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Equity release

Equity release allows you to unlock some of the tax-free funds from the value of your home so you can take control of your later life finances. Key, for the life in later life.

Am I eligible?

UK homeowners are eligible if:
  • Youngest homeowner aged 55+
  • With a property value of £70,000+
Calculate now
Equity Release explained video backdrop


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.

What is equity release?

Equity release is a way for homeowners aged 55 or over whose property is worth at least £70,000 to release some of the tax-free funds from their home without having to sell up or move. It can play an important role in helping you to take control of your later life finances, and the safeguards that are built into our plans allow you to tap safely into some of your property wealth without having to worry about making monthly repayments if you don’t want to.
The money you unlock through equity release is all tax-free and can be spent in a variety of ways. So, whether it’s repaying your existing mortgage, supporting your loved ones when they need it most or simply boosting your retirement finances, equity release could help you live the later life you want.
See how much you could release from your property with our quick and easy calculator.

Calculate now

How does equity release work?

At Key Later Life Finance, we offer lifetime mortgages only which is the most popular type of equity release. It's a loan secured against your home and allows you to access some of the funds locked in your property's value, which you release tax-free.

  • Typically no monthly repayments: With a lifetime mortgage there are typically no monthly repayments to make as the loan, plus roll up interest, is repaid when the plan comes to an end
  • Guaranteed inheritance: Some of our plans allow you to guarantee an inheritance for loved ones with inheritance protection
  • Always own your home: With all our plans, you'll still own your home and can stay living there as long as you'd like

When does an equity release plan end?

A plan will normally end when you or the last remaining applicant pass away or move into long-term care. At the end of a plan, your home is typically sold – with the loan and rolled up interest repaid using the proceeds, any remaining funds are passed to your estate.

You can rest assured that none of our plans will see you owe more than your home is worth – so there's no risk of passing on any equity release-related debt to your loved ones.

Is a lifetime mortgage safe?

It isn't risk-free, but Key allows you to personalise your features and protections to make sure that you get an equity release plan that's right for you. You can also choose how you receive your funds.

By doing so, you can unlock thousands of pounds, tax-free – and help to fund what's important to you in later life. At the same time, you'll still retain full ownership of your property.

Equity release costs to consider

The cost of your equity release plan will vary because there are a few factors to consider. That includes how much you wish to release, how you choose to personalise your plan, how old you are, how long your plan lasts, and your interest rate.  
Similar to a regular mortgage, there are also other costs to think about too – such as surveyor's, solicitor's and advice fees.

More on how much equity release costs

Key offers low fixed rates for life

Our lifetime mortgages have annual interest rates from as low as 4.23% fixed for life and most customers have received a fixed annual interest rate of 3.77% or lower. The overall cost for comparison is 3.96% APR.

*Lowest available rate correct as of 22 June 2022. All other stated rates correct as of 9 June 2022. Interest rate received and plan features are subject to eligibility. Ask for a personalised illustration.

Is equity release right for you?

Equity release helps thousands of homeowners across the UK take control of their finances, so that they can live the later life that they deserve. Explore how Key could help you put the life in later life – request your free, comprehensive guide today.

What are the different types of lifetime mortgages?

Lump sum lifetime mortgage

Unlock tax-free funds from your home in one single lump sum

  • Available for homeowners aged 55 or over
  • You retain full ownership of your home
  • Use the money you release for a variety of purposes – including repaying an existing mortgage or helping loved ones

Drawdown lifetime mortgage

Release your funds in smaller amounts after an initial lump sum

  • Same qualifying criteria as a lump sum lifetime mortgage
  • Keep some of your available funds for when you need them
  • Interest is only charged on what you release, so could potentially save you thousands over the course of your lifetime mortgage

Why choose Key?

Equity release is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and it's an FCA requirement for anyone considering equity release to get specialist advice before taking out a plan. So why should you choose Key?

Highly experienced

We have more than 20 years' experience helping over 55s with tailored financial advice on a range of later life products. Our knowledge means that once we've taken the time to understand your needs, we’ll have a sound idea of what the right plan is for you.

