to note that the more you borrow over time, the more interest accumulates, and the more your loan may cost in the end.

    How Have LV=’s Equity Release Products Evolved?

    LV=’s equity release products have evolved significantly since their inception in 2002.11 

    In 2012, LV= stopped charging interest at a higher rate on lifetime mortgages of more than £600,000.12

    In 2021, LV= raised the maximum loan amount on drawdown plans from £500,000 to £1.5mln and scrapped all valuation fees on new lifetime mortgage applications.13

    What Are the Eligibility Criteria for LV= Equity Release?

    The eligibility criteria for LV= equity release include being at least 55, owning property in the UK, and taking out the loan against your primary residence. 

    Age Requirements

    The age requirements for LV= equity release plans include criteria commonly found across equity release providers in the UK.

    These requirements are:

    • You must be between 55 and 95.14
    • You need to be a permanent UK resident and provide proof of your address going back three years.15

    Property Requirements

    The property requirements for LV= equity release plans include criteria commonly found across equity release providers in the UK.

    These requirements are:

    • Your property must be your main residence and be located on England’s mainland (including the Isle of Wight), in Scotland, or in Wales (including Anglesey).16
    • Your property must be worth at least £100,000 but no more than £5mln.17
    • Your home must either be freehold or have a very long lease if it is a bungalow or house, or it must have a very long lease if it is an apartment or flat. Leasehold properties must have 175 years left minus the youngest borrower's age.18 
    • Your home must be well-preserved and constructed from standard materials.19

    Speak to a qualified equity release broker or advisor if you wish to explore the possibility of a lifetime mortgage. This article is not a substitute for professional advice and serves only as an additional resource.

    Benefits and Drawbacks of LV= Equity Release

    There are benefits and drawbacks to LV= equity release schemes, just as there would be to those provided by other lenders. 

    Here are some possible benefits and drawbacks you may consider.

    Advantages of LV= Equity Release 

    The advantages of LV= equity release include accessing tax-free cash without having to make any monthly repayments. 

    Other benefits are: 

    • You will have the option of lump sum and drawdown schemes.
    • The money you borrow will not be taxed.
    • You will not need to make any monthly repayments unless you choose to.
    • Your plan will include a No Negative Equity Guarantee.
    • You will retain full ownership of your home.
    • You will receive your first home valuation free.20 

    Potential Risks and Disadvantages

    The potential risks and disadvantages of an LV= equity release plan include the long-term implications of growing your debt owing to the accumulation of compound interest and the fact that early repayment fees may apply if you wish to end the loan early.

    Also consider the following risks:

    • Cumulative compound interest can add up to a large sum if you choose not to make any interest payments.
    • The amount of inheritance you can leave will be affected.
    • Your eligibility for state benefits could be affected.
    • If you live with your partner or spouse, they will need to be named on your property deeds.21
    • You need to pay an advice fee of £1,795 if you decide to proceed after the initial free advisory session.22
    • You will need to repay your existing mortgage. 

    It is vital that you consult with an equity release broker or advisor before considering an application for an equity release plan offered by LV= (or to a plan offered by any other authorised and regulated lender). 

    How Does LV= Equity Release Impact Inheritance?

    LV= equity release impacts inheritance by directly affecting your estate's value, which in turn influences the size of the legacy you can leave for your heirs.

    Impact on Estate Value

    LV= equity release decreases your estate's value and potential inheritance by loaning you money against your home's worth. 

    This loan, repaid typically through your home's sale when you die or move into long-term care, reduces the amount left for heirs due to accruing, compound, interest. 

    Without voluntary repayments, the loan significantly eats into the potential inheritance. 

    For example, if you own a home worth £500,000 and decide to borrow £100,000 through an LV= equity release plan, this amount, along with any accrued interest, will be deducted from your estate's value, potentially impacting your heirs' inheritance.

    Remember:

    LV= offers a No Negative Equity Guarantee to protect your heirs from any additional debt should the sale of your home not fully cover your equity release debt.

    Inheritance Protection Options

    Some providers also offer inheritance protection, reserving a home value percentage for inheritance regardless of interest. 

    As personal finances and objectives differ, it is crucial to obtain independent financial advice and family consensus before proceeding with equity release.

    What Is the Application Process for LV= Equity Release?

    The application process for LV= equity release involves obtaining advice, comparing your options, and seeking legal counsel. 

    To get a better idea of the process, here are the general steps you will need to follow: 

    • Get professional and impartial advice from a qualified equity release advisor.
    • The advisors will compare the whole market and recommend the best plan for your needs, which may or may not be from LV=.
    • If you decide to proceed with an equity release plan, you will need to have your property valued by an independent surveyor. 
    • You will also need to appoint a solicitor to handle the legal aspects of the transaction.
    • Once all the paperwork is completed and signed, the funds will be released to you or your solicitor.

