Today we're going to talk about equity release calculators, and the reasons why we don't use them at StepChange Financial Solutions.
Eligibility calculators are found on many equity release websites. They're designed to let you enter information about you, your age, your property value and usually your contact details.
The information you give is used to work out how much equity you could potentially release from your home. And because you've shown an interest in releasing equity, it's usually followed up by a call from the company.
The three reasons we don't use these calculators are:
Firstly, they don't take your property details into account.
Lots of different things can affect the availability and the amount of equity release available.
For example, the construction of your home the status of lodgers, or your property's location.
Secondly, they don't consider your personal circumstances.
There are many different equity release plans and providers, and they all offer different things.
One plan does not fit all.
As an individual, you need to have an individual plan tailored to your financial needs.
Some plans will let you service the interest, or even repay the capital sum borrowed.
Your health, future plans and even marital status could all affect which plans you should consider and how much money you could access.
Finally, they don't take your actual needs into account.
If a calculator says you can borrow £100,000 should you? And if so how should you take it?
Should you take it in a lump-sum, or a small amount at a time?
What's best over the long term, and why?
Releasing equity is an important and complicated decision and we believe it's vital to speak to someone who is impartial and qualified to give you advice on all of your available options.
Even if that advice means that equity release isn't right for you.
As part of StepChange Debt Charity, we can also look at a range of alternative solutions to help you overcome your challenges, or achieve your goals.
We believe that advice should always be free.
So unlike other equity release advice services, we won't charge you a fee.