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  • Sunday

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Our Address

Key, Baines House,

4 Midgery Court, Fulwood,

Preston, PR2 9ZH

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0800 531 6027

Expert equity release tips

If you're considering equity release, we've compiled our top ten tips to help you on your journey. Our helpful tips ensure you'll know all your available options and are able to plan ahead in the way that best suits you.

1. Consider your alternatives


There are different options available to those looking to raise additional finance when they are in or approaching retirement. Choosing the one that is right for you could not only save you money but give you more flexibility. If you decide to book an initial appointment with one of our equity release advisers, they will consider these alternatives to make sure you select the option that is right for you.

Some alternatives to equity release:

  1. Downsizing - Selling and moving to another property
  2. Other financial borrowing - Consider other forms of borrowing such as a conventional loan or mortgage
  3. Use other savings or investments - Think about your personal finances
  4. Assistance from family members - Your loved ones may be able to help
  5. Claiming all available benefits - Make sure you're getting all the benefits you're entitled to

2. Inheritance protection


Some equity release providers offer plans with features enabling the customer to ring-fence a proportion of their future property value to guarantee an inheritance for their loved ones.

If you have family, and leaving them an inheritance is important to you, these plans can offer a way to release equity whilst guaranteeing some of your future property value is available to be passed on to your beneficiaries.

3. Consider paying monthly interest


Paying monthly interest is an effective way of reducing the long-term cost of a lifetime mortgage - the most popular type of equity release. Some equity release providers allow customers to make monthly interest payments.

Any monthly payment you can make, even if it does not cover the full monthly interest, can still reduce the long-term cost of borrowing.

4. Talk to your family


Talking to your family before considering equity release isn't something you have to do, but it is something that we always strongly recommend. If you decide to involve them, you can also invite them along to any meeting with our equity release advisers, giving them the opportunity to ask any questions they may have.

If you don't want or aren't able to involve family, we recommend talking to a trusted friend and inviting them along to your appointment.

5. Find out how much you could release


We have a free to use and no-obligation equity release calculator. You can use this tool to discover how much cash you could potentially unlock from your home, and find out whether or not you may be eligible for equity release.

Using this tool to find out how much you could release and whether you'd be able to proceed with an equity release plan could save you time.

6. Think about how much you need to borrow


As our equity release advisers will explain, you should only borrow for the things you need. Whilst you can use equity release for any purpose, it is important you make a detailed list of your spending plans as this could influence the type of plan that best suits your needs.

If you want the money all at once you could opt for a lump sum lifetime mortgage. If you want to take out an initial amount, and then release further funds as and when you need to, you might choose a drawdown lifetime mortgage.

7. Your property valuation


The amount of money you can borrow will depend on your age, your health and lifestyle, and the value of your current home. If you decide to go ahead with an equity release plan your home will need to be independently valued. This valuation is important to help the lender consider the maximum loan available to you.

8. Will you want to move in the future?


If you believe you may wish to move home after taking out an equity release plan, this is something you should discuss with your adviser. All Equity Release Council approved plans allow you to move home and transfer your existing plan onto your new property, subject to lending criteria.

9. Impact on means-tested benefits


The cash released using equity release could impact your eligibility for means-tested benefits immediately or in the future. Our advisers will undertake a full benefits assessment during the equity release process to ensure you know exactly how you will be affected.

10. Good advice is Key


If you wish to proceed with equity release you have to take advice. There is no other way to do it. This is important for you to make sure you are making the right decision, and find the plan most suitable for you.

Our equity release advisers will explain all of your options and will only recommend equity release if it is right for you. If it's not the best option, they'll tell you.

If you're considering equity release, we recommend you read all of the important information and make sure it's right for you.