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What are the Best Equity Release Companies?

Starting your search for a suitable equity release plan can be a challenge considering all the factors behind them. However, there’s no better place to begin than looking at what companies other people in the UK use.

This guide will present the best equity release companies and plans for 2022.

What Makes a Good Equity Release Provider?

There are many choices for equity release plans on the market, but not all meet the quality standards or expectations of the consumer. So what makes an equity release company stand out above the rest?

When analysing the best equity release providers, we look out for plan quality, professionalism, and peer reviews. We’ll go into more detail below.

Plan Quality

Four pillars prop up the quality metric of an equity release plan, outlined below:

  • Guarantees of “No Negative Equity” – The final amount for repayment after rolling interest cannot exceed the value of your home.
  • Right to Move – You have no restrictions on moving home even though your equity release is against your current property.
  • Right to Remain – You may remain in your home throughout the loan’s lifespan.
  • Fixed Interest Rates – Interest rates remain the same or capped as long as the loan is active.

Professionalism

We rank our companies based on their professional approach and how borrowers have received their services. Professionalism includes the equity release company always acting in good faith, including looking after borrower interests, upholding standards, abiding by regulations and rules, and offering fair services.

Peer Review

Finally, the plan has substantial acclaim by many industry experts.

What are the Top Equity Release Plans in the UK?

Before we dive into the best equities release companies in the UK, let’s overview the top-rated plans. The equity release products below have accreditation with 5-star ratings by the independent trust platform Defaqto.

They have been reviewed by leading equity release experts as the best in the business for 2022. Find the name of the provider and the names of their accoladed plans below.

Provider Plan Defaqto Rating
Canada Life Flex Lifetime Mortgage Select 5
Canada Life Standard Capital Select 5
LV Lifetime Fixed Lump Sum+ 5
LV Lifetime Drawdown+ 5
More 2 Life Capital Choice Plan Drawdown 5
More 2 Life Capital Choice Plan Lump Sum 5
More 2 Life Prime Choice Plan Lump Sum 5
Pure Retirement Sovereign Plan Lump Sum 5
Pure Retirement Sovereign Plan Drawdown 5
Standard Life Horizon Drawdown 5
Standard Life Horizon Lump Sum 5

As you can see by the names, most of these plans are lump sum or drawdown lifetime mortgages. These are not only popular choices for equity release, but the particular ones listed above offer more flexibility and benefits, ultimately making them more suited to the borrower.

So with the best plans established, who should you turn to if you seek to explore all your reputable equity release options?

Who are the Best Equity Release Companies in the UK in 2022?

We compare plans from the leading equity release providers

We’ve listed the top 10 equity release companies that we believe to be the best in the UK. Discover more about them and why they have preferences below.

1. More 2 Life

More 2 Life consistently gets excellent ratings as one of the best equity release companies in the country. Their flexible approaches and interpersonal customer service tend to get the right plan for each customer.

Let’s not forget that More 2 Life plans generally have low repayment charges, which are attractive to those thinking about inheritance or worried about compounding interest. They also offer features like downsizing protection and adding someone to the loan for significantly lower fees than the competition.

2. Age Partnership

Age Partnership has been soaring through the ranks as a quality equity release company. Their Equity Release Council membership and well-rounded drawdown and lump sum plans continue to find reverence by equity release experts.

They use an equity release calculator and an intuitive form to discover the right equity release plan for you and connect you with the best deal from their range of products.

3. Aviva

Aviva is one of the UK’s largest insurance providers. Their equity release products don’t fall short of their high standards for products. Since 1998, they’ve served over 15 million customers, helping secure finances and put visions on track.

Aviva’s experience makes them one of the more preferred equity release companies in the UK. Their service and product range get tailored to older customers who may not comprehend the intricacies behind a lifetime mortgage or home reversions scheme.

4. Canada Life

Canada Life has offered some of the most highly-rated, peer-reviewed equity release plans this year. That makes them one of the best equity release companies. They’re a provider that doesn’t overwhelm their clients with jargon, giving them a concise understanding of each equity release plan and why it could benefit them.

Their services continue to receive awards for their online tools and intuitiveness, which is refreshing compared to most financial institutions.

5. Bridgewater Equity Release

Bridgewater Equity Release will be your perfect choice if you seek a quality home reversion scheme. The provider has won an award for being the best home reversion provider for 9-years running and doesn’t show any signs of lacking from the competition.

The fundamental difference between Bridgewater and other providers is that you must be over 65 to unlock equity. However, their specialisation in their products reassures customers that the home reversion process will be more seamless than others.

6. LV

LV not only has some of the best equity release plans on the market right now, but they also win over customers because of a particularly beneficial feature. The provider has fixed-rate early repayment charges at a low 5% in the first five years of holding the plan, 3% in the sixth, and none after that.

LV tends to be more focused on its product range, only offering a limited number of plans. However, with those low EPCs, they are ideal for those with solid considerations about paying back their equity release early.

