What is equity release?

Equity release is aimed at homeowners aged 55 and over. It allows you to take some of the value of your home as cash.
  • The amount you can release is based on your age and the value of your home.
  • The cash released is tax-free.
Depending on the product you choose, you can receive the money as a lump sum or series of lump sums. The loan doesn't need to be paid back until the last surviving borrower dies or moves out of the home and into long-term care.
Some of the common reasons people release equity include paying off existing loans, gifting money to family or making home improvements.

What are the maximum and minimum ages for equity release?

The minimum age for equity release is usually 55, though this will differ from provider to provider. If it's a joint application, the youngest applicant should be 55 or over.

There is no maximum age for equity release, but some providers may set their own upper limits.


Types of equity release

You can choose between two different types of equity release:
  • Lifetime mortgage: A lifetime mortgage is a loan secured against your home. You continue to own your home. 
  • Home reversion scheme: With a home reversion scheme, you sell all or part of your property for less than the market value. You continue to stay in your home as a tenant. 
Whichever form of home equity release you choose, you continue to live in your home until the last surviving borrower dies or moves out of the home and into long-term care. A financial adviser will help you understand if equity release is right for you and which product best suits your needs. There may be cheaper ways to borrow money.
At Legal & General, we only offer lifetime mortgages.

Key information on equity release: how does equity release work?

Your financial adviser will help choose the right product and provider, and can help explain equity release. Each journey is different but here is the process you can expect to follow when releasing equity from your home; from getting equity release advice to receiving the money.

How do I repay a lifetime mortgage?

Of the two types of equity release, Legal & General only offer Lifetime Mortgages. A lifetime mortgage doesn't have a set repayment date and you don't have to repay any of the money you borrow, or any of the interest, until:
  • you die; or
  • move permanently out of the home and into long-term care. Find out more about care and equity release.
If the lifetime mortgage is in joint names, nothing is repaid until the last person dies or moves permanently out of the home and into long-term care. The loan is usually repaid through the sale of your home.
You can also choose to repay some of the money you borrowed. This will reduce how much you owe. Depending on which product you take out, you can choose to pay some, none or all of the interest.
  • Optional repayments: You can choose to make partial repayments to manage the amount owed on the loan and interest. Subject to Terms and Conditions.
  • Make monthly interest payments: You can pay some or all of the monthly interest to reduce the overall cost of the loan.
  • Pay back the full loan and interest: It is possible to pay back the full amount but if you do, you may have to pay an Early Repayment Charge, which could be substantial.
There are limits on how much you can repay and how often you can make repayments. A financial adviser will help you find the right product for you.

How do I apply for equity release?

Choosing equity release is a big decision. For that reason, you can only apply for equity release through a qualified financial adviser. Your adviser will help you understand the options available and decide whether equity release is the right choice for you. They will also work with you to find the right provider.
We offer equity release advice. If you'd like to speak to one of our specialist team about your options, call the number at the bottom of this page, or request a callback.

Are you thinking about downsizing?

Equity release might be a better option for you. Learn more about the differences with our in-depth comparison between downsizing and equity release.

Women on the phone

Get equity release advice

Our equity release specialists are waiting to answer your questions about equity release.

For any other enquiries please get in touch via our contact us page

0808 301 70440808 301 7044

Monday to Sunday 8:30am - 8:00pm
We may record and monitor calls.