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What Is a Lifetime Mortgage?

A lifetime mortgage is a loan secured against your home, provided it is your primary residence, that you retain ownership of. When the last borrower dies or enters long-term care, the house is sold and the proceeds are used to pay off the loan.

The majority of lifetime mortgages get a set interest rate. Variable-rate lifetime mortgages are available from some lenders, but they provide less security.

What is the procedure for taking out a lifetime mortgage?

Equity Release companies have stringent financing requirements, like a minimum age of 55 or 60. The amount you are eligible to borrow against the property you own is determined by age. It means the older you are the more one can borrow.

For example, you can often borrow 25% to 30% of your income at 65. If you’re older, you can borrow up to 50% of your income.

There are also threshold loan amounts, which can vary from £10,000 to £45,000, depending on the type of loan. Your house will almost certainly have to fulfil a minimum value requirement (often £70,000 to £100,000).

Types of lifetime mortgages


A lump-sum loan is the most basic type of lifetime mortgage, in which the interest is ‘rolled up’ over the entire duration.

You don’t have to pay anything for the remainder of your life, although interest accumulates year after year until you die (or even move into the residential care home).

Mostly, interest rates are set right at the beginning of most lump-sum transactions.


Some companies provide a flexible lifetime mortgage, in which you take up a smaller loan at first and then draw down additional funds as needed.

The total cost can be significantly lower because you just pay interest on the money you’ve taken.

Repayment of interest

Allowing borrowers to pay off some or even all of the interest accrued during the loan’s term is another way to cut costs.

Enhanced lifetime mortgages

Some providers may offer those with shorter-than-average life expectancies more money. These types of lifetime mortgages are available from a wide range of providers.

Disadvantages of lifetime mortgages

While Equity Release allows you to access the value of your house, there are a few disadvantages to consider:


The cost might be high. In some situations, it may deplete practically all of the home’s value, leaving nothing for the heirs.

Early repayment penalties

The majority of Equity Release plans do not allow you to pay down the loan and instead rely on interest accruing throughout the loan.

If you wish to stop the contract early, the provider will charge you an early repayment. Rates are frequently based on current government bond (gilt) rates.

Moving issues

Although loans made with members of the ERC (Equity Release Council) in the UK, a trade association for providers, are ‘portable,’ meaning moved from one house to another. It’s hard in a new house, as it is more costly than the equity left in your previous house.

Some properties, like sheltered housing, are often not approved by lenders since they are difficult to sell.

If you take out more money from your home equity, you may lose your pension credit as well as council tax benefit eligibility.

Advantages of lifetime mortgages


Some solutions allow you to receive as little as £10,000 tax-free and save the rest for a rainy day.


With all lifetime mortgages you own your home; you are simply borrowing against it.


There are several strategies for reducing the burden of accumulating interest over time. A drawdown lifetime mortgage allows you to build a reserve of equity that is interest-free until used, and certain lifetime mortgages allow you to pay down the interest monthly, lowering your borrowing costs significantly.

What other options do you have besides a lifetime mortgage?

A fresh batch of mortgage choices for older borrowers has been introduced in recent years, allowing individuals to borrow against their homes in their later years while still paying off some of the loans.

Retirement interest-only mortgages enable you to get a mortgage while you’re still working, and many of them only need payments when the homeowner passes away or when the property is to be sold.

You just need to pay off the loan’s interest each month, not the loan’s principal. If you can make the payments, this implies that only the loan is returned when the house is sold, leaving more money for your beneficiaries.

What is the difference between a lifetime mortgage and Equity Release?

A lifetime mortgage and home reversion schemes are the types of Equity Release offered. The term “lifetime mortgage” refers to a sort of Equity Release that allows you to borrow money for the remainder of your life.

What is the difference between a residential mortgage and a lifetime mortgage?

The majority of individuals are familiar with the term “residential mortgage.” It’s a form of loan that you get to help you buy a house. A lifetime mortgage is different because it allows you to borrow money against the value of your property.

Who is eligible for a lifetime mortgage?

To be qualified for a lifelong mortgage, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 55 years old.
  • Own or wish to own a home worth roughly £70,000 and above.
  • You intend to release a minimum of £10,000.

How do I know how much equity I have in my home?

Equity is how much money you have in your house minus the amount of money you owe. For example, if you own a home worth £350,000 and owe £50,000, you have £300,000 equity.

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