If you are retired or close to retirement (over 55) and own your own home by using an Equity Release Scheme you can release money tied up in your house to supplement your income, undertake home improvements or pay for long term care.

Equity Release can take the form of a tax free cash sum or a flexible borrowing service and will allow you to stay in your home for the rest of your life.

The amount you can release will depend on the value of your house, your age and your health.

However, equity release schemes can be expensive and are inflexible if your circumstances change. Also they may affect your entitlement to state or local authority benefits.

The Equity Release Council is the industry body for the equity release sector.

More information on Equity Release Schemes can be found at the following links:

Downloadable guides are also available from the following links:

For The StepChange debt Charity's Top 10 Tips on Equity Release follow this link.

Before taking out an Equity release Scheme seek advice from a qualified and experienced financial advisor who has access to all the plans and plan providers in the market. This will ensure that all available options are considered.

StepChange Financial Solutions has been established to allow you access to expert advice from qualified advisors without cost or commitment.

All Equity Release Council-approved equity release providers require you to seek independent legal advice. Ensure your chosen solicitor has equity release experience and agree a fixed legal fee before proceeding. Your advisor will be happy to recommend a specialist solicitor.

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