Useful Information About Equity Release

Conditions For Taking Out Equity Release

Useful Information About Equity Release

Options for providing income for people who are aged over 55 are becoming increasingly difficult. Most people rely on their personal pension or state pension to provide them with income and, until the Pension Freedom legislation was introduced in 2015, had to buy an annuity.

A recent article in the Consumer publication Which showed that, to produce an income equivalent to the average British salary of £26,000 per annum, would require a pension pot of more than £300,000. But the average size of a pension pot in the UK is around £35,000, so people are having to consider other ways of providing an income in their retirement years. Their options are limited because mortgage lenders consider the over-55s to be too old to take out a mortgage (unless it is a very short term).

These factors are likely to be the reason why equity release has increased in popularity in recent years. The boom in house prices combined with the legacy of the financial crisis, which resulted in a tightening of lending criteria, has meant that releasing money from property is an option that many people are considering to help them provide an income or a cash lump sum.

Conditions For Taking Out Equity Release

Taking out an Equity Release product like a Lifetime Mortgage or Home Reversion Plan is relatively straightforward and is regarded as being similar in complexity to a traditional mortgage. Here are some of the basic conditions that you must meet:

  • There is minimum age to apply for this scheme which is usually 55 but can often be 60.
  • The house which is the subject of the Equity Release plan must be owned by you and you should have no dependents living with you. In this context, a ‘Dependent’ means anyone under the age of 23 and is not likely to include your partner or spouse.
  • There must be no outstanding mortgage left or, if there is a mortgage on your property, it must be very small in relation to the amount of equity remaining in your house.
  • Your home must be in good condition and must be worth over a certain amount – typically £70,000.

Alternatives To With Equity Release

Generating an income from your home by exchanging or selling a percentage of it to an Equity Release company is big decision and should not be undertaken without considerable thought. Even though Equity Release products are regulated by the FCA, you may find that the amount of money that is finally paid on your loan is considerable in comparison to the amount of cash originally given to you so you should think carefully about other ways of obtaining an income that might prove to be less costly. For example, you should consider other options from which to derive a regular income such as savings, NISAs, investments, assets etc.