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Equity release

Many people continue to face difficult financial times. Due to the economic downturn, unforeseen events and debt they are left with little income and in need of a boost to their finances.

For homeowners aged over 55, it’s often the case that they have substantial equity in their home through paying off their mortgage or owning it outright. Equity describes the cash value remaining in their home when all outstanding secured debts have been paid. This amounts to thousands of pounds tied up with no way of unlocking this equity without selling or downsizing.

Equity release provides the option to release a tax-free lump sum from the equity locked in your property. It’s a simple process and one that enables you to boost your retirement finances.

What is equity release?

Equity release is a means of releasing a tax-free lump sum from the equity locked in your home.

There are typically no monthly repayments to make and the money can be spent on anything you like, such as supporting your cost of living, helping grandchildren onto the property ladder, making home improvements or even travelling and seeing the world!

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Over one million people have come to us for help to decide whether equity release is right for them. Learn more, and read about how equity release has shaped the lives of some of our customers in our free guide.

You can also see more customer stories from like-minded people who have used equity release on our website.

Equity release at a glance

  • It’s regulated – the market is fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. We recommend plans which come with a number of guarantees to ensure your financial safety
  • It’s flexible – there are a wide range of plans available, so your adviser can help you to choose a plan which matches what’s important to you
  • You can stay in your home for life – the plans that we recommend guarantee that you can stay in your own home for the rest of your life and that you can move home (as long as your new property meets the equity release provider criteria)
  • Your estate won’t be left with any debt – we recommend plans which come with a ‘no negative equity’ guarantee to prevent you owing more than the value of your home
  • It’s important to seek specialist advice – it’s an important financial decision and isn’t right for everyone. Consulting an adviser will help you to explore your options and explain the different plans
  • Taking out an equity release plan will reduce the value of your estate and could affect your entitlement to state benefits

To qualify for equity release you must

  • Be aged 55 or over – both applicants if couple
  • Own and live in the property you wish to release equity from
  • Be able to release enough equity from your property to enable you to fully pay off any outstanding mortgage or secured loan

Your property must be

  • Valued at least £60,000
  • In the UK (including Northern Ireland)
  • Either freehold or leasehold, with a minimum lease period of 75 years remaining
  • Of standard construction and in good condition

Types of equity release plans

At Key Retirement we offer the following types of equity release plans

Already have an equity release plan?

Did you know that you could be better off by switching to another equity release plan? To find out more click here.

The Key promise

We’ll secure you the lowest equity release interest rate on the market or pay you £250 cash!* Current lowest lifetime mortgage interest rate is 5.13%. The overall cost for comparison is 5.40% APR**

**Excluding interest payment plans. All offers are subject to eligibility and correct at time of publication. *Our challenge only applies when you’ve had a consultation with Key, and to ERC approved plans available at the time of your recommendation from Key

How does equity release work?

Releasing cash from your home is a big decision to make. Our advisers are here to help you and will tell you straight away if equity release is not right for you. If you’re thinking about equity release then it’s important to read our points to consider as well as the alternative options.

You may also want to follow these six steps:

Step 1: Advice

Find an equity release adviser who is experienced in equity release and will help you to consider alternative means of raising funds. They should assess your personal situation and search the whole market to find the best plan for you. At Key all our advisers are equity release specialists who have undertaken extensive equity release training

Step 2: Talk to your family

Discuss equity release with your family and intended beneficiaries to your Will. They might be able to help you raise the money you need

Step 3: Personalised illustration

Based on your individual circumstances, your adviser will prepare a recommendation for you. They will also provide you with a personalised illustration which will detail how equity release could work for you

Step 4: Independent legal advice

Find a solicitor who specialises in equity release. They will not only sort out all the legal details but will make sure you fully understand how the plan works and all the implications before you go ahead

Step 5: Application, valuation & offer

Once you and your adviser have decided on the right plan, your home will be valued and you will be sent an offer confirming the details of your equity release plan

Step 6: Completion

If you are satisfied with all these details you can agree to take out an equity release plan. Once your application has been received by your equity release provider, you will receive your money approximately eight to 12 weeks later

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This is an equity release plan. To understand the features and risks ask for a personalised illustration.

If you are considering equity release we recommend that you read through is equity release right for you? carefully.