0191 695 9493


Older couple sitting at a table discussing equity options

Do you dream of spending your golden years travelling the world and engaging in all your favourite activities, but are unsure how you would be able to pay for it? If so, a Lifetime Mortgage could be your best chance of making your dreams a reality.

If you wish to improve your retirement options but are unsure if equity release is the best option, we may have the solution for you. We can assist you in determining whether later-life lending is the best course of action for your future with the help of our equity release quiz.

The quiz challenges three separate personal qualities of an individual by asking a series of questions.

Knowledge is the first personal characteristic the quiz considers. The quiz asks questions to determine how familiar you are with the concept of lifetime mortgages and helps fill in any knowledge gaps toy may have by educating you on areas you may have previously been unaware of.

It next looks at personal qualities, and asks you a series of personal questions to figure out what plans you have already made for your retirement lifestyle. Once we are aware of your specific circumstances, we can assist you in determining whether a lifetime mortgage is the most beneficial method of financing your retirement.

Qualification is the last consideration of the quiz. The simple questions will help us determine if you would be eligible for later-life lending based on your specific circumstances.

After the quiz is completed, a report with an overall score will be produced. You will be given a score for each of the three considerations, a summary of all three sections, a total score that is the average of the three, and recommendations for your next course of action.

This quiz can be beneficial if you are considering equity release as it gives you an instant personalised report that is entirely unique to you. It can help you better understand your strengths and weaknesses and give you a better understanding of how an equity release adviser can assist you before you get in touch.

It is important to remember that navigating your finances through later life and into retirement can be tricky, especially as there are now so many options available to those aged 55+. Expert advice is crucial to ensure the best outcome based on your specific and individual needs.

If you are considering a Lifetime Mortgage after completing the quiz, our highly experienced Equity Release Adviser is here to take you through the next steps.

With a better understanding of your situation, Joanne will be able to offer you specialised guidance and assist you in exploring all of the options that are available to you in a clear and concise manner.

Get in touch with Joanne today for quality, professional advice on equity release.

Face-to-face solicitor conversation with elderly couple

Equity release is a complex financial decision that requires a comprehensive understanding of an individual’s circumstances and future aspirations. Today we explore the value of engaging in personal, face-to-face meetings with industry professionals during the equity release process. 

Protecting potentially vulnerable individuals

Equity release is beneficial for many people, however as this product is only available to people aged 55 and over, a lot of potential candidates for equity release are elderly and they may lack family support. Some may be particularly vulnerable and/or have limited financial literacy.

Equity Release professionals, such as solicitors, play a crucial role in safeguarding the interests of these individuals. Meeting in person allows equity release solicitors to ensure that individuals are fully capable of making informed decisions and can identify signs of vulnerability or undue influence.

De-mystifying equity release products

As there are legal and financial aspects to be considered when choosing an equity release product, after the help of a qualified advisor to make an application for the right product, the guidance of a face-to-face solicitor is imperative to further ensure comprehension of the mortgage contract and the implications and potential risks associated before legally proceeding.

At North East Equity Release we use trusted, specialist equity release solicitors to ensure complex legal jargon is explained to our clients in a face-to-face meeting and in a way that they understand, helping them to navigate the fine print and minimising potential misunderstandings.

Using Equity Release Council members

As members of the Equity Release Council, we are committed to recommending qualified equity release solicitors who are also part of this industry-renowned trade body. We want to ensure that our clients are receiving the best, independent legal advice and are fully aware of the legal obligations and financial implications associated with an equity release plan.

Customer protection is a priority at North East Equity Release and we ensure every client receives impartial and independent legal advice and are aware of all of their options before proceeding. Get in touch with Joanne today to learn more.

your personal equity release adviser Joanne

When it comes to Equity Release, it is essential that you find an experienced and knowledgeable professional that you can trust, someone who can help you make the right choices in line with your circumstances. Someone like Joanne. 

We know just how important it is to be able to place your trust and confidence in the hands of a professional that can provide you with the assurance they have the necessary knowledge and experience to know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to equity release in order to lead you in the right direction. That is why today we are delighted to introduce Joanne, the experienced financial adviser behind North East Equity Release.

Introducing your personal equity release adviser

When you are needing the advice of a professional in the finance industry, you need to know that they have the background and experience required in order to be able to provide quality, independent advice that is genuinely in line with your best interests.

