Equity release can be a great way for homeowners over 55 to access the capital they\u2019re built up in their property. The market for it in Scotland has been growing in recent years, with more and more equity release providers extending their reach north of the border.\r\n\r\nThis form of retirement finance is showing no signs of slowing down, so we\u2019ve put together this guide to equity release in Scotland.\r\n\r\nHere, you\u2019ll find out how widely available it is, how it works and how to find the right provider for your needs and circumstances.\r\n<ul>\r\n \t<li><a href="#are">Are there equity release schemes in Scotland?<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#how">How does it work?<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#providers">Who are the best providers?<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#expert">Get equity release advice from an expert<\/a><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n[feefo-banner]\r\n<h2 id="are">Is equity release available in Scotland?<\/h2>\r\nYes. Equity release was slower to take off north of the border compared to England, but in recent years, a growing number of equity release providers have started covering Scotland.\r\n\r\nThe main difference between Scotland and elsewhere in the UK is that there are fewer <a href="#providers">equity release providers<\/a> available in certain parts of the country, so seeking specialist advice is highly recommended.\r\n<h3>What is equity release?<\/h3>\r\nEquity release is a type of retirement finance that allows homeowners over 55 to access the capital they\u2019ve built up in their property in the form of a tax-free loan. This can be used for any legal purpose and is not usually repayable until the last surviving homeowner dies or goes into long-term care.\r\n\r\nYou can <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/equity-release-mortgages\/equity-release-explained\/">read more about equity release in our in-depth guide<\/a>.\r\n<h3>Why was equity release slower to take off in Scotland?<\/h3>\r\nEquity release did not take off as quickly in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK. One school of thought on why this was the case is that many Scottish homeowners have close family ties and traditions. There's a strong culture of leaving behind an estate and inheritance north of the border, and some of the older equity release products compromised this.\r\n\r\nOne of the reasons the market has rapidly caught up with the rest of Britain could be because of the influx of more flexible equity release options for retired homeowners. For instance, some schemes include an Inheritance Protection Guarantee that allows customers to ringfence a portion of their property to safeguard some family inheritance.\r\n\r\nThere has also been an influx of lifetime mortgage options with 'no negative equity' guarantees and the option to make capital repayments for those who want to leave some equity behind for their beneficiaries.\r\n\r\nThese flexible products have helped the equity release market in Scotland grow, and as a result, many of the leading providers have expanded into the territory. With options now plentiful, speaking to a specialist equity release broker who can help you find a scheme that's tailored to your needs is the best place to start.\r\n<h3>What types of equity release are available in Scotland?<\/h3>\r\nTwo <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/equity-release-mortgages\/the-different-types-of-equity-release-plans\/">types of equity release<\/a> are available in Scotland\u2026<b><\/b>\r\n<ul>\r\n \t<li><b>Lifetime mortgages<\/b><b>: <\/b>This is a loan secured against your property which is paid out in instalments, as a lump sum or a combination of both. Read more in our in-depth <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/lifetime-mortgages\/">guide to lifetime mortgages<\/a>.<\/li>\r\n \t<li><b>Home reversion<\/b><b> <\/b><b>plans<\/b><b>: <\/b>This type of equity release involves selling all or a portion of your property to an equity release provider in exchange for a lump-sum payment or monthly installments. Read more in our in-depth <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/equity-release-mortgages\/home-reversion\/">guide to home reversion plans<\/a>.<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<strong>Warning:<\/strong> Since home reversion plans involve relinquishing full ownership of your home, most experts who advise on retirement lending in Scotland don\u2019t recommend this type of equity release. They will likely suggest that you consider applying for a lifetime mortgage instead.\r\n<h2 id="how">How does it work?<\/h2>\r\nEquity release in Scotland works exactly the same as it does in England. The amount of tax-free cash you can access with a lifetime mortgage depends on two factors\u2026\r\n<ol>\r\n \t<li>The age of the youngest applicant<\/li>\r\n \t<li>The value of the property<\/li>\r\n<\/ol>\r\nYou can find out exactly how much equity you could release in our standalone guide, <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/equity-release-mortgages\/how-much-equity-can-i-release\/">How Much Equity Can I Release?