Blog > What is the equity release no negative equity guarantee?

What is the equity release no negative equity guarantee?

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By Clare Yates • 13th June 2023 • 5 min read

How to avoid owing more than the value of your home

Written in line with our editorial policy.

When taking out an equity release plan, it’s important to check that certain guarantees are in place to protect our rights. One of the biggest concerns equity release customers naturally have is the issue of negative equity. Specifically speaking, can we fall into it with a plan and how we can protect ourselves from it?

To help answer the question “what is the equity release no negative equity guarantee?” we will be discussing the following in today’s article:

We hope this article will help you understand everything you want to know about the equity release no negative equity guarantee. For further information and advice, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly selected equity release advisers.

Simply call us on 0808 178 3055 or request a call back and we’ll arrange a no-obligation appointment with an adviser for you. Or if you just want to know how much you could unlock from your home, check your eligibility and get your free quote now.

What is equity release?

If you are a homeowner aged 55+ you may be able to use equity release to unlock tax-free cash from your home. 

A lifetime mortgage is the most popular type of equity release. If you wish, instead of making monthly repayments, you can leave the interest to roll-up. When you pass away or move into long-term care then your home is put for sale to repay the loan plus interest.

If you have any outstanding mortgage on your home then you would need to use the money you release to clear that first. But after that, you can spend the money on almost anything, from home improvements and holidays to topping up your retirement income. Take a look at just some of the popular reasons for equity release here. 

Not yet old enough to arrange a plan? There may be other ways to release equity if you are under 55

What is negative equity?

A property is in negative equity if its value is less than the mortgage that the homeowner has on it. It is typically a result of falling property prices.

With an equity release mortgage, your loan plus interest doesn’t have to be repaid until your home is sold, usually when you pass away or move into long-term care. As equity release interest compounds (interest is applied to interest), your loan can grow quite quickly if you do not make voluntary payments to prevent this.

However, if your overall loan turns out to be more than your home is worth when it is sold, your equity release provider cannot ask for you or your estate to pay any extra cash towards that outstanding amount. This is thanks to the ‘No Negative Equity Guarantee’.

What is a no negative equity guarantee?

A no negative equity guarantee means that you will never owe more to your equity release lender than your property is worth, regardless of how much interest accrues on your plan. 

As a result, you or your family will not have to make a payment if the property is worth less than the outstanding loan when you pass away or move into long-term care.

How do I include a no negative equity guarantee on my plan?

You can ensure the no negative equity guarantee is built into your equity release plan by only choosing a provider who is a member of the Equity Release Council.

All plan providers who are members of the Equity Release Council must abide by its strict set of rules which protect the rights of customers. These include the equity release ‘no negative equity guarantee’, which states that:

“When your property is sold, and agents’ and solicitors’ fees have been paid, even if the amount left is not enough to repay the outstanding loan to your provider, neither you nor your estate will be liable to pay any more.”

For your peace of mind, our selected advisers will only recommend plans from providers who are members of the Equity Release Council to ensure they meet their high level of standards.

Are there any other equity release guarantees?

As the equity release market continues to grow and evolve, and as a result of the Equity Release Council’s work, you will benefit from a number of other guarantees built into your equity release plan.

In addition to the no-negative equity guarantee, these standards and rules are in place to protect consumers from the ‘equity release horror stories’ of 30+ years ago. 

Here are some of the important protections that equity release customers are benefitting from today:

  • The right to stay in your home. You can stay in your home until you, or the last surviving homeowner, passes away or moves into long-term care. 
  • The right to sell your home and move. You will be free to move house and take your plan with you penalty-free, subject to your new home meeting your lender’s criteria.
  • The right to make penalty-free payments on your plan. You will have the right to make voluntary payments, up to a certain amount each year, without incurring penalties.
  • A cap on interest rates. Lifetime mortgages must include a fixed rate for each release or, if you arrange a plan with a variable rate, this must be capped for the life of the loan.

Read our article on the equity release guarantees for more information on the protection these offer.

Speak to a specialist

By understanding the different equity release protections and guarantees for customers, comparing plans and providers and seeking professional advice, you can make informed decisions that will help you achieve your financial goals for retirement.

As part of the process, our friendly selected advisers will be able to:

  • Check your eligibility and if a plan would be the best financial option for you
  • Search for the most competitive equity release quotations
  • Explain all the pros and cons of each type of plan you are considering
  • Help you decide which plan best suits your unique wants and needs
  • Answer all your questions, such as “What is the equity release no negative equity guarantee?” and any others you might have
  • Expertly guide you through the service

Our selected equity release specialists are ready and waiting to help you explore your equity options and find the best plan for your needs. Please call 0808 178 3055, or request a call back for a time that suits you.

About Clare Yates. With over a decade’s experience writing about later life financial planning, Clare offers a wealth of knowledge about equity release, pension annuities, wills, LPAs and more. When she isn’t writing, Clare likes to spend her time baking and going on walks with her husband, two children and their rescue dog. Follow Clare on LinkedIn

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