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Do Enhanced Equity Release Plans Provide the Maximum Lump Sum?

By Mark Gregory on June 9th, 2012

Equity release mortgages have evolved over time. Compared to a few years ago, a much wider range of equity release products are available today. Mortgages have also become more flexible in general, making them suitable for a wider variety of customers.

If you’re interested in borrowing more than a conventional equity release will allow, then there is a type of equity release called the ‘enhanced equity release plan’ that may be of interest. Similar in principle to the enhanced annuity market, the ‘impaired’ or more commonly known enhanced lifetime mortgage can now provide an even greater maximum lump sum than even selling 100% of your property under a home reversion plan.

 

Why would you consider an enhanced scheme?

There are many reasons people are looking to release the maximum lump sum. It could be that one is looking to switch to a new equity release plan from an existing one in order to release extra tax free cash. For completely new applicants, it may be the case that the reason they qualify for an enhanced lifetime mortgage in the first place is down to the fact that health is poor & longevity maybe a concern. You may also want to borrow more, but your existing lifetime mortgage company may not grant further borrowing, or top up interest rates from the existing lender could be very high. An enhanced equity release plan is a lifetime mortgage that aims to maximise borrowing, and keep interest rates relatively low.

New enhanced plans from companies such as more2life will now provide the maximum drawdown lifetime mortgage facility. Therefore, should a retiree require only a small initial lump sum, but require as much as possible over the longer term, then products such as the more2life enhanced plan could be the solution. The underlying decision to go for a maximum equity release maybe to enjoy oneself before health deteriorates further. Once it does, holidays, new cars etc may not be on the list of priorities for the future.

 

Enhanced lifetime mortgage criteria

Enhanced equity release schemes are designed for individuals over the age of 55 years. As people live for longer, it is important to tailor equity release schemes to meet changing demands. As such, an enhanced equity release plan is designed for those who have certain lifestyle requirements due to long standing health conditions – from relatively minor conditions such as excessive smoking, early retirement due to ill health to serious illnesses like cancer & heart attack.

 

Lenders take several factors into consideration while working out the size of the loan. Underwriters calculate the amount that the lender can afford to lend, depending on the individual case and the answers to the health & lifestyle questionnaire. By taking into account the health condition or impairment, how this affects the client’s life expectancy, the lender can increase the amount loaned compared to a regular annuity or equity release scheme. An enhanced equity release plan could allow customers to borrow as much as 15% more than a regular home equity release loan. This can be a significant increase for many people who require the additional income or capital to cope with their day to day needs.

 

Who provides enhanced equity release schemes?

The three main providers of this type of equity release mortgages are currently Aviva, More2life and Partnership. If you are looking to maximise borrowing and suffer from health impairment, however minor, you could benefit from an enhanced equity release plan. A wide range of health conditions are considered for this type of equity release, to see if you qualify consult a financial adviser who can work out whether this is a viable option for you.

 

 

Independent equity release experts such as Equity Release Supermarket can study your case in detail and give objective advice. Using the enhanced equity release calculator  on the website will advise how much you can potentially release.

To receive further information or advice on enhanced lifetime mortgage schemes, call Equity Release Supermarket on 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

 

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