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Later Life Mortgages

  • Finding a mortgage later in life can be tricky
  • This could be due to needs, affordability or having limited options
  • A later life mortgage with Key could help

Free expert guide

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

What is a later life mortgage?

A later life mortgage is a mortgage designed for UK homeowners aged 55 or over. It allows you to borrow money based on the value of your home, while continuing to live there. A later life mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you don't keep up repayments on your mortgage.

A later life mortgage could help you:

  • Remortgage your current property in later life when traditional providers don't offer products to older customers

  • Buy a new property - at Key, we don't believe you can ever be too old to move home

  • Access funds tied in the value of your home to make home improvements, for example

The main differences between the later life mortgages available include:

  • How much you repay each month on your later life mortgage
  • When you repay your later life mortgage
  • Whether your later life mortgage is subject to affordability checks
  • What protections you’re guaranteed with your later life mortgage

What are the different types of later life mortgages?

There are a few different later life mortgages to choose from with Key, including retirement repayment, retirement interest-only (RIO), and lifetime mortgages.

Retirement interest-only mortgage (RIO)

  • For homeowners aged 55+

  • Only pay the interest monthly

  • Lower monthly repayments than repaying the capital and interest

Retirement repayment mortgage

  • Higher age limit than most mortgages

  • Remortgage in retirement

  • Pay both interest and capital monthly

Lifetime mortgage

  • For homeowners aged 55+ with a property worth £70,000+

  • Designed to help you take control of your later life finances

  • Release some of the tax-free funds from your home's value

Interest-payment lifetime mortgage

  • For homeowners aged 55+ with a property worth £70,000+

  • Reduce borrowing costs with monthly interest payments

  • Payments from £25 a month

Payment-term lifetime mortgage

  • For homeowners aged 55-62 with a property worth £125,000+

  • You could unlock more than a comparable lifetime mortgage

  • Mandatory payments until oldest applicant turns 66

Not sure what mortgage is right for you?

Our mortgage finder can help you understand your mortgage options when it comes to later life. Find the right later life mortgage for your needs.

Did you know...

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your residential mortgage, or during the mandatory repayment period on a payment-term lifetime mortgage. £1,299 advice fee only payable on completion of a later life mortgage through Key.

Which later life mortgage is right for me?

Key's range of later life products are specifically designed for those aged 55 or over. They can help you finance the things you want and need to do in later life. Whether you’re looking to remortgage, release funds from the value of your home or buy a new property, the right later life mortgage could help you take control of your finances.

  Retirement interest-only Retirement repayment Lifetime Payment-term lifetime
Age at application 55+ 55+ 55-95 55-62
Min. property value £70,000 £70,000 £70,000 £125,000
Credit & affordability check
Mandatory monthly repayments until oldest applicant turns 66

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Do you want to make mandatory monthly repayments?

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.

Mandatory monthly repayments

You could consider:

ⓘ These are subject to credit and affordability checks. Your home may be repossessed if you don’t keep up with repayments on your mortgage.

Optional monthly repayments

You could consider:

ⓘ 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.

A mix of both options

You could consider:

ⓘ You can make overpayments at any time and continue, reduce or stop making repayments when the mandatory payment period ends, subject to criteria. Your home may be repossessed if you don’t keep up with payments on your mortgage during the mandatory payment period.

Get your free expert later life finance guide

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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Lifetime mortgages and payment-term lifetime mortgages benefits

  • You can unlock cash from your home, tax-free, to help meet your needs in later life

  • You'll retain full ownership of your home and can stay in it for as long as you wish

  • You can make reduced or no monthly repayments with a lifetime mortgage. This applies to a payment-term lifetime mortgage after the oldest applicant turns 66, and overpayments can be made at any time, subject to criteria

  • You'll never owe more than your home's worth or pass on any equity release related debt to your family, provided terms and conditions are met

  • You have the right to move home in the future, subject to criteria

Lifetime mortgages and payment-term lifetime mortgages drawbacks

  • Lifetime mortgages and payment-term lifetime mortgages are loans secured against your home and are subject to compound interest, meaning the amount you owe can grow quickly

  • There’s a period of mandatory payments with a payment-term lifetime mortgage, and your home may be repossessed if you don't keep up with these payments

  • Equity release may leave you with limited or no property equity remaining and will reduce your financial options in the future

  • Equity release will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits

  • These are long-term financial products and are not designed to be repaid early. If you do, early repayment charges may apply

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

Find the right later life mortgage for you

By taking the time to understand your needs, our specialist later life mortgage 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.

To get an idea of what options you have and how much you could borrow through a Key later life mortgage, use our quick and easy-to-use mortgage finder today. 

Try our mortgage finder

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Why choose Key as your later life mortgage adviser?

If you're considering a later life mortgage, it's important 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 16,000+ 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.

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.

We’re here to help when you’re ready

Find the right later life mortgage for you

Answer a few questions and quickly see which later life mortgage may be right for you

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. 

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)

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. You make monthly capital and interest repayments until the end of your plan.

In later life, it can be difficult to get accepted for a traditional 25-year mortgage. With a retirement repayment mortgage, the loan can be better tailored to your age and needs. It could help you remortgage on your current property, or buy a new one in later life. 

How do retirement interest-only mortgages work?

Retirement interest-only mortgages are typically designed for people aged 55 or over. They differ from a retirement repayment mortgage as you only pay the interest on the loan each month. You then repay the initial loan amount in full at the end of your plan. This is usually from the sale of your home when the last remaining applicant passes away or moves into long-term care.

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 and have the option to make reduced or no monthly repayments - although we'd recommend you do as this can help reduce your total cost of borrowing.

What age can you get a later life mortgage up to? 

There’s no single maximum age for later life 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 55 or over, you could be eligible for a later life mortgage.

Are later life mortgages regulated? 

Yes, later life mortgages are regulated.


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Page last updated: Thursday 04 April 2024