Nationwide Equity Release And Lifetime Mortgage Review in 2024

Are You Considering Nationwide’s Equity Release for Your Retirement? Find Out Here if You Qualify to Take Out a New Plan With Nationwide or if You Should Look for Alternatives. Read On…
  • 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

  • Nationwide equity release is a financial product that allows UK homeowners aged 55 or over to access funds tied up in their property.
  • It involves borrowing against the value of your home, with the loan plus interest repaid when you move out or pass away.
  • The advantages include access to lump-sum funds and no monthly repayments, while drawbacks include accrued interest and the potential impact on inheritance.
  • Eligibility usually requires you to be at least 55 years old, own a UK property and have paid off most or all of your existing mortgage.
  • Risks could include diminished inheritance, increased debt due to accumulated interest and potential impacts on your benefits eligibility.

Are you looking into Nationwide’s equity release?

In the current cost of living crisis,1 equity release has become more popular as a means of funding everyday expenses and significant life events in retirement.
The first step towards that financial freedom is finding a trustworthy provider.

In This Article, You Will Discover:

    Our financial journalists at Every Investor have researched Nationwide and it's equity release offerings to provide you with the most current information.

    Therefore:

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

    Who Is Nationwide?

    Nationwide is a prominent building society in the UK, known for offering a range of financial services including mortgages and savings.

    It stands out as the world's largest building society, with a strong focus on customer service and community values.

    Unique to Nationwide, they are member-owned, which means profits are reinvested for the benefit of their members rather than shareholders.

    This structure influences their approach to products and services, including those relevant to over-65s.

    What Is Equity Release Lending?

    Equity release offers homeowners aged 55 and older a way to monetize their property's equity without selling, through a process known as equity release lending.

    It transforms part of your home's value into accessible funds.

    This financial solution is unique in its repayment structure: the loan, plus interest, is paid back from your home's sale, generally after the homeowner's demise or move into care, allowing for financial flexibility during life.

    What Is the Process for Applying for Nationwide Equity Release?

    Applying for Nationwide Equity Release is a straightforward process that starts with a consultation.

    We first provide an initial appointment with a dedicated Nationwide advisor, who will assess your financial situation, discuss your needs, and guide you through the options available.

    The advisor ensures you understand the implications of equity release, such as its impact on inheritance and potential change in your tax position.

    Once you've decided that equity release is right for you, we'll help you complete an application form.

    The paperwork will require details about your property and financial situation. We then submit this form to Nationwide for approval.

    During this phase, your home will be professionally valued to determine the maximum amount you can release.

    On approval, the funds are made available for you to access.

    Remember, equity release isn't right for everyone, and professional advice is crucial in this decision-making process.

    What Is the Historical Background of Nationwide’s Involvement in Equity Release and Lifetime Mortgage?

    Nationwide launched it's later life mortgage range in 2017,2 which included three types of equity release products: retirement capital and interest mortgage, retirement interest only mortgage, and lifetime mortgage. 

    These products were designed to help older homeowners access some of the equity in their homes while retaining ownership and control of their property. 

    However, Nationwide has since stopped accepting new applications for its later-life mortgage range. 

    Nationwide still services it's existing equity release customers, but does not offer any new products or accept any new applications.3

    What Is the Current Availability of Nationwide Equity Release?

    Nationwide does not currently offer new lifetime or retirement mortgages, but members who have an existing plan can engage with an advisor if they are considering switching a deal or want to borrow more.4

    What Are the Recent Updates or Changes to Nationwide’s Equity Release Offerings?

    For the most part in 2022, the equity release market was performing better than it ever has thanks to low interest rates between 5.20% to 6.30%*. 

    However, September’s “mini-Budget” resulted in dramatic market disruptions which caused interest rate rises.5

    Due to this, Nationwide was one of many providers who withdrew it's equity release products from the market until more favourable conditions present themselves again.

    Nationwide’s Equity Release Products: Features, Benefits, and Options Available to Customers

    Since Nationwide does not offer new equity release products, it only publicly discloses information that applies to changes on existing plans. 

    Existing customers have already been extensively advised when they took out these plans.

