Press release

Saga Personal Finance launches innovative new equity release service

Friday 16 February 2007

  • Holistic review of individual customer's financial requirements to ensure equity release best meets their needs
  • Great value for money with a one-off flat advice fee of £49
  • Free Guide to Equity Release available by calling 0800 015 6256

SAGA is pleased to announce its partnership with specialist equity release advisers Just Retirement Solutions (JRS), to create the Saga Equity Release Service, an impartial comprehensive advice service* for those considering options to release some of the Equity in their property.

Customers can now take advantage of the specialist advice offered by the service advisers, who individually assess each customer's financial needs and explore the different options available, including a full state benefit analysis to ensure equity release is the best solution for their circumstances. Where equity release is appropriate, a one off flat fee of 349 is payable regardless of the size of the loan. Many providers charge a percentage of the loan value (typically 1.5%), and with a typical individual withdrawal of around 36k** customers could be making significant savings through Saga, and even more so when returning for further advances as no further fee is payable. Where equity release is not appropriate, further financial advice is available as necessary to ensure that customers' needs are met.

The advisers can select from a panel of products from leading providers including Northern Rock, Mortgage Express, Scottish Widows and Just Retirement Limited. The panel has been selected to provide products to suit a wide range of needs, and is made up of some of the biggest and most respected names within the industry. In addition to this, they are able to search the market to make sure customers with more specific requirements are offered the most appropriate product for their individual circumstances.

The specialist advisers have an average of 12 years financial services experience, and around 4 years experience in advising specifically on equity release, meaning SAGA customers can take comfort they are receiving the very best advice. If the most appropriate option is a lifetime mortgage with rollover interest, the adviser will only select a product that carries a 'no negative equity' guarantee, to ensure the customer will never find the value of their loan exceeds the value of their home.

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive of SAGA Group, commented: "As older people become increasingly asset rich and cash poor, equity release is likely to be a serious consideration for many. This is a very important decision for the individual and their family, and an area in which a trusted brand like Saga can provide considerable comfort and confidence."

For more information on the SAGA Equity Release Service, customers can call 0800 015 6256 or visit http://www.saga.co.uk/equityrelease

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors-

*Advice service is available for people aged 60 and over

**36k is the typical advance taken by Saga customers as Equity Release

A cash lump sum and/or income from an equity release scheme may reduce the consumer's state benefits.

With roll-up mortgages the outstanding loan including the added interest can grow very fast and if the total rises to more than the value of the property, this would result in a negative Equity. To protect against this, where a lifetime mortgage is appropriate, Saga's advice service will only select products with a no negative equity guarantee.

If a lifetime mortgage is considered appropriate, to understand the features and risks, customer should ask for a personalised illustration.

An equity release scheme will reduce the value of the consumer's estate.

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.

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