Borrowing options in your later years
One option is a traditional residential ‘capital and repayment’ or ‘interest-only’ mortgage. Many lenders have increased their upper age cap limits in recent years, enabling mortgages to now be applied for by people up to 80 years old and allowing mortgage terms that end when a customer is up to 85 years old.
You’ll have a better chance of being accepted for these mortgages if you have a good credit history. Your income will need to be high enough to easily cover the mortgage payments, so lenders will be looking for proof of pension income. This is easier to do once you are retired. However, if you are yet to retire, your pension provider can give confirmation of your expected retirement date, current pension pot and expected retirement income. The mortgage provider will also be interested in other income you may have, such as from shares and property investments.
Another option is equity release. With an Equity Release Mortgage, you borrow an amount against a part-share of your home, either as a one-off lump sum or a monthly income.
You still own your home, and the payment can be used for a variety of purposes. These are, most commonly, to pay off an outstanding mortgage, pay for a major purchase or unexpected cost, or simply to help fund your retirement.
A Lifetime Mortgage differs to a traditional Residential Mortgage as payments do not need to be made throughout the term of the mortgage. Instead, the total amount borrowed plus the interest is repaid when the house is sold, which is usually after the borrowers have moved into a care home or passed away. Both Equity Release and Lifetime Mortgages will impact elements such as how much inheritance you have available to pass on, eligibility for state benefits and your tax position.
Each of these borrowing options suits different circumstances so you must carefully consider which would be best for you in your later years.
You will need to take legal advice before releasing equity from your home as Lifetime Mortgages and Home Reversion plans are not right for everyone.