    Preliminary Steps 

    The preliminary steps before starting the application process include researching different providers and products to understand what is available. 

    LV=, like many providers, provides information on it's website and through it's informational materials.

    To get an initial quote, you will typically need to provide some basic information, such as your age, the value of your property, and how much money you are looking to borrow through equity release.23 

    The Role of Financial Advisors 

    The role of financial advisors is laid out in the Equity Release Council standards24, and it is a requirement to seek independent financial advice before applying for an equity release product. 

    Financial advisors can help you:

    • ascertain if equity release would suit your personal and financial needs, 
    • compare various products and providers, and
    • complete your application and collect all the necessary documents.

    Valuation and Legal Processes

    The valuation and legal processes begin once your application has been received, and the provider will arrange for a valuation of your property. 

    The valuation informs the potential loan amount using equity release. 

    You will need a solicitor to handle the legalities and coordinate with the provider's solicitor for accurate paperwork. 

    After these steps, you will receive a formal offer from the provider: Accepting it allows funds to be released to you, either in full or partially over time, based on your chosen product.

    What Costs Are Associated With LV= Equity Release?

    The costs associated with LV= equity release products usually include interest, advice, and application fees.

    We can look at the possible fees in a little more detail below:

    Interest

    Interest is paid on the money you borrow through equity release, with rates being either fixed or variable (and capped). 

    Your rate will be influenced by product type and market conditions, and the interest you accrue will compound over time, adding substantially to your loan balance. 

    Understanding how this compounding interest affects your total debt is vital.

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

    Fees and Charges

    There can be several different fees and charges associated with taking out an equity release product. 

    Including:

    • Arrangement fees: This is a fee for setting up the loan, which can sometimes be added to the loan amount.
    • Valuation fees: These are charged to cover the cost of valuing your property, but LV= offers a free initial valuation.25
    • Legal fees: You will need to appoint a solicitor to handle the legal aspects of the equity release process, and they will charge for their services.
    • Early Repayment Charges: If you decide to repay your loan early, you may have to pay an early repayment charge.
    • Financial advisor fees: They will usually charge a flat fee for their services or they may be paid a commission by the lender.

    Does LV= Have an Equity Release or Lifetime Mortgage Calculator?

    Yes, LV= has an equity release calculator on it's website.

    The calculator requires you to enter details such as your age and the approximate value of your property in order for it to provide an estimate of how much you may be able to borrow.

    You could also try our easy-to-use calculator to obtain an idea of the approximate amount you may be able to access through equity release. 

    What Are the Alternatives to LV= Equity Release?

    Alternatives to LV= equity release include downsizing, options from different providers, applying for state benefits, and capitalising on pension freedoms.

    Downsizing

    Downsizing means selling your current property for a cheaper one and utilising the surplus money as per your needs. Despite the potential disruption and costs, this may suit if you are ready to move and require less space.

    Other Equity Release Providers

    Various providers, including LV=, offer differing equity release products, rates, and terms, hence shopping around for a favourable deal is recommended.

    State Benefits and Pension Freedoms

    Depending on your situation, you may qualify for state benefits, boosting your income. Furthermore, the UK's 2015 pension freedoms allow flexible pension access from 55, offering an alternative to equity release.26

    Other Options

    Other possibilities involve renting out a room, investing in income-yielding assets, or seeking help from family.

    Note:

    It is vital to seek independent financial advice before making any decisions about equity release or other financial products. 

    An advisor can help you understand the full range of options available to you, taking into account your personal circumstances and financial goals.

    LV= Equity Release Reviews

    LV= equity release reviews have been largely positive.

    Customers have applauded the company for being easy to contact and for their competitive offerings.27 Of course, individual experiences may vary. 

    LV= online ratings average between 4.3 out of 5 and 4.7 out of 5 across different review sites.

    For the latest reviews, see what LV= customers are saying on Trustpilot.

    How LV= Handles Complaints and Disputes

    LV= handles complaints and disputes through its customer service team. 

    You can contact the company by telephone, by letter or by completing it's online contact form.

    It's complaints contact details are:

    Phone: 0800 028 8974

    Address: Box 2, LV=, County Gates, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH1 2NF.

    Complaints can also be posted on review sites like Trustpilot and Feefo.

    LV= Customer Service 

    LV= Customer Service aims to provide assistance through various channels. 

    This department offers several contact methods, including: 

    The company's complaint procedure seeks quick and fair resolutions, and it endorses the Institute of Customer Service’s 'Service with Respect' campaign.28 

    Remember:

    There is always the possibility that the review may not be concluded in the client's favour.

    Escalation and Ombudsman Services

    If you are dissatisfied with their complaint handling, the Financial Ombudsman Service, an independent body, can intervene, provided you contact them within six months of LV='s final response or after eight weeks from your original complaint.

    To escalate your complaint to the FOS, you can:

    • Call t
      • Call t
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