Vanmark Financial Services

 Equity Release

Equity Release

A couple over 55 researching equity release

What is Equity release?

Equity release is a special type of mortgage that is only available to homeowners over 55. There are huge range of plans available, which enable you to access some of the money – the equity – that has built up within the value of your home over time. Homeowners who bought their property years ago are likely to have seen its value increase, while at the same time they’ve probably reduced the size of their mortgage on it. The difference between the two is the equity in the property and this is the money you access through an equity release plan – the most common type being a lifetime mortgage. Taking out equity release is a much simpler way of borrowing money than by using a traditional, ‘residential’ mortgage. (These are also available for older borrowers in the form of RIO and retirement mortgages.) That’s because lenders only consider the age of the youngest homeowner, where you live and the value of your money when deciding how much they will lend you. They don’t consider your income or outgoings, or aren’t overly concerned by your credit history, so the process is simpler and quicker.

A couple over 55 smiling and cuddling in the sun

What is a lifetime mortgage?

A lifetime mortgage is the most common type of equity release plan and is basically a loan secured against the home you live in. Typically, they run for the lifetime of the homeowner, but as they now come with fixed term early repayment charges, they can be fully repaid, without charge, at some point in the future.

Your property is 100% yours and unlike traditional mortgages, there are typically no month-to-month repayments to make, but most plans do allow you to make voluntary repayments to help control the balance, or you could take out an interest-only plan where the interest accruing is repaid monthly. Lifetime mortgages come with many flexible features to suit your personal circumstances you can –

Make repayments either on an ad-hoc or regular basis via voluntary or monthly repayments which can help control the balance over time.

Choose a plan with fixed term early repayment charges, enabling you to repay it in full, without charge, at some point in the future.

Protect an element of equity by including an Inheritance Protection Guarantee, which safeguards a percentage of your estate to pass onto your loved ones.

Take future cash withdrawals if you take out a drawdown lifetime mortgage. Ideal if you want a regular income or don’t need all your money in one go.

Include downsizing protection and/or compassionate early repayment options, should you need to move or downsize in the future.

A couple over 55 smiling as they have unlocked money with equity release

What is a home reversion plan?

A home reversion plan is different altogether to a lifetime mortgage. Here, a home reversion provider buys a percentage (or all) of your property (at less than market value) and in return gives you a tax-free cash lump sum. The homeowners are then given a lifetime tenancy that enables them to live rent-free in the property for the rest of their lives.

By selling a percentage of the value of your house, part of its final value is protected for your beneficiaries. When the last homeowner dies or moves into long-term care, the house is sold, whereupon the respective percentages are then divided accordingly between the lender and beneficiaries.

Our advisers explain everything in a language that’s easy to understand.

Don’t worry if all this sounds more complicated than it actually is. And what’s more, our friendly advisers will be happy to explain everything in a language that’s easy to understand.

Speech bubble

Chris, thank you for being such a help! We are due to complete in the morning, which is very exciting and that's been made a simpler process thanks to you.


Chris managed to find us a lender, saving around £400 every month. Thank you so much, Chris; you have changed our family's life.

Megan Belcher

I cannot recommend Chris of the Vanmark Group highly enough. Their extensive knowledge, personalized approach, and dedication to their clients make them a standout professional in the field.

Dan and Ness