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Why choose equity release?

Equity release could be a way to help you meet your financial needs in retirement.

Am I eligible?

You could be eligible if you're:
  • A UK homeowner aged 55+
  • With a property worth £70,000+
Calculate now

There are many reasons why people choose equity release. Here are some of the most common uses:

Clear an existing mortgage

If you have an existing mortgage, equity release could help you to clear it to free up more disposable income. This could give you peace of mind and make it easier to manage your finances in retirement.
 

Gifting to a family member

Equity release can be used to gift money to a family member. This could be a way to help them with their own financial needs.

Pay off existing debts

If you have existing debts, such as credit card debt or personal loans, equity release could help you to pay them off. This can free up your monthly income and put more money in your pocket.

Home improvements

If you're thinking of making some home improvements, equity release could provide you with the funds you need, from future proofing your property to installing a new kitchen.

What is equity release?

Equity release is a way for homeowners aged 55+ with a property valued at a minimum of £70,000 to release some of the tax-free funds from their home. It can play an important role in helping you take control of your later life finances. It's worth noting that equity release is a complex product with long lasting effects and may not be right for everybody. There are two types of equity release:

  • Home reversionwhere you sell all or part of your home to a reversion company for less than market value in exchange for a cash lump sum, with no interest to pay on the money released, and no monthly payments to make. When the plan comes to an end, the home reversion provider takes its percentage share of the sale proceeds and any remainder will go to your beneficiaries. You will no longer be the legal owner of your property and need to be 65 or over to qualify.

  • Lifetime mortgage: which is a loan secured against your home and lets you access some of the tax-free funds tied up in the value of your home while still retaining full ownership. The lifetime mortgage is subject to compound interest, meaning the amount you owe can grow quickly. You need to be 55 or over to qualify. 

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.

All our equity release advice relates to Key lifetime mortgages only - a loan secured against your home.

How does a lifetime mortgage work?

Equity can be released in one of two ways via a lifetime mortgage. If you want the money all at once, then you could opt for a lump sum lifetime mortgage.

If you want to take out an initial amount then release further funds as and when you need to, you might choose a drawdown lifetime mortgage. Whichever way you choose, with our product range, guided by Key’s 25 years’ experience, you can be confident we’ll find the plan that suits you.

Retain home ownership

  • With a lifetime mortgage, you’ll still own your own home. And the plan typically won’t come to an end until you, or the last remaining applicant, either passes away or enters long-term care. 

No monthly repayments

  • There are typically no monthly repayments to make, as the loan, plus roll up interest, is repaid when the plan comes to an end. If you want to reduce the long-term cost of your plan, you can make repayments of up to 10%-12% without any early repayment charges.

Choose how you get your funds

  • You can release funds from your home in a one off lump sum or a series of smaller amounts following an initial release, which is known as a drawdown lifetime mortgage.

✓ Lower interest rates
Lump sum lifetime mortgages sometimes come with a lower rate of interest compared to a drawdown lifetime mortgage, which can help reduce your total cost of borrowing.

✓ Interest rates don’t change
When you release funds from your lump sum lifetime mortgage, the money released is subject to the fixed interest rate at the time.

ⓘ May be more expensive
As compound interest will be rolled up on the money you’ve released, you will end up owing more if you take all your available cash in one go. 

ⓘ Limited ability to release further funds
With a lump sum lifetime mortgage, you can’t release further funds unless you apply for a further advance. This is subject to the lender’s criteria, your age and your property’s value at the time of application. This also requires advice and is subject to fees.

✓ Release funds when needed
drawdown lifetime mortgage offers more freedom than a lump sum plan, allowing you to release money when you need it.

✓ Save on interest
A drawdown lifetime mortgage also allows you to potentially save a considerable amount in interest over the lifetime of your plan, as the interest only accrues on the money you’ve released.

ⓘ Your drawdown facility isn't guaranteed
Your lender may have the option to withdraw your drawdown facility.

ⓘ You don't know what interest rates will be like in the future
If you choose to make a drawdown, the funds will be subject to the prevailing, fixed interest rate at the time.

Benefits and drawbacks of a lifetime mortgage

If you're considering equity release, it's important you understand the product in detail. Here's some useful things to think about. 
 

Equity release benefits

Your specialist equity release adviser will explain:

  • You can unlock cash from your home, tax-free, to help meet your needs in later life
  • You’ll always retain full ownership of your home and can stay in it for as long as you wish with a Key lifetime mortgage
  • You can choose to make reduced or no monthly repayments to suit your circumstances
  • You’ll never owe more than your home’s worth with a Key lifetime mortgage
  • You may be able to remortgage your plan in the future to release further funds or secure a better interest rate, although this isn’t guaranteed and may be subject to early repayment charges

Drawbacks

Your equity release adviser will also outline the following important things to think about:

  • A lifetime mortgage is a loan secured against your home and subject to compound interest, meaning the amount you owe can grow quickly
  • Equity release will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits
  • Equity release may leave you with limited or no property equity remaining
  • Equity release will reduce your financial options in the future
  • You should always think carefully before securing a loan against your home to repay existing debt
  • A lifetime mortgage is a long-term financial product and is not designed to be fully repaid until the death or entry into long-term care of the last remaining borrower, otherwise early repayment charges may apply

Why choose a Key lifetime mortgage?

