Is Equity Release Safe?

Yes, modern equity release is safe. All equity release products which are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and presided over by the Equity Release Council (ERC) are safe.

 

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How safe is equity release?

While for some people, unlocking money tied up in a property can make a real difference to their lives, equity release might not be right for everyone.

Therefore, it’s important to receive honest expert advice and have all the available information to hand. Equity release is a big decision. We can ensure you will receive a suitable recommendation making equity release safe for you.

How? Simple Fast Mortgage was founded by a consumer protection expert who spent 15 years making sure customers were safe. We ensure you receive suitable affordable advice about safe equity release.

It’s noteworthy to remember that all our equity release plans come with a no negative equity guarantee. Meaning the debt will never be more than the sale value of your property.

With lifetime mortgages, you always own your own home and any increase in value is yours.

Equity release could be a good option for those over 55. To have the opportunity to repay debts, borrow money to support their incomes. Even help loved ones financially, or just enjoy some of life’s little luxuries.

We explain all the benefits as well as the possible drawbacks so you can make an informed decision. If we don’t think equity release is the right option for you, we will say so. Rest assured that we’re here to help you make decisions that are safe for you and your family.

It’s important to have sound financial advice. Ultimately, to help homeowners make an informed safe decision and understand which solution is right for them.

Contact Us if you would like to discuss Equity Release with a qualified advisor.

Read our beginners guide to Equity Release here: Guide to Equity Release or How Equity Release Works

Read more about Alternatives to Equity Release here: Alternatives to Equity Release

How much equity release can I get?

Contact UsHow much equity you can release is usually between 20% and 60% the value of your home. It is different for everyone, more often than not, the older you are the higher the percentage will be. 

Similarly, if you already have an equity release scheme, it would be best to ask an adviser if you can take out more equity safely. Additionally, an adviser may be able to review your existing equity release and find you a better rate or deal. Ultimately, reviewing your plan could mean more inheritance is left for beneficiaries.

Given these points, you can then calculate how much equity you have in your home. you will need to know your property value and amount owed on your mortgage, if you have one. 

Using an online calculator can give you a sense of how much you could borrow. They are free and easy to use, but tend to ask for your contact details to pester you after. We take a more personal approach and don’t offer an online calculator. Instead, call us and we can talk you through your options person-to-person. You will never receive unsolicited calls from us. 

It’s important to speak with a professional about something as life changing as equity release. We offer a free phone consultation, so we can answer your questions without any cost to you.

Call us for a friendly chat.

Is equity release a con?

You might hear equity release referred to as a scam, con or rip-off. In actuality, there are many ways in which equity release customers are protected. This means equity release has a number of important safeguards, including the no negative equity guarantee.

No negative equity guarantee

You’ll never owe more than your home is worth. Any incremental debt through equity release, can’t be passed on to your loved ones. This means that when your property is sold, and agents’ and solicitors’ fees have been paid, even if the amount left is not enough to repay the outstanding loan to your provider, neither you nor your estate will be liable to pay any more.

The right to known and predictable costs

For lifetime mortgages, interest rates must be fixed or, if they are variable, there must be a “cap” (upper limit) which is fixed for the life of the loan.

The right to stay in your home

As with all our plans, you must have the right to remain in your property for life or until you need to move into long-term care, provided the property remains your main residence and you abide by the terms and conditions of your contract.

The right to move home

Additionally, you have the right to move to another property. Subject to the new property being acceptable to your product provider as continuing security for your equity release loan.

See the Equity Release Council website to learn more.

Is Equity Release Safe?

Is equity release a good thing?

Releasing equity can be a good idea particularly if you’ve been considering a holiday, home or garden improvements. Perhaps looking to help family financially, or just want additional money in retirement.

You can unlock tax-free cash from your property, without having to move or worry about monthly payments.

If you’re concerned about how this will affect your loved one’s inheritance, then it’s important to speak with an advisor. Specifically, they can help you find a safe equity release plan that allows you to protect a percentage of the value of your property for inheritance purposes. Therefore, guaranteeing an inheritance for your beneficiaries.

Contact Us to discuss this in more detail.

How much equity release can I have?

The minimum equity release is generally around £10.000. The maximum equity release depends on the value of your property, your age, state of health, and the upper limit of 60%.

Providers mainly look for two things when working out what your sum will be. How much your property is worth, and how long you’re likely to live. If you have specific health conditions your amount of equity release could be higher.

The safe equity release provider will have your home valued by a surveyor. Often for free. The surveyor will check the condition of the property, the building materials, and if any changes or additions are acceptable to the lender. 

Depending on your age and health or if it’s a joint application, the age and health of the youngest applicant will be taken into account.

Interest rate on equity release?

Most safe equity release plans have a fixed rate of interest for the lifetime of the loan. The rate of interest you’re charged, on the amount being borrowed varies from provider to provider. Primarily, the amount of equity you wish to release influences the rate of interest applicable to your loan.

Is equity release tax-free?

Yes, you don’t pay tax on equity release. 

While safe equity release allows you to unlock money from your property, either in a lump sum or smaller amounts over time, there are no tax charges for releasing the money.