“Can’t rate Jo highly enough. I don’t think my Equity Release would have gone through without her intervention. Thanks again Jo!”Jacki

Luckily for our clients, Joanne is a highly experienced equity release adviser with a genuine commitment to providing honest, insightful advice to everyone that she works with.

A wealth of knowledge and experience

Joanne has worked within financial services for over three decades, securing her first role in the industry as a cashier at Barclays Bank. So began a lifelong passion for helping individuals to best manage their finances from a position of genuine care, honesty and expertise.

“Joanne, you’re worth your weight in gold. Thank you for sorting this out for us.”Costas and Gemma

In 1997, Joanne secured her professional qualifications, enabling her to become a qualified Mortgage Consultant. From this point onwards, Joanne began to assist clients in the process of securing competitive mortgages, helping countless customers buy their very first home, remortgage their property and navigate and resolve tricky circumstances that require shrewd, professional advice.

A changing financial landscape

It is no secret that we live in a very different world today than the one that many of us grew up within.

The ever-changing economic and political landscape of the U.K. means that it is becoming harder for many individuals to ensure a comfortable retirement for themselves; one where they are able to spend time doing the things that they love, whether that be travelling, relaxing, learning new skills and picking up old hobbies, or spending time with loved ones.

As such, the need for and interest in later-life borrowing has increased in recent years. For Joanne, it soon became clear that it was important for her to be able to assist her clients in this new and growing need, and in 2017 she became a qualified Equity Release Adviser.

Registered with the Equity Release Council, Joanne now specialises in helping individuals and couples to navigate lifetime mortgage plans, leading with a genuine sense of consideration and care and a commitment to acting in the very best interests of her clients.

Looking for professional help with equity release? Look no further than North East Equity Release, and get in touch with Joanne today.

Equity release and state pension

One of the major concerns people often have when considering equity release is how it might impact their state pension.

As equity release becomes an increasingly popular choice for over 55’s looking to unlock the value tied up in their homes, understanding the potential effect on your state pension is crucial if you are thinking about taking this step.
So, in today’s blog post, we would like to explore the relationship between equity release and state pensions, in order to create a clearer picture around this matter.

What is equity release?

Equity release is the term used that allows homeowners aged 55 or above to access the equity built up in their properties.

This type of loan has become increasingly popular over the years and in essence involves taking out a lifetime mortgage.

Borrowers can release anywhere from £10 000 up to over 50% of their property’s value which provides an option that can be particularly attractive for retirees looking to supplement their retirement income or meet unforeseen expenses.

How does equity release impact state pension?

It is no secret that in the current economic climate, many individuals who are approaching retirement may be incredibly concerned that they will not be able to support and sustain themselves solely through their state pension.

For those in such a position, equity release provides an attractive alternative to financial insecurity and the chance to enjoy a richer, more relaxing retirement…

However, many individuals are rightly concerned that equity release may impact their state pension.

The good news is that equity release does not affect your state pension entitlement.

State pension is a separate benefit provided by the government based entirely on your national insurance contributions throughout your working life. Therefore, the amount you receive from your state pension remains unaffected by releasing equity from your home.

What about means-tested benefits?

While your state pension remains intact, it is important to consider the potential impact of equity release on means-tested benefits.

Means-tested benefits, such as pension credit or council tax support do take into consideration your income and capital. Releasing equity from your property could increase your capital and take your savings over a threshold which might affect your eligibility for certain means-tested benefits.

How can a professional adviser help?

Whilst equity release does not directly affect your state pension, it is important to be aware of the potential repercussions involved for means-tested benefits. Seeking professional, trustworthy advice will enable you to fully understand the specific implications equity release entails, based on your own unique circumstances.

Here at North East Equity Release, we have helped countless individuals and couples to make the right choice in line with their specific needs when it comes to equity release, offering impartial advice based on knowledge and experience when it is most needed.

Are you considering equity release but are in need of professional help and advice that you can trust? Get in touch today.

Martin Lewis advice on equity release

When it comes to managing your finances, Martin Lewis is a bedrock of sound advice. But what does the Money Saving Expert founder say about equity release? 

Journalist, presenter, campaigner and founder of UK consumer website, Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis has made an impressive career out of helping people to make smart choices when it comes to saving money. As a result, millions of Brits regularly look to him for trustworthy, unbiased advice when it comes to handling their finances. So, let’s take a look at Martin’s hot take on equity release!

What does Martin Lewis think of equity release? 

