20 November 2023

Life’s getting more and more expensive. Even if you’re financially secure, that can be hard to deal with. You might have paid off your mortgage, built up a nice big pension pot or have a good, solid savings account. But the bills are still getting higher and the weekly shop still costs more and more. 

Now imagine that you’re just starting out.

When you’re spending so much on the basics, it’s a challenge to save for the long term. Scraping together enough for big expenses like buying a house or getting married can seem impossible. And a sudden shock, like ill health or redundancy, can be even harder to deal with. That’s where the Bank of Mum and Dad, or BoMaD, comes in.

But not everyone knows what it is. So we’re sharing our Bank of Mum and Dad definition. And we’ll show you how you could help younger family members by opening your own branch of it.

What is the Bank of Mum and Dad?

BoMaD is when parents or even grandparents help younger family members with life-changing purchases or expenses. A lot of families are opening their own BoMaD branches - the average BoMaD gift or loan was over £25,000. 

Our latest figures in 2023 show that:

  • Over half of under 35s who recently bought a home received financial help 
  • Total BoMaD gifts reached £8.1 billion
  • 318,400 house purchases were supported by the Bank of Mum and Dad.

Want to read more about gifting?

There's plenty to think about when it comes to gifting to family. We’ve gathered all you’ll need to help your loved ones, however you’re related to them. Our free Guide to Gifting is the ideal starting place.

People fund this in different ways.

Some are lucky enough to be able to draw directly on savings or investments. If you don't have that choice but are over 55, you might be able to release money from your home through a traditional lifetime mortgage. And if you're over 50, you could consider a Payment Term Lifetime Mortgage (PTLM). 

A lifetime mortgage is a type of equity release. It’s a loan secured against your home that you don’t need to repay until you die or move into long term care. With PTLM, you make monthly interest repayments until you retire or reach 75, whichever is sooner. After that the interest is added to your loan. Paying back the interest reduces the overall cost of the loan, but as a last resort your home could be repossessed. Of course, depending on your circumstances you might have other, cheaper borrowing options.

If you do choose to take out a lifetime mortgage, it can impact any means-tested benefits you receive. So there’s plenty to think about, whichever route you take.

However you fund it, if you open up your own BoMaD branch you’ll be able to help younger family members achieve big ambitions or bounce back from unexpected shocks. They won’t have to wait years for the money – it’ll be there right when they need it. And you’ll get to watch it help them, instead of just leaving them a nice surprise in your will.

Speaking of wills, gifting money can also help with your inheritance planning – although it may impact how much inheritance tax they pay in the future. Exactly how it helps will depend on how long you live for after you’ve gifted the money.

The Bank of Mum and Dad’s mortgage offer

On average, first-time buyers are aged 35 in London and 33 in the rest of the country. So maybe there’s a 30-something in your family who’s soon going to need a little help. While they might not be able to get a full Bank of Mum and Dad mortgage, a BoMaD-funded deposit can make a big difference.

In the year to January 2023, UK house prices went up by 6.3%. And many lenders now need a 20% deposit, with those asking for less offering more expensive deals. Help with a deposit can give a first-time buyer the boost they need to snap up the right property and pay less to live in it.

A cheaper mortgage deal has obvious short-term financial benefits. Buying a home also has a big long-term impact. At today’s mortgage rates, owning rather than renting can deliver a financial advantage of £326,000 over thirty years.

What’s next?

First, have a chat with any younger family members. See which of their big plans or grand ambitions might need a little support. Let them lead the conversation – you’re there to help them achieve their goals. You might already know what they need but sometimes they might surprise you.

When you know where they’re headed, you can work out how much it might cost to get there and if you’d like to cover some or all of that cost.

Perhaps you’ve got all the money they need saved up already. If so, congratulations!

If not, it might be worth thinking about other choices. As we said above, some parents or grandparents raise money through equity release. If that’s a possibility for you, we’d recommend:

If you decide to take things further, you’ll need to speak to a qualified financial adviser. They’ll help you see if equity release is right for you and check that there aren’t other, cheaper ways of borrowing the BoMaD money you need.

And you do need to make sure you only pass on money you can afford to share. It’s always good to help your family, but you need to make sure you’ve taken care of your own retirement needs too.

Related articles

Image of family

Is equity release a good idea for you?

Although the market now offers greater flexibility, more choice and increasingly competitive rates, myths around equity release remain. Here we set the record straight and explain how equity release can help boost your finances.

Evadne in her garden

Evadne's story

Helping loved ones onto the property ladder is something many of us would like to do. For Evadne, a lifetime mortgage gave her the opportunity to do just that – as well as make some home decorations and plans to travel.

Family together

Helping your loved ones onto the property ladder

Helping a loved one onto the housing ladder is something most of us wish we could do. But for many young people today, buying a property can seem just out of reach, forcing them into renting or living at home well into their 30s.