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The value of your home, minus any outstanding mortgage you may owe, can be described as your 'equity'. Equity release is the process of unlocking some of this value, turning it into a tax-free lump sum of cash. You could then use this to pay for one-off purchases, to improve your lifestyle or to help loved ones.
If you are a homeowner aged 55 or over, you could be eligible to take advantage of releasing equity from your property. Equity release can significantly improve your financial situation, giving you a more comfortable retirement.
Please be aware that all plans will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to state benefits.
How it works
The lender gives you a lump sum (the equity released from your home). You pay nothing as the interest is ‘rolled up’ into the loan. The amount borrowed plus this interest is repaid out of the proceeds from the sale of the property after you die.
How much you can borrow depends on the value of your home and your age. The older you are, the higher the percentage of your property’s value you can borrow. Generally, you will not be advanced more than 50% of the value of the property. Most loans are fixed-interest, so reducing risk.
SHIP (Safe Home Income Plan) code of conduct
We only recommend equity release mortgages which adhere to the SHIP code of conduct. The members of SHIP agree to provide fair, simple and complete presentation of their plans. The benefits, obligations, variables and limitations must be clearly set out in their literature, including all costs which the applicant has to bear in setting up the scheme, the position on moving, the tax situation and the effect of changes in house values.
The legal work will always be performed by the solicitor chosen by you. In all cases, prior to the completion of the plan the solicitor will be provided with full details of the benefits the client will receive. The solicitor will be required to sign a certificate to the effect that the scheme has been explained to the client.
The SHIP certificate will clearly state the main cost to the householder's assets and estate e.g. how the loan amount will change or whether part or all of the property is being sold.
All SHIP plans carry a 'no negative equity' guarantee i.e. you will never owe more than the value of your home.