<\/a>\r\n<h3>Lifetime mortgage options for Scottish equity release customers<\/h3>\r\nThe way equity release pays out will depend on the type of plan you choose. Most experts would recommend a lifetime mortgage over home reversion, and they come in three types...\r\n<ul>\r\n \t<li><b>A lump sum mortgage: <\/b>With this type of lifetime mortgage, the homeowner receives the funds as a single lump sum and interest payments are not mandatory during the term. The debt only needs to be paid in full at the end of the agreement.<\/li>\r\n \t<li><b>A lifetime drawdown mortgage: <\/b>Sometimes referred to as a flexible lifetime mortgage, these plans allow customers to take a small amount of capital at the outset and draw down the rest of the funds as and when they choose to. Interest only accrues on the capital that has actually been drawn down.<\/li>\r\n \t<li><b>An income lifetime mortgage: <\/b>Homeowners can claim a regular income from their equity release by taking this type of lifetime mortgage.<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\nIn addition to the three main types of equity release, some providers in Scotland will allow homeowners to enter bespoke agreements, depending on their circumstances. For instance, you could negotiate a deal with a high loan-to-value ratio and low-interest rates if you can evidence that you\u2019re in poor health and have a lower life expectancy.\r\n\r\nFor these types of agreements, a specialist equity release broker is recommended as they will know exactly which providers are best positioned to help a customer with your exact needs and circumstances. They can also offer personalised advice every step of the way.\r\n<h2 id="providers">Who are the best equity release providers in Scotland?<\/h2>\r\nThe leading equity release providers in Scotland include Aviva, Canada Life, Hodge, Legal & General, Pure Retirement and One Family, but approaching one of these companies directly is not recommended. If you were to do that, you would only have access to their products.\r\n\r\nThis could potentially mean missing out on higher loan-to-value ratios and lower interest rates elsewhere. Unless you have access to the entire market, including the niche providers you won\u2019t find through a Google search, you can\u2019t be sure you\u2019re getting the best deal.\r\n\r\nThe best equity provider for you isn\u2019t necessarily the biggest name in the business or the one with the highest star rating online, it\u2019s the provider who\u2019s best positioned to offer favourable rates to a customer with your exact needs and circumstances.\r\n\r\nThe right broker will be able to find that provider for you, and this is where we come in. We offer a free broker-matching service that will pair you up with an expert who helps customers just like you every day. The equity release advisor we match you with will be one we\u2019ve vetted and trained ourselves, so we can guarantee you a five-star service.\r\n\r\nNot all equity release advisors are the same. Some specialise in customers with bad credit, while others have made a name for themselves helping customers with life-limiting health issues. Whatever your specific circumstances, we can find a broker for you.\r\n<h3>Are there any equity release providers who don't cover Scotland?<\/h3>\r\nAll of the leading equity release providers will now at least consider lending in mainland Scotland, but keep in mind that some have geographic restrictions in place.\r\n\r\nFor example, Hodge, Legal & General, Liverpool Victoria and Pure won't lend for properties on the Scottish islands. You might also find that some providers impose restrictions if you're home is based in the Scottish Highlands.\r\n\r\nIf you're based outside of Scotland's major towns and cities, seeking professional advice is doubly important. You want to find the right equity release provider first time, as being declined can harm your credit report, and even if you are accepted, you might get a less favourable deal.\r\n\r\nThe right equity release broker will take all of your need and circumstances, including geographic factors, into account and make sure you're paired up with your ideal provider the first time of asking.\r\n<h2 id="expert">Get equity release advice from an expert today<\/h2>\r\nCall 0808 189 2301 or <a href="https:\/\/enquiries.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/match-me-with-an-equity-release-specialist\/">make an enquiry online<\/a> and we\u2019ll introduce you to your perfect equity release broker today. The advisor we pair you with will have in-depth knowledge of the Scottish market and the right expertise to help someone with your exact profile.\r\n\r\nA non-obligation consultation with an equity release expert won\u2019t cost you a penny, but their advice could help you save time, money and potential disappointment in the long run.