What is equity release?
For more information call the Saga Equity Release Advice Service on 0800 096 7120. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays). The Saga Equity Release Advice Service is provided by HUB Financial Solutions Limited
What is equity release?
Equity release is a way of unlocking some of the value of your home and turning it into tax-free cash. If you bought your property some time ago, even if you still have a mortgage, there is likely to be a considerable amount of value in it. Many people are choosing to unlock cash from their homes to pay for home improvements, to gift money to family or to help with personal finance matters.
The most common way to release equity from your home is by setting up a lifetime mortgage, similar to a normal mortgage except that none of it has to be paid off while you’re still living in your home. The mortgage is repaid from the value of your estate after your death or if you move permanently into long-term care, providing you have met the terms and conditions, which means there will be less money for your beneficiaries.
The truth about equity release
- You have to be 55 or over with a UK home worth at least £70,000 to be eligible.
- The cash you release is tax free.
- You can use the money for almost anything you choose.
- You still own your home and you can continue to live there.
- Some equity release products enable you to receive regular payments.
- There are no monthly repayments unless you choose to pay off some of the interest as you go.
- You can move house as long as the new property meets the lender’s criteria.
- All lenders must adhere to standards set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
- The Equity Release Council’s ‘no negative equity’ guarantee means your beneficiaries will never owe more than the property is worth when it’s sold.
- Equity release will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to means-tested state benefits.
The myths about equity release
- It’s unsafe and unregulated – This is not the case. Equity release providers are required to meet the standards of the Equity Release Council.
- I can’t release equity if I have an outstanding mortgage – Yes, you can, but you will need to pay off your existing mortgage balance at the same time.
- I could be forced to move out of my home – With most equity release plans, there aren’t any regular repayments so there’s no danger of defaulting on them.
- I’ll leave my family in debt – Your beneficiaries will never have to repay more than your home sells for, even if it is less than the amount owed.
- I won’t be able to leave my property as an inheritance – When you die or move into permanent long-term care, your property is normally sold to pay off the equity release provider. Any remaining money from the proceeds of the sale can be passed on to your loved ones.
To find out more, request a copy of our free equity release guide today.
As members of the council, both Saga and HUB Financial Solutions Limited follow its strict Statement of Principles that protects customers at every stage of the equity release journey. You can find out more about the Equity Release council here.