Frequently asked questions

Listed below is a list of commonly asked questions about equity release – with simple explanations and useful links to areas within this site and external sites.

Equity release advice service questions

How much will the advice cost me?
-

Good advice is worth paying for and we’re very clear about the amount you pay for the service you receive from us. 

Our equity release advice service could help you decide if equity release is right for you. It comes with a no obligation guarantee - meaning the advice and arrangement fee of £1,100 is only payable if you decide to take out a recommended plan.


Is HUB Financial Solutions Limited biased towards Just products?
-

No. Our advisers will only ever recommend Just products if they are the most suited to your individual circumstances.

We have access to a range of providers' products and if equity release is right for you, we will recommend a suitable product from any one of these providers. If it is not the right option for you, our advisers will clearly state the reasons why.

Our equity release advice service could help you decide if equity release is right for you. It comes with a no obligation guarantee - meaning the advice and arrangement fee of £1,100 is only payable if you decide to take out a recommended plan.

General equity release questions

Can I move house?
-

As we only deal with providers who are members of the Equity Release Council and follow their statement of principles, we only recommend equity release plans that allow you to move house.

However, your new home must still meet the criteria that your provider sets out. If it is a lower value, then your provider may ask you to pay back part of the loan.


Could I ever be forced out of my home?
-

We only ever recommend plans provided by members of The Equity Release Council (formerly Safe Home Income Plans or SHIP), who guarantee that the plan holder - or the last remaining partner if it is a joint plan – will be able to live in their home until they die or permanently move into long-term care.

This is based sticking to the terms and conditions set by the provider.


How do I know if I am eligible for an equity release plan?
-

To be eligible for equity release you need to be able to answer yes to ALL of the following conditions.

• You are aged 55 or older (or the youngest applicant is, if you are applying as a couple)
• Your home is in the UK
• Your home is of standard construction
• Your home is worth at least £70,000

Please be aware that the minimum age and property value varies between product providers.


What about insurance and property maintenance?
-

When taking out equity release you will need to make sure that you have appropriate buildings insurance. You will also be responsible for maintenance and repairs.


What are the alternatives to equity release?
-

Equity release plans are not suitable for everyone and our advisers will let you know if it is more appropriate for you to consider other options.

Moving home to a smaller property or to a different area could be a better way to help you make some money. 

You may also be able to borrow against your home using a standard loan or mortgage. But you should be aware that your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any other debt secured against it.


What happens to my property when I die?
-

The property is usually sold once the last remaining borrower has died. 

With a lifetime mortgage, the money that is made from the sale will be used to pay off the original loan plus any interest that has built up over time. Any money that is left over will form part of your estate. If there is enough money in the estate to repay the loan, or for example family members wish to repay the loan, the home does not have to be sold.

In the case of a home reversion plan, at least some of property will belong to the reversion company. If any proportion of the estate doesn’t belong to the home reversion company, then the money from that proportion will be paid to your estate. In some circumstances the proportion sold can be bought back by other funds in the estate or for example by family members - though this may be expensive.

Impact on tax and state benefits

What about inheritance tax?
-

Equity release plans may reduce how much inheritance tax you have to pay (your inheritance tax liability) depending on how the money you release is used.

There may be more appropriate ways of reducing your liability and as HUB Financial Solutions is not a tax specialist they cannot advise you on inheritance tax planning.

However, if you wish to speak to a tax expert, you could go to Unbiased.co.uk or where you can use their ‘Find an accountant’ services to find a local tax expert.


What is the tax position with regards to equity release?
-

You do not have to pay any tax on the money you release from your home either as an initial amount or as a further advance. 


Will equity release affect my entitlement to state benefits?
-

The short answer is possibly - equity release may not be right for everyone. It may affect your entitlement to state benefits and it will reduce the value of your estate.

During our advice process we carry out a full state benefit review to see which benefits you are entitled to and how any means-tested benefits would be affected by equity release.

If you have any concerns, or want more information immediately, please check what you are entitled to with your Benefits Agency, the Citizens Advice Bureau or your Local Authority.