How much equity release could I get?

This depends on your health, age and property value. The maximum will be limited to around 60% of the property value.

Online calculators have limited value, and often result in unwanted phone calls and emails. Speak to us. We promise never to sell or pass on your contact details.

Equity release when someone dies

When the last equity release applicant dies, or moves into long-term care, the plan will need to be repaid. Most commonly this will be through the sale of your property. 

However, it’s worth noting that your plan can be safely settled by any financial means. Any money left over from your equity release plan, will form part of your inheritance.

It’s also important to consider whether the surviving spouse will want to remain in the property after the first death. In this instance, some providers will allow the equity release to be repaid. Perhaps through sale of the property, without charging a penalty to do so. However, some providers will not. This is something a good equity release advisor will talk to you about.

Which equity release is best?

Through a range of products and services we help you understand the best and most flexible safe equity release schemes on the market. Importantly, there is no one size fits all. Our circumstances and needs and families are all different.

The most popular safe equity release plans are lifetime mortgages. Offered by big brands known foremost for their insurance and pension products.

Alternatively, there are also safe home reversion plans. This is where you sell part or all of your home to a reversion provider. As a result you can either receive a lump sum or regular payments. This type of plan is less popular, as you no longer own your home.

Is Equity Release Safe?

How does equity release work when you die?

The executor of the estate must inform the equity release lender. The executor will usually have 12 months to repay your plan, after your death. 

Lenders will ask for a copy of the death certificate and probate document. In turn they can communicate with the executors and ask how they propose to pay back the plan. Whether by the sale of the property or by other methods.

Safe equity Release lenders usually provide a welcome pack, together with a reference number. It is important to discuss your plans and provide this information to your beneficiaries so they know what to expect in the future.

Fast equity release

Simple Fast Mortgage can help you release equity from your property fast. We respond to your enquiry within 24 hours and our specialist advisors will quickly help you identify the best option. This is crucial to getting a fast equity release.

Often our property valuations can be completed within one week and we can instruct solicitors and get things moving for you. Again, this helps obtain a fast equity release. We work with efficient lenders who assess and complete the equity release and have the money in your account within 2-3 weeks.

Are equity release schemes a good idea?

Safe equity Release schemes can be a good idea, if it meets your needs and circumstances in the best way. Equity release is a considerable decision, and for that reason cannot be taken without advice from a qualified equity release advisor.

Furthermore, equity release plans are designed to be a lifelong commitment. This can limit your options if you later change your mind.

With this in mind, consider your circumstances, and talk through your options with an experienced professional. Will your savings/sources of income be enough to meet your needs in retirement. Are there other options available to you?

Perhaps you don’t want to, or can’t downsize. Maybe you don’t mind reducing an inheritance. 

On the other hand consider the alternatives to equity release. For example, can you meet your income needs in retirement by other means.

Do you have the option to downsize and release money that way? Or is it your wish to conserve as much of your estate, for your family to inherit.

How does equity release affect my benefits?

You need to understand what, if any, benefits you are entitled to now, or in the future. We can help you to do this.

If you are considering safe equity release as a means to living comfortably in your retirement it is crucial to know how it may affect your eligibility to receive benefits. 

Some benefits are means-tested. Means-testing is a check whether an individual is eligible for government assistance or welfare benefits. The check is based on how much income or savings they have, and includes any equity release. It’s therefore important to consider this carefully before deciding. For example, whether you may require government funded long-term care.

Pension Credit and Council Tax Reduction, are common benefits affected by equity release, but others exist too. You are allowed an amount in capital before this is affected. Rest easy that your state pension will not be affected as it is not means-tested.

This is a complex area and our Advisers are ready to help. We can look at benefits you may be entitled to now and in the future. Furthermore we will safely check if this will be affected by equity release.

Read more about equity release and benefits here: How Does Equity Release Affect Benefits?

Benefits not affected by equity release

Non-means tested benefits are not affected by equity release. A good example is Personal Independence Payment. This is a benefit to help someone with a long-term health condition. Disability Benefit and the State Pension are also not affected by equity release. These benefits are paid regardless of income or capital.

Can equity release pay off a mortgage?

You can use safe equity release to pay off your mortgage. 

Commonly, older people who have an interest only mortgage can use equity release as a way to repay the debt. Specifically, when the existing lender will not allow the mortgage to be extended further and few other options exis

How much will equity release cost me?

Primarily, the cost of equity release will depend upon the provider you go with and the product you take. Generally, equity release includes a fee for advice and possibly application.

Additionally, many equity release providers offer products without a fee and also a  free valuation service. This means you do not have to pay anything until you have the equity release in your bank.

At this point you will usually pay your solicitors cost and the advice fee. Simple Fast Mortgage advice fees are considerably lower than some of our main competitors. £599 fixed. See for yourself how much other firms charge: Compare equity release advice fees

Learn about the other costs involved with equity release: Equity Release Costs

Read our beginners guide to Equity Release here: Guide to Equity Release or How Equity Release Works

Read more about Alternatives to Equity Release here: Alternatives to Equity Release

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