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Equity release advice

At StepChange Financial Solutions our expert team can help you release equity in your home with no need to move.

Call us now for FREE

0808 1686 719

Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

 

Equity release is available throughout the UK.

What is equity release?

Equity release could allow you to access the money tied up in your home if you're aged 55+. If you're eligible, you can take a tax-free cash lump sum or access flexible borrowing whether you're managing debt or supplementing your retirement income.

Equity release isn't for everyone but we'll help you explore all of your available options.

The expert team at StepChange Financial Solutions can advise you on your best equity release options. Unlike at other equity release advice services, our advisors are salaried with no sales targets, bonuses or commissions, so you can rest assured their only priority is finding the best option for you.

Equity release advice is provided by StepChange Financial Solutions, a subsidiary of StepChange Debt Charity. It is not a lender but works on behalf of our clients to search the market for a range of mortgage and equity release products that will best suit their needs.

Why choose us for equity release?

  •  Fee free: We don't charge you a fee for our advice. There aren't any hidden charges

  •  Unbiased: Our advisors don't work to sales targets, bonuses or commissions for products or lenders, meaning our advice is independent and impartial


  • Specialist: We are experts in meeting the needs of clients looking to release equity for a range of needs, including managing debts or retiring


  • Trustworthy: In 2020 and the first half of 2021, 98% of clients that we surveyed* said they would recommend us to family or friends

*Source: StepChange client survey 2020 and 2021.

Find out if equity release right for you

Call us now for FREE on 0808 1686 719 for no-obligation advice.

Benefits of equity release

  • A fixed interest rate for the lifetime of the mortgage
  • The ability to release funds of up to 58% of the value of the property
  • No negative equity guarantee, this means you never have to worry about owing more than the property value
  • You don't have to make any monthly payments, but if you would like to make flexible payments to cover the interest or more, you can
  • In most cases, adverse credit won't affect your ability to take out an equity release product
  • If you're retired or on a reduced income and are coming to the end of an interest only mortgage term, you could use the equity within your property to stay in your home

 

Risks of equity release

  • You don’t pay tax by releasing equity, but the way it’s released might affect your tax position and entitlement to means-tested benefits
  • There may be more suitable alternatives, such as downsizing to a smaller property or remortgaging
  • Future property prices might be higher or lower than they are today
  • Releasing equity from your home will reduce the value of your estate, affecting the amount of inheritance you might leave
  • There are implications to securing other debts against your home
  • Consolidating debts over a longer period may mean you pay more overall
  • If you're planning home improvements, a government grant may be a better option for you

Equity release may involve a home reversion plan or lifetime mortgage which is secured against your property. To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration.

Can I release equity from my home?

To be eligible for equity release your situation must meet the following criteria:

  • All parties to the mortgage must be aged over 55 years
  • You have at least 58% equity in your property
  • Your property value is a minimum of £70,000
  • The equity released from your home must clear all secured loans and mortgages on completion

You can use our online equity release calculator to work out if you qualify.

Equity release options

How much you can release varies between providers but usually depends on your age, health, and value of your home.

There are also many different types of product options available, which can be tailored to your individual needs.

The qualified team at StepChange Financial Solutions will guide you through the entire process, making sure you understand the features and risks so you can make a fully informed decision.

Katherine's story: Which? recommended our equity release service

After being referred to us by Which? magazine, Katherine was able to pay for essential home improvements, and help pay for her daughter’s university fees.  

Watch her story and find out why she recommends StepChange Financial Solutions

Using equity release to pay off debts

If you're looking for ways to deal with your debts, equity release might be an option for you. However, it's important to get expert advice first as there could be other more suitable alternatives for you to consider.

Our free online debt advice tool takes around 20 minutes and can help you find the best way to deal with your debts based on your situation.

Common questions about equity release and your home

Yes.

With a lifetime mortgage, you will remain the owner of your property. Assuming you remain within the terms and conditions (such as keeping the property in a good state of repair) you will be able to remain either until you pass away or go into long term care.

