What does good equity release advice entail?
Good and comprehensive equity release advice from a qualified professional should involve the following:
Thorough assessment of financial circumstances
A good equity release adviser should conduct an assessment of your financial circumstances. This includes asking you about your income, if you have an outstanding mortgage or other loans, your assets and so on.
The purpose of this is to understand your financial situation and check if equity release is actually the best financial option for you, or if another solution might be better.
Explanation of different types of equity release plans
There are different types of equity release plans with many different features and options to choose from. A good equity release adviser should explain the different types of equity release plans available in a jargon-free way. This will enable you to make a confident decision about which plan is most suitable.
If they are a good equity release adviser, they will ask you to complete a quick health questionnaire. This will allow them to check if you could get enhanced terms, including a better interest rate or a higher cash release based on you having certain qualifying health or lifestyle conditions.
Recommending a suitable equity release plan
Importantly, a good equity release adviser will only recommend plans from members of the Equity Release Council. This will ensure you benefit from their safeguards, including the no-negative equity guarantee and your right to move home in the future.
For your peace of mind, our selected advisers will only ever recommend plans approved by the Equity Release Council. You can read more about the Equity Release Council’s safeguards here. Please note also that our selected advisers are also authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and must follow standards within the FCA Handbook.
When recommending a plan that meets your needs, the adviser will explain the plan in detail. This will include discussing the terms and conditions of the plan, as well as the risks and benefits associated with it.
There are pros and cons of equity release that you need to be aware of before making a decision. A good equity release adviser should discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a recommended plan, and explain how these could impact your financial situation now and in the future.
They will check that you understand the plan fully, and that you can make an informed decision about whether to proceed.
Explanation of fees and charges
As with a standard mortgage, there are fees and charges of equity release such as arrangement fees and interest charges. Your equity release adviser must provide a clear explanation of any fees and charges you should expect, and ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of the plan.
Assistance with the application process
If you decide to proceed with the recommended plan, your adviser will walk you through the application process. This will involve helping you to complete the necessary paperwork and providing guidance on any additional information required.
Ongoing support and advice
Once the equity release plan is in place, a good equity release adviser will continue to provide ongoing support and advice. This may include inviting you to review your plan regularly to ensure that it remains suitable for your needs.