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Equity release

You can find out if equity release is right for you without it costing you a penny

To safeguard your health, our expert equity release advice is now available over the phone, via video appointment or face-to-face, whichever is right for you. If you’re interested in finding out whether releasing equity from your home could benefit you, or you have any other questions, get in touch by filling out our online form or by calling us on 0800 531 6027.


What is equity release?

Simply put, equity release is a way for homeowners aged 55 and over to release some of the tax-free funds from their homes without having to move. It can play an important role in retirement funding, and the flexibility and safeguards that are built into plans allows thousands of homeowners to tap safely into some of their housing wealth, all without worrying about making monthly repayments.

It is an increasingly popular way for people in or approaching retirement to boost their finances.

To be eligible for equity release there are a number of criteria you’ll need to meet before you can apply. Although you need to be aged 55 and over to release funds from your home, the youngest homeowner must be at least 55 for you to qualify. You will also need to release a minimum of £10,000 and when thinking about the funds you want to release, it’s important to note that the maximum you can borrow will be based on the age of the youngest homeowner, their health and lifestyle, and the property’s value. You'll also need a minimum property value of £70,000. Essentially the older you or your partner are, the more money you could potentially borrow. 

Key Equity Release offer lifetime mortgages only, the most popular type of equity release, which is a loan secured against your home.

Remember, you can’t release equity without getting expert equity release advice first, so get in touch with our team today to see which product suits you.

Find out how much you could release from your property by using our handy calculator.

Calculate now

Equity release explained

Equity release explained video

Transcript

When it comes to equity release, we all have questions.

What, for instance, is it exactly?
Equity release is a way for homeowners over 55, whose property is worth at least £70,000, to release tax-free cash from their homes. It is an increasingly popular way for people in, or approaching, retirement to boost their finances.

And will we still own our home?
Yes – and with Key’s plans you can stay in it for as long as you like.

Will we have to make monthly repayments?
No, not unless you want to. The loan, plus rolled-up interest, will be paid back when your plan comes to an end.

Could our family inherit the debt?
No – all of Key's plans come with a ‘no negative equity’ guarantee, so you’ll never owe more than your home is worth and there’ll never be a debt for your family to take on.

How much can we release?
This depends on your age, how much your house is worth and your general health. On average, Key customers have had access to £90,000.

What do people usually use the money for?
Key customers spend the tax-free cash on many different things, such as repaying existing debts, travel and home improvements.

So, what’s different about Key?
Because Key takes a personal and honest approach to equity release, it's good to know we can answer all your questions in a way that's right for you. By ordering our free expert guide, using our free online calculator, or by calling us.

Key - equity release that’s right for you.

How does equity release work?

Key offer a couple of ways that you can release equity from your house which are discussed further below. It’s important to think about what features you’d like your adviser to include in your equity release plan. If, for example, you’d like our lowest interest rate available, or to release the highest amount of tax-free funds we could offer from your home, you can discuss this with your Key Equity Release adviser.

They’ll be there to guide you through the different features, and it’s crucial to note that this won’t affect your entitlement to make no monthly repayments or the no negative equity guarantee – which both come as standard with all of our plans.

We’ve made wondering “how does equity release work?” a thing of the past. You can release some of the tax-free funds from your home through Key Equity Release with a lifetime mortgage, the most popular form of equity release. A lump sum lifetime mortgage is essentially a loan that’s secured against your home, giving you access to a single lump sum of funds and you’ll still own your property. 

A similar product that is available is a drawdown lifetime mortgage. Unlike a lump sum lifetime mortgage that gives you a one off lump sum, this product allows you to draw funds out in stages after taking an initial lump sum. Plus, you’ll only ever pay interest on the money that’s released. In the same way a lump sum lifetime mortgage works, a drawdown lifetime mortgage is also a loan that’s secured against your home and you’ll still own your property. 

What are the different types of lifetime mortgages?

With two options available to you, it can be difficult to find the right one. Here, we’ve broken down each of our products for you, but your expert equity release adviser will be able to talk you through them in more detail to help you decide. You can release tax-free funds from your home with a lifetime mortgage, which is the most popular form of equity release. There are two types of lifetime mortgages:

Lump sum lifetime mortgage

A lump sum lifetime mortgage is a popular form of equity release. It allows you to release some of the tax-free funds that are tied up in your home. Available as a single lump sum, this type of loan is secured against your home. You do not need to make any monthly repayments because typically, the loan plus roll up interest, is repaid when the plan comes to an end. This is usually when you or the last remaining borrower, either passes away or enters long-term care.