Low fixed fee

Our fixed advice fee of £599 is only payable on completion. All our equity release advice relates to our range of Key branded products only.

Regulated experts

We're authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and we're proud members of the Equity Release Council.

We're here to help

You don't have to 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


Am I eligible for equity release?

Before you start your equity release journey, it's important to find out if you're eligible, which you can check through our calculator. To be eligible to take out a lifetime mortgage with Key, you must be a UK homeowner:

  • Aged 55+ (including all joint applicants)
  • With a property worth £70,000+
If you're not eligible right now, try our later life mortgage finder as we may still be able to help you take control of your later life finances.

Benefits and things to consider

✓ The benefits

  • You own your home and can move in the future (subject to lender's criteria)
  • Typically no monthly repayments
  • You can protect an inheritance with some plans
  • 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

ⓘ Things to consider

  • You have to get equity release advice before releasing tax-free funds from your home - please read all our information and make sure it's right for you
  • Key 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
  • You should always think carefully before securing a loan against your home

How to release equity from your home

Use our free calculator

Find out how much cash you could release tax-free from your home 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

Unsure of your options?

Our later life mortgage finder helps you consider your options

Got an equity release plan?

See if you could release more cash with your current plan or whether switching to a different plan may suit your needs better. Your adviser will look at any early repayment charges you may need to consider.

Existing Key customer

Call us on 0800 123 1234 to talk about your plan

Switch to Key

Call us on 0800 123 1234 to switch to Key

Lines open 9am-8pm Monday-Thursday, 9am-5.30pm Friday and 9am-2pm Saturday

What our customers are saying

Our sincere thanks to Joseph Nield for giving us his expert advice and in guiding us through the processes for the production of our Wills & LPA’s. No stone left unturned and all questions answered professionally and in a timely fashion. David & Judith Elkins.
I was so apprehensive about the equity release Which my 2 sons recommended, because at retirement age I was working for the debt, we are now debt free, and looking forward to my retirement, many thanks to Tom Gledhill he was so professional and a gem to work with, thanks Tom and thanks Key
Mr Maddison
Everyone was very helpful.
Keith Stanley Lillington
Very helpful, everything went smoothly with no stress. Now we can enjoy our retirement.
Couldn't be happier with Key a smooth process all the way through and Steve Francis very good and advised us about what we wanted
les collingbourneCustomer

Equity release FAQs

Any decision to release equity from your home is a big one. We know that you may still have some burning questions too. So, here are the answers to the queries we get asked the most. Still can't find the information you’re looking for? We're only a phone call away.


How long does an equity release application take?

The process usually takes around 8-12 weeks from applying to unlocking your tax-free funds. Please note: this is only indicative. Timescales can't be guaranteed.

How much equity can I release from my property?

The amount of equity that you could release is based on your age, general health and lifestyle choices. It's also based on the value of your property. On average, homeowners across the UK released more than *£123,000 from their properties through a lifetime mortgage in 2021. Some points to consider:

  • You'll need to release a minimum of £10,000
  • The older that you or your partner are, the more money you could potentially release based on the age of the youngest applicant
Above all, the amount that you choose to release is always personal to you – so why not use our free calculator and get an idea of how much you could release?


When can I release equity from my home?

If you (and any other joint homeowners) are at least 55 years old, you could release equity from your home  – so, when you think the time is right for you, give Key a call and we can let you know what your options are.

How does equity release work when you die?

Unless you move into long-term care, your lifetime mortgage plan usually ends when you or the last remaining applicant pass away. At this point, your home will usually be sold. The proceeds are then used to repay the lender, with anything left over going to your estate.

Is equity release regulated?

Equity release is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which aims to make financial markets work well so that consumers get a fair deal. The FCA does this in three ways:

  • Securing an appropriate degree of protection for consumers
  • Enhancing the integrity of the UK financial system
  • Promoting effective competition in the interests of consumers

As an extra safeguard, all of our equity release advisers hold specialist qualifications. We're also an Equity Release Council (ERC) member and only recommend plans that meet ERC standards.

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Page last updated: Thursday 23 June 2022