How Impartial is the Saga Equity Release Calculator?
There was a time when anyone wishing to find out the maximum equity release they could take from their property had to make an appointment with a particular provider and ask them directly. This means going to great lengths just to find out a simple answer. Today, with the development and access to free equity release calculators, finding out how much you could potentially release is a quick and simple process.
When equity release calculators were first introduced, they were available only on select websites such as EquityReleaseSupermarket.co.uk. Today however, they are available everywhere! Most providers have a calculator on their website, and various independent advice companies also offer equity release calculators to enquirers and potential customers.
To understand whether the Saga equity release calculator is impartial, it is important to understand how an impartial calculator actually works. An equity release calculator takes into account details about your personal information and uses this to work out the maximum equity release possible. Now the best equity release calculators will provide calculations from an independent point of view, thus gleaning data from the whole of the equity release market. As such, all the calculator needs is the enquirer’s age, the current property valuation and access to every equity release provider the market has available.
Negative aspects of equity release calculators
Now, let’s begin to understand the pitfalls of equity release calculators, and how they are sometimes misused. Firstly, some companies use equity release calculators to data mine for personal information including names, email addresses etc. which are then used for unrequested marketing purposes. Sometimes companies could also share personal information obtained from users with other companies and third parties. This is not stringent with the data protection rules as users must be made aware of how their information is going to be used.
Another way to misinform users is to provide only a partial picture of what could be available. If an equity release calculator does not have an up-to-date and full picture of different options available on the market, it will fail to provide objective results, and this is what can happen with some equity release calculators on the market. This may not necessarily be done on purpose, the equity release market is constantly evolving & unless the data behind these calculators is maintained & kept upto date, then false reading may be provided.
Saga equity release calculator
Saga offer an equity release calculator on their website which requires much information to be entered – including name, date of birth, email address, contact details, and home address. It states that the equity release calculator it offers is provided by an external company – Just Retirement Solutions Ltd., which pays Saga an introductory fee or commission if customers take out a plan.
Just Retirement Solutions themselves offer advice only from a panel of equity release companies. They cannot therefore offer the comprehensiveness of classing themselves as ‘independent’ equity release brokers unlike companies such as Key Retirement Solutions, Age Partnership and Equity Release Supermarket, Bower & Responsible Equity Release.
Saga, via Just Retirement Solutions provides recommendations with access to a range of selected providers – such as Aviva, LV= and its sister company Just Retirement! In fact the majority of Just Retirement Solutions business is written through Just Retirement; could this advice therefore be classed as ‘impartial’?
With all of the above information surrounding Saga’s equity release calculator taken into consideration – I will leave you to conclude as to whether or not theirs is impartial or not!