Equity release is a way of releasing the wealth tied up in your property without the need to move. With equity release products, you can either borrow against the value of your home or sell all or part of it for a regular monthly income, a lump sum, or the facility to get at equity as and when you like or a combination of these options.
Although there are many different plans available, they can all be split into four main categories of equity release schemes.
You release a lump sum from the value of your property, whilst maintaining 100% ownership of your home. This amount, plus any interest accrued, is repaid from the sale of your property when you pass away or move into long-term care.
This works similar to Lifetime Mortgage but with a regular cash reserve/draw down option allowing you to withdraw amounts at a frequency you choose up to a specified amount of years, or until the cash reserve has been used up.
You get a lump sum and pay a monthly interest on the loan, which can be fixed or variable, rather than allowing the interest to roll up. The amount you originally borrowed is normally repaid when your home is eventually sold.
Here, you sell some or all of your property in exchange for a lump sum of money, whilst maintaining the right to remain living in your home, rent free, for as long as you live.
You are free to use the money on almost anything you choose. There are many reasons for releasing equity from your home and here are just a few of them:
Equity release plans are not right for everyone and it is important that you fully consider your options and receive independent financial advice before making a decision. It is also important that, if you do decide to use an equity release product, you choose one that meets your needs.
Remember that taking an equity release plan is generally a long term option. However, there are flexible plans available that may fit your varying needs and some will allow you to repay in the future without any penalties. A financial adviser can help you to choose the plan that is right for you.