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By Pete Mugleston | Mortgage Advisor

Pete has been a mortgage advisor for over 10 years, and is regularly cited in both trade and national press.

Updated: 12th June 2020*

Lifetime mortgages have seen a surge in popularity in recent years. With so many new products and lenders expanding into this market, trying to identify the best lifetime mortgage providers for your circumstances can be a daunting task. 

Fortunately, the advisors we work with are well versed in this increasingly competitive field, and will be happy to help you find a suitable lender and the perfect product for your needs. 

To give you a good overview of the types of lifetime mortgages that are available, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide which covers: 

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Lifetime mortgage providers: what you need to know

Unlike traditional mortgages, lifetime mortgage providers don’t consider affordability to be a factor when determining how much you can borrow because there are no repayments to be made with this type of lending. 

In fact, one of the key reasons why people will look to use an interest-only lifetime mortgage is that the funds can be released by a provider as an income which will bolster their retirement funds.  

Important points to consider when looking for lifetime mortgage providers include: 

  • Your age, health and property value will be the key factors which will determine how much a lifetime mortgage provider will allow you to borrow
  • The older you are, the more equity you will be able to unlock from your home 
  • All lifetime mortgage providers will require an appropriate valuation to be completed on your main residence. The conclusion must be that the house is saleable and an adequate security in the long term
  • Most providers will offer a maximum loan to value (LTV) ratio of between 50%-55%, and some may go up to 60%
  • The minimum applicant age for most providers is 55, for some it’s 60. A few providers also have a maximum entry level age, usually between 80 to 95.
  • Some providers that are members of the Equity Release Council (ERC) offer fixed rates of interest and may allow for interest repayments whilst the applicant is still alive, rather than let it roll-up

The advisors we work with have an in-depth knowledge of this form of lending and will be able to assist you in finding a provider with the best terms to suit your requirements

The advisers we work with are regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority and so you will be dealing with a highly trained person that adheres to strict rules of conduct.

How to find the best lifetime mortgage provider

The most effective way to find the best lifetime mortgage providers is to use the services of one of the whole of market advisors we work with. They will already have a deep understanding of what products terms are available for this type of finance, including deals that aren’t available direct to the general public. 

Also, bear in mind that making numerous mortgage applications with a variety of lenders could have an adverse affect on your credit score, so it’s best to work with a specialist who will know where to look for the best deals and from which lenders.   

Who offers the best lifetime mortgages?

The answer really depends on your own personal circumstances, in addition to each lender’s attitude towards lifetime mortgages. In this section, we’ve provided a brief summary of some of the better known lenders and their stance on lifetime mortgages at the time of writing. 

Liverpool Victoria (LV)

Liverpool Victoria (LV) offer both lump sum and flexible lifetime mortgages. For both products the minimum age at entry is 60. The loan to value (LTV) is based on the applicant’s age and property value, ranging from 20%-50%.

If you’re aged between 55 and 60 or looking for a higher LTV, you should use an advisor to locate alternative lenders who can suit these requirements. 

Legal and General (L&G)

Legal & General lifetime mortgages are available for properties worth £100,000 or more. Applicants’ minimum age at entry is 55. Legal and General offer three types of lifetime mortgage:  flexible, optional payment and income. LTVs usually range between 38%-44%. 

L&G lifetime mortgages are only available through an advisory service, although their website does offer a lot of information, including a mortgage calculator tool to work out how much you may be able to borrow.

Aviva lifetime

Aviva’s interest only lifetime mortgage is available to qualifying homeowners aged 55 or over. The LTV available is dependent on your age and house value but is typically between 20%-52%. Aviva’s lifetime mortgage interest rates are also dependent on your age, health, loan amount and property value. 

In order to access Aviva’s product suite, you need to use an advisor.

Hodge

Hodge Lifetime offer two types of lifetime mortgages – lump sum and flexible with interest rate options that are fixed for life. They also offer two other types of traditional mortgages aimed at customers who are aged 55 or over: 

  • Hodge Lifetime 55+ mortgage
  • Hodge Lifetime retirement mortgage

Hodge Lifetime’s products are only available through an advisor.

Prudential

Prudential no longer offer lifetime mortgages to new customers. If you’re an existing customer you can apply to release more equity from your property if required. If you are an existing Stonehaven interest-only lifetime mortgage customer you can transfer your plan to Prudential. 

Saga

Saga lifetime mortgages are available in both lump sum and income drawdown formats. They are available to customers with a minimum age of 55 up to a maximum age of 80. If you’re above this age you would need to use a broker to find lenders who will be able to match your requirements. 

Which banks and building societies offer lifetime mortgages?

Most high street lenders don’t currently offer their own version of a lifetime mortgage to either new or existing customers. Banks and building societies who do not offer this type of lending include: 

  • Barclays
  • HSBC
  • Halifax
  • Lloyds
  • Skipton
  • TSB
  • Coventry
  • Yorkshire Building Society

Some lenders, including Santander and Natwest, offer existing interest-only mortgage customers who are aged 55 or over the opportunity to switch to a lifetime mortgage with Legal & General. Other lenders, such as Leeds Building Society, offer Retirement Interest-Only mortgages rather than lifetime mortgages. 

If you don’t fit this criteria or if you’re an existing customer of a bank or building society that does not currently offer the option of a lifetime mortgage you will need to use an advisor to find alternative lenders. 

Nationwide

Nationwide have bucked this trend by offering their own lifetime mortgages with the option of taking your equity as either a lump sum or as an income when required. If you are an existing Nationwide mortgage customer and between the age of 55 and 85 you’ll be able to apply for this form of finance. 

If you’re not an existing Nationwide mortgage customer, you will need to use an advisor to find alternative lenders who can meet your requirements. 

Scottish Widows

Scottish Widows Bank offer the option of a lifetime mortgage only to existing customers who currently have an interest-only mortgage. If you don’t fit this criteria you would need to use an advisor to seek alternatives. 

Lifetime tracker mortgages

A number of banks and building societies offer a similar-sounding product called a lifetime tracker mortgage, including:

  • HSBC
  • Barclays
  • Halifax
  • First Direct
  • Nationwide
  • Santander

However, this is actually a tracker, which is a type of repayment mortgage with an interest rate that tracks the movement of the Bank of England base rate, either for a fixed period of time or throughout the term. This type of mortgage should not be confused with a lifetime mortgage as they are entirely different forms of lending. 

How to apply with a lifetime mortgage provider

Whilst it may be tempting to approach lenders who offer lifetime mortgages directly, this isn’t usually recommended as it will limit you to only one provider’s products which may not necessarily be best suited for your requirements.  

Also, due to the complexity of this form of lending, most lifetime mortgage providers only offer their suite of products through an advisor to ensure that a customer receives professional advice before proceeding. 

Using the services of a whole-of-market advisory service is the best way to find the most competitive product, with the best terms available. They will also have close relationships with many of the main providers and can introduce you to the one that best suits your needs. 

Speak to a lifetime mortgage expert today

Trying to identify which lifetime mortgage provider offers the right solution for your circumstances can be a tricky task by yourself. Lots of people in your situation seek professional advice before making a final decision on which lender is best placed to assist. 

If you have questions and want to speak to an expert for the right advice, call Online Mortgage Advisor 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry online and we’ll be in touch soon to discuss your plans and requirements.

We can then refer you to a suitable advisor who can help you to find the right lifetime mortgage with access to the whole market.

Updated: 12th June 2020
OnlineMortgageAdvisor 2020 ©

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The info on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs. Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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