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Later life mortgages

Helping you take control of your finances with a range of later life mortgages, including lifetime and retirement interest-only mortgages.

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  • Explore your later life options
  • See what's right for you
  • Make well-informed decisions
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At Key, our tailored advice on a range of later life products, which are specifically designed for those aged 50 or over, can help you finance the things you want and need to do in later life. Whether you’re looking to remortgage, release additional funds or buy a new property, a later life mortgage could help you take control of your finances. 

What are later life mortgages?

As you reach later life, it can be tricky to find a mortgage that works for you. Whether it’s the affordability criteria or having limited options, a later life mortgage may be able to help. 
Later life mortgages are designed for those aged 50 or over and there are a few different options to choose from. Among the most popular is a lifetime mortgage, which is the most common form of equity release, and to be eligible you need to be a homeowner aged 55 or over. Through a Key lifetime mortgage, you may be able to release some of the tax-free cash from your home’s value without having to sell up or move. The money can be used in a variety of ways, such as repaying your existing mortgage or debts, helping out family when they need it most, or simply helping to boost your retirement finances. There’s no need for you to make monthly repayments unless you want to, as the loan, plus roll-up interest, is repaid when the plan comes to an end.

The other later life mortgages we provide are retirement interest-only (RIO) mortgages where, as the name suggests, you repay the interest each month - and retirement repayment mortgages, where you pay back both the capital and interest monthly.

What are the different types of over 50s mortgages?

People look to borrow money in later life for many reasons. There are several options if you are looking to do so.

Lifetime mortgage

A lifetime mortgage is the most popular form of equity release. It’s a way for homeowners aged 55 or over to unlock some of the tax-free funds from their home, while retaining ownership. 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.

Lifetime mortgage with voluntary repayments

A lifetime mortgage with voluntary repayments helps you manage the size of your loan by making ad-hoc capital and/or interest repayments. It’s different from a retirement repayment mortgage as you’re not obligated to make repayments each month. Instead, you can choose when to make them and how much, subject to minimum and maximum amounts.

Retirement interest-only mortgage (RIO)

With retirement interest-only mortgages, you pay the interest monthly, without reducing the original amount you have borrowed. The remaining capital is then repaid when the plan comes to an end.

RIO mortgages are typically for people aged 50 or over and may work well for you if you’re looking for a mortgage with lower monthly payments compared to a retirement repayment mortgage.

Retirement repayment mortgage

Most mortgages tend to run for 25 years, but the loan term of retirement repayment mortgages is based on your needs and has a higher age limit. With a retirement repayment mortgage, you pay back both interest and capital monthly, as the mortgage must be repaid in full by the end of the term.

Not sure what mortgage is right for you?

Our mortgage finder can help you understand your mortgage options when it comes to later life. From a lifetime mortgage to a retirement interest-only mortgage, with low interest rates available, we’re confident we can help you find the right solution for your needs.

What are the benefits?

Live more comfortably

Entering later life without the means to live it how you want can be tough. With a later life mortgage, however, you could help boost your finances and enjoy the later life you deserve. 
That could be getting peace of mind, taking a trip of a lifetime, or finding joy in helping those who matter most to you. Whatever you see as important, a later life mortgage may be able to help you achieve it. 

With retirement interest-only and retirement repayment mortgages, your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.


Stay in your home

You'll retain full ownership of your home. You’ll be free from all the hassle that comes with selling, buying and moving, and it means you can stay close to all the things you’ve grown to know and love.


Accessible finance

You might be worried that you’re too old for a conventional mortgage or may be struggling to find one that meets your needs. If so, you wouldn’t be alone. But our later life mortgages could help you find the right product to help improve your chances of being accepted.   
With our range of lifetime mortgages, there are no requirements for you to make monthly repayments if you choose not to, and you also won’t need to go through the same affordability checks you would with a retirement interest only or retirement repayment mortgage.

Retirement interest-only mortgages are only available to people who are aged 50 or over, while retirement repayment mortgages are open to borrowers aged 18 or over.