Martin Lewis does not explicitly recommend equity release, and he’s right not to do so. This type of mortgage product is not for everyone, and it would be wrong to suggest that equity release can serve as a cure-all to your financial woes! 

In a nutshell, Martin Lewis believes that over-50s who are considering equity release should arm themselves with all of the facts regarding lifetime mortgages and make sure that they have considered any alternatives – such as downsizing or selling assets – before they opt for a lifetime mortgage. Pretty good advice, if you ask us! 

Martin advises that borrowers need to be conscious of the fact that equity release products will impact the amount of inheritance they are able to leave loved ones. Ultimately, however, he stresses that it’s essential for you to prioritise your own standard of living first and foremost when making your decision. If equity release will help you to have a more comfortable, enriching retirement, it’s definitely worth considering. 

As such, if downsizing is not an option, you have no saleable assets, and poor cash flow is having a detrimental impact on your quality of life, Martin would advise you to seek out the help of a professional adviser and consider equity release as a viable solution to financial challenges you may be facing in later life. 

Decided to investigate equity release further? Here are Martin Lewis’ tips for smart borrowing

  • Make sure to only borrow what you need

Martin’s number one tip when it comes to equity release is to only borrow what you need. If you want to be super savvy, you might want to consider a drawdown lifetime mortgage, as this type of product gives you full flexibility to access your money as and when you need it. With this product, you’ll only pay interest on what you borrow, and not on the funds being held in reserve, thus shrinking the size of your loan.

  • Check your lender is a member of the Equity Release Council 

This is an important one. It’s essential that you check your lender is a member of the Equity Release Council (ERC). Lenders with membership to the ERC will provide you with a guarantee that you’ll never owe more than the value of your property, amongst other safeguards.

  • Seek independent financial advice 

Here at North East Equity Release, we are qualified advisers who specialise in arranging lifetime mortgage products for our clients. We have access to the whole of the market and can find you the most suitable lender and equity release plan for you.

  • Double-check your benefits 

Before opting for a Lifetime Mortgage, check that this type of loan will not impact any benefits that you are currently in receipt of, such as pension credits or universal credit. Here at North East Equity Release, we can help you to clarify this. 

Already an existing lifetime mortgage customer? 

If you have previously taken out an equity release loan some years ago, Martin Lewis recommends that you take a look at whether or not you can switch to a better deal. Over the last decade, interest rates have fallen, which means you might be able to save some money by switching. Chat with us to find out if this is an option for you.

*Sourced from Martin Lewis’ article Should You Equity-Release? 

North East Equity Release can help you to find the right Equity Release product for your needs. Get in touch today.

Family on an equity release phone call

Equity release is a huge decision that can directly affect your family. Therefore, involving your loved ones in the process from the get-go ensures that they understand the choice you’re making and why.

Inheritance protection for your loved ones

When you choose to release equity, this can result in your family being left with a smaller inheritance or no inheritance at all when you pass away.

However, there is the option of opting for a plan that has an Inheritance Protection Guarantee. This protects part of the value of your home and, as a result, leaves something behind for your loved ones.

For example, out of the funds available, you may choose to take out a smaller percentage in order to leave the rest behind for your family to receive after your passing or once the house has been sold.

Involving your family in the process, whether you have a protection guarantee or not, lets them know that you’re planning on releasing funds from your property and the reasons why.

How can North East Equity Release help?

Our advisors can help you to set up a meeting or call with your family to discuss your decision and reassure them by answering any questions they may have.

In this meeting, your family may wish to clarify aspects of the process or discuss things that you may not have considered.

Equally, this is a good opportunity for your loved ones to get to know us and understand that we are giving the best advice possible that’s suited to your situation.

A family meeting or call allows you to relay how inheritance will be affected, and you may wish to emphasise that the equity released is to support family members while you are alive, whether that be helping a grandchild step onto the property ladder or contributing to the costs of a loved one’s wedding.

We’re here to support you through the equity release process. Contact us or call us on 0191 695 9493 for FREE advice on how to get your family involved in your equity release plan.

Elderly couple sitting on bench in park, contemplating equity release and early repayment charges

Are you interested in an equity release Lifetime Mortgage but concerned about potential penalties? It is important to consider that if you want to pay back your Lifetime Mortgage early, you may be subject to Early Repayment Charges (ERC).

What are Early Repayment Charges (ERC)?

For most borrowers, Lifetime Mortgages are for life and are repaid on either the sale of the property, entering long-term care or death (of the surviving partner for joint applications). However, if your circumstances change, you may find yourself wanting to repay your mortgage before any of the above scenarios occur.

