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Your guide to Canada Life equity release

Find out if Canada Life offers the equity release options you need and if you’re eligible

Introducing Canada Life equity release

Equity release is a way to boost your retirement income without having to move or downsize. The most popular type of equity release plan is a lifetime mortgage, and Canada Life offers lifetime mortgages as part of their range of retirement income products. 

With a Canada Life lifetime mortgage you could release cash from your property with a long-term loan that’s designed to last for the rest of your life. The money you release is tax-free and can be used in any way you wish, including to pay off your existing mortgage. You will have the right to stay in your home, but there’s also the option to move home and take your plan with you.

However, Canada Life equity release is just one of many options, so how do you know if their equity release products are right for you? In this guide we look at what Canada Life offers – and through our selected equity release advisers you can get preferential quotes from the UK’s leading equity release providers. To find out how much you could borrow, check here or talk to one of our friendly consultants by calling 0808 178 3055 or request a call back.

Did you know?

If you’re aged 55+ and own a property worth at least £70,000, you could qualify for a Canada Life lifetime mortgage. Each year over 70,000 UK equity release plans are agreed, according to the Equity Release Councilwith the majority being lifetime mortgages. 

What Canada Life equity release plans are available?

Canada Life offers three different lifetime mortgage plans:

Their Capital Select Option allows you the flexibility to repay up to 10% of your loan each year, a cash reserve to access money later, optional 3% cashback and downsizing protection. A Capital Select lifetime mortgage might be right for you if you’d prefer to pay back all of the interest on your plan, along with some of the loan amount each year. You can choose the frequency and amount of repayments, and there’s the option to leave an inheritance for beneficiaries.

Canada Life also offers a Lifestyle Select lifetime mortgage. Along with the option to repay 10% each year and set up a cash reserve, a Lifestyle Select plan allows you to add an inheritance guarantee and provides fixed early repayment charges. You can choose to make repayments to reduce interest on the loan amount, thereby securing more for your loved ones when the plan ends.

If you’re looking to unlock value from a second home, a Canada Life Second Home lifetime mortgage might suit your needs. You can make voluntary repayments, receive a free valuation on your second home, and boost the amount you can borrow at a later date – without affordability checks.

Across all of these plans, Canada Life offers a ‘no negative equity’ guarantee, so you’ll never owe more than your property is worth. This means you won’t pass debt onto loved ones. They also offer an inheritance guarantee, allowing you to safeguard a specific amount at the plan’s outset for your beneficiaries.  

As with all lifetime mortgages, these are loans secured on your property that are usually paid back through the sale of the home when you pass away or go into residential long-term care. In the meantime, you retain full ownership of your home and can use the tax-free cash however you wish.

How much cash can I unlock with Canada Life equity release?

The Canada Life equity release rate and the amount you can borrow will vary depending on your individual circumstances. Your age will be key in determining how much you can release. If you choose to take out a joint application, your release amount will depend on the age of the youngest borrower. The value of your property is also a factor, and the good news is that Canada Life provides a free property valuation as standard with certain plans.

With equity release, it’s likely that the older you are, the more you’ll be able to borrow. The maximum amount you can borrow is known as LTV (loan-to-value) and is based on a percentage of your property’s value. With Canada Life’s lifetime mortgages, the maximum LTV for a 55-year-old ranges from 12% to 20%, depending on the product. For an 80-year-old, the maximum LTV ranges from 37% to 45%.

If you’d rather not limit yourself to Canada Life equity release quotes and would like to find the maximum release available from multiple providers, speak to one of our friendly consultants today by calling 0808 178 3055 or request a call back.

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Am I eligible for Canada Life equity release?

Canada Life lifetime mortgage criteria starts with a minimum age of 55, and being a UK resident and a homeowner. Properties must have a minimum value of £70,000 and a maximum of £12 million in order to qualify.

If you currently have an outstanding mortgage on the property, this must be repaid in full at the start of your plan. You might choose to repay this using the funds provided by Canada Life as part of your tax-free lump sum. Once a lifetime mortgage is in place, the property can no longer be used as security for other financial agreements. 

When it comes to property type, houses and bungalows are generally accepted. However, in order to qualify for Canada Life equity release, they must usually be of ‘standard construction’ (i.e. not concrete, timber-frame or metal-frame) but the company will consider some types of non-standard properties. Ex-local authority houses will be considered on an individual basis. Grade 1 listed buildings are not eligible.

In terms of flats and maisonettes, Canada Life has a fairly complex list of what does and does not meet their equity release lending criteria. For example, ex-local authority flats or maisonettes are not eligible, and freehold flats of any kind are only eligible if they are in Scotland. 

Leasehold houses, bungalows and flats are acceptable in England, Scotland and Wales – as long as there’s a leasehold tenure of at least 155 years minus the age of the youngest borrower. Canada Life doesn’t offer equity release on any properties in Northern Ireland, the Channel Isles or the Isle of Man. 

Each equity release provider has its own eligibility criteria, so if it seems that you are not eligible for Canada Life equity release please call us on 0808 178 3055 or request a call back and we will arrange help from one of our selected advisers.

Check your eligibility

Call us on 0808 178 3055 and we’ll arrange a free, no-obligation appointment and lifetime mortgage advice* from a specialist who will confirm whether you are eligible. If you’re unable to talk now, request a call back and we’ll call when it’s convenient to you.

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Is Canada Life equity release right for me?

