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Equity release provides tax-free cash that you can use for any purpose.
You can access the equity in your home without having to sell it or move out.
With an equity release scheme, you do not have to make any monthly repayments.
If you’re at or reaching retirement age in the UK, you’ve likely come across the benefits and opportunities available through releasing equity from your property. It’s a fantastic tool if you need access to funds later in life to cover any expenses.
Perhaps you’re helping a loved one onto the property ladder or covering medical bills. Whatever the reason, it’s important to choose a reputable company with the best possible rates. To help guide you, here’s a list of 10 of the best equity release companies in the UK.
The largest general insurance provider in the UK, with a long history of offering top insurance and pension products. Here is an overview of the company’s equity release services:
The company offers two types of equity release products – Lifestyle Lump Sum Max and Lifestyle Flexible Option.
The world’s largest building society, Nationwide has been a reputable provider of insurance and financial products for over 150 years. To be eligible for the company’s equity release products, you need:
The company offers various types of equity release products, consisting of one lifetime mortgage and two retirement mortgages.
Note that for the last two equity release options, Nationwide only allows applicants to borrow up to £500,000, or 50% of their property value.
We compare plans from the leading equity release providers
British financial services and asset management firm Legal & General has been operating since 1836. Here’s an overview of the company’s fantastic equity release products:
The company’s equity release products are divided into lifetime mortgage and home reversion:
Legal & General is a fantastic option if you require a wide variety of equity release products, especially since it offers home reversion schemes.
Canadian life insurance company which has operated in the UK for years. In addition to retirement and life insurance products, the company also offers equity release services. To be eligible, you must:
Canada Life offers two types of equity release products – Lifetime mortgages and Buy-to-let mortgages.
Canada Life is a fantastic option if you’re looking to release equity from a second property, a solution that many lenders don’t offer.
British bank Halifax, founded in 1853, has been a popular mortgage provider in the UK due to its low rates and accessibility. It also offers a selection of equity release products. To be eligible, you must:
The company’s equity release products include:
Compared with the company’s mentioned on this list, Key equity release is relatively new, having been founded in 1998. The company’s products and services are aimed at later life customers, including equity release, wills, and estate planning. To be eligible for equity release, you must:
The company’s equity release products are solely lifetime mortgages, with the option of drawdown or lump sum payment. In addition to this, the company offers all new customers a luxury hamper for the Christmas season in 2021. This offer is valid between 1st November and 13th December 2021.
Pure Retirement is a British company with a focus on later life insurance and financial products. To qualify for the company’s equity release products, you must:
The company offers lifetime mortgages, with a range of repayment options available.
Pure Retirement doesn’t disclose the minimum property value and borrowing amount, so you should get in contact with an advisor to get an exact figure. Also, you should note that Pure Retirement charges a series of fees during the application process, including valuation and advice fees.
Responsible Lending is a UK company specialising in equity release products. The firm is partnered with Credit Suisse. To opt to borrow money through the company, you must:
The company offers standard lifetime mortgage products, with the option of a lump sum payment or a drawdown scheme, where you can access money in short bursts over time. The company is one of the best due to its sole focus on lifetime mortgages and its emphasis on integrity and transparency with customers.
That’s one of the critical elements to getting a suitable equity release deal since a lack of transparency can sometimes lead to equity release horror stories.
Retirement Bridge is another British company focusing on retirement mortgages. The firm manages over 4,5000 plans and is a full member of the Equity Release Council in the UK. You can opt for an equity release scheme if you:
Unlike the other companies on this list, Retirement Bridge solely provides home reversion schemes. There are three plans in total – No Rent, Fixed Rent, and Escalating Rent.
Note that failure to meet rent payments could result in you losing the right to live in the property.
Here’s an overview of the equity release companies featured on this list:
|Minimum property value||Minimum equity amount||Type of plan offered|
|Legal & General||£70,000||£10,000||Lifetime Mortgage + Home Reversion|
|Canada Life||–||£4,000||Lifetime Mortgage + Buy-to-let Mortgage|
|Halifax||–||–||Lifetime Mortgage + Home Reversion|
|Key Equity Release||£70,000||£10,000||Lifetime Mortgage|
|Retirement Bridge||£100,000||Between 25% and 100%||Home Reversion|
Where information is not available you should contact the lender directly to get an exact figure on how much you can borrow and the minimum release amount
Lenders will take into account your age and property value before deciding on how much you can borrow. For example:
It’s important that you work out exactly how much you need from the equity release scheme. You don’t want to expose yourself to high-interest rates when in reality, you don’t need a higher volume of funds.
There are no restrictions on how to use your funds. Therefore, the benefits of equity release are endless. Many people use it as a way to help cover retirement costs, help a loved one onto the property ladder, or help pay medical bills.
Don’t opt for the first deal you’re offered; make sure to shop around and get multiple quotes. There could be better rates out there.
There are plenty of equity release horror stories that highlight the importance of doing your due diligence before deciding on a plan. You can check our comprehensive overview of equity release horror stories to see the most common mistakes and pitfalls.
Before considering this type of mortgage, you should check with a professional advisor whether better solutions on the market can give you access to cash at more favourable rates. Also, ensure that the company you plan to use is reputable and fully accredited by the Equity Release Council.