7. Legal and General

Legal and General only recently forayed into lifetime mortgages, setting up a specialist branch a few years ago. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t transfer their more comprehensive financial experience into the field – L&G are one of the best options for lifetime mortgages right now.

Many persons with valuable homes will choose Legal & General for equity release because they offer up to £2 million in loans. If you seek higher freedom of equity, this provider can accommodate.

8. Pure Retirement

Pure Retirement is another relatively new entry into the equity release market. The provider’s speedy processes have made them one of the more ideal options for equity release plans within their 8-years of business.

This provider will unlock equity against your home in around 8-weeks, being significantly faster than their competition. Anyone who doesn’t want to wait around to gain the funds they need might find a good option in Pure Retirement.

9. Hodge Lifetime

Hodge Lifetime was one of the first equity release providers in the UK. They leveraged their years in business to refine their services. Arguably, you won’t get a more straightforward option to unlock your home’s equity. They offer an intuitive interface to choosing a plan and an informative website to understand whether it’s the right option.

The provider has won numerous awards for its plans, including tax-free lump sums with a lifetime mortgage and home reversion schemes that offer market-value rates. Hodge Lifetime is a good choice if you prefer a bit of experience behind your equity release plan.

10. Standard Life

Standard Life is the newest entry onto the equity release market, expanding on its range of already revered financial products. The provider only started operating equity release schemes in 2021. However, they have researched consumer demands to create some of the best plans available.

In one year, they’ve managed to gain accolades by offering two equity release plans that have seen 5-star ratings by experts. Even though their schemes are new, they are still one of the best equity release companies this year.

So with all the choices for equity release plans, how would one choose the right program tailored to personal circumstances?

How Do I Choose the Right Equity Release Provider for Me?

We’ve mentioned some of the best equity release companies in the UK and features that make each one beneficial to the prospective borrower. However, not every one of the best companies has advantages that may align with your circumstances or needs in an equity release plan.

Even browsing through the top 10, you may wonder how you can deduce the right equity release provider for you. The easiest way to break down which equity release plan would be ideal is to understand the driving factors behind each scheme. That helps weigh up the plan’s features against your long-term financial vision.

Types of Equity Release

First, it’s essential to understand the equity releases on offer. There are two standard schemes to choose between, a lifetime mortgage or a home reversion scheme.

Lifetime Mortgage

You’ll find that the best equity release companies tend to promote their lifetime mortgages above all, as they are the generally preferred type of equity release. The scheme unlocks capital against your home, offering a loan for some of your home’s value.

A lifetime mortgage will accrue interest monthly or annually at a fixed rate. Still, the borrower won’t need to repay until the house gets sold (usually upon death or moving into long-term care). There is usually a minimum age of 55 before anyone can apply for an equity release loan.

These schemes are popular because they unlock capital against your home without worrying about repayments. The best equity release companies will also offer flexibility on interest instalments and rates.

Home Reversion Scheme

A home reversion scheme involves selling a percentage of your home to the equity release provider for a lump-sum payment or recurring income. You’ll be able to continue living in your home rent-free. However, you’ll have to maintain the property to sellable standards.

When the home gets sold, all proceeds will split between the percentages both you and the equity release provider own. Generally, you’ll find that the minimum age for a home reversion scheme is 65-years-old.

The fundamental difference between the lifetime mortgage and the home reversion scheme is that the former is a loan where interest gets charged. The latter is a sale where you give up partial ownership in exchange for capital.

A home reversion scheme might suit better where interest is a concern. However, a lifetime mortgage would be ideal for retaining complete control of your property. So let’s look at the benefits of equity release when choosing your provider.

Benefits of Equity Release

You’ll want to look out for the outstanding benefits of equity release plans, including the following:

  • High degrees of flexibility against your long-term financial vision
  • Low or zero early repayment charges
  • Accommodating couples if one partner passes away
  • The ability to transfer the loan to another property

These particular benefits to equity release plans give borrowers peace of mind and more control in their financial planning. They are ideal when choosing an equity release provider that offers more solutions than surprises or difficulties.

However, that’s not to say that the best equity release plans don’t have pitfalls. It’s critical to review the disadvantages of each scheme to ensure you don’t commit to a plan that doesn’t align with your financial goals.

Pitfalls of Equity Release

Some of the pitfalls you’ll want to consider when choosing your equity release plans are:

  • Interest accruing to the total value of your property
  • Transferring your equity release schemes to smaller homes
  • Hefty early repayment fees

Review each provider to ensure that these hurdles don’t complicate your equity release scheme. Get an understanding of how each tackles these challenges and ultimately help the borrower rather than lumber them with more difficulties.

Finding Your Provider

The best equity release companies and plans listed consider all the above factors, so they are the highest-ranked in 2022. You can begin your search for an equity release plan here, with features widely revered in the UK as more advantageous to the borrower.