Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

If you're considering releasing some of the equity built up in your home, of course you'll have a number of questions about the process and how it will affect your future.
Below we’ve tried to cover some of the most popular questions in our experience to give you peace of mind.

1, Can I release equity from my home?

The basic eligibility criteria for releasing equity from your homeare that all applicants are aged over 55, up to 95 - and your property is worth at least £70,000. However, each lender we work with has their own individual additional criteria (and not all property types will be suitable).

2, Is equity release a safe option for me?

All of our advisers at Just Compare follow strict rules and guidelines, ensuring each customer receives the most suitable plan that meets their individual needs, making the process reliable, accessible and safe. In order to take out an equity release plan you must take specialist advice - and you will only be advised to go ahead if equity release is right for your circumstances.

Considering Equity Release Council (ERC) approved plans, a number of guarantees are often available. These include a no negative equity guarantee, the right to remain in your property for life and the right to move to another property (subject to certain criteria).
We are dedicated each and every day to making sure that all our customers receive all of the facts about equity release, including the fact that equity release will reduce the overall value of your estate - and may affect your tax position or entitlement to benefits.

3, Should I discuss my plans for releasing equity with my family?

At Just Compare we believe it is very important to involve your family and loved ones in any financial decision at this stage, which could reduce the value of the inheritance potentially being left to them. We find that most families are incredibly supportive of their loved ones’ decision to take out an equity release plan to boost their quality of life during retirement.

4, Can I take out an equity release plan if I've not finished paying off my existing mortgage?

Yes of course, but it will be a condition of the plan provider that a portion of the sum of equity released is used to repay the outstanding mortgage amount.

5, How much equity can I release?

The amount of money you are able to release from your home will depend upon a number of factors, including

  • Your age (and that of your partner)
  • The value of your property
  • Your health and lifestyle

6, How long does it take to release equity from my home?

From application to completion, arranging an equity release plan will typically take 6-10 weeks. This is not a guaranteed timescale, and in some circumstances may take longer, but we will always try to get everything complete for you as soon as possible.

7, Who owns my home if I take out an equity release plan?

You will remain the owner of your home if you take out a ‘lifetime mortgage’. With a ‘home reversion plan’, you are selling all or part of your home to the reversion provider/lender in exchange for cash. With either type of plan you’re guaranteed the right to stay in your home until you and your partner pass away or move into long term care.

8, Can I move home in the future if I've taken out an equity release plan?

You will be able to move house in the future if you wish. You can either repay the amount owed, plus any early repayment charges, or transfer the whole plan over to your new home. Each of the providers we work with has specific criteria that applies to moving home, which we can advise you when you take out a plan.

9, Can I remain in my home for the rest of my life?

We recommend plans which provide this guarantee, so you can stay in your home as long as you wish. This feature applies to both ‘lifetime mortgages’ and ‘home reversion plans’, (subject to you adhering to the terms and conditions of your chosen plan).

10, Do I have to make monthly repayments?

Unless you choose to take out an ‘interest payment plan’, there are typically no monthly repayments for you to make. This is because the loan (plus rolled up interest) is repaid when the plan comes to an end. The total amount owing to the provider at the end will then be paid from the sale of your home.

11, Can I pay back my equity release plan early?

You have the option to repay your equity release plan early, however, in most cases you could incur a hefty early repayment charge. Some of the plans available offer downsizing protection, protecting you from those early repayment charges if you choose to downsize to a property that is not suitable to your lender. This is typically available five years after taking out your plan.

12, What is the cost of equity release to me?

Unless you decide to take out a plan, Just Compare offer a free, no obligation service - our typical advice fee of 1% of the amount released would only be payable on completion. During the process, you’re likely to cover costs for surveyor’s fees (valuation) and solicitor’s fees, as well as a provider arrangement fee, although some of our chosen providers may make a contribution towards this.

13, Can I guarantee at least some inheritance for my family and loved ones?

Of course, this is possible. There are plans available that allow you to protect a percentage of your home’s value so that you can guarantee some inheritance. If this is important to you, please make sure you tell us that you would to include this in your plan.

14, Could my family end up being in debt because of me taking an equity release plan?

All of the Equity Release Council approved plans that we recommend come with a ‘no negative equity guarantee’. This means that you can never owe more than the value of your home, therefore not passing on any risk and leaving your family and loved ones with additional money to repay.

15, What happens if I move into long-term care?

If your equity release plan was taken out as a joint plan with a partner, they would be able to continue living in the home without impacting your means test for long-term care fees.

If your equity release plan is taken out in your name only, your home would be sold at that point and the equity release provider/lender would receive the money owed to them from the proceeds with the remainder being left to your estate.

16, What happens when I pass away?

If you have taken a joint equity release plan and your partner survives you, then your equity release will not be affected and they will be able to remain in their home for as long as they choose.

If your equity release plan is taken out in your name only, your house will be sold and the equity release provider/lender will receive the money owed to them from the proceeds with the remainder being left to your estate.

Call us free today on: 0800 802 1849 to find out more

Find out how much equity you could release from your home TODAY

Call us free today on: 0800 802 1849 to find out more!

Find out how much equity you could release from your home TODAY