With the way equity release products are advertised on TV, you’d be forgiven for thinking that only retired homeowners can access the equity tied up in their home. But if you hold equity in a property, there are no age restrictions on when you can access it
In this article we’ll explore the different ways you can release equity from a property you own regardless of your age and why using a broker is your most secure route to getting the best deal.
What is the minimum age for equity release?
You can apply for an equity release plan from age 55. When people talk about equity release products, they are usually referring to lifetime mortgages or home reversion plans. These are aimed at homeowners who have retired or are nearing retirement and are reserved for those aged 55 and over.
If there are joint owners, eligibility is worked out according to the age of the youngest. Other owners can only take out an equity release product if those under 55 transfer their share of the equity to them.
But the broader meaning of ‘equity’ in home related matters is the percentage of your home you own outright. You are entitled to access it at any age using other methods of borrowing, such as remortgaging.
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Is there a maximum age?
Not for lifetime mortgages and home reversions. These products are designed to provide money for your retirement and then run until you pass away or move into long term care, so there is no official upper age limit. However, some providers apply their own restrictions of between 80 years old and 100 years old.
If you’re under 55, there are other ways of accessing the equity from properties you own and some of these will have age limits and restrictions.
Releasing equity after 55
When you reach 55 the options of remortgaging, home improvement loans, downsizing and/or selling remain open to you provided you meet the lender’s other criteria. But you may also qualify for equity release products.
Aside from being within the age bracket, you will need to have outright ownership of a property worth £70,000 or more to qualify for a lifetime mortgage. This allows you to take a lump sum lifetime mortgage or drawdown a regular income from your equity, with no monthly payments.
Your age will impact the percentage of equity you can release:
- From 55 you can release a maximum of 27%
- From 65 you can release a maximum of 40%
- From 75 you can release a maximum of 50%
- From 85 you can release a maximum of 60%
Applicants who have a reduced life expectancy can apply for an enhanced lifetime mortgage. This may allow them to borrow above these standard rates based on the results of a medical questionnaire.
Home reversion is a type of equity release plan that requires you to sign over a percentage of your property to a provider in exchange for a cash lump sum that is below market rates. This type of borrowing is only available to over 60s and is rarely recommended by advisors.
How a broker can help you avoid age restrictions
Whichever route you choose to access the equity in your home, you want maximum benefit for minimum cost. Irrespective of your age, there are several options open to you, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Your best bet is to contact an equity release advisor who can provide later-life lending advice to borrowers of all ages and circumstances. They will be able to match you with the lender who is best placed to offer a great deal to somebody in your age bracket.
They will discuss your financial situation, as well as your current and future plans, to ensure you choose the right product for your long term situation and make the best choice for your retirement.
You’ll also have someone by your side to guide you through what can be a complex area of borrowing.
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Calculate how much equity you can release based on your age
You can get an idea of the amount of capital you could release from your home by using our equity release calculator below. The results are based on your age and the value of your property.
Equity Release Calculator
You can use our equity release calculator to work out how much capital you can release from your home. Simply enter your age and the property’s value and the tool will do the rest.
Maximum Equity you could release:
The amount is of your homes value, the maximum most borrowers your age can release.
Get Started with an Equity Release Specialist and find out exactly how much you could release.
Options if you are under 55
Homeowners aged 55 and under have various ways of tapping into their equity:
- Remortgaging: Refinancing to release equity follows the same process as taking out your initial home loan and you will need to meet the providers’ criteria. If you can, it’s usually best to wait until your fixed rate deal has ended so you don’t pay an early settlement fee. You might even benefit from a lower loan to value (LTV) banding if the value of your property has risen sufficiently. Lenders’ age caps vary but with the right lender, you can find deals that will take you to 95 years old.
- Home improvement loan: These can be secured or unsecured. The maximum amount for an unsecured loan is usually £25,000. If you are planning a major job, you can typically borrow much more if the loan is secured, and you’ll benefit from more preferential rates. You must be 18 years old to apply for a loan and most lenders cap your age at the end of the term at 70-75. If you will be older than 75 at the end of the term, you’re best advised to find a specialist lender or take professional advice on equity release.
- Retirement interest only mortgage: Similar to lifetime mortgages, but RIO mortgages are available from the age of 50. You can usually borrow up to 50% (in some cases 55%) of the value of your main residence with monthly contractual payments that cover the interest on the loan. Lenders will require evidence that you will be able to afford the repayments from your retirement income.
- Sell your home: If you move to a cheaper home or sell an investment property, you will pocket all the equity after your expenses are paid. There is no age limit on selling property.
Get matched with a broker who specialises in all aspects of borrowing to release equity
Current regulation states that any firm offering equity release must offer clients advice. This is fine, but unless the advice you receive is independent, you can’t be certain it is in your best interests.
The advisors we work with have whole-of-market access and are fully qualified to advise on equity release. This means they will compare the whole of the UK lending market and advise on the most suitable products according to your circumstances.
After a brief chat, our broker-matching service will handpick an advisor with knowledge and experience in equity release borrowing that meets your needs.
Call today on 0808 189 2301 or enquire online to arrange a free, no-obligation chat.
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