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What is equity release?

Equity release refers to the various ways in which you can use your home to generate income.

This means that you can release cash from your home without the hassle of having to move.

There are usually certain conditions that you must meet before taking out equity release:

  • For a lifetime mortgage you (and your partner) need to be at least 55 years old. For a home reversion scheme you (and your partner) need to be at least 65 years old (see Equity release: types of plan for information about both plans).
  • You must own property in the UK. This property must be your main residence.
  • Equity release may not be suitable if you have dependants living with you. Your adviser will be able to provide you with more information.
  • You will need to use the money you release to pay off any existing mortgage or loan secured immediately. You would then be free to use whatever money is left over for your other financial needs.  
  • Your property must be in a reasonable condition and over a certain value. There may also be restrictions on the type of property accepted.

Things to consider

Raising income from your home is a big decision and might not be your best or only solution. Make sure you think about all of your options before making a decision. For example:

  • Could you move to a smaller property to release some money?
  • Do you have other investments or assets that could boost your income or give you the money that you need?
  • You may be entitled to benefits such as Pension Credit, Council Tax Reduction, and Attendance allowance. Use our benefits calculator to find out what you’re entitled to.
  • If you’re struggling to pay off debts, take a look at our debt advice.
  • If you need help with repairs improvements or adaptations to your home, find out first if you can get help from your local council or other agency.


The costs and fees of setting up equity release plans will vary between different providers. Typically the costs will include:

  • Completion, arrangement or application fees that cover administration costs
  • Valuation fees that will depend on how much your home is worth, with higher prices for more expensive properties
  • Solicitors’ fees that cover the legal work carried out on your property
  • Early repayment charge if you want to pay off your loan early

Make sure you get specialist independent financial and legal advice before signing up for equity release.

Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

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