Lending options

There’s an increasing variety of mortgages for those in later life, each with its own features and advantages.
For example, all our lifetime mortgages come with a no negative equity guarantee. That means you’ll never owe more than your home’s value and can’t pass on any equity release related debt to your loved ones. 

You can also speak to our advisers about personalising the features and protections of your lifetime mortgage to help you live a better later life.  That could be finding a plan with inheritance protection included, which ensures a percentage of your home’s future value is guaranteed to be passed on as an inheritance. Or downsizing protection, which, after five years, allows you to pay the loan back early without incurring an early repayment charge if you need to move home and your new property doesn’t meet the lender’s criteria. 

With a retirement interest-only mortgage, you could retain more of your home’s value – and therefore pass on more through your inheritance – by repaying interest as you go.

How much could I borrow?

The amount you could borrow will depend on lots of factors including:

  • Which type of mortgage you apply for
  • Your age
  • Your general health and lifestyle (lifetime mortgage only)
  • The value of your home

As a rough guide, lifetime mortgage customers unlock more than £113,000 of their home’s value on average across the UK (Equity Release Council Autumn Report 2021).  

You can use our lifetime mortgage calculator to get a better idea of how much you may be able to release.

Or alternatively, use our free mortgage calculator to see how much you could borrow with a retirement interest-only or retirement repayment mortgage. Both are secure, quick and easy to use.

Choosing the right later life mortgage for you

The right later life mortgage for you will depend on your circumstances, including how much you wish to borrow and when you want to pay it back. 

Later life is a personal journey. Some will choose to continue working, and if that’s you, a retirement repayment mortgage or retirement interest-only mortgage could be the right option to help you live the later life you want. 

However, at Key, we understand everyone is different and, particularly in later life, you may experience changes in your level of income and lifestyle. So it’s worth remembering that with both of these mortgages, you’ll still have to budget for repayments.

lifetime mortgage meanwhile, is one option if you want to access some of the tax-free cash tied up in your home’s value without any monthly repayment commitments. That’s because typically the loan, plus roll-up interest, is repaid when your plan ends. 

With so many options for mortgages in later life out there, plus other ways of raising funds, it’s important you make smart, well-informed decisions. 

Our expert advisers will give you all the information you need to make sure your choice is the right one for your circumstances and ensure you’ve considered all your options before making a recommendation that’s personal to you. 
If you decide to go ahead with Key, we’ll support you throughout the whole process, answering any questions you have, and your personal case handler or mortgage adviser will oversee any paperwork from application through to completion.

Our comprehensive guide to later life finance can help you get a better understanding of your options. From mortgages and equity release to wills and lasting powers of attorney, we give you all the information you need to make smart, well-informed decisions about your finances.

Why Key Later Life Finance?

Key has helped over 1 million people decide if equity release is right for them. It’s why more than 16,000 of our customers have given us a five-star Trustpilot rating. The advice you receive will always be unique to you and in your best interests. Our qualified experts can explain all your options available to you. There’s also never any pressure to go ahead, and your initial consultations are always completely free of charge. 

Key customer story


69, Retired

"The best thing about all of this is I can have the holidays I want. The grandkids are over the moon, their pockets are never empty now. It’s just nice to wake up in the morning and not worry about anything."

Read John's story

We’re here to help when you’re ready

See how much you could release

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

Free guide

Request a copy of our free, comprehensive guide to later life finance. In it, you’ll learn all about how it can help you put the life in later life and have your questions answered. 

Over 50s mortgages

From interest-only to repayment mortgages, if equity release isn’t right for you, we can help you find a specialist over-50s mortgage that is. 

Free independent guidance

If you're considering your options and would like guidance from a trusted, independent source, you can download UK Finance’s free later life lending leaflet to help you understand what might be right for you when considering a mortgage that extends into, or starts during, your retirement.

Get your free leaflet (pdf)

Your later life mortgages questions answered


How do lifetime mortgages work?

A lifetime mortgage is a loan secured against your home that gives you access to tax-free cash which you can use in a variety of ways. You’ll still own your property but don’t need to worry about making monthly repayments. 
With a lifetime mortgage, you can choose to take all your money in one go to help with larger expenses, such as repaying an existing mortgage, debts or helping family onto the property ladder. 

