Your guide to the UK’s leading equity release providers

See what products and features the best equity release companies can offer you.

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What do the different equity release providers offer?

With thousands of homeowners aged 55+ choosing to unlock their property wealth though equity release, the sector has grown in recent years. As a result, there are now many different equity release providers and plans to choose from, meaning plenty of choice and flexibility for consumers.

To help you understand what’s on offer, we’ve put together guides to the UK’s best equity release companies. You can learn about the plans they offer, their eligibility criteria and the benefits and drawbacks of choosing each provider.

You can also talk to a qualified and FCA-regulated equity release adviser for advice on which equity release companies and plans are best suited to your individual needs. Call our friendly consultants on 0808 178 3055 or request a call back to arrange a no-obligation appointment with one of our selected advisers.

What to consider when choosing your equity release provider

To best meet your financial goals, it’s important to choose the right plan and the best equity release provider for your needs. Equity release customers unlocked an average of £125,000 tax-free cash from their homes in 2021 – equivalent to around six or seven years of a single pensioner’s typical net income. With such a large sum of money involved, you need to be sure that you’re getting the best deal from your provider, with a plan that reflects your unique circumstances.

Some of the factors that might influence your choice of the top equity release companies include:

  • The provider’s eligibility criteria
  • How much they will let you release
  • Their lending rates for lifetime mortgages
  • Their arrangement fees
  • Product features available such as enhanced terms and interest-only plans
  • Whether they waive early repayment charges in some circumstances
  • How simple it would be to transfer the plan to another property

If you are looking for the maximum release possible, you might want to opt for an equity release provider that offers enhanced terms for poorer health that could allow you to unlock more money from your home. This is based on you having a qualifying health condition, which might include high blood pressure, diabetes or even a history of smoking.

On the other hand, you may be looking to unlock some of your property wealth whilst ringfencing a percentage of your property for your loved ones. In that case, choosing from the various equity release companies that offer plans with Inheritance Protection Guarantees may be of interest to you.

Whatever your personal goals and priorities, the team at Equity Release Wise are here to help you discover your options and get you the guidance you need to make an informed decision. Call our friendly consultants today on 0808 178 3055 or request a call back.

What do the top equity release companies have in common?

Dealing with any of the UK’s top equity release companies will bring you reassurance, peace of mind and flexibility:


FCA authorisation

All of the UK’s best equity release providers, advisers and brokers are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This is the UK’s financial services regulator and watchdog, responsible for supervising the equity release market.

Always make sure you deal with an equity release broker, adviser or provider authorised and regulated by the FCA. This requires them to follow strict rules and a code of conduct designed to protect you. For more information, see our guide: ‘How is equity release regulated?


ERC membership

The Equity Release Council (ERC) has established itself as the UK industry body setting standards to protect consumers. Equity release brokers and advisers who are ERC members commit to giving you ‘fair, simple and complete’ information about the plans they recommend. This includes the costs involved, tax implications and what happens if you move home.

Brokers and advisers who are ERC members also commit to offering you products that best suit your needs. This includes advising you if alternatives to equity release might be more suitable and cost-effective.


Product standards

As members of the ERC, the UK’s best equity release providers have all agreed to build certain consumer rights into their equity release plans. These are known as product standards:

  • A ‘no negative equity’ guarantee: you or your estate will never owe more than the property is worth when it is sold
  • The right to stay in your home for the rest of your life, or until moving into permanent residential long-term care
  • The right to move home, as long as the new property meets the provider’s lending criteria.
  • The right to make voluntary and penalty-free partial loan repayments
  • For a lifetime mortgage, interest rates must be fixed or variable and capped at an upper limit


Flexible products

The equity release marketplace has seen significant product innovation in recent years. The best equity release providers have developed their products to give consumers more choice and flexibility.

For example, you can choose between taking a one-off lump sum or a series of cash releases as and when you need them with a drawdown plan. The availability of interest-only plans also means you can bring down the overall cost of equity release.

Other innovative features and plans from the top equity release companies include:

  • Inheritance protection where you ringfence a percentage of your property’s value as an inheritance for your loved ones
  • No early repayment charges in certain circumstances, such as if you move after a stated period of time from the date you take out your plan
  • Buy-to-let and second home lifetime mortgages
  • More competitive interest rates for ill health or certain lifestyle choices with an enhanced lifetime mortgage

We can help you find out more about the products and features available from the UK’s best equity release providers. Read our company guides (see below), call us on 0808 178 3055 or request a call back. Our selected advisers can also talk you through what’s available and obtain competitive quotes for you to consider.

Your guides to some of the best equity release companies

Read our guides to the leading equity release firms, with information on the plans they offer, their eligibility criteria and much more. Just click on the provider you are interested in from this equity release providers list for our comprehensive guide to what they offer.

One of the UK’s leading providers, offering a range of lifetime mortgage products with flexible features and options.

Aviva equity release

L&G offer two main lifetime mortgage products, with features including cash drawdown and optional interest payments.

Legal and General equity release

LV= has established itself in equity release since entering the market in 2002. Its lifetime mortgage products include lump sum and drawdown plans.

LV+ equity release

The more2life range includes five separate lifetime mortgage products, with welcome features including inheritance protection.

More2Life equity release

The ‘Just for You’ plan is one of the most flexible lifetime mortgages available, offering multiple options for tailoring it to your needs.

