Best Equity Release Companies (Updated 2022)
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Choosing between the many equity release companies out there can be a tricky prospect, even for the most level-headed people amongst us.
Thankfully, over 500,000 people have released equity over the last 2 decades and have given us an insight into the companies you can trust, the companies you should avoid and the companies that are worth their weight in gold.
What You’ll Learn in This Article:
Our team of professionals has combed the market and compared over 690 plans.
Their thorough and extensive research has enabled us to put together this up-to-date list.
Let’s find out more about equity release companies!
What is an Equity Release Company?
An equity release company facilitates the release of monetary equity from the value of your home in the form of a tax-free cash loan.
Depending on the type of plan you choose, your loan will grow based on the interest rate you have secured with your provider.
You’re not required to pay back any of the money during your lifetime, which means it becomes your estate’s liability once you pass away or enter long-term care.
How to Find the Best Equity Release Provider in the UK?
To find the best equity release provider in the UK, we suggest contacting an independent equity release advisor with proven experience across the whole equity release sector.
Their in-depth knowledge of providers and products on the market will be the key to finding the best fit for you.
Remember that equity release isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to financial challenges in later life.
There are just as many equity release solutions as there are financial problems, which makes choosing the right provider so important.
What Should You Look For in an Equity Release Provider?
You should look for the following attributes in an equity release provider, the most important of which is arguably that they are members of the Equity Release Council (ERC)1.
- Equity Release Council Member – your lender for lifetime mortgages and home reversion schemes MUST be a member of the ERC.
- No Negative Equity Guarantee – which means that your heirs won’t have to pay more for your lifetime mortgage loan than the amount your home sells for, even if there’s a reduction in property prices.
- Application/Arrangement Fees – enquire as to whether they’ll have application fees.
- Flexibility – look for a flexible product with no hidden exorbitant fees.
Who Are the Top 10 Equity Release Companies?
The top 10 equity release companies include big names, as you would expect, such as Aviva and Canada Life.
Let’s find out who else has made the cut!
Age Partnership Equity Release was developed in 2004, and is one of the leading providers of equity release advice.
It has a 97% trust score in various independent review sites, and it has won several awards.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)2 regulates the company and it follows the statements and principles stipulated by the Equity Release Council.
Nationwide is a new independent entrant to the equity release market (in November 2017).
It’s the UK’s highest-rated building society, with about 15 million members, and is currently one of the largest lifetime mortgage providers.
It offers a whole range of products to help ensure you receive low interest rates, incentives, cashback options on your lifetime mortgage, the option of a tax-free cash lump sum, or a drawdown facility, and plans with the option of monthly repayments.
The FCA regulates Nationwide, and it’s a certified member of the ERC.
This means Nationwide has agreed to abide by the codes of its membership.
Canada Life is a Canadian company founded in 1847 that offers life, health, and disability insurance for groups and individuals.
It’s a proud ERC member, offering lump sum and drawdown options.
Aviva, one of the most established lifetime mortgage providers in the UK, has been offering lifetime mortgage plans to more than 150,000 consumers since 2000.
It’s regulated by the FCA, and it’s a certified member of the ERC & has won several awards in the equity release plan and lifetime mortgage arena, including the leading provider in 2016.
More 2 Life
More 2 Life was established in 2008 and is known as the most prominent innovator in the lifetime mortgage market and is among the largest UK-based equity release providers.
The FCA fully authorises it, and it only deals with fully qualified, independent advisers.
As a board member of the Equity Release Council, it adheres to the body’s standards and principles that ensure the fair treatment of customers unlocking equity through a lump sum or drawdown.
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Legal and General
Legal & General (L&G) is one of the world’s largest equity release and lifetime mortgage plan providers and one of the UK’s leading pension fund asset managers.
As a certified member of the equity release council, it abides by their guidelines and codes, and it endorses the essential ‘no negative equity guarantee3.’
The FCA also regulates the company, including its services, and the company has won several awards.
LV (Liverpool Victoria) Pure Retirement
Liverpool Victoria, popularly known as LV=, is a leading financial company in the UK with over one million clients who have unlocked the property value through equity release and lifetime mortgage schemes, gaining access to a tax-free cash lump sum or drawdown facility.
It’s one of the few lenders to offer holiday home or second home lifetime mortgage plans in the UK.
LV= has been in the equity release game since 2002, and it’s authorised by the FCA and a certified member of the ERC.
The company has also won several awards, including the 5-star awards for Equity Release Services for its Flexible Lifetime Mortgage.
Formerly referred to as Just Retirement Equity Release and established from a merger of Just Retirement and Partnership Assurance, the company offers 3 lifetime mortgage plans.
They provide their customers with flexible terms that allow you to borrow more based on your health and lifestyle choices, whether with a lump sum or drawdown equity release.
It has also won several awards including the ‘5-star in the ‘Life and Pensions’ Category by the Financial Adviser Service Awards4 for the last twelve years, and the ‘5-star for the ‘Mortgages’ Category, nine years in a row.
Hodge Lifetime Equity Release
Hodge Lifetime Equity Release is the longest established provider in the UK who offered the very first equity release product in 1965.