    So if you have a lifetime mortgage and you are considering increasing the amount of equity you are releasing or switching your plan, it is worth noting the following:6

    • You can borrow between £10,000 and £1mln if you live in the UK. 
    • Your deal period is fixed for life.
    • Your interest rate will range between 5.20% to 6.30% AER*
    • The maximum loan-to-value (LTV) is dependent on your age.

    * While correct a the time of writing, these figures may have changed since our last update.

    Your Eligibility and Application Process

    Since Nationwide is not offering new equity release products at the moment, only customers with existing plans are eligible for equity release. 

    They have the option to switch plans or increase the amount of equity they are releasing.

    Existing customers who wish to do this can contact a Nationwide mortgage advisor by telephone on 03301 73 12 32 in the following time slots:

    • Mondays to Fridays between 8am and 6pm.
    • Saturdays between 8:30am and 4pm.

    Interest Rates and Fees

    Here is the interest rates and fees you may discover.

    Current Fees

    If you are an existing customer who is wishing to switch plans or release more equity on your existing plan, you can consult your contract for applicable fees.

    This information is not currently available on Nationwide’s website.

    Current Interest Rates

    Existing customers who wish to switch plans or release more equity on their existing plans can expect to do so at an interest rate ranging from 5.20% to 6.30% AER.*

    * While correct a the time of writing, these figures may have changed since our last update.

    What Is Nationwide’s Competitive Advantage?

    Nationwide’s competitive advantage is that it is not a bank. 

    Rather, it is the world’s largest building society (or mutual) and owned by it's members.7 

    This means that members are able to provide input on how Nationwide is run, shaping the products and services to serve them in the best way possible.

    Pros

    Nationwide's competitive advantage lies in it's focus on customer satisfaction, it's mutual ownership structure, and it's innovative use of technology.

    More information:

    • Commitment to Customer Satisfaction: It aims to put the interests of it's customers first and offer them a range of products and services that are tailored to their needs. Nationwide consistently ranks highly in customer satisfaction surveys, which is a testament to it's customer-centric approach.
    • Owned by it's Members: This ownership structure allows Nationwide to focus on its customers' needs rather than on generating profits for shareholders. As a result, Nationwide can offer competitive rates on savings and mortgages and invest in it's products and services to ensure that it meets the needs of it's members.
    • Innovative Use of Technology: It was one of the first companies in the UK to launch a mobile app. Nationwide has also invested in digital platforms, such as its online mortgage application system, which has streamlined the mortgage application process for it's customers. These factors have helped Nationwide build a strong customer service reputation and attract a loyal customer base.

    Cons

    While using Nationwide Building Society has several advantages, there are also some potential drawbacks to doing business with it.

    More information:

    • Limited Branch Network: Nationwide has a smaller branch network than some of the larger banks in the UK. This could be a disadvantage for customers who prefer to do their banking in person or who live in areas with limited branch access.
    • Limited International Services: Nationwide's focus is primarily on the UK market, so it may not offer as many international banking services as some of the larger banks. This could be a disadvantage for customers who travel frequently or who conduct business overseas.
    • Higher Fees on Some Products: While Nationwide offers competitive rates on savings and mortgages, it may have higher fees on some products compared to other banks. Customers should review the fees and charges for each product carefully before opening an account.

    Overall, while Nationwide has several advantages, customers should carefully consider their banking needs and preferences before opening an account to ensure that their products and services meet their requirements.

    Flexibility and Customisation Options

    Nationwide allows existing equity release customers to either increase the amount of equity released on their existing plan or switch plans. 

    Remember:

    Paying off your equity release loan early is possible, but steep early repayment charges may apply.

    Is There an Available Nationwide Equity Release Calculator?

    Nationwide’s website does not feature an equity release calculator since it does not offer new equity release plans at the moment.

    You can, however, explore the approximate amount you could release from your home by using our user-friendly equity release calculator.

    Customer Satisfaction and Reviews

    Although Nationwide is the world’s biggest building society and has tens of millions of customers, it is currently not rated very favourably on Trustpilot.8 

    Customer complaints vary widely in nature, with most negative reviews coming from customers that are in the process of finding a new service provider.

