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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

If you're considering releasing equity from your home you'll naturally have questions about the process and its implications for your future. To help you on your journey, we've included some of the most popular questions our customers have asked us in our list of FAQs. 

Can I release equity from my home?

The basic eligibility criteria for releasing equity are that all applicants are aged between 55 and 95, and that the property is worth at least £70,000. However, lenders all have their own  additional criteria, and not all property types will be suitable. Call our team on 0800 531 6027 for a qualification check if you would like to know more. 

How safe is equity release?

All advisers at Key Retirement follow strict rules and guidelines, ensuring each customer receives the correct recommended plan type and the plan meets their needs, making equity release plans both accessible and safe. As an equity release advisory service, we are also authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In order to take out an equity release plan you have to take specialist advice - and you will only be advised to continue if equity release is right for you.

With Equity Release Council (ERC) approved plans a number of guarantees are available. These include a no negative equity guarantee, the right to remain in your property for life and the right to move to another property (subject to criteria). 

We are also dedicated to making sure that our customers receive all of the facts about equity release - including that equity release will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits. 

Can I take out equity release if I've not finished paying off my mortgage?

Yes, but it will be a condition of the plan provider that the equity release is first used to repay the outstanding mortgage amount.

How much equity can I release?

The amount of money you are able to release from your home will depend upon a number of factors, including
  • Your age, and that of your partner
  • Your property value
  • Your health and lifestyle
Our free equity release calculator, will give you an instant online quote.

Who owns my home if I take out a plan?

You will remain the owner of your home if you take out a lifetime mortgage.

With a home reversion plan you are selling all or part of your home to the reversion provider in exchange for cash.

With either type of plan you will be guaranteed the right to stay in your home until you and your partner pass away or move into long term care.

How long does equity release take?

From application to completion, arranging an equity release plan will typically take 8-12 weeks. This timescale is not guaranteed, and in some circumstances it may take longer. 

Can I move house in the future if I've taken out equity release? Is equity release portable?

You are able to move house in the future if you wish. You can either repay the amount owned plus any early repayment charges, or transfer the plan to your new home. Each provider has specific criteria that applies concerning moving home, so you should check this when you take out a plan. 

Can I remain in my home for the rest of my life?

We recommend plans which have this guarantee, so you can stay in your home as long as you wish. This feature applies to both lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans, but is also subject to your adherence to the terms and conditions of the plan. 

Will I have to make monthly repayments?

Unless you choose to take out an interest payment plan, there are typically no monthly repayments to make. This is because the loan, plus roll up interest, is repaid when the plan comes to an end. The total amount owing to the provider will then be paid from the sale of your home. 

Can I pay back equity release early?

You have the option to repay your equity release plan early, but in most cases you will incur a substantial early repayment charge. There are some plans available which offer downsizing protection, protecting you from the early repayment charge if you choose to move into a property that is not suitable for your lender. This is typically available after five years of having taken out the plan. Please speak to your adviser about this before going ahead, if it is something that you are interested in. 

What will equity release cost me?

Unless you decide to go ahead, Key's service is completely free of charge, as our typical advice fee of 1.95% of the amount released would only be payable on completion of a plan. You are likely to incur costs for surveyor’s fees and solicitor’s fees, as well as providers arrangement fees, although some providers may make a full or partial contribution to this.

Can I guarantee an inheritance for my loved ones?

Yes, this is possible. There are plans available that allow you to protect a percentage of your home’s value so that you can guarantee an inheritance. If this is important to you, make sure you tell your adviser that you would like a plan with this feature.

Will my family end up in debt because of my equity release?

The Equity Release Council approved plans we recommend come with a no negative equity guarantee. This means you can never owe more than the value of your home, and therefore will not  risk leaving your loved ones with additional debt to repay. 

Should I discuss my plans with my family?

It is important to involve your family in any financial decision which will reduce the value of the inheritance left to them. We find that most families are incredibly supportive of their loved ones’ decision to take out an equity release plan to boost their retirement finances.

We actively encourage each of our customers to invite as many family members or friends that they wish to their equity release consultation, enabling everyone to get a full picture of equity release before any decisions are made.

What happens if I move into long-term care?

If your equity release plan was taken out jointly with your partner, they would be able to continue living in the home without impacting your means test for long-term care fees.

If your equity release plan is solely in your name, your home would be sold and the equity release provider would receive the money owing to them from the proceeds. The remainder will go to your estate.

What will happen when I pass away?

If you have a joint plan and your partner survives you, then your equity release will not be affected and they will be able to remain in their home for as long as they choose.

If your equity release plan is in your name only, your house will be sold and the equity release provider will take their money from the sale proceeds. The remainder will go to your estate.

Equity release plans allow you to unlock cash from your home, a lifetime mortgage is secured against your home. 

If you're considering equity release we recommend that you read 
is it right for you? 

Key promise

Customer satisfaction is at the heart of everything we do; we pride ourselves on being independent, transparent, supportive and straightforward. We're passionate about helping you to make the most of your finances when you’re in or approaching retirement.

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