Last updated 3rd June 2019
Equity release is a big decision and may not be for everyone. Through the SunLife Over 55 Equity Release Service, you’ll get the advice you need from expert equity release advisers to answer any questions you might have.
What is equity release?
‘Equity’ is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you still owe on your mortgage (or other debt secured on your home). You can ‘release’ a portion of this equity as a tax-free cash sum to boost your retirement income.
The most popular kind of equity release is called a lifetime mortgage. With a lifetime mortgage, you don’t need to make any monthly repayments on the equity you borrow. The full loan, along with interest built up, is paid off after you die or move into care – all funded by the sale of your home.
Who is equity release for?
More and more people choose to use a lifetime mortgage to spend on things like dream holidays or home and garden improvements for a richer retirement.
To be eligible for equity release, you’ll need to be 55 or over and own a home worth at least £70,000. There are other factors and criteria you’ll need to think carefully about so it’s important to make sure that you get expert lifetime mortgage advice before making any big decisions.
Can I stay in my home?
Absolutely. With a lifetime mortgage, you still own your home. You can even move to a new house if you like and take your lifetime mortgage with you if your lender agrees to it, though it can prove more expensive to downsize with a lifetime mortgage so make sure you consider this when taking out a plan. (There’s also something called ‘home reversion’, where you sell part of your home in exchange for cash, but this type of equity release isn’t nearly as popular.)
Is equity release a good idea?
A simple question. But the answer is different for everyone. It really depends on your personal situation.
You can get a good idea about how much tax-free cash you could unlock using our equity release calculator. But in terms of knowing what’s best for you, you need to speak to the experts. That’s why, if you’re interested in equity release at all, we’ll put you in touch with expert advisers through SunLife’s Over 55 Equity Release Service to make sure you’re completely happy with what’s involved before moving forward.
Talk to an expert adviser. Call us today on 0800 633 5566 to get the ball rolling.
Is equity release safe?
What is the no negative equity guarantee?
With a lifetime mortgage, interest is charged on the money you release and paid off along with the loan when you die or move into care.
The no negative equity guarantee ensures that you’ll never owe more than the value of your home. In other words, even if the value of your home dips and selling it wouldn’t be enough to pay off the loan plus interest, your lifetime mortgage provider would foot the bill so your loved ones don’t have to.
Because our preferred partner, Age Lifetime who are an appointed representative of Age Partnership, is a member of the Equity Release Council, the lifetime mortgage products they recommend will be protected by the no negative equity guarantee.
Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Equity release has been fully regulated since 2004 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – an independent body that holds financial services providers to strict standards and regulations – providing peace of mind for equity release customers.
Still not sure? Find out more about the pros and cons of equity release.
Where can I get equity release advice?
We can put you in touch with an adviser from our preferred partner, who can help you with all the answers you need.
But we also like to stress the importance to talking things over with family and loved ones before making any big financial decisions. Taking out a lifetime mortgage is likely to affect them too by reducing their inheritance.
Loved ones are so important in these decisions that we’d encourage you to involve a family member in discussions with your adviser.
Call us today on 0800 633 5566 or use our FREE Eligibility Checker to see if you’re eligible for equity release. We’ll put you in touch with an expert adviser through SunLife’s Over 55 Equity Release Service, who’ll answer your questions before you take any next steps.