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LV= equity release review 2021

LV=, or Liverpool Victoria, are a leading financial service provider and offer a variety of financial solutions, including insurances, investments, but most importantly for us, equity release products. They were established in 1843. LV= have over 5.8 million customers, a significant amount of whom hold more than one product with them. Despite being the most well known for their car insurance products, LV= have won awards for their equity release products. Including, a 5-star Defaqto rating for four different equity release options, several Consumer Intelligence Awards and coming in the top 10 for UK Customer Satisfaction, from the Institute of Customer Service.

What Equity Release Options Does LV= Have?

LV= have two different equity release options available to their customers. They have a Lifetime Mortgage Lump Sum+ and a Flexible Lifetime Mortgage. These products, whilst both being equity release products, do have some significant differences.

Lifetime Mortgage Lump Sum + Flexible Lifetime Mortgage
This is the product for you if you need to release a lump sum of money. Possibly you have one big expense you would like the money to go towards, such as home improvements, a new car, or university fees. In this instance, it could be better for you to borrow one lump sum. This product is aimed towards people who would like to release equity from their home now, and may also want to release more in the future.

LV= Lifetime Mortgage Lump Sum +

There are some key things you need to know about this product, so you can make an informed decision. Firstly, the interest on this product starts on the date your mortgage does. It will use a fixed interest rate, which will be detailed in your offer. This interest is added to the amount you owe each year. For example, if you have a 5% interest rate and you release £20,000 in equity from your property, after the first year you will owe £21,000. This is useful to know as you can work out what you would owe after a certain amount of years. For example, in 20 years, if you released £20,000 you would owe £40,000.

You will not pay any interest off on this product, the full loan amount, with interest, will be paid when the loan is repaid (usually on death or going into long-term care).

LV= Flexible Lifetime Mortgages

When you first set up this product, you are asked what initial amount you would like to borrow, and at the same time, the maximum amount you might borrow throughout the term. This is a good product for people who do not need a large lump sum, as you only pay interest on the amount of equity you release, not the amount you might release in the future. So, if you released £10,000 you would only pay interest on that. If you decided later on that you would like another £5,000, you would pay interest on £15,000. With this product you need to be aware that the interest rates may change. You will pay the current interest rate at the time of each withdrawal. After you initial withdrawal, you may take additional withdrawals, as long as they are more than £2000, up to the maximum amount decided when the product was set up.

Am I Eligible for LV= Equity Release?

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You will be eligible for equity release, with LV=, if you can say yes to the following:

  • Are you aged between 60 and 95?
  • Is your property worth over £70,000?
  • Is your property freehold, or a long-term leasehold? The minimum number of years for a remaining lease term varies from 70 – 90 years, depending upon your age.
  • Is your property in good condition, well-maintained and build of conventional bricks and mortar?

If you have said yes to all of the above, then you’re in a position to consider equity release. If you have said no to one, or some of the questions, it is still worth speaking to a financial adviser to consider other options.

In their equity release documentation, LV= detail other options you could look into instead of equity release. LV= suggest that you could consider selling your home, using other savings and investments, checking your state benefit entitlement or a look into a home reversion plan (a different equity release method).

Is There Anything Else I Need to Know?

Yes, the application process with LV= is very simple. It could take between two weeks and a month, again, depending on your own circumstances. The steps are very straight forward, and with the help of your financial adviser, and a solicitor acting on your behalf, you could be well on your way to equity release!

If you change your mind before the mortgages completes, as you are entitled to do, you may owe LV= for tasks already completed. It could also be the same for your solicitor and mortgage adviser.

LV= are seen to be high-ranking in terms of the products they offer. However, it has been suggested that this is not their main selling point. Their customer care, which is award winning, could be described as the major selling point for the LV= brand. Remember, if you are considering equity release, an independent financial adviser that you trust is the best place to start.