One Family Equity Release
One Family is a mutual society and as such has no shareholders, it’s instead owned by its 2.6 million members.
How Did We Choose the Best Providers?
We chose the top lifetime mortgage and equity release plan providers by looking at the equity release interest rates they offered, the services they provided as well as various reviews.
So what did we find most important when reviewing the providers?
- Low early repayment charges or even no early repayment charge5.
- No early repayment charges if your new property is worth less than your old one.
- No negative equity guarantee.
- Penalty-free monthly repayments if you’re in a couple and one person dies or goes into care.
- Flexibility, meaning you can take the loan with you to a new property.
- Low admin fees for adding or removing someone to your loan.
Who’s the Best Provider of Equity Release?
The best provider of equity release, according to our research and our findings, is More 2 Life.
Their product range offers the most flexibility in the equity release market, which is great when life throws you a curve-ball.
The most important aspect of their flexibility is the offer of low-early repayment fees, which, after 10 years, disappear completely.
In addition to the low-repayment fees they offer low change fees for when you’d like to add or remove someone people from your plan, and they include downsizing protection, which is a MUST.
Who Are the Best Equity Release Brokers?
The best equity release brokers6 include Boon Brokers and John Whyte, but there are a few more you could consider.
An equity release broker will scan the equity release market to find a range of options that best suite your needs.
They’ll either charge a fixed fee for their services, normally around £1,000 or they’ll charge commission on your final loan amount once it’s been approved.
As with anything financial, it’s important that you do your research and investigate a few options to find the best fit.
Here are some mortgage brokers you might want to consider.
- The Mortgage Centres
- Boon Brokers
- Just Mortgage Brokers (JMB)
- John Whyte
Who Offers the Best Equity Release Interest Rates in 2022?
The best equity release interest rate offered so far in 2022 is 4.22% by LV.
Here’s a table of the lowest rates:
|Equity Release Provider||Rate (%)|
|More 2 Life||4.33|
|Legal & General||4.56|
*While we regularly review our rates, these may have shifted since our last update.
Which Equity Release Companies Are Members Of The Equity Release Council?
Equity release companies that are members of the Equity Release Council include Nationwide, Scottish Widow, Canada Life, and more.
Here’s a full list:
- Standard Life Home Finance
- Scottish Widows
- Canada Life
- Retirement Bridge Group
- Nationwide Building Society
- Responsible Lending
- Legal and General Home Finance
- OneFamily Lifetime Mortgages
- More 2 Life
- Pure Retirement
Do Banks Offer Equity Release?
Yes, some banks do offer equity release, such as Hodge Bank, Scottish Widows Bank, and Lloyds Bank (through Scottish Widows).
You’d be forgiven for thinking that all banks would offer this service, as it is, after all, a loan; however, there’s a relatively short list of banks that do.
Let’s see who they are:
Which Building Societies Offer Equity Release?
Building societies that offer equity release are surprisingly in short supply. However, many of them offer retirement interest-only mortgages, an alternative to equity release, or financial advice.
Here’s the list of the main ones:
- Bath Building Society (RIO Mortgages)
- The Family Building Society (Lifestyle Boosters and RIO Mortgages)
- Vernon Building Society (RIO Mortgages)
- Buckinghamshire Building Society (RIO Mortgages)
- Scottish Building Society (RIO Mortgages)
- Newbury Building Society (RIO Mortgages)
- Tipton & Coseley Building Society (Lending into retirement and RIO mortgages)
- Mansfield Building Society (Advice)
Which Are the Best Equity Release Companies?
The best equity release companies include household names such as Nationwide, Legal & General, Aviva, More2Life, and One Family.
There are, however, lots more to look into, especially when comparing the available equity release plans.
It’s imperative, for this exact reason, that you seek professional advice from an experienced equity release advisor to guide you and help you find the best provider for your needs and goals.
Which Is the Best Equity Release Company in the UK?
The best equity release company in the UK is currently More2Life due to the flexibility of their plans, their low fees, and the guarantees and protections they have in place.
Are There Equity Release Companies To Avoid?
Yes, there are, unfortunately, equity release companies to avoid.
As with most industries, you’ll find providers that excel in what they offer and those that don’t do such a great job.
It goes without saying that you don’t want to be stuck with an inexperienced or bad provider when it comes to equity release.
Always do your research, check online reviews and make sure that the providers you consider are members of the Equity Release Council (ERC) and are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Do Banks Offer Their Own Equity Release?
Yes, some banks do offer their own equity release plans, though the list isn’t terribly long.
Here are the banks you can consider for equity release:
- Hodge Bank
- Scottish Widows Bank
- Lloyds Bank (through Scottish Widows)
Equity release is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll ever make in your life.
So, whether it’s a lifetime mortgage or rather a home reversion, an initial lump sum, a drawdown, or both, it would be best if you took your time when choosing a plan provider that’ll cater to all your requirements.
Remember to consider all details when planning to release equity.
For example, do you want a plan with the option of monthly repayments or a plan that waives early-repayment fees after a certain number of years?
There’s a lot to consider and you’ll need to compare the plans that best suit your situation to find the one that works.
Be sure to discover how much equity you can release with our equity release calculator and chat with one of our expert for more information on the best equity release companies to consider.
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