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Home » Services » Specialist Services » Equity Release » Equity Release vs. Mortgages

Equity Release vs. Mortgages

Ciarán Power

Last Updated: February 2nd, 2024 at 6:43 pm

Table Of Contents


While both equity release and mortgages are tied to property, they serve different purposes and have distinct features. Understanding the differences between these two financial products is key for homeowners considering their options for accessing funds.

The Nature of Mortgages

  • Purpose: Traditional mortgages are primarily used for purchasing property.
  • Repayment: Mortgages require regular repayments of both the capital and interest. Failure to make these payments can lead to foreclosure.
  • Term: They typically have a fixed term, after which the loan must be fully repaid or refinanced.
  • Equity Impact: Regular mortgage payments gradually increase your equity in the property.

The Nature of Equity Release

  • Purpose: Equity release schemes are designed to provide access to the cash tied up in your home without the need to move.
  • Repayment: For Lifetime Mortgages, there’s an option to roll up the interest, meaning no regular repayments are necessary. The loan and interest are repaid when you die or move into long-term care. Home Reversion Plans involve selling a part of your property, with no repayments as such.
  • Term: There is no fixed term; the plan continues until your home is sold.
  • Equity Impact: Equity release reduces the amount of capital you can leave as an inheritance.

Comparing the Two

  • Financial Commitment: Mortgages require a stable financial commitment over their term, while equity release can offer more flexibility.
  • Eligibility: Mortgages are generally available to a wider age range, whereas equity release is typically restricted to older homeowners.
  • Home Ownership: With a mortgage, you gradually build equity, whereas with equity release, your equity in the home decreases over time.

Equity release and traditional mortgages cater to different financial needs and stages of life. While mortgages are about acquiring and gradually owning property, equity release is about accessing the value of your home in later life. It’s crucial to thoroughly understand these differences and consider your long-term financial needs and goals before deciding on the best option. Consulting with financial advisors is highly recommended to explore these options in depth.

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