What Do We Look for in an Equity Release Provider?
Firstly, we look for providers that will treat customers fairly and offer competitive products on the market. Secondly, we like providers who work within the guidelines set out by the Equity Release Council for their products and services, the key points being:
The Equity Release product must feature:
Fixed Interest Rates – the rate on a lifetime mortgage must be fixed (or capped if variable) for the life of the loan.
The Right To Remain – you must have the right to continue to live in your home until you move on.
The Right To Move – you must be allowed to move to another property, as long as it meets the terms and conditions of the loan and provides adequate security.
A No Negative Equity Guarantee – ensures that if the sum from the sale of the house does not meet the amount of the loan plus interest due, then neither you nor your estate will be liable to pay any more.
The provider must:
Act in good faith at all times.
Always act with the best interests of their clients as a priority, treating you fairly in all their actions.
Ensure conflicts of interest are managed fairly and dealt with on a completely practical level.
Exercise due skill, care and diligence in all they do, and uphold the standards set out by their professional bodies.
It’s all about finding a provider you can trust. With this in mind, here are the providers we are happy to work with, all of which are affiliated with the Equity Release Council:
One of the leading providers in the UK, established over 300 years ago and also the UK’s largest insurer with 33 million customers. Aviva has over 200,000 equity release clients and have been providing this type of lending since 1999, helping people unlock over £7 billion from their homes to fund their later years. They are one of the lenders who keep evolving their products and offer flexible repayment options.
Bridgewater Equity Release
Established in 1998, Bridgewater Equity Release specialise in home reversion schemes and have won several awards for their service. They are also a member of the Equity Release Council, and all of their equity release plans abide by their codes of conduct.
Hodge have specialised in helping people plan their retirement finances since 1965. They offer a wide range of options for over-55s, including products with flexible repayment options, and have won awards for their 55+ residential interest-only mortgage. Hodge Lifetime take a very conscientious approach, making their products available only through financial advisers, so customers know they are getting a solution that suits them best and that compares favourably with the market.
Legal & General Home Finance
Part of the Legal & General Group, one of the largest insurers and mortgage providers in the UK, with more than 9 million customers. Established in 1836, they offer a range of lifetime mortgage products, including ones with flexible repayment options, often with some of the lowest interest rates on the market.
LV is the largest ‘friendly society’ (a mutual association providing life assurance, pensions and sickness benefits) in the UK, with over 5 million members and customers. In 2002, they founded their specialist equity release team based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, and focus on two key products: the Lifetime Mortgage Lump Sum+ and their Flexible Lifetime Mortgage, for which they have won awards.
More 2 Life
More 2 Life is a compact team based in Preston that has grown to become one of the biggest lifetime mortgage lenders in the UK. They pride themselves on providing flexible solutions and repayment options for people as they head into retirement, with a focus on catering for each individual customer’s specific needs and circumstances.
OneFamily Lifetime Mortgages Ltd
OneFamily takes care of 2.1 million customers across their portfolio of insurance, savings and mortgages, with £8 billion of investment funds. The company deals in lifetime mortgages, and focuses on flexibility and individual customer needs, consistently winning awards for their products. It also gives money back into the communities and for causes that are important to its customers.
A mortgage lender based in Leeds with a wealth of experience in equity release and other financial services, they were the Moneyfacts 2016 Award winner for Best Equity Release Provider. They only accept applications through qualified financial advisers to make sure that customers are aware of the commitments in equity release, and have been informed of all the options.
An established, award-winning company based in the City of London that can trace its roots back to 1902. Retirement Advantage offers a range of lifetime mortgages, each with safeguards to ensure its customers have the most comfortable retirement possible. Its mortgages are flexible, with repayment options, and can be tailored to suit the individual customer’s needs.
Would You Like to Discuss Your Options for Equity Release?
Please contact your local Mortgage Centres office and talk to one of our friendly, experienced advisers today. They will be able to help you work out the best plan to suit your needs.