Lifetime Mortgages Explained

What are Equity Release ‘lifetime mortgages’ and how do they differ from ‘normal’ mortgages that are available to everyone?
Andy Wilson Financial Services

Andy Wilson

What is a lifetime mortgage?

A lifetime mortgage is similar to most other residential mortgages. However there are some very important differences:

  • A lifetime mortgage does not have to be repaid within a certain term, it can literally run for your lifetime.
  • You can choose whether to meet the interest charged each month on the loan, but you do not have to pay anything back on a monthly basis if you do not wish to or cannot afford to. Any interest you do not pay simply gets added on to the total loan each month, so the debt grows.
  • You can start to pay the interest and switch to not paying the interest later if desired. However, you cannot then switch back again.
  • You cannot fall into arrears as no repayments are required, and so you will never face repossession.
  • The amount you can borrow is based on your age at the start of the plan, the property value, and in some cases your medical history.
  • You do not have to borrow the maximum available. It is possible to take a lower amount initially (typically £10,000) and then take further ‘drawdowns’ at any time in the future, up to a pre-set limit.
  • You can be sure of leaving something for beneficiaries by using an ‘inheritance guarantee’ option. In this way some of the property value is ring-fenced against being eaten away by the rising debt on a roll-up plan. However this would reduce the maximum facility available to you.
  • The property is normally sold and the plan paid off if you die, enter long term care or move home.
What protection do you get?

All lifetime mortgage advice and lending is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Furthermore, in 1991 an organisation called ‘Safe Home Income Plans’ (‘SHIP’) was set up. This organisation provided a set of guarantees for equity release applicants. The guarantees have now been incorporated in to the Equity Release Council’s  code of conduct for lenders and are still in force today. They include:

  • Borrowers will never lose their home or be repossessed whilst they continue to live in it – they have the right of occupancy for life.
  • You will never owe more than the property is worth, no matter how long you stay in your home (and with a loan that is much less than the maximum possible, or if you pay the mortgage interest each month, this is very unlikely). This is a ‘no negative equity’ guarantee (see below).
  • You will never have to make a penny in repayments if you don’t want to.
  • The right to move home at any time and take some or all of the outstanding mortgage with you is guaranteed. This is subject to the lenders terms and conditions.
  • The Solicitor of your choice can be used to give you legal advice regarding the plan.

You therefore have a high degree of security with this type of borrowing which is not the case with normal residential mortgages.

Do you already have to own your home to get a lifetime mortgage?

No you don’t! A lifetime mortgage can be used to buy a property to live in. This means the equity you already have from any property you have sold can be the deposit, with a lifetime mortgage making up the rest of the purchase price. This can enable you to buy a more expensive home than you could have afforded with just your sale proceeds.

How much can you borrow?

The total loan amount available will depend on your age at the time of arranging the scheme, and in some cases, your health. The older you are then the less time there will be for the debt to rise significantly, and so you can borrow more.

There is usually no difference in the amount you can raise whether you are a man or a woman. If there are two of you, the loan is based on the age of the youngest.

In some cases, your state of health can be taken into account. If  your life expectancy is shortened then some lenders may consider lending you more. This is because they can statistically expect the loan to be repaid more quickly than normal.

For approximations of how much you might be able to borrow, please see our Lifetime Mortgage Calculator page.

Protecting some of the equity for beneficiaries

You can guarantee that at least some of your home value is left to children or beneficiaries when you die.  Some schemes allow you to protect a given proportion of the initial value. For example, if you protected 20% of the value of your home, then the rolling-up debt would never exceed 80% of the value at any time in the future. When you leave the property and it is sold, you or your estate will get at least 20% of the net sale proceeds.`

Protecting say 20% of the equity in this way means the maximum you can borrow is 20% lower than it would have been.

Drawdown plans

If you do not borrow the maximum possible on day one, you can add a ‘drawdown reserve’ to the plan. This allows you further amounts later, usually in sums of £2,000 or more. These are available on around two weeks notice, without the need for a solicitor or adviser.

The size of the drawdown reserve can affect the interest rate charged – the higher the reserve, the higher the rate.

Bigger lump sums for people with ill health – Enhanced lifetime mortgages

If you have retired due to ill health, you have a medical condition, are overweight or smoke, you may qualify for an ‘enhanced lifetime mortgage’. These provide bigger lump sums than would be paid to someone who is expected to live longer.

These loans often come with a higher interest rate than non-enhanced lifetime loans. Additionally, taking out a bigger loan in not always the best thing to do. The eventual total cost of the loan plus interest will be even higher.

Can you still move home?

You can always move, and take the balance of the plan to your next home on the same terms. If you trade down, you may need to pay some of the debt off. The next home will need to be acceptable to the lender.