Alternatively, drawdown lifetime mortgages allow you to take your cash in smaller amounts as and when you need it following an initial release, which could help if you think you might need access to funds later in life, for example, to pay for care or make home improvements.

How do retirement interest only mortgages work?

Retirement interest-only mortgages are typically designed for people aged 50 or over. It’s a loan secured against your home and allows you to tap into some of the money built up in your property. 
Where they differ from a lifetime mortgage is that you must repay the interest on the loan each month, then repay the initial loan amount at the end of your plan.

How do retirement repayment mortgages work?

A retirement repayment mortgage is similar to a conventional mortgage, whereby you make monthly capital and interest repayments. 
In later life, it can be difficult to get accepted for a traditional 25-year mortgage, but with a retirement repayment mortgage, the loan can be better tailored to your age and needs.


What age can you get a mortgage up to? 

There’s no single maximum age for mortgage lending. Lenders look at your age when you apply as well as how old you’ll be when your plan is scheduled to end and make their decision on a case-by-case basis, with limits varying between providers. Most do have some form of an age cap, though.
Conventional mortgage lenders have traditionally been reluctant to lend to those in later life due, in part, to affordability checks. Retirement repayment mortgage affordability checks look at income and expenditure. If you have a lower affordability, you can be seen as a higher risk for the lender, which may reduce your options. 
With later life mortgages, however, there aren’t the same restrictions regarding the upper age limit for a mortgage in the UK. As long as the youngest applicant is 50 or over, you could qualify for a retirement interest-only mortgage, but you'll need to be aged 55 or over to qualify for a lifetime mortgage. 


Are the products regulated? 

You should always think carefully about borrowing money against your property. There are various benefits and drawbacks involved from one lending option to the next, so it’s sensible to speak to an expert first.

It’s important to remember that for lifetime mortgages, receiving advice is a Financial Conduct Authority requirement. That’s where our fully qualified equity release advisers come in. 
By taking the time to understand your needs, our specialist advisers are able to make a recommendation that’s personal to you. And if we don’t believe one of our later life mortgages is right for you, we’ll tell you. 
As an independent advisory service, our retirement interest only or retirement repayment mortgage advisers can search the whole market, including specialist lenders, giving you more options when it comes to later life mortgages. 
Whether you're looking for a retirement repayment mortgage or a retirement interest-only mortgage, our friendly expert advisers can help you choose the option that's right for you.

You can call us on 0808 252 9170 if you’d like to discuss your options further. Alternatively, you can request a callback and one of our experts will call you at a time that suits you.

How much does our service cost?

The cost of our advice depends on the product.

Our lifetime mortgage advice relates to our range of Key branded products and our fixed advice fee of £599 is only payable on completion. So, you can find out if it's right for you without it costing you a penny.

For a retirement interest-only or retirement repayment mortgage, these products are available through Key Group and we charge an advice fee of 1.99% of the amount released, subject to a minimum of £1,499, usually payable when the mortgage completes.

Interest rates also vary between products and are subject to eligibility. Speak to our advisers to get a personal illustration.

Things to consider

RIO/Retirement Repayment Mortgages

  • A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. You should always think carefully before securing a loan against your property
  • We charge an advice fee of 1.99% of the amount released, subject to a minimum of £1,499, usually payable when the mortgage completes

Lifetime mortgages

  • You have to get advice before releasing tax-free funds from your home. Please read our equity release guide and make sure it’s right for you
  • Equity release will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to means tested benefits
  • Our equity release advice relates to Key branded products only which are all lifetime mortgages – a loan secured against your home. A fixed advice fee of £599 is only payable on completion
  • With all our plans, you’ll retain full ownership of your home
  • All of our plans meet the Equity Release Council standards. They come with several assurances, including the no negative equity guarantee, which means you’ll never owe more than your home’s value
  • You should always think carefully before securing a loan against your property
Page last updated: Tuesday 19 April 2022