  • Available for homeowners aged 55 and over
  • You retain full ownership of your home
  • No requirement to make monthly repayments
  • Use the money you release for a variety of purposes – including home improvements and university fees

Drawdown lifetime mortgage

A drawdown lifetime mortgage is a different type of lifetime mortgage that allows you to release an initial smaller lump sum followed by further amounts as and when needed. The interest is only charged on the funds you have released at the time, and therefore these plans could potentially save you thousands. As with a lump sum lifetime mortgage the loan is secured against your home, with no need to make monthly repayments because typically the loan plus roll up interest is repaid when the plan comes to an end.

  • Available for homeowners aged 55 and over
  • You retain full ownership of your home
  • No requirement to make monthly repayments
  • Use the money you release for a variety of purposes – including home improvements and university fees
  • Draw smaller amounts as and when you need to – potentially saving you thousands
See how much you could release

What are the benefits of lifetime mortgages?

With a lifetime mortgage, there are a number of benefits. Instead of making any monthly repayments, the interest accrued on your lifetime mortgage is added to the loan and rolled up. This is commonly known as roll-up or compound interest. The loan plus interest is then repaid when the plan comes to an end, which is usually when you, or the last remaining borrower, either passes away or enters long-term care.

Typically once this has happened, your house will then need to be sold and the equity release mortgage provider will take their money from the sale proceeds. Any remaining money will then go to you or your estate.
 

At Key, you get a no negative equity guarantee

All of our plans meet the Equity Release Council standards. This means all of our plans come with several assurances, including the no negative equity guarantee. With it, you’ll never owe more than your home’s worth. So, any debt you accrue through equity release can’t be passed on to your loved ones after you’ve gone, even if your house falls in value. 
 

At Key, you could get protection for the future

With some of our plans, you can also choose to guarantee an inheritance for your loved ones through inheritance protection by ring-fencing a percentage of your property’s future value to leave to your family as an inheritance, subject to criteria. Speak to your dedicated adviser about this feature. And for your own peace of mind, your adviser could personalise your plan to include downsizing protection. It means that should you wish to move home in the future to a property that does not meet our lending criteria, you can repay your plan without any early repayment charges. Downsizing protection is only relevant after 5 years of taking a plan out.
 

Is equity release regulated?

Many of our customers ask “is equity release safe?”. We're regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), whose aim is to make the financial markets work well so that consumers get a fair deal and promote effective competition in the interest of consumers. Also, all of our advisers follow strict rules and guidelines, ensuring you receive the right recommendation for you. If equity release isn’t right for you, we’ll tell you.

We’re authorised and regulated by the FCA, and pride ourselves on the fact that all our processes and recommendations are clear, fair and not misleading to customers in any way.

How much could I release?

The amount of equity you could release is based on your age, general health and lifestyle choices, and the value of your property. In 2019, Key customers had access to an average facility of £90,374. The amount is subject to a number of factors, so why not use our calculator to get an idea of how much you could borrow.

Calculate now

How much does equity release cost?

Most Key Equity Release customers have received a fixed annual interest rate of 3.53% or lower.

The overall cost for comparison is 3.77% APR.

Rates correct as of 13 December 2021. Interest rate received and plan features are subject to eligibility. Ask for a personalised illustration.

More on how much equity release costs

 

We're here to help

Don't just take our word for it, hear what our customers have to say...

Michael and Carol

64 & 63, approaching retirement

"All the worries and the stresses have gone now, we can just look forward to having a nice relaxing retirement…We’re planning to go away on a couple of cruises."
Read more on Michael and Carol

Watch more of our customer stories

Ready to see if equity release is right for you?

With more than 20 years’ experience, Key has helped over 1 million people decide if equity release is right for them. So, you can be confident we’ll find and recommend the most suitable plan for you.

We’re one of the UK’s trusted equity release specialists. Our equity release advice is unique to you, delivered by qualified equity release experts, who will take the time to understand your needs. They’ll search our product range to ensure they recommend the right plan for you and support you every step of the way.

We’ll ensure you consider your options, including downsizing or using other forms of borrowing, and if releasing equity from your house isn’t right for you, we’ll tell you. There’s no pressure to go ahead. Your adviser will give you all the information you need about equity release for you to make an informed decision in your own time.

You may also have other options available. such as a retirement interest only mortgage.

Try our mortgage finder to understand your options.

Releasing some of the equity from your home is simple with Key. Usually taking around 8-12 weeks*, you can get started in these steps:

You can also request your free, comprehensive guide to equity release and find out if it's right for you by clicking here.