Early repayment charges

The design and funding of products means lenders do not expect their money back early. Repayment is only required on death, if you enter long term care or you move.

If you find yourself in a position to repay the loan earlier than this, a penalty may become payable. This will depend on the length of time the plan has been in force and the type of calculation used.

These charges have arguably been the most contentious aspect of lifetime mortgages in the past. Some deals taken out years ago have resulted in very high charges when borrowers have tried to repay them. Consequently, today’s products spell out very clearly how, when and how much penalty may be charged if you pay the plan off early.

There are two methods of calculation for early repayment charges. One is a fixed percentage of the loan for a set number of years. The other is linked to movements in the price of financial instruments called ‘Gilts’. You need to understand how both work if you are considering taking out a plan, especially if you may have the means to pay it back early.

No ‘negative equity’ guarantee

Many prospective lifetime mortgage clients are concerned their family may have to pay any shortfall when they die. However, this can never happen due to the ‘SHIP’ no-negative equity guarantee. This means that the lender can only ever take as a maximum the full property value, no more. However, this would only happen if the debt had risen to reach the value. This in turn would be affected by whether property prices had fallen significantly, or you live to an old age and you have taken a lifetime mortgage at a relatively high rate of interest.

Other considerations

All advisers need to be professionally qualified specifically in Equity Release.

The choice of scheme needs to be tailored to your needs, and choice of features and research can be complex. Andy Wilson has many years experience of advising equity release clients and is happy to meet you to discuss your particular requirements in your own home. Fees are payable ONLY if you decide you want to apply for a plan.

We are proud Adviser Members of the Equity Release Council.


Contact Us

Contact Andy Wilson Financial Services directly or fill out your details and we will contact you as soon as we're available.

I provide my consent for Andy Wilson Financial Services to contact me regarding my enquiry. We will use your name, email address and contact number (‘personal information’) to contact you about the services you have requested or respond to an enquiry you have submitted, which will require us to share your personal information with our advisers and supervisors. For further information on how your information is used, including disclosure to third parties, how we maintain security of your information and your rights in relation to the information we hold about you, please see our Privacy Policy.

Email communications are not secure and for this reason Andy Wilson Financial Services cannot guarantee the security of the email, its contents or that it remains virus free once sent.

Equity Release may require a lifetime mortgage or Home Reversion Plan. To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration.

Andy Wilson Financial Services Ltd is an appointed representative of TenetLime limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. TenetLime limited is entered on the Financial Services Register ( under reference 311266.

Andy Wilson Financial Services Ltd is Registered in England and Wales under reference no: 07547809. Registered Office: Landmark House, 1 Riseholme Road, Lincoln, LN1 3SN.

The information contained in this website is subject to the UK regulatory regime and is therefore primarily targeted at consumers based in the UK.

Privacy Overview

This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful.

You can adjust all of your cookie settings by navigating the tabs on the right hand side.

Functional Cookies

Several cookies are required for the site to function (such as this acceptance form). These enhance the experience of using the site by remembering certain actions and allowing core functionality.

Marketing Cookies

This website uses third party marketing cookies to collect anonymous information about your browsing habits.

Analytical Cookies

This website uses third party tracking cookies such as Google Analytics to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages.

Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.

Privacy Policy

1 – General


Andy Wilson Financial Services Ltd (“we” “us” “our”) is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. We are the data controller and will process your personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 as amended or replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 and any national laws which relate to the processing of personal data (“data protection legislation”).


Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding Your Data and how we will treat it.

This policy applies to information we collect about:

  • Visitors to our website
  • Customers
  • Introducers
  • Suppliers

2 – Visitors to our Websites


We may collect and process personal data about you in the following circumstances:

  • (2.1.1) – When you complete the online contact forms on our website (“Site”) providing us with your name, address, email address and contact number;
  • (2.1.2) – whenever you provide information to us when reporting a problem with our Site, making a complaint, making an enquiry or contacting us for any other reason. If you contact us, we may keep a record of that correspondence;
  • (2.1.3) – when you visit our Site we will retain details such as traffic data, location data, weblogs and other communication data, and the resources that you access (see section 2.2.2 on Cookies below); and
  • (2.1.4) – whenever you disclose your information to us, or we collect information from you in any other way, through our Site.