Here at Key, we're dedicated to helping you enjoy a fulfilling, worry-free retirement by finding and recommending the right plan to meet your individual needs.

If you’re considering releasing money from your home, then you should know how you’d like to spend it.
The money you unlock through equity release is tax-free and can be spent in a variety of ways, such as:

Your other options

Here are some alternatives that may be more suitable for you:

Equity release costs

Here are some guides to help you understand equity release costs:

ⓘ If another product is more suitable, we'll refer you to a different adviser within Key Group who can help. If you go ahead, you'll only be charged the same £1,299 advice fee you'd pay with us, even if their fee is usually higher.


Back to "What's in this guide?"

Why choose Key?

It's a regulatory requirement for anyone considering equity release to get specialist advice before taking out a plan. So why should you choose Key?

We're regulated experts

Key is regulated and a proud member of the Equity Release Council
 

Trusted award-winners

We've won 80+ awards and we've received 17,000+ Trustpilot reviews giving us a 5-star rating. Making us the UK's most trusted equity-release specialist

BestEquityReleaseAdviser2022-(1).png

Highly experienced

We have over 25 years' experience in helping more than a million over-55s with tailored equity release advice on 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

Customer stories

All members of Key I spoke to were helpful and friendly, nothing was too much trouble for them

Ms Kane

"I recommend Key to anyone looking to take out equity from their home. My request went through very quickly, I already have my money and am starting to do the projects I wanted the money for. I am very pleased with the outcome and Key's staff."

I must say that Key were very helpful and understanding through the whole process

Mr Griggs

"We were put under no pressure to complete and constantly told that we could back out at any point prior to completion. They fully explained all of the Implications and costs of what we were thinking of doing. We had our own adviser who was patient with us and explained everything to us. So if you are thinking about equity release I would recommend Key."

We used Key to provide funds to upgrade parts of our house


Mr Dennison

"The Company were professional, supportive and explained the process very clearly. The meetings with Key which were conducted on Zoom were informative and friendly and at no time did we feel pressured. It was a positive experience. We would recommend Key to anybody considering equity release."

Things to consider

  • All our equity release advice relates to Key lifetime mortgages only - a loan secured against your home
  • The loan, plus compound interest, is typically repaid through the sale of the property when the last remaining applicant passes away or moves into long-term care
  • Our fixed advice fee of £1,299 is only payable on completion

Next steps to release equity from your home

To help you understand the process, we’ve put together these simple steps to highlight what your journey to equity release could be like:

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
 

We understand equity release can feel complicated and we want to help our customers understand their options. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact our team today.

We’re here to help you via email or phone on 0808 252 9170. Lines are open Monday–Thursday from 9am–8:00pm, Friday 9am-5:30pm and Saturday from 9am–5pm.

Equity release FAQs

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.

Before deciding on equity release, consider factors such as the impact on your estate, the potential effect on means-tested benefits, interest rates and the long-term implications for your estate. Seeking advice from one of our equity release advisers can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how it could help you reach your later life finance goals.

Yes, you can move house if you have an equity release plan. Most equity release plans are portable, meaning you can transfer them to a new property. However, the new property will need to meet the criteria set by the equity release provider. This may involve a revaluation and adjustments to your plan based on the new property's value and location.

If you are unable to port your lifetime mortgage to the new property it will need repaying when you move and may be subject to an early repayment charge.

Yes, with a lifetime mortgage, you will retain ownership of your home. You'll be able to live in it for the rest of your life or until you move into long-term care. The lender places a first legal charge on your property.

This is entirely different to a home reversion plan, as this involves selling all or part of your property. The home reversion company becomes the legal owner of the property and you become the beneficial owner.

In the case of a lifetime mortgage, if you pass away or move into long-term care, typically your home will be sold, and the proceeds will be used to repay the outstanding loan, including compound interest.

If there is any remaining equity, this will go to your estate if you pass away. If you move into long term care, you will receive the remaining funds after repayment of the lifetime mortgage.

With a home reversion plan, the provider will receive their share of the proceeds when the property is sold, and you or  your estate will receive any remainder.

Choosing the right equity release plan involves careful consideration and expert advice. Our specialist equity release advisers will talk you through your available options based on your needs and circumstances. They will help you understand the potential impact on your finances, inheritance, and other aspects, ensuring you make an informed decision.

Page last updated: Monday 03 June 2024