* Timescale cannot be guaranteed however this a typical time frame

Here to help every step of the way

From your first phone call to your tax-free funds being released, we’re with you every step of the way. And, if you decide to go ahead, you’ll have a dedicated case handler to support you throughout the rest of your equity release journey. All our equity release advice relates to our range of Key branded products only, and our fixed advice fee of £599 is only payable on completion.

Use our free calculator

Find out how much tax-free cash you could release from your home now with our equity release calculator
 

Speak to an adviser

Book an appointment with a specialist equity release adviser at a time that's good for you

Not sure what product is right for you?

To release equity from your home, this typically involves taking out a form of mortgage product. Our later life mortgage finder helps you consider your options.

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Answers to your equity release questions

We know you may still have some burning questions that need to be answered before you pick up the phone to us. It’s important you consider the options available and to make sure that equity release is right for you. Our experienced team have answered some of the more common questions we get asked, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for here, we’re only a phone call away.
 

Will I still own my home?

Yes, with our plans, you’ll still own your home and can stay in it for as long as you like.

Will I ever fall into negative equity?

No. All of our plans meet the Equity Release Council standards and come with the no negative equity guarantee, meaning you’ll never owe more than your home’s worth.

Can I move home if I have equity release?

Yes. All of our plans meet the Equity Release Council standards which means you can move home, subject to criteria.

Who handles the legal side of the process?

You'll need to appoint an independent solicitor to handle the legal side of the process to give you peace of mind.

Are there any restrictions on what I can do with the money released?

You can use it in a wide variety of ways – but think carefully about how much you need to borrow.

Can I still leave an inheritance for my family?

Yes, you can. Some of our plans guarantee that a set percentage of your home’s future value will be retained, subject to criteria.

Can I explore equity release if I still have a mortgage?

Yes, however, you will need to repay the mortgage either before the lifetime mortgage completes or by using the money released. 

What happens when you die with equity release?

Your home will typically be sold once you, or you and your partner, in joint cases have died. The sale proceeds will be used to repay the amount you owe and any money left will go to your estate.

How is my home's value assessed?

Your property will be valued by an independent RICS registered surveyor so you can be confident of an unbiased opinion of your property’s worth.

What do people spend the money on?

The money you release is tax free, and Key customers use it for a variety of things, such as travel, home improvements and paying off their existing mortgage.

Are there other ways to release money from your home?

Key Equity Release offer advice on lifetime mortgages only, the most popular form of equity release – there are other ways to unlock money from your home. Home reversion plans include you selling all or part of your property to a reversion company for less than its market value to receive a cash lump sum. You won’t retain legal ownership of your home, but you can remain there rent-free for the rest of your life.

There may be other ways you could release money from your home, such as standard or retirement interest-only mortgages, your adviser will ensure you consider your options. If you want to explore any of these other options you would need to obtain alternative advice.
 

Things to consider

  • You have to get equity release advice before releasing tax-free cash from your home - please read all our information and make sure it’s right for you
  • Key Equity Release offer lifetime mortgages only, which is a loan secured against your home. It will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits
  • All of our plans meet the Equity Release Council standards and come with several protections, including the no negative equity guarantee, which means you’ll never owe more than your home’s value
  • All our equity release advice relates to our range of Key branded products only, and our fixed advice fee of £599 is only payable on completion
  • You should always think carefully before securing a loan against your home
  • See if you could release more cash with your current plan or switching to a different plan may suit your needs better, although you would need to consider any early repayment charges applicable to your plan. 

What our customers are saying

From our first contact with key we experienced the highest customer service and support you could ever ask to receive. Our advisor Gill Ray was both highly professional and patient throughout the whole process. Nothing was too much trouble when we had questions to raise, we have to say we did not have too many questions to raise as she covered...
Peter Smith
After much deliberation I decided equity release may right for me. I met with a Key Advisor and she went through all the process with me. Julie was very professional and helpful she answered all my questions. No hard sell. She was very knowledgeable about the market and explained the pitfalls and advantages in a non biased way. No pushy sales...
Lynne C
Having considered equity release for a while, we decided it was now right for us and Key was recommended to us by a family member who had used the service. We contacted the HO and they put us in touch with David Cole. A brochure with excellent information was sent to us ahead of a telephone appointment with David to discuss the plan and our...
G Mccrea
The gentleman we dealt with was very thorough & knew his job . Any questions we asked he always knew the answers without the need to check up . He was also very polite & cheerful which helped a great deal.Overall our experience was extremely good & we would not hesitate to recommend your company to anyone e;se .
Michael Cathles
Very informative sales person not pushing or giving deadlines. Very helpful with Very good knowledge of system all questions answered during visit. Very straight forward
Eric S
Page last updated: Wednesday 05 January 2022