The Equity Release Application Process
Step 1 – The initial conversation about your plans
No matter what broker you use, a good one will always listen to you. When you phone us, you get paired with an expert in Equity Release.
Our advisers are experienced and they want to provide a first-class service that meets your needs. The first thing we’ll do is find out more about your situation and how we can help, asking you about things like your age, health, lifestyle, house, income and what other loans or schemes you might already have in place. This gives us an idea of what lenders could suit your situation.
Based on this, we will then be able to make some initial suggestions, potentially giving you a rough estimate of the amount you might be able to release as well. We will also answer any questions you might have and deal with any concerns. This helps us jointly establish that Equity Release is the right choice for you.
If you then need to talk it over further with a partner or your family, no problem. We’ll arrange a time to phone you back.
At this point, you might also want to talk to a solicitor. We regularly work with friendly, competent legal advisers with plenty of Equity Release experience. We are always happy to recommend someone you can trust.
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Step 2 – Going over all the details of your Equity Release mortgage
It’s important that we get to know you as well as possible. This ensures we can create an Equity Release scheme you will be comfortable with and that best suits your needs. We usually have two meetings or appointments with you at this stage – the first to get to know you and the second to recommend the best options.
A face-to-face meeting is ideal for both of us. We’ll be able to see how you feel about Equity Release and make sure you understand all the aspects. All the details will be discussed at your own peace and we will answer any questions as we go.
This appointment is all about getting to know you inside out and understanding the details. We’ll go over your income, including state benefits and investments, as well as any debts or outstanding mortgages. We’ll also discuss the state of your health and any past or existing medical conditions.
We’ll also work through your immediate needs and future plans. It’s important to think about budgeting for what you will need to spend and when. This is so you don’t apply for the loan on guesswork. This will also help to determine whether a lump sum or drawdown Equity Release plan will work best for you.
We want to work with you to get the result you want, making sure none of your money is wasted. There are many Equity Release products available and we need to choose the one with the right interest rate and fees.
After this meeting, we’ll go away, do our research, and work out which options would be best for you. We will then come back, in our second meeting, with our recommendations and explain these to you in detail. By the end of that meeting, we will have worked out a plan that you are totally happy with.
If you would like family members to be at the meetings, this is absolutely fine. It’s better for everyone’s peace of mind if they also get to know us. If they do have any questions themselves, we’ll have the opportunity to put their minds at rest.
Remember – we don’t charge for this consultation. If you decide not to go ahead with Equity Release, then you won’t owe us a penny.
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Step 3 – Your Equity Release mortgage application and home valuation
Following the second meeting, we’ll then give you a personal suitability report. This essentially sets out what we recommend for your current situation. You’ll also get a personalised illustration of your plan, explaining all the benefits and risks of the scheme. It will also include every possible detail of the costs and schedules.
If you are happy with our recommendations and want to proceed, we’ll then complete the Equity Release application form and lodge it with the provider.
After receiving it, the lender will make an assessment, take credit references and arrange for a home valuation. This could be a full valuation or a quick inspection by a surveyor.
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Step 4 – Confirming your equity release mortgage offer
If the lender’s satisfied with the application, they will send their offer to you, your solicitor and adviser.
If everything is as you want it to be, your solicitor will finalise the legal documents to complete the process.
Step 5 – Getting your money from Equity Release
Once you complete and submit the documents, the lender will proceed with their instructions. They will then provide you with tax-free money through your solicitor. This is the stage where the solicitor’s fee and our service fee will be deducted.
Many brokers charge a percentage of your loan amount, but we keep things simple and charge a set, flat fee, so you always know where you stand. Again, this is only payable when your money is transferred to you. So, if you don’t go ahead with Equity Release, you don’t owe us anything.
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