Seeking good quality equity release advice is vital for people who are considering freeing up some of the cash in their homes. But what constitutes good quality advice and what should you look for in your equity release adviser?
FCA Regulated Equity Release Advisers
You must first make sure he or she is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is authorised to advise on equity release.
Whole of Market Independent Equity Release Advice
Check that the equity release adviser is ‘whole of market’ and independent. This means they have access to all the plans from every current equity release provider and are not tied into a small range of products or just a few of the providers, so you won’t miss out on a plan that could be ideal for your needs.
Face to Face Equity Release Advice
Ensure your equity release adviser offers face to face advice. Making the decision to release cash from your home is an important one and it is impossible to properly discuss everything in detail over the telephone.
Involving the Family
Make sure the adviser encourages the involvement of your family and is happy to include them in your face to face consultations. Discussing equity release with your family is very important and you should never be discouraged from doing so.
Free Initial No Obligation Consultation
A good equity release adviser will offer a free initial no obligation consultation during which you can find out whether you potentially qualify for a lifetime mortgage or home reversion plan and how much you may be able to release.
Exploring all the Alternatives to Equity Release
The best equity release advisers will always try to talk you out of equity release, preferring to examine all the alternative options beforehand such as grants, benefits, traditional lending, using savings and other avenues. Only if a lifetime mortgage or home reversion plan is the right course of action will they recommend you make the application.
If your adviser has won an award for the quality of their advice then you know you are in the best of hands so check whether they have any award badges on their website or literature.
Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP)
Only ever select an equity release advice specialist who recommends plans endorsed by SHIP or those that carry the same guarantees. That way you can be sure you will never lose your home and will never owe more than it is worth.
Choose your Equity Release Adviser Wisely
If you are considering releasing cash from your home, take your time and choose your equity release adviser wisely. That way you can be sure you will be receiving the right advice that is in your best interests.
Equity release may involve a lifetime mortgage or home reversion plan. To understand the features and risks, please ask for a personalised illustration.
Bower is an FCA regulated independent financial advice company that offers specialist advice on equity release throughout the UK. For more information email [email protected] or call 0800 4118668.