Veronica Harrison should have celebrated her 60th birthday in Australia. Contracting sepsis just one week before she was due to fly meant not only that her holiday was cancelled but put Veronica on the receiving end of a five-year setback.
“One night, I stretched out in bed and felt pain in the back of my knee,” she explains. “Three days later, I could hardly walk. The doctor gave me painkillers and antibiotics and told me to use a cold compress. But the pain kept on getting worse. Then it started to spread into my thigh.”
Worried by her mother’s condition, Veronica’s daughter rushed her to hospital. There she spent the next seven weeks fighting what was eventually diagnosed as sepsis.
Interest only mortgage time bomb
It took three months to fully recover, but even after that Veronica’s leg remained weak. Forced to cut her working hours, she started to run up debts. On top of this, her interest-only mortgage was fast approaching the end of its term.
“After about 18 months, I started to worry,” Veronica remembers. “It was terrible because I’d had quite a nest egg built up before this happened.
“After speaking to my brother, he suggested I look into equity release. I called Key and they were brilliant. The adviser went through every little detail and made sure I understood it all.”
I can live without constant worry
Veronica went on to pay off her existing mortgage and clear her loan. Now, five years on, she feels like she’s finally starting to get back on her feet – both physically and financially.
“It was such a massive relief to have the existing debt paid off,” she says. “I feel as though my finances are manageable now and I can live comfortably without constant worry.”
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Things to consider
Our independent, specialist advisers search the whole market to find the right equity release plan for you. They’ll explain all the options available and that taking a plan reduces the value of your estate and may affect any means-tested benefits you’re eligible for.
You have to get specialist advice before releasing equity; it’s the only way to do it. The initial consultation is free with no obligation to proceed. If you decide to go ahead with an equity release plan our advice fee, usually 1.99% of the amount released, subject to a minimum of £1,499, is payable only on completion.
With a lifetime mortgage, the most popular form of equity release, you’ll still own your home. As with any kind of mortgage, it’s a loan secured against your home. All equity release plans we recommend have a no negative equity guarantee, which means you’ll never owe more than the value of your home.
You should always think carefully before securing a loan against your home.