Just equity release

Features across Pure Retirement’s five lifetime mortgage plans include making partial repayments and cashback deals.

Pure Retirement equity release

Canada Life offers three lifetime mortgage plans, including one that lets you take out equity release on a second home.

Canada Life equity release

Crown Equity Release specialises in home reversion plans, which let you sell part or all of your home and live there rent-free.

Crown equity release

Can I deal directly with an equity release provider?

It may seem as though going directly to an equity release company is best. But none of the top equity release companies deal directly with the public in terms of advice. Instead, they often refer you to a firm of equity release brokers or advisers. 

In some cases, a provider’s chosen equity release broker/adviser will only recommend plans from the provider they are linked with. This means you could miss out on better deals and product features offered by other equity release companies. 

With a lifetime mortgage for example, getting the best deal can save you or your loved ones thousands of pounds in interest over the life of your plan. It really can pay to shop around through an equity release adviser with access to multiple providers. 

This is how our selected equity release advisers work, unlocking quotes and deals from a number of the UK’s best equity release companies. An appointment is free – only if you proceed with equity release would you pay a fee, which will be explained to you by your adviser. Call us on 0808 178 3055 or request a call back to talk to an adviser today.

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Already have a lifetime mortgage?
You could switch for a better deal

Now could be a good time to switch to a different lifetime mortgage. You may be able to release more tax-free cash due to being older than when you took out your existing plan. An increase in your property’s value or being in poorer health could also qualify you for further cash. Interest rate changes may also save thousands over the lifetime of your plan.

Why not arrange a free review* to find out if switching works for you?

Learn more

Apply for your no-obligation equity release quote

Find out if you qualify for equity release and how much you could borrow. Just click ‘Get started’ or call us on 0808 178 3055 and one of our team will be delighted to help arrange a free consultation and quote*.

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1. Start your quote journey

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Answering your questions

Still unsure of a few things? We’ve got you covered with answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

  • Do I need to talk directly to an equity release provider to take out a plan with them?

      No, and in many cases you’ll find that an equity release company won’t deal directly with you. You can instead deal with an equity release adviser who can search for suitable products from a number of equity release providers to find you the best products, features and deals for your circumstances.

  • Do all the top equity release companies offer both lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans?

      Equity release companies tend to specialise in either lifetime mortgages or home reversion plans. It’s another reason why we recommend speaking with an equity release adviser with access to a number of providers, rather than just one provider or their appointed adviser. Your adviser will also be able to advise on whether a lifetime mortgage or a home reversion plan is the right choice for you.

  • What are the costs of setting up an equity release plan?

      Just as with a normal residential mortgage, you should be aware of costs involved in setting up an equity release lifetime mortgage. Your adviser will make sure you understand these in full before you decide whether to take out a plan, but below is a summary.

      Your lender will typically charge valuation, arrangement and completion fees, with further fees payable to the solicitor who acts for you. Some of these fees can be paid from the money you borrow, so you may not have to worry about finding them from your existing savings.

      Our selected advisers naturally charge an advice fee – but remember that any initial advice or information you receive from them is completely free and without obligation. You only pay them a fee if you apply AND your case completes.

      Once a plan is taken out, there aren’t normally any fees. One exception is an early repayment charge that some lenders request if some or all of your lifetime mortgage is paid off before you pass away or move into long-term care.

  • What are the potential risks of an equity release plan?

      Equity release has worked for thousands of over 55s in need of tax-free cash. But it’s important to understand both the benefits and risks before deciding if it’s right for you. Here are some potential risks you need to be aware of.

      Lifetime mortgage risks:

      • Interest is calculated daily and added to the amount you owe each month. The amount owed therefore increases and reduces any equity left in your home when the plan ends, unless you choose to make interest payments while the plan is running.
      • Taking equity out of your home will mean that the inheritance you leave to loved ones will fall.
      • If you give some of the money you release to family as a gift, they may be liable to pay inheritance tax in the future.
      • You may have to pay an early repayment charge if you choose to pay back some of the loan early.
      • Borrowing money through a lifetime mortgage may affect your entitlement to some means-tested state benefits. During your appointment with one of our selected equity release advisers, they will help you establish whether your benefits might be affected.

      Home reversion risks:

      • There is a considerable shortfall between the value you’ll receive for a share of your property, compared to its current market value.
      • If you pass away soon after taking out a plan, your loved ones will lose a significant proportion of your home’s market value. 
      • If you decide to sell 100% of your property, your loved ones will not inherit anything from your home when you pass away.
      • It’s difficult to reverse a plan if you decide to buy back part of your home. In this case you would pay the full market value, not the discounted rate at which you sold it.
      • You no longer retain full legal ownership of your home. 

      Having a large cash lump sum in your bank account might affect your entitlement to some means-tested state benefits. During your appointment with one of our selected equity release advisers, they will help you establish whether your benefits could be affected.

Still have questions?

We hope this information has been useful. To find out more or arrange a consultation with an adviser, please call or request a call back and we’ll be happy to help further.

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+ Client testimonials refer to the service provided by our selected equity release advisers. We have changed the clients’ names and certain identifying information to protect their privacy.

Please note that equity release will involve a home reversion or a lifetime mortgage, which is secured against your property and will reduce the value of your estate and impact funding long-term care. To fully understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration. Equity release requires paying off any existing mortgage. Any money released, plus accrued interest would be repaid upon death, or moving into long term care.