    However, considering that less than 4,000 from several million customers (or less than 0.01%) have reviewed Nationwide on this popular platform, it is certainly worth discovering for yourself.

    Where Is Nationwide Located?

    Nationwide is based in the UK and has it's headquarters in Swindon, England.

    Nationwide currently has 618 branches; you can find one near you on it's website.9

    The head office is located at:

    Nationwide House, Pipers Way, Swindon, SN38 1NW

    There are also administration centres in Northampton and Bournemouth.10

    Contact Information for Queries

    If you need help, you can get in touch with a Nationwide representative as follows:

    Customer Service Helpline

    Call Nationwide on the number applying to your query as specified on it's website.11

    Email Address

    Nationwide does not provide a unique email address through which to contact them. Instead, follow the instructions on it's website to get in touch with them based on the type of help you need.12

    Serving Existing Nationwide Equity Release Clients

    As previously mentioned, Nationwide currently does not issue new equity release plans to anyone; however, customers with existing equity release plans are able to either increase the amount they have borrowed (if eligible) or switch plans.

    Nationwide FCA Details

    Nationwide is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)13 and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA), which ensures that consumers are protected and treated fairly. 

    Nationwide’s FCA details:

    Trading Names

    • Nationwide Building Society
    • Hearth

    Permitted Services

    The list of services Nationwide can offer according to the FCA is listed here.

    Registration Numbers

    • FCA Firm reference number: 106078
    • Companies House number: 0000355B

    Is Nationwide a Member Of the Equity Release Council (ERC)?

    Yes, Nationwide is a member of the ERC.14

    Nationwide Jobs

    Nationwide advertises vacancies on it's website for roles across all of it's branches in the UK.15

    The roles available fall into the following categories:

    • Tech Talent
    • Head Office Roles
    • Our Society
    • Customer Support and Advice

    Common Questions

    What Is Nationwide Equity Release in the UK?

    How Does Nationwide Equity Release Work for Over 65s?

    What are the Pros and Cons of Nationwide Equity Release?

    How Can I Qualify for Nationwide Equity Release?

    Are There Any Risks Involved in Nationwide Equity Release?

    How Did We Review Nationwide?

    What Is the History of Nationwide as a Financial Institution?

    Are There Any Alternative Financial Products or Services Offered by Nationwide Besides Equity Release?

    Does Nationwide Offer Any Other Retirement Planning Solutions Apart from Equity Release?

    Are There Any Special Features or Benefits Associated with Nationwide’s Equity Release Options?

    Are There Any Restrictions on How I Can Spend the Funds Obtained through Nationwide’s Equity Release?

    Does Nationwide Provide Any Financial Advice or Counseling Services to Customers Considering Equity Release?

    How Does Nationwide Ensure the Security and Confidentiality of Customer Information during the Equity Release Process?

    Are There Any Age Restrictions for Individuals Interested in Nationwide’s Equity Release Products?

    Can I Apply for Equity Release with Nationwide If I Have an Existing Mortgage with Them?

    Does Nationwide Have Any Specific Eligibility Criteria for the Properties Eligible for Equity Release?

    Can I Choose to Repay the Equity Release Loan Early With Nationwide, and Are There Any Penalties Associated with Early Repayment?

    What Happens to the Equity Release Loan If I Decide to Move or Sell My Property?

    Are There Any Hidden Fees or Charges That I Should Be Aware of When Considering Nationwide’s Equity Release?

    Does Nationwide Offer Any Incentives or Benefits for Customers Who Refer Others to Its Equity Release Products?

    Can I Switch from My Current Equity Release Provider to Nationwide, and If So, What Is the Process Involved?

    In Conclusion

    Nationwide is a large company with over 15mln members. Founded in 1884, it has, no doubt, weathered several storms.

    Although it's online rating leaves a lot to be desired, determining whether Nationwide is the best provider for you can not be done by reading a review. 

    If you are an existing Nationwide equity release customer and are looking to switch plans, find out more about equity release, or release more money then contact an advisor to help you through the process.

    The features mentioned and the amounts raised, are subject to the lender’s criteria, terms and conditions. These may take into account the age, health and lifestyle factors in order to provide an enhanced amount. To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration.

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