We may also collect data in the following ways:

  • (2.2.1) – IP ADRESSES: We may collect information about your device, including where available your Internet Protocol address, for reasons of fraud protection. We may also collect information about your device’s operating system and browser type, for system administration and to report aggregate information to our advertisers. This is statistical data about our users’ browsing actions and patterns, and does not identify any individual.
  • (2.2.2) – COOKIES: Our Sites uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our Sites. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our Sites and also allows us to improve our Sites. A “cookie” is a small text file that’s stored on your computer, tablet or phone when you visit a website. Some cookies are deleted when you close down your browser. These are known as session cookies. Others remain on your device until they expire or you delete them from your cache. These are known as persistent cookies and enable us to remember things about you as a returning visitor.We use cookies (and sometimes other similar technologies) to:
    • Monitor your use on our website and gather analytics to help us improve your browsing experience
    • Remember your preferences to personalise your visit
    • Identify whether you are signed in to our website
    • Personalise our website and display information relevant to you
    • Help us improve the usability of our website

Cookies do not provide us with access to your computer or any information about you, other than that which you choose to share with us.

    Cookie Provider Description Expiration
    First-party cookies
    cookiesAcknowledged Andy Wilson Financial Services Remembers choice to hide cookie policy notification, only set when notification has been acknowledged. 6 months.
    Third-party cookies
    __utma Google Used to determine unique visitors of this website, the cookie is updated with each page view. 2 years from set/update.
    __utmb Google Used to establish and continue a session with the website. 30 minutes from set/update.
    __utmz Google Stores how you reached the website such as a website search engine, email link etc. 6 months from set/update.
    __utmx Google This cookie is used to help us test and experiment with different looks/styles of our website. This is only set when required. 2 years from set/update.


We may use your personal data for our legitimate interests in order to:

  1. provide you with information or services that you requested from us;
  2. respond to an enquiry submitted via  our online contact forms; 
  3. allow you to participate in interactive features of our Site, when you choose to do so;
  4. ensure that content from our Site are presented in the most effective manner for you and for your device;
  5. improve our Site and services;
  6. process and deal with any complaints or enquiries made by you; and
  7. contact you for marketing purposes where you have signed up for these (see section 5 for further details).

Website Links:

Our Site may, from time to time, contain links to and from the websites of third parties. Please note that if you follow a link to any of these websites, such websites will apply different terms to the collection and privacy of your personal data and we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check before you submit your information to these websites.

3 – Customers


We will collect details such as name, address, email address, contact number, date of birth, national insurance number and financial information in order to provide services to customers. We may also receive details of credit checks undertaken where you have supplied these to us.


We will share customer personal information with our employees to manage our relationship with you and we will retain customer personal data for 80 years.


We will use your personal data provided to comply with our contractual obligations arising from the agreements we enter into with our Customers and share the data with financial institutions who can assist in the provision of financial services to customers including product providers, lenders, banks, insurers and third party para-planners (including Tenet* paraplanners).


We will use customer personal data for our legitimate interests including:

  • (3.4.1) – sharing personal data with Tenet* as they are responsible for the services we provide to our clients and have a legal obligation to monitor our compliance with the FSMA and Financial Conduct Authority rules. Further details regarding how Tenet will use customer personal data can be found on it’s website at or by contacting Tenet on 01132-390011;
  • (3.4.2) – with your consent, marketing our other products and services by mail and email; and
  • (3.4.3) – with your consent, obtaining your sensitive personal data from third parties including your health, ethnic origin, or criminal prosecutions from third parties such as employers and credit reference agencies, fraud prevention agencies and other similar organisations.


We will not transfer any customer personal data outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”).

*Tenet  means Tenet Group Limited, Tenet Limited, TenetConnect Limited, TenetConnect Services Limited, TenetLime Limited, its associated companies.

4 – Customers

We will collect details such as contact names, address, email address and telephone number in order to contact you about goods and/or services we have ordered from you, to comply with our contractual obligations and to place further orders. We may share your personal data with our employees to manage our relationship with you and we will keep your personal data for as long as we require your goods and/or services subject to a maximum of six years from the date of our last contact with you. We will not transfer your personal data outside the EEA.

5 – Marketing


We may use customer personal data to provide you with details about our services, products,  business updates and events which we think may be of interest.


You have the right to opt-out of receiving the information detailed in section 5.1 at any time. To opt-out of receiving such information you can:

  • (5.2.1) – tick the relevant box situated in the form on which we collect your information;
  • (5.2.2) – clicking the unsubscribe button contained in any such communication received; or
  • (5.2.3) – email us at or call 01522-590015 providing us with your name and contact details.


Where you have subscribed to receive marketing correspondence from us we will keep your personal data for six years from when you subscribed to receiving marketing information from us or until you unsubscribe from receiving such correspondence from us (whichever is earlier).

6 – Legal Basis for Processing your Personal Data


In accordance with data protection legislation we are required to notify you of the legal basis upon which we process your personal data. We process your personal data for the following reasons:

  • (6.1.1) – for performance of a contract we enter into with you;
  • (6.1.2) – where necessary for compliance with a legal obligation we are subject to; and
  • (6.1.3) – for our legitimate interests (as described within this policy).


