I want to release tax⁠-⁠free cash from my home – but I still have lots of questions!

You’ve probably heard the term ‘equity release’ many times – but you might not be completely clear about what it involves. We’ve put together answers to a few commonly⁠-⁠asked⁠-⁠questions, to help you understand what equity release is and how it could work for you.

What is equity release?

Equity release is an agreement, that lets you access money that’s tied up into the value of your property, without having to leave your home. You usually need to be at least 55 years old. You may be able to take the money that you release as a lump sum or regular smaller payments, or both.

How long does equity release take?

The length of time that it takes for your equity release application to complete can vary. The average time scale is around eight weeks, however depending on the situation the money could be yours in as little as three weeks.

How much will it cost me to release equity in my home?

Most lenders charge a fee for handling the application which is included in the cost of equity release. You may also have to pay an upfront valuation fee. Your equity release company may charge an upfront fee or completion fee. You will need to seek legal advice, so you could incur a fee from your solicitor.

Will I have to make monthly repayments?

You won’t have to make monthly interest repayments, because unlike a standard mortgage, this is a loan against your home which is typically paid back at the end of your plan (when the last borrower moves into long⁠-⁠term care or dies). However, our lenders can offer you the option to make monthly repayments, if you wish to do so.

What’s the catch with equity release?

Equity Release can affect potential inheritance and any entitlement to means tested benefits now or in the future. It’s also worth finding out if it will have any tax implications, too, by asking for professional advice. Equity release also lowers the value of your estate, leaving less inheritance for your beneficiaries.

Is equity release safe?

Using an equity release company that is a member of the Equity Release Council, means that you can have peace of mind. They have to have agreed to abide by the ERC’s rules, which gives you a level of protection.

Is there an alternative to equity release?

If you decide equity release is not right for you, there are other options including downsizing or getting financial help from loved ones.

Can I release equity in my property if I’m under 55?

No. The youngest applicant for equity release schemes (based around lifetime mortgages) must be over 55.

Equity release may involve a home reversion plan or lifetime mortgage which is secured against your property and will reduce the value of your estate and impact funding long⁠-⁠term care. To understand the features and risks ask for a personalised illustration.

We provide initial advice for free and without obligation. Only if your case completes would our advice fee of £1,895 be payable. Other lender and solicitor fees may apply. Equity released, plus accrued interest to be repaid upon death, or moving into long⁠-⁠term care.