In this case, depending on the type of Lifetime Mortgage you opt for, ERCs will apply. ERCs are calculated based on the initial loan amount, the length of time the Lifetime Mortgage has been in place and any changes in long-term interest rates. Both fixed early repayment and variable rate structures are available on the market.

Thankfully, many Lifetime Mortgage products on the market offer fixed ERC periods that are as short as eight years, meaning that you may be able to access a 0% charge if you pay your Lifetime Mortgage off at the end of that period.

Elderly hand signing equity release document which stipulates early repayment charges

What if I want to move home? Do charges apply?

You can move home with a Lifetime Mortgage at any time, however, the terms and conditions in relation to moving home vary between lenders. As part of our service at North East Equity Release, we can look for a Lifetime Mortgage product that has downsizing protection. A downsizing clause means that you can move to a less valuable home and pay off some of your loan without being subject to ERCs. 

Am I able to repay part of my Lifetime Mortgage early without a charge?

Since March 2022, all Equity Release Council-approved providers must allow Lifetime Mortgage customers to make penalty-free partial repayments. This will reduce the amount you owe on both the loan and the interest. You can stop making payments at any time.  

Chat with Joanne, your local equity release adviser, today!

As the name suggests, Lifetime Mortgages are designed to last for the remainder of your lifetime and therefore paying off the debt early can incur charges. You should always discuss your circumstances with a professional before securing a loan against your home.

Joanne can talk you through all the options available to you and if a Lifetime Mortgage is suitable, she can help you find a product that has a short ERC period and clauses that suit you and your future plans. 

If you have landed on this blog post, then we presume you are on the hunt for valuable information about equity release and are wondering if it is right for you.

As equity release specialists, you may be under the assumption that we have product bias towards equity release, however, that is not the case. Equity release is not always the answer, and as members of the Equity Release Council, we have a duty to walk every customer through alternatives before recommending an equity release product to them. For some customers, downsizing, applying for grants, or other later-life lending solutions may be more suitable for their circumstances.

At North East Equity Release, we have many consultations in which the individual may be set on equity release, however, after we have offered expert advice and alternatives, they have ended up with a completely different financial product or solution.

Below is an example of one such client.

old man looking out of window

When Equity Release is not suitable:

Harry is an 89-year-old man who owned his home outright. He got in touch with North East Equity Release to arrange an appointment and discuss unlocking a large sum of money from his home. Upon meeting with our adviser, Harry disclosed that his wife had passed away the previous year.

Harry was now concerned that when he died, all of his estate would go to the Crown. Determined to not let that happen, Harry wanted to release as much money from his property as possible and put it in his bank account.

However, as Harry had no intentions of spending the money and did not have a Will, under the Rules of Intestate, this money would still go to the state.

The solution… A Will

During the consultation, our adviser recommended Harry arrange a Will and discussed potential beneficiaries to which Harry could leave his estate, such as his friends, the Church and charities close to his heart. The adviser also helped Harry to contact a trusted local solicitor so that a Will could be arranged and Harry’s money and possessions could be distributed exactly how he saw fit.

Will document representing when equity release is not the right solution for client

When equity release is a good idea

Maureen is a 61-year-old lady whose life drastically changed when her husband passed away suddenly. While there was no mortgage on the home, Maureen did not work and was not yet in receipt of her state pension, which left her living off savings.

With her savings running low and the cost-of-living pressures rising, Maureen was concerned that she was not going to be able to afford to stay in her home. While her husband was alive, the couple had planned on downsizing, however, due to the change of circumstances and Maureen’s strong emotional attachment to the property, she felt she now wanted to stay in her current property for another five years or so.

Mature lady in kitchen at home thinking about an equity release lifetime mortgage

The solution… A Lifetime Mortgage

Following the principles and standards defined by the Equity Release Council, we gained an in-depth understanding of Maureen’s circumstances and discussed all of her options. Maureen opted for a Lifetime Mortgage which we arranged on her behalf.

The Lifetime Mortgage provided Maureen with an initial lump sum which enabled her to carry out some essential repairs to the property she was living in. The product included a drawdown facility, which meant that Maureen had access to cash as and when required to assist her with the cost of living. With a Lifetime Mortgage, Maureen was not required to make any monthly repayments.

While Lifetime Mortgages can be transferred to a new home (subject to lender policy), in this case, Maureen planned on downsizing, repaying the mortgage and buying cash when she moved.

