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Key equity release review 2021

Key Equity Release was founded in 1998 by a small team of six people. Since then, the company has grown to over 500 employees and has helped over 1mn people decide whether equity release is the right product. If you’re considering an equity release plan through Key, we’ve provided a helpful overview below of the company’s services and features.

Products offered by Key Equity Release

Key equity release

All of the company’s plans are lifetime mortgages, which allow you to borrow an amount of money against the value of your property. There’s a range of options provided, including:

No Monthly Repayments

You receive the funds in a lump sum, and the loan and interest are only paid off when your house is sold. This usually happens when you pass away or go into full-time care.

Lump-Sum or Drawdown

You can choose to receive the money in a lump sum or in stages through the Drawdown option. The latter is better if you’d like to keep interest costs down.

Downsizing Protection

Through this feature, you can pay off the loan in full after five years, penalty-free, if for whatever reason you need to move property and the new house doesn’t meet the company’s requirements.

Inheritance Protection

You can implement a guarantee that an amount from the property sale is left as an inheritance for your loved ones.

Partial Capital Repayments

If you’re concerned about the amount of money to be paid when you pass away, you can choose to pay the interest plus part of the loan each month.

Enhanced Plan

Through this option, you can gain more access to funds if you’re in poor health. A medically enhanced plan usually pays more the worse your condition is.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify, your property must meet the company’s criteria. You must be at least 55 years old. Your property needs to have a value of at least £70,000. You must also be prepared to borrow a minimum of £10,000.

Features and benefits of Key Equity Release

One of the best benefits offered by Key is the variety of repayment options and solutions provided by the company. It ensures that there is likely something to suit your needs. The firm is also committed to offering a transparent and personal service.

Here’s an overview of other benefits that could help you make a decision:

  • You can borrow up to 56% of your property value. Most companies cap off at 50%.
  • Rates from as low as 2.99% per year (as of November 2021).
  • An array of features that make your plan personal to you.
  • Full membership of the Equity Release Council.
  • Free advice from professional equity release advisors.

How much does Key Equity Release cost?

The cost of your equity release plan will depend on your age, property value, and interest rates offered by the company. Usually, the more you want to release, the higher the rates, so ensure that you are only releasing the amount you need to keep costs down. For an exact figure, get in contact with the company’s friendly advisors.

Here’s an example quote to give you an idea:

  • A 65-year-old applicant with a property worth £400,000 could access £143,375 at 3.71%. The potential maximum release would be £164,000 at 6.32%.

Note that the amount available to you will likely be different. Most companies will also decline your application if you still have a considerable amount left to pay on your standard mortgage, so check with Key to discuss your options.

Overview of Key Equity Release plan details

We compare plans from the leading equity release providers

Minimum equity release £10,000
Minimum applicant age 55 (including joint applications)
Plan Options Lifetime Mortgage
Repayment Options End of plan, interest-only, capital and interest
Second Property Equity Not offered

Key Equity Release Ratings

A great way to compare equity release plans is to check the ratings awarded by third party, independent companies that measure the quality of products and services.

Key Equity Release hasn’t been rated by companies such as Defaqto or Fairer Finance, but it has received over 16,000 positive reviews on Trustpilot with an average rating of 4.8 stars.

Can your application be declined?

Yes, there are situations where your equity release application will be denied. It’s essential to have an understanding of what is allowed to save yourself time and effort. In addition to the basic requirements we mentioned before, such as age, minimum equity, and property value, most lenders will have specific criteria regarding your property. You could be declined if:

  • Your property is in poor condition.
  • Your home is located in an unfavourable area, such as a large commercial development site or a flood-risk zone.
  • There are concerns regarding the resale potential.
  • You’ve lied in your application.

If you’re concerned that your property might not be eligible, get in contact with the company for free advice on what options are available to you.

Is Key Equity Release right for you?

Key Equity Release is a fantastic company if you want a tailored plan to suit your needs. The company offers an array of options and features that can help make your plan more favourable and economically viable. Its products and services are also solely in the retirement segment, which means the company’s entire focus and resources are put into later life customers.

It also features an array of free guides and support content to help guide you through which plan is best for you. That attention to care highlights the company’s commitment to empowering customers and being completely transparent regarding equity release plans.

One of the downsides is that the company doesn’t offer home reversion plans, so if that’s the type of plan you need, then Key Equity Release isn’t for you. If you’re looking for lifetime mortgages, then Key Equity Release is a reputable company with plenty to offer.