If you are looking for trust and stability from your equity release provider, Canada Life seems to fit the bill. First established in the UK in 1903, Canada Life has been looking after their customer’s retirement needs for a long time. They’re a household name here in the UK when it comes to retirement solutions, with over 3.5 million customers. They have an award-winning product range and market leading customer service. 

Canada Life is part of the Great-West Lifeco Inc – one of the largest Canadian life and health insurance companies. Lifeco helps several million people worldwide through their range of retirement, savings and income plans.

All Canada Life equity release products adhere to the standards of excellence set out by the Equity Release Council –  a governing body set up to protect your interests as a homeowner. This means all their plans come with a no-negative equity guarantee, which ensures you and your family will never owe more than your property is worth. 

Features vary across the Canada Life lifetime mortgage product range, but include:

  • An optional inheritance guarantee so you can protect a percentage of your property’s value to leave to your beneficiaries. 
  • An early repayment fee waiver should you wish to repay the loan within three years of the death of the first borrower (joint applications only). 
  • The option of making voluntary repayments up to a specified maximum without having to worry about early repayment charges
  • The flexibility to move home and take your plan with you under the same terms, as long as the new property meets the lending criteria.
  • Downsizing protection – if after five years you want to repay the loan in order to sell your home and move, you won’t need to pay an early exit fee.
  • You’ll still retain full legal ownership of the property and will have the right to live there until you pass away or move into long-term care.
  • A cash reserve facility in case you’d like to borrow extra funds in the future.
  • The option to make interest payments to prevent compound interest from building up on the loan and reducing the equity in your estate. 
  • Fixed interest rates for the duration of the loan. 

An option to unlock money from your second home (but not a buy-to-let property – other providers do offer this option so please contact us for details).

Does Canada Life offer enhanced lifetime mortgages?

Unfortunately, Canada Life does not offer an enhanced lifetime mortgage. This is a plan where you could qualify for additional cash or a better rate if you have pre-existing medical conditions or lifestyle choices that may affect your health. It’s one of the few times when these issues could benefit you financially. 

However, if you feel you may qualify for a higher release amount on account of your health or lifestyle, please get in touch with us. Here at Equity Release Wise, our selected advisers can compare plans from leading providers, including those who do offer enhanced lifetime mortgages. To find the maximum release available from multiple providers, speak to one of our friendly consultants today by calling 0808 178 3055 or request a call back.

Does Canada Life offer home reversion plans?

Canada Life doesn’t offer home reversion plans, a much less common alternative to a lifetime mortgage. If you find that a lifetime mortgage is not suitable for you, our friendly equity release consultants can arrange advice on whether home reversion is an appropriate alternative type of equity release.

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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?

Start your free plan review

Can I get equity release directly from Canada Life?

Canada Life doesn’t sell their lifetime mortgage products directly to customers. You can however access Canada Life plans though Equity Release Wise. And better still, our selected financial advisers can compare plans from a number of the UK’s leading equity release providers. 

This means that you could benefit from the latest products, features, deals and interest rates – and won’t be tied down to a Canada Life equity release plan. This way, you can find the best plan tailored to your individual circumstances.

As with most equity release providers, Canada Life also has a Canada Life equity release calculator, but it will not look at what’s available from other providers. By talking to our team however, you will start the search for the best deals and plans from leading providers across the UK.

Do I need equity release advice?

In order to choose a plan that best fits your needs, we recommend you speak with an equity release adviser. Equity release is a complicated product and isn’t for everyone. You may find there’s a better way to meet your financial needs. This is why getting the right advice is crucial. 

In fact, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Handbook is very clear about the need for advice. We support this, and our selected advisers will help make sure you are making fully informed decisions. Call us on 0808 178 3055 or request a call back and we can arrange an appointment for you.

Which other companies offer equity release?

Canada Life is just one of several UK companies offering equity release, so why not compare plans from different providers to get the best deal? Equity Release Wise can arrange this for you, with a search across plans from a number of the leading providers.

Here are just some of the leading equity release providers the search will cover. All of them are of course authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and are members of the Equity Release Council.

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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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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 to a Canada Life equity release adviser?

      No, you won’t need to speak with a Canada Life equity release adviser to take out a Canada Life lifetime mortgage. In fact, Canada Life doesn’t offer such advice, and we would recommend that you deal with an adviser who can search products from multiple providers to find you the best products, features and deals for your individual circumstances.

  • Where can I find a Canada Life equity release calculator?

      Most providers will offer their own calculator, and Canada Life is no exception. But we suggest that instead of tying yourself down to just one provider with a Canada Life equity release calculator, you compare plans from multiple providers. Equity Release Wise can arrange a comparison of plans from a number of the leading providers.

  • What are Canada Life’s equity release interest rates?

      Interest rates change daily, and our selected equity release advisers have access to rates from leading providers across the UK. By speaking with them, you’ll be able to compare quotes from Canada Life and other leading providers to get the best deal.

      And remember: most lifetime mortgages will be arranged on a fixed interest rate, so your plan won’t be affected by rising interest rates should you opt for a fixed-rate plan. 

  • What are the potential risks of a lifetime mortgage?

      A lifetime mortgage has worked for thousands of over 55s in need of tax-free cash. But it’s important to understand lifetime mortgage pros and cons before deciding if it’s right for you, so here are some potential risks you need to be aware of: 

      • 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 be reduced.
      • 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 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.