What Is The Equity Release Council?

What is the Equity Release Council?

The Equity Release Council is the leading regulatory body for providers of equity release products in the UK, setting and upholding best practice standards.

But what are these benefits? How do you choose an equity release provider that’s right for you? What risks should be considered when taking out a product like this?

And how can financial advisors help with your decision-making process? In this blog post, we will explore all these questions and more to understand better the role played by The Equity Release Council in protecting customers’ interests.

We’ll also look at common questions about equity release products so that if you’re considering one yourself, then hopefully, it won’t seem quite so daunting.

What is the Equity Release Council?

The Equity Release Council (ERC) is a self-governing, non-profit entity that institutes standards for the equity release sector to ensure customers’ interests are safeguarded and uphold superior practices in the industry. It assures customers that their interests are protected and promotes best practices in the sector.


The ERC was established in 1991 as a response to increasing product demand, allowing homeowners aged 55 and over to access some of the value locked up in their homes without moving or downsizing. Since then, it has grown into a leading authority on all aspects of equity release, with members representing lenders, advisers and other stakeholders across the UK.

Mission & Values:

The ERC’s mission is “to ensure that customers have confidence when considering releasing money from their home” by setting high standards of conduct within its membership and advising on responsible lending practices. Its values include fairness, transparency and customer protection; these form the basis for its regulatory framework, which outlines expectations for providers who wish to become accredited members.

The Equity Release Council is a trusted source of information and guidance for those considering equity release products, ensuring the highest standards are met. Let us now look at the advantages of such monetary offerings.

Benefits of Equity Release Products

Financial Security:

Equity release products allow homeowners to access funds without selling their homes or taking out a loan. Equity release plans offer peace of mind to homeowners, enabling them to stay in their homes while still being able to utilize the funds for retirement or other expenses.

Additionally, equity release plans come with fixed interest rates and no early repayment charges, meaning customers know exactly how much they will pay each month.

Flexibility and Choice:

Equity release products also provide customers with flexibility and choice when accessing funds. Customers can select from various alternatives, including one-off payments or steady revenue streams, depending on their particular requirements. Moreover, certain suppliers allow customers to make additional payments with no repercussions.

Tax Advantages:

Finally, equity release plans may also have tax advantages compared to other forms of borrowing because interest is only charged once the plan has been repaid in full. This could result in significant savings for those looking for an alternative source of finance during retirement years.

Finally, equity release plans may also have tax advantages compared to other forms of borrowing because interest is only charged once the plan has been repaid in full. This could result in significant savings for those looking for an alternative source of finance during retirement years.

The benefits of equity release products are numerous and can provide financial security, flexibility, choice and tax advantages for homeowners over 50. Doing your due diligence when selecting a provider of equity release is vital to secure the most advantageous terms.

How to Choose an Equity Release Provider?

Selecting a suitable equity release provider can be intimidating, so taking the time and conducting comprehensive research before making your choice is essential. Taking the time to research and compare different providers is essential when selecting an equity release provider. To ensure a successful selection of an equity release provider, it is advisable to research thoroughly and take one’s time.

Research and Compare Providers:

Start by researching different providers online and compare their offerings side-by-side. Look at fees, interest rates, repayment terms, customer service ratings, and product reviews from previous customers.

By evaluating the various providers in terms of fees, interest rates, repayment terms, customer service ratings and product reviews from previous customers, you can determine which is best suited to your requirements.

Check for Accreditation and Regulation Compliance:

Ensure the provider is accredited by the Equity Release Council (ERC) or Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). These organisations ensure that all products meet strict standards of safety and fairness, so you know that any money borrowed is secure.

Verify if the firm has recently experienced any regulatory action before making a judgement.

Reviewing reviews from customers who have used the same product can provide valuable insight into what it’s like working with that particular provider.

Check out forums like Trustpilot or Moneysavingexpert to learn what people say about them before committing to anything long-term.

By researching customer reviews, you can be sure that any long-term commitments are secure and better understand how the provider handles difficulties or concerns.

Before choosing an equity release provider, you must do your due diligence by researching and comparing offerings, checking for accreditation and regulation compliance with the Equity Release Council (ERC) or Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and reading reviews from customers who have used their products. Investigating thoroughly can assist in selecting a sensible option that won’t lead to regret.

Understanding the Risks of Equity Release Products

When considering equity release products, it is essential to understand the associated risks. Considering the interest rate and any associated fees when evaluating equity release products is critical, as these can significantly impact your finances.

The interest rate on an equity release product may be fixed or variable, and some providers may also charge additional fees for their services. It is essential to research different providers and compare their rates before deciding.

Repayment options and conditions should also be considered when evaluating an equity release product. Lenders offer a range of payment alternatives, including one-time payments or regular instalments over a specific timeframe.

It is important to ascertain any fees associated with repaying the loan ahead of schedule, as these could add considerable expense over time. Moreover, some lenders may require authorization before utilising the funds for specific investments or purchasing property.

It is essential to understand the risks of equity release products before deciding. A good grasp of the potential hazards linked to equity release products is key to making an educated choice and having assurance regarding your monetary future.

Moving on, it is important to consider a financial advisor’s role in helping customers decide about equity release products.

The Role of Financial Advisors in Equity Release Decisions

Financial advisors are important in helping people make informed decisions about equity release products. Advisors can assist in assessing the monetary consequences of taking out a loan and any potential risks. Advisors can assist in locating a suitable loan for your specific situation and resources.

Regarding professional advice on financial matters, advisors are trained to assess your situation and recommend appropriate options that suit your circumstances.