As with all mortgage contracts, there are terms and conditions which must be followed. Assuming the property is kept in a good state of repair and you do not become bankrupt, then you will be able to remain in your home either until you pass away or go into long term care.

This is usually possible. A number of products are designed to make moving or downsizing easier in the future. However, there may be additional fees and costs involved. The team at StepChange Financial Solutions can provide you with further information and guidance on these.

If your house is for sale or you want to move in the near future, it may not be advisable to consider an equity release product.

Yes, you can release equity from a new property you want to buy should you need additional funds to enable you to do so.

The property must be in a good state of repair. But other factors are also considered, These factors will be checked by StepChange Financial Solutions before a recommendation is made.

Yes, you may borrow up to the maximum loan to value (LTV) available to purchase or extend your lease.

Yes, as long as all applicants are over the age of 55. If your partner isn’t currently on the deeds of your property you, you should both seek legal advice before going ahead.

Common questions about setting up equity release

There are four main costs associated with equity release.

1. Advice fee

At StepChange Financial Solutions we don't charge any advice fees.

2. Valuation fee

Some products may charge a fee, but the majority provide a free valuation. We’ll always ensure you’re advised to look at the most cost effective option.

3. Legal fee

We recommend that you agree a fixed fee with your solicitor once your equity release offer is confirmed. Fees may vary dependant on the work required (for instance, leasehold properties will usually incur higher fees). We work with a panel of experts in equity release conveyancing if you would like us to recommend an expert in this field.

4. Application fee

Some lenders may charge an application fee. Where this is the case it typically costs between £500 and £1000. Where a fee is payable, this will usually offer the option of a cheaper interest rate.

Many products do not have an application fee and your Equity Release advisor will go through the full cost of releasing equity before you make a decision.

This depends on your age, property value, and the equity release product. The maximum is around 59% of your property value.

The older you are generally the more equity you can release.

Please see our equity release calculator to see how much you may be able to release. You should only borrow the amount you need.

This can vary depending on how long valuations and the legal work will take. The average time is six to eight weeks from the application being submitted.

There are a lot of products on the market with different features and rates. Please contact StepChange Financial Solutions on 0808 168 6719 for guidance on interest rates.

Common questions about equity release and your finances

With equity release, the amount of inheritance available will be the difference between the proceeds from the sale of the house and the amount outstanding on the plan when it's redeemed.

We can't predict the future value of your property when it's eventually sold so we can't predict what inheritance will be available.

Some providers offer an inheritance protection facility on their plans which lets you protect a specific percentage of the property's future value. Your advisor will discuss this option if one of your priorities is protecting an inheritance.

Yes, all mortgage balances would need to be cleared.

Yes, this is possible. Most lifetime mortgage providers will offer you the opportunity to make flexible repayments, however they may charge you for making early repayments.

Read our guide to releasing equity from your home.

You could look into downsizing by moving into a cheaper property, using savings, or taking out more credit, such as a loan – which may be secured against your property.

If you’re considering equity release to deal with debt problems, an alternative may be a repayment plan (where you make lower, more affordable payments to your creditors) or an insolvency solution, such as an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA).

StepChange Debt Charity have a team of debt experts helping hundreds of thousands of people each year to deal with their debt problems. With more than 25 years' experience, you can be confident that you’ll get tailored advice based on what’s right for you.

StepChange Debt Charity provide a range of managed debt solutions and all the advice and support you need to help you deal with your debts.

Find out more about equity release

Whatever the reason, if you're thinking about releasing equity in your home, you may have questions about how it affects you. It's important to get the facts before making your decision.

Have a question about equity release? Request a call and we'll ring you

Alternatively, you can call us now for FREE on 0808 1686 719 for no-obligation advice.

StepChange Financial Solutions is a registered trading name of Consumer Credit Counselling Service (Equity Release) Ltd. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA reg. no. 517674.