As such, the priority was to source a Lifetime Mortgage with the lowest Early Repayment Charging (ERC) structure. We sourced a product that had fixed Early Repayment Charges which were reduced over the years and were just 3% of any outstanding balance in the fifth year, when Maureen anticipated moving home and repaying the mortgage.

We were also able to calculate the potential early repayment charge based on the initial lump sum, her predicted drawdown and accrued interest, which were a very small price to pay in order to allow her to stay in a home that she loved.

Is equity release right for you?

Equity release can be a complicated and complex decision to make. It’s essential that you seek professional financial advice before making any commitments. As qualified equity release advisers and members of the Equity Release Council, we will always suggest alternatives and help clients find the right solution for their unique circumstances.

For a free, no-obligation chat with a professional, contact us here.

“Are lifetime mortgages safe?” This is a common question among customers seeking advice on how to manage their later-life finances. Over the years, equity release misinformation and scare stories have circulated, resulting in 15% of UK homeowners claiming that they don’t understand equity release. While it is true that some borrowers in the 1980s were mis-sold home income plans and ended up owing more than their homes were worth, the equity release market has undergone significant changes and improvements over recent decades which has made it safer than ever.

As long as the equity release product and lender are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Equity Release Council (ERC), you can be confident that it is safe.

The most popular equity release product in 2022 is a lifetime mortgage, with most lifetime mortgage products offering features that safeguard you as a customer and provide greater flexibility.

These features include:

No Negative Equity Guarantee

As part of the Equity Release Council’s Product Standards, lifetime mortgage products come with a No Negative Equity Guarantee, which ensures that you and your beneficiaries will never owe more than your property is worth when sold.

Inheritance Protection Guarantee

Many lifetime mortgages on the market now offer an inheritance protection guarantee, which enables you to protect a portion of your property’s value that you can leave behind as an inheritance for your beneficiaries.

Senior woman sitting with granddaughter at table colouring in drawings

Partial Capital Repayments

Most lifetime mortgage plans have an optional partial repayment feature, which allows you to repay up to 10% of the total amount borrowed in any 12-month period without paying an Early Repayment Charge.

We understand that you likely have a lot of questions regarding lifetime mortgages and their features. We answer some of your frequently asked questions here.

You can find out if equity release is right for you and your personal circumstances without it costing you a penny by contacting our equity release advisers on 07809 715 243 for an informal chat.

A lifetime mortgage is a big financial decision for people over the age of 55, and there are a plethora of misconceptions surrounding equity release. As more products and features are entering the growing equity release market, it can feel overwhelming and confusing. In this blog post, we’re answering some lifetime mortgage FAQs surrounding this flexible and cost-effective financial product.

Will I lose my home?

No… You will retain 100% ownership until you pass away or move into long-term care when your estate will normally sell your home to repay the mortgage, however, if the family wishes to keep the property, they can repay the mortgage in full at this time using funds from elsewhere or potentially raising a mortgage on the property themselves to repay the lifetime mortgage.

All equity release products regulated by the Equity Release Council include a ‘No Negative Equity Guarantee’ which means you will never have to pay back more than the house sells for at the normal market price. Any amount owing over this figure is written off by the lender.

How much money could I release from my home?

Typically, you can release between 20% and 60% of your property’s value, however, there are several variables that come into play including the condition of your property, your age and health and whether it is a joint application.

miniature old man and house representing equity release


What’s the difference between equity release and a lifetime mortgage?

A lifetime mortgage is actually a type of equity release product. It is the most popular type of plan, making up 99% of products on the equity release market. A lifetime mortgage is simply a loan secured against your home that will run for the rest of your life. You will not have to make monthly repayments.

Could I repay the loan in full if I wanted to?

Yes, you can repay the loan in full at any time, however early repayment charges may apply.

What about inheritance?

Any type of equity release product can reduce the value of your property. The money borrowed and the interest accumulated will have to be paid off when you pass away. If you are concerned about what you leave behind for your loved ones, it is worth looking for a lifetime mortgage product that has an ‘inheritance protection guarantee’, which is a facility that allows a certain percentage of the value of your home to be protected for your beneficiaries.

What is a ‘drawdown’ facility?

A drawdown facility means that you receive an initial lump sum and then you are able to access pre-agreed funds as and when you like. To learn more about this product feature, read our blog post.

Do you have more questions about equity release? We’re here to answer them. Contact us here.