We will also process your personal data including personal sensitive data  where we have obtained your explicit consent.

7 – Disclosure of your Data to Third Parties


In addition to the third parties mentioned previously in this policy, we may disclose your personal data to third parties for the following legitimate business purposes:

  • (7.1.1) – staff members in order to facilitate the provision of services to you;
  • (7.1.2) – IT software providers that host our website and store data on our behalf; and
  • (7.1.3) – to a prospective buyer of some or all of our business or assets, in which case personal data including Your Data will also be one of the transferred assets.


We may disclose your personal data to the police, regulatory bodies, legal advisors or similar third parties where we are under a legal duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation, or in order to enforce or apply our agreements; or to protect our rights, property, or safety of our customers, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purposes of fraud protection and credit risk reduction.


We will not sell or distribute your personal data to other organisations without your approval.

8 – Cross-Border Data Transfers

We do not transfer personal data outside the EEA.  Where this is required in the future, we will ensure that safeguards are in place so that such transfers comply with data protection legislation.

9 – Data Security


Information you provide to us is shared on our secure servers. We have implemented appropriate physical, technical and organisational measures designed to secure your information against accidental loss and unauthorised access, use, alteration or disclosure. In addition, we limit access to personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties that have a legitimate business need for such access.


Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password which enables you to access certain parts of our Site, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. We ask you not to share a password with anyone.


Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your information transmitted to our Site; any transmission is at your own risk.

10 – Access to, updating, deleting and restricting of your data


It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current.  Please keep us informed if the personal data we hold about you changes. 


Data protection legislation gives you certain rights in relation to your personal data. You have the right to object to the processing of your personal data in certain circumstances and to withdraw your consent to the processing of your personal data where this has been provided.


You can also ask us to undertake the following:

  • (10.3.1) – update or amend your personal data if you feel this is inaccurate;
  • (10.3.2) – remove your personal data from our database entirely;
  • (10.3.3) – send you copies of your personal data in a commonly used format and transfer your information to another entity where you have supplied this to us, and we process this electronically with your consent or where necessary for the performance of a contract;
  • (10.3.4) – restrict the use of your personal data; and
  • (10.3.5) – provide you with access to information held about you and for this to be provided in an intelligible form.


We may request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity. Data protection legislation may allow or require us to refuse to provide you with access to some or all the personal data that we hold about you or to comply with any requests made in accordance with your rights referred to above. If we cannot provide you with access to your personal data, or process any other request we receive, we will inform you of the reasons why, subject to any legal or regulatory restrictions.


Please send any requests relating to the above to our Privacy Officer, Andy Wilson, at 2 Claudius Road, North Hykeham, Lincoln, LN6 9PH or specifying your name and the action you would like us to undertake. Note that in relation to requests to access personal data, we reserve the right to charge a reasonable fee to comply with your request.

11 – Right to Withdraw Consent

Where you have provided your consent to the collection, processing and transfer of your personal data, you may withdraw that consent at any time. This will not affect the lawfulness of data processing based on consent before it is withdrawn. To withdraw your consent please contact us at or by writing to Andy Wilson, 2 Claudius Road, North Hykeham, Lincoln, LN6 9PH

12 – Changes to our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to update this privacy policy at any time, and any changes we make to our privacy policy will be posted on this page. We will notify you if there are any changes to this policy that materially affect how we collect, store or process your personal data. If we would like to use your previously collected personal data for different purposes than those we notified you about at the time of collection, we will provide you with notice and, where required by law, seek your consent, before using your personal data for a new or unrelated purpose. We may process your personal data without your knowledge or consent where required by applicable law or regulation.

13 – Contact Us

We have appointed a Privacy Officer to oversee compliance with this privacy policy. If you have any questions, comments or requests regarding this policy or how we use your personal data please contact our Privacy Officer at or tel: 01522-590015. This is in addition to your right to contact the Information Commissioners Office if you are unsatisfied with our response to any issues you raise at


Last updated: 1 April 2018.

Privacy Overview
Functional Cookies
Marketing Cookies
Analytical Cookies
Privacy Policy

Request a call back

Fill out the form below and we will ring you as soon we can.

I provide my consent for Andy Wilson Financial Services to contact me regarding my enquiry. We will use your name, email address and contact number (‘personal information’) to contact you about the services you have requested or respond to an enquiry you have submitted, which will require us to share your personal information with our advisers and supervisors. For further information on how your information is used, including disclosure to third parties, how we maintain security of your information and your rights in relation to the information we hold about you, please see our Privacy Policy.