What’s the ERC & What Do They Do

What’s the ERC & What Do They Do?

Equity release comes with its risks, like all things in life. However, you don’t have to be afraid. We’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the ERC and how they’re working non-stop to protect and safeguard you and your assets.

Before we get into the equity release council’s details, let’s look at equity release as a start.

Equity Release Defined

Equity release refers to your property’s items/parts that let you access your money tied up in your house. However, you can only gain access once you’re 55 years or older. You can get the capital value of objects in your home as a lump sum or an income based on the house’s value. You’ll just need to repay that money you accessed at a later stage.

There are two kinds:

  1. Lifetime Mortgage

The first type of equity release is a 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 ringfence part of your property for your family to inherit.

You can also make repayments or let the interest increase. 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.


  • Home Reversion

The second type is a home reversion, which means 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.

Let’s take a look at the Equity Release Council.

The Equity Release Council In A Nutshell

After looking at equity release as a form of borrowing money, it’s clear that there are some risks involved. So, to keep your finances safe and secure, the council has set up a code of conduct so that you can have peace of mind.

Listen to this!

They’re an industry body taking care of everything equity release-related. It’s self-regulated, and they’re a non-profit organization. Starting as SHIP (or Safe Home Income Plans), they relaunched and redesigned themselves as the Equity Release Council in 2012.

Now, let’s look at their services:

  • Their job is to tell you everything you need to know about equity release and all the products related to it.
  • They’re there to protect and safeguard you throughout the process, and they also protect your finances.
  • They spread the word about equity release being a form of income once you retire.
  • They represent hundreds of firms and members within the equity release industry. These include advisers, lenders, solicitors and surveyors, for example.

You might be asking yourself:

Is equity release safe? Well, to be honest, it’s much safer now than it used to be. Thanks to the Equity Release Council, you’re safer than ever. Their policies are specifically created to protect you and to safeguard you.

Equity Release Council Policies

You’re guaranteed the right to stay in your home as long as you wish. You can stay in your home your whole life if you want to do so. Another option is to move houses and transfer the equity release plan without paying a fine (thanks to their downsizing protection policy).

Best of all:

They guarantee your residency with both kinds of equity release plans: lifetime mortgage and home reversion plans.


The council also offers a No Negative Equity Guarantee, which is excellent! Why? This guarantee ensures that the mortgage amount plus accumulated interest will never be more than the value of your property. In other words, the homeowner is protected when the property market takes a turn for the worst.

Let me tell you something…

The homeowner is also protected if his/her house depreciates or when his/her mortgage is more than what the property would sell for when the time comes to repay the loan.

But wait.

The FCA is also there to protect you. Their job is to ensure your provider and advisor follow the rules to the T. So, you don’t have to worry. You’re in good hands when it comes to Equity Release.

The Equity Release Council Protect You From…

The Equity Release Council is there to help you see and avoid these equity release providers:

  • Plan providers who don’t have a ‘no negative equity guarantee.’
  • Lenders who aren’t members of the ERC.
  • Providers who charge high interest rates.
  • Lenders who charge you very high repayments and who charge them early.
  • Equity release firms that give you large loan amounts before they even analyse your circumstances.

Common Questions

What's The Equity Release Council?

Does My Equity Release Provider Need to Be An ERC Member?

What Does The Equity Release Council Protect Me From?

How Do I Know That My Provider Is An ERC Member?

In Conclusion

After reading about the Equity Release Council, you should be feeling more at ease. Today, equity release is very safe, thanks to the ERC and the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). Their sole purpose is to protect you and ensure that you and your finances are safeguarded against any sour providers and negative aspects of finances.

If you want to check out how much money you can gain through equity release, you can use equity release calculators online.

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