We’re here to answer your questions about Equity Release

If you have any questions or concerns about Equity Release, we’re here with the answers. You can also get in touch with us directly, and one of our dedicated, expert UK-based advisers will be happy to explain more about how retirement lending could work for you.

How Equity Release works

For example, if your property is valued at:

  • £150,000 with no mortgage or debt– Your equity = £150,000
  • £225,000 with £40,000 left to pay on your mortgage– Your equity = £185,000

How much money can you unlock with Equity Release?

The total amount you can access with an Equity Release plan really depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Age
  • Property value
  • Health – over 100 qualifying health conditions enable you to access a higher percentage of your property value

Are you eligible for Equity Release?

Equity Release isn’t suitable for everyone. To be eligible you must:

  • Be aged 55 or over (youngest applicant if a couple)
  • Own your own home worth over £70,000
  • Live in the UK and the property must be your main residence
  • Be able to pay off any remaining mortgage or secured loan with the amount of equity you release

What can I spend the money on?

You can choose to spend the money you unlock from your home in any way you want to. What a thought! Now some of the reasons our customers take out an Equity Release plan include:

  • Making home and or garden improvements
  • Clearing an outstanding mortgage or other debts
  • Topping up your income to help with day-to-day living costs
  • Helping out loved ones with financial support
  • Buying a new car
  • Enjoying dream holidays or other lifestyle wishes

Common Concerns about Equity Release

Whenever we want to know anything we usually go online and search for it. Thing is, sometimes you can find just as much information that doesn’t help as information that does!

Here at Bower we know there’s been lots of inaccurate information posted about equity release, so we want to set the record straight for you right here.

First thing to remember is that Equity release is a regulated financial product, with a number of guarantees in place to protect you and your estate.

Add to that our own high standards, expertise and award-winning Bower service and you’ll know you really are in safe hands.

Our advisers are always happy to explain how Equity Release Lifetime mortgages work, and answer any questions. And to help put your mind at ease now, here are the most common concerns we’ve heard about Equity Release – and why you don’t need to worry!

  • Will I lose my home?

    You won’t lose your home when you choose Equity Release. All equity release plans with the SHIP or Equity Release guarantee give you the right to remain in your home for life, as long as it remains your main residence.

    As a member of the Equity Release Council, we always adhere to their strict codes of conduct. These include the ‘No Negative Equity’ guarantee, which ensures you will never owe more than the value of your home.

  • What about any inheritance?

    When you pass away or move into long-term care, your home is sold and the money is used to pay off the outstanding balance of the loan.

    Any equity taken out of your home will reduce the amount of inheritance you can leave your beneficiaries. If the interest is not paid each month and you elect to roll this up, then this will also further reduce your estate. It’s important to understand what all your options are and to perhaps discuss if your family can help out financially. If this is not possible, then maybe paying the interest per month is an option for you (assuming it’s affordable for you to do this). If either of these options are not feasible and you need to access the equity in your home then it is still possible to protect any element of equity that is bequeath to your beneficiaries with an Inheritance Protection Guarantee. This is one of the areas that needs a lot of discussion and one of our specialist advisers can help you understand the impact of equity release.

    You will never owe more than the value of your home, and any money left over is returned to your estate. As mentioned, you can also choose a Protected Equity Guarantee, which allows you to leave a fixed percentage of your home’s value to your beneficiaries.

  • Is Equity Release an unregulated industry?

    The Equity Release industry is fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and Bower Retirement Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. (Financial Services Register Number: 451607.)

    Whoever you decide to talk to regarding your retirement lending, do make sure they are members of the Equity Release Council (as we are).

  • Can I still move house?

    You can still move house if you want to on an Equity Release plan. You simply move your plan to another suitable property without any financial penalty. Please note that although there is no penalty if you downsize, there may be a penalty on all or some of the proportion of the loan that needs to be repaid.

  • Am I allowed to repay the loan?

    If you want to repay the loan or pay off interest on a Lifetime Mortgage, you can. Some plans allow you to repay the loan early, and choose fixed early redemption penalties over a certain time frame.

    Interest payment plans enable you to make monthly repayments on the loan, or you have the option on some plans to make voluntary partial repayments – usually up to 10% of the capital.

    If you’d like to find out more about the safeguards surrounding equity release, we recommend you read our section on The Equity Release Council.

How we work with you

We really do appreciate that Equity Release is a big financial decision, and that it’s usually a long-term commitment. So whether or not you decide to get in touch with us here at Bower, we advise you to seek the advice of an independent Equity Release specialist who can search the entire market for you (and is not restricted to a specific panel of lenders).

Bower specialists are financial advisers who have worked for many years in Equity Release and the financial industry. Together, we’re completely focused on offering the very best impartial guidance to you.

We offer a free, no-obligation home consultation, regardless of where you live in the UK, and take the time to get to know you so you can get to know and trust us. We listen. We observe. We explain how equity release works, talk through your options, and advise on what’s best for you.

No decisions are made during your initial consultation; it is simply your opportunity to discover the retirement lending options available to you. And we never rush or hurry you at any point in the process. Our advisers don’t work towards monthly quotas or sales figures. They simply work for you and your best interests.