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Later life mortgages

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

Free expert guide

  • Explore your later life options
  • See what's right for you
  • Make well-informed decisions
Get your free guide
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 is a later life mortgage?

As you reach later life, it can be tricky to find a traditional mortgage that works for you. Whether it’s meeting your needs, the affordability criteria or having limited options, a later life mortgage may be able to help. 

You have options
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 are retirement repayment, lifetime and retirement interest-only (RIO) mortgages; all of which help you unlock some of the money tied up in your home. The main differences between the products include how much you repay and when, whether they’re subject to affordability checks, and what protections you’re guaranteed throughout the life of your plan. 

If you'd prefer to make monthly repayments...

If you’re comfortable making regular repayments and wish to do so for the life of your mortgage, a retirement repayment or RIO mortgage may be best for you
  • They typically provide a lower total cost of borrowing compared to lifetime mortgages
  • These are subject to credit and affordability checks and your home may be repossessed if you don’t keep up with repayments

If you'd prefer to not make monthly repayments...

If you’d rather have the option to not make any monthly repayments at all and still be guaranteed to stay in your home for as long as you like, a lifetime mortgage could suit your needs better
  • There’s no credit check to pass before the lender approves your application
  • This option is subject to compound interest - it can be more expensive than other later life mortgages as what you owe can grow quickly if you don't make repayments

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

  • For homeowners aged 55+
  • Aa loan secured against your home
  • Typically no monthly repayments to make

Interest payment lifetime mortgage

  • For homeowners aged 55+
  • A loan secured against your home
  • Monthly interest payments from £25 up to 100% of the total interest added each month.

Retirement interest-only mortgage (RIO)

  • Typically for people aged 50+

  • Only pay the interest monthly

  • Lower monthly repayments than repaying the capital

Retirement repayment mortgage

  • Higher age limit than most mortgages

  • Remortgage in retirement

  • Pay both interest and capital monthly

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 retirement repayment mortgage to a retirement interest-only or lifetime mortgage, with competitive interest rates available, we’re confident we can help you find the right solution for your needs.

What are the benefits of a later life mortgage?

Everyone has their own financial goals to reach in later life. There are some useful features across our range of later life mortgages which could help you meet your goals. 

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 gaining 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.

Stay in 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. You'll also retain full ownership of your home and can stay in it for as long as you want, providing you keep up with repayments where applicable.

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.

Lending options

There’s an increasing variety of mortgages for those in later life, each with its own features and advantages.

For example, with a retirement repayment or retirement interest-only mortgage, you could retain more of your home’s value by making regular payments, meaning you can pass on more of an inheritance.

Alternatively, 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. But it’s important to note that equity release may leave you with limited or no equity remaining in your home and will limit your financial options in the future.

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How much could I borrow with a later life mortgage?

The amount you could borrow will depend on several factors including:

  • Which type of mortgage you apply for
  • Your age
  • The value of your home
  • Your affordability (retirement repayment and RIO only)

See how much you could borrow

As each application is unique, it's important to see how much you could borrow based on your own circumstances. Our calculators are quick and easy to use and will give you an instant idea of how much you could borrow to help finance your later life goals. 

Lifetime mortgage

  • UK homeowners aged 55+

  • Unlock tax-free funds from your home's value

  • No monthly repayments to make

Retirement mortgage

  • Designed for 50+ customers

  • Choose repayment or interest-only

  • Fixed monthly repayments

Which later life mortgage is right for me?

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.

Our expert advisers will give you all the information you need to make sure your choice is the right one for your circumstances and discuss 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 on your behalf.

retirement repayment mortgage or retirement interest-only mortgage both allow you to release tax-free cash from your home and are also similar in several other ways. For example, both are loans secured against your property, both require affordability checks and repayments are mandatory with either mortgage option.

It’s worth remembering that with both of these mortgages, you’ll still have to budget for repayments.

A 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 - which is usually when the last remaining applicant either passes away or moves into long-term care. 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 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.

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Why choose Key as your later life mortgage adviser?

If you're considering a later life mortgage, it is a regulatory requirement that you get specialist advice to make sure you find the right product for your needs. So why should you choose Key as your adviser?

We're regulated experts

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

Trusted award-winners

We've had 17,000+ excellent Trustpilot reviews and won 80+ awards, including Best Later Life Broker  2022


Highly experienced

We have over 25 years' experience in helping over-55s with tailored advice on later-life products. We’ll never put you under any pressure to go ahead. If we believe an alternative product is better suited to you, we’ll tell you.

Customer stories

ⓘ Did you know...

Over the years, more than a million customers have benefitted from our expert advice, experience and professionalism from Key. We've been rated 'Excellent' on Trustpilot and you can check out the great things our customers have to say about our later life mortgages.


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

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 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. 

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 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)

Other important info


RIOs and later life mortgages

  • A mortgage is a loan secured against your home
  • Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments
  • You should always think carefully before securing a loan against your home
  • £899 advice fee only payable on completion

Equity release - lifetime mortgages

  • All our equity release advice relates to Key lifetime mortgages only - a loan secured against your home
  • Equity release will reduce your estate’s value and may affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits
  • A lifetime mortgage may result in limited or no property equity remaining and will reduce your financial options in the future
  • You should always think carefully before securing a loan against your home to repay existing debt
  • 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
  • £899 advice fee only payable on completion

Later life mortgage FAQs

When it comes to finding the right later life mortgage, we understand that you may have questions too. To help, we have compiled the answers to the questions we get asked the most. If you are still unable to find the information you're after, we are just a phone call away.

How do retirement repayment mortgages work?

A retirement repayment mortgage is similar to a conventional mortgage, whereby you make monthly capital and interest repayments until the end of your plan. It can help you unlock tax-free cash from your home’s value and you retain full ownership of your property. Then, at the end of your plan, you’re mortgage-free

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.

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 retirement repayment mortgage is that you only pay the interest on the loan each month, then repay the initial loan amount in full at the end of your plan.

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 if you don’t want to - although there are benefits to making 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 - just like a retirement repayment or retirement interest-only mortgage.

Or, unlike a retirement repayment or RIO mortgage, you can take your cash in smaller amounts as and when you need it following an initial release through a drawdown lifetime mortgage. That could help if you think you might need access to funds later in life, for example, to pay for care or make home improvements.

It’s important to note, though, that the funds you withdraw later down the line will be subject to the prevailing interest rate at the time, which could be higher or lower than today’s.

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 regulatory 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 £899 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 £899, 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.

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Page last updated: Friday 06 October 2023