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How does equity release work?

Reader’s Digest Equity Release offers homeowners over the age of 55 trustworthy advice when it comes to the different ways that you could access some of your property wealth. One of the solutions an adviser can help you to consider is a Lifetime Mortgage, the UK’s most popular equity release tool. With this, you can borrow a tax-free cash sum from your home’s value.

There is no need to move out and no requirement to make any payments during your lifetime with this product, but you have the option to make them. Interest is charged on your loan at a rate that is fixed for life. Interest will then roll up over time, so making payments on either a regular or flexible basis can help to limit the cost of borrowing over time.

The amount borrowed, plus any interest not paid during your lifetime, is only due for full repayment once the last homeowner has either passed away or entered long-term care. Usually this will be achieved through the sale of your property.

The advice process

If you are considering equity release, an essential part of the process is to receive advice from one of our fully qualified advisers.

Reader’s Digest Equity Release is a specialist in all the borrowing options available to homeowners aged 55 and over. This means that your adviser will take the time to review your current financial position and future needs and wants so that they can recommend only the most suitable option for you.

We’ll guide you through the whole process

Want to start the process?

You can expect the entire advice process to take approximately eight weeks, but this will vary depending on your individual circumstances and needs.

Get started

Read our guide

First, read our guide. You will learn more about how Reader’s Digest Equity Release can help you through the process of unlocking the value of your home.

Speak to our Information Team

Next, give the Information Team a call. They can answer your initial questions and book you in for your initial, no-obligation appointment with an expert adviser. If you use our online calculator, the Information Team will get in touch with you directly.

Meet with an adviser

Then, meet with your adviser. They will take the time to review your financial position. This involves discussing your needs and wants, as well as your current income and expenditure, so that your adviser can recommend only the most suitable option for you.

Pros and cons of equity release

Equity release isn’t right for everybody. You may find that another product or solution, such as a Retirement Interest-Only Mortgage or downsizing, might be more suitable. To keep things simple when you are assessing your options, here is a handy list of pros and cons of equity release:

Pros

The cash you release with a Lifetime Mortgage is tax-free.

You will retain full homeownership.

Your interest rates will usually be fixed for life.

You will benefit from a no-negative-equity guarantee from the Equity Release Council, meaning that neither you nor your estate will ever have to repay more than what your property is worth.

You are guaranteed the right to make voluntary payments to mitigate the cost of borrowing.

Should you wish to move home in the future you can transfer your Lifetime Mortgage to the new property, subject to lender criteria.

Cons

The value of your estate will be reduced, leaving less to loved ones after you pass away.

Taking out a Lifetime Mortgage may affect your eligibility for means-tested benefits.

If you release more cash than you immediately need, interest charged on the amount borrowed will likely far exceed any earned from putting the extra cash into savings.

Choosing to repay early could be costly, so it is important to consider your future plans.

Our advice service

Launched in 1922, Reader’s Digest has worked hard to build over 100 years of trust by providing useful guides and top tips about the topics that really matter. Now, Reader’s Digest has chosen to work with Responsible Life to provide you with a quality mortgage advice service. You’re in good hands, as they have over a decade of experience and over 1,500 5-star reviews on Trustpilot.

Responsible Life only work with lenders approved by the Equity Release Council. This means that all of the Lifetime Mortgage products you can access have customer needs at their core.

Products we offer

We have carefully selected a range of products with flexible features prioritised throughout. We've designed this selection of products to offer fair value for you and your family, both now and in the future.

At Reader's Digest Equity Release, we will assess your suitability for a range of solutions designed to help you take advantage of your property wealth. We find that the most popular way of releasing equity is with a Lifetime Mortgage. However, we want to ensure that you have access to a wide range of solutions and can also provide you with access to Retirement Interest-Only Mortgages and traditional mortgages if these are more suitable.

If we cannot recommend a product from our pre-selected panel, we may be able to refer you to a service that considers options from the wider market. Your adviser will discuss this with you as part of the advice process. Full details about the products we offer and their associated features can be obtained from your adviser.