They will be able to explain all associated costs and fees and any potential tax advantages or disadvantages that may arise from taking out an equity release product. This allows you to make an informed decision based on your finances rather than relying solely on online research or marketing materials from providers.

Advisors can also help you determine which product best meets your needs and objectives. With so many equity release products available, it’s important to understand which is most suitable for your particular situation and goals.

An advisor will be able to explain each option in detail, including features such as interest rates and repayment terms, so you can compare different offerings side by side before making a final decision.

Finally, financial advisors can help ensure that you make an informed choice when deciding whether or not equity release is right for you by providing impartial advice without bias towards any particular provider or product type.

By having access to unbiased information about various options available in the market today, consumers are better equipped with the knowledge needed to make sound decisions regarding their future finances, something which cannot always be achieved through online research alone.

It is essential to seek professional advice from a financial advisor when considering equity release products. They can provide invaluable guidance in finding the right product and making informed decisions.

Examining queries frequently posed by prospective purchasers, we now focus on the issues related to equity release products.

Common Questions About Equity Release Products

Many people over the age of 50 in the UK are considering equity release products as a way to supplement their retirement income. It’s essential to understand the terms and conditions of these products before entering into any agreement with a provider so that you can make an informed decision about your finances. Here are some common questions about equity release products:

What is the Maximum Amount I Can Borrow?

This depends on several factors, such as age, property value, and mortgage balance. For those aged 55 or older, the maximum loan amount generally amounts to up to 55% of their home’s value; however, this percentage decreases with age.

Are There Any Early Repayment Charges?

Most providers will charge a penalty fee for early repayment of an equity release product. A penalty may be applied to a loan repayment before the expected time. This fee will differ depending on the product type (e.g., lifetime mortgage) and its length since origination.

What Happens if I Move Home or Go Into Care?

If you move house while still owing money on an equity release product, most lenders will allow you to transfer it to another property – but additional costs may be involved. If you go into care, all payments must cease until they can be resumed – usually when leaving care or upon death (whichever comes first).

These key points should help readers understand what they must consider before taking out an equity release product. Comprehending these expressions is critical for guaranteeing they secure the most ideal arrangement.

It is vital to comprehend the usual queries regarding equity release plans before settling on any choice, as this will guarantee that you are adequately educated and can conclude with certainty.

How to Get Started with Equity Release Products

Speaking to a professional financial advisor is key when looking at equity release products; they can advise you on the different choices and help you get the best deal for your situation. It’s also important to compare quotes from various providers to ensure you are getting a competitive rate.

Don’t forget to check that any provider you use is regulated by the Equity Release Council, as this will ensure they meet high customer service and protection standards.

Understanding your rights as a consumer when taking out an equity release product is equally important. This includes knowing what fees may be involved, such as early repayment charges or interest rates, understanding how much money you can borrow, and being aware of any conditions attached to repaying the loan.

Before signing up for an equity release product, it is prudent to consult with a financial specialist to ensure that the decision is appropriate for your particular circumstances.

Finally, don’t forget that plenty of resources online can help guide your decision-making process regarding equity release products – including reviews and testimonials from previous customers who have taken out similar deals.

These could prove invaluable when comparing offers from various providers and choosing one that meets your needs.

By following these steps, you should be able to secure an equity release product which provides long-term financial security without compromising on quality or value for money – allowing homeowners over 55 living in the UK peace of mind about their finances now and into retirement.

What Is the Equity Release Council FAQs

What is the role of the Equity Release Council?

It also provides guidance and advice to customers on how to make informed decisions when considering equity release. The Council collaborates with lenders, advisers, intermediaries and other stakeholders to ensure all parties comply with applicable laws.

The Council’s main purpose is to safeguard customers by supplying them with data regarding the potential hazards of unlocking equity from their property and guaranteeing they get appropriate counsel before settling on any choices.

What is the downside to equity release?

The downside to equity release is that it can significantly reduce the inheritance you can leave behind. Moreover, specific equity release plans may come with substantial interest rates and costs, which could make it hard to settle them in a timely fashion.

Furthermore, if your circumstances change or you move home, the terms of your agreement may be altered without warning. As such, weighing up all potential risks before committing to an equity release product is essential.

What are equity release interest rates 2024?

Equity release interest rates in the UK vary depending on the product chosen and can range from as low as 3.5% to over 6%. Generally, these products come with a fixed rate for life, so customers should consider their long-term needs when selecting an equity release plan.

Interest rates can be contingent on various elements, such as age, well-being and property type. When selecting an equity release plan, comparing different providers for the best possible deal is essential.

What is the meaning of equity release?

Equity release is a financial solution that enables house owners to unlock the value of their real estate without needing to sell it. It works by allowing people over the age of 55 to borrow money against their home, with the loan being secured against its value. A good example is a Santander equity release plan.

The amount borrowed can then be used for whatever purpose they choose, such as home improvements or holidays. Equity release products are typically offered on an interest-only basis and require no monthly repayments until after death or moving into long-term care. At this point, the loan plus any accrued interest must be repaid from either the property sale proceeds or other funds.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Equity Release Council is an essential regulatory body that helps ensure customers receive fair treatment and have access to all of the necessary information when making decisions about equity release products.

By working with a financial advisor and researching different providers, you can ensure you get the best deal possible on your equity release product. Ultimately, understanding what’s involved in taking out an equity release plan will help you determine whether it’s right for your situation.

Take control of your financial future with 1st UK Money‘s tailored equity release solutions. With our competitive rates and experienced advisors, you can be sure to find the best deal for your needs.