With many people today living longer and owning their own homes, a large number of Brits are asset rich but cash poor, so equity release lending is increasing in popularity.

With rates falling and house prices slowly climbing, there has been just under a 15% increase in the number of people over the age of 55 choosing to release cash from their property, since the last recorded high in 2007.

Last year saw around 21,000 homeowners withdraw a total value of £1.4 billion from their property – a popular choice with those who are unable to afford the monthly repayments that a standard mortgage requires, or those who need to top up their retirement income.

Rates are still considerably higher when compared to standard residential lending rates, which reflect the all time low Bank of England rate of 0.5%. They have still dropped in the last 12 months to an average of 6.06%, down from 6.52%.

In general, homeowners can release equity from their home in cash form. The agreement is that the amount borrowed, plus interest, is then repaid upon death or if the individual moves to a care facility. As there is no way of determining how long the loan will last, the borrower does not know what the total repayment will be as it is dependent on how long they live and when the property is sold.

Working in the mortgage field, it is dependent on your employer and their product range as to whether or not you are in a position to provide equity release loans. You will need to pass the exam at the end of your CeMAP training to be able to interview compliantly.

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