Which Companies Can Provide Equity Release Solutions?
Equity release has seen a massive surge in popularity in the past few years. This growing demand has fuelled the sector and today we have more providers, with a wider portfolio of more flexible equity release plans than ever before. While equity release is not suitable for everyone, the variety of equity release plans means that it is certainly likely to be a suitable solution for a lot more people today than ever before.
Recent surveys have shown that a large number of pensioners are homeowners with a size-able amount of equity tied up in their homes are suffering from a credit crunch and are unable to fund their day-to-day expenditures or have no money for that big one-off expense. In other words, there are numerous people around the UK, who are property rich, but cash poor.
Such equity release solutions allow them a way to release some of the equity in their home in the form of conveniently usable cash. This money can be released either as a lump sum or in the form of irregular installments. The uniquely attractive feature of equity release plans is that they allow you to tap into the value in your home without the need to move out or sell the property. Irrespective of what type of equity release you choose, you can continue to live in your home until you die or move into long-term care.
Types of equity release solutions
There are two main types of equity release plans – home reversion schemes and lifetime mortgages. Home reversion involves selling a percentage of the house to the lender in exchange for the money. At the moment companies offering home reversion plans are Newlife Mortgages, Bridgewater Flexible Release Plan and Hodge’s Shared Growth option.
Lifetime mortgages offer the other type of equity release solutions – wherein instead of selling a part of the house, the lender sets up a secured 1st legal charge on the property. There are also interest only lifetime mortgages where you can repay the interest monthly, thus maintaining a level balance on the loan. Such companies offering the interest only lifetime mortgage solution is Stonehaven with its range of Interest Select plans or more2life’s interest choice plan.
Latest product development
A recent innovation in this domain of interest repayment is from Hodge Lifetime with its flexible repayment lifetime mortgage. Although the repayments of interest cannot be on a monthly basis, Hodge Lifetime do allow upto 10% of the original amount borrowed to be repaid each year without penalty. Becoming a serious player now in the equity release marketplace, Hodge Lifetime have set down the gauntlet to other companies lacking in ingenuity and ideas with their current and future plans.
The most common form of equity release are the roll-up lifetime mortgages where the interest is added to the principle amount and compounded over time. This means that the debt effectively rises yearly for the rest of your life, until you either die or move into long-term care. Hence, before entering into one of these contracts you should always discuss your intentions with your family first & then arrange an Equity Release Adviser.
There are other types of equity release schemes which do include the drawdown lifetime mortgage such as Aviva’s Lifestyle Flexible Option, designed for those who want to have the option of borrowing more in the future without any obligations. For those who want the biggest lump sum, enhanced mortgages such as more2life’s Enhanced Lifetime Mortgage may be suitable, providing they meet the health & lifestyle questionnaire.
These are some examples of equity release solutions designed to suit different needs, and some companies that offer these products. There are, of course, many more providers within each sector. The best way to find a suitable deal is to compare different equity release plans, and seek independent advice from a qualified equity release adviser.