August 14th, 2014

The Internet provides numerous resources for all types of product, information and services. It should not come as a surprise they also have several websites offering details about equity release products and tools. For instance, if you wish to find an online equity release calculator, there are plenty of resources that lead you to this tool. From there you can determine what type of equity release is right for you and your family. Finding an independent broker to source information in the market is also an imperative step to take.

Independent Brokers
There is one thing most sales jobs have in common: the sales person is working the best for their own company. When you find a broker attached to Just Retirement, for example, this broker is going to have the most knowledge about their products and circle around to why their product is ideal for you versus other companies you could work with.

By finding an independent broker, you remove this issue of bias. An independent broker is there to find you the best lifetime mortgage or home reversion equity release scheme that fits your needs.

It sounds great that there are brokers out there working for you, but it still begs the question of where they can be found.

Finding Lenders with Equity Release Schemes
Any search engine is going to bring up a list of equity release information. If you specifically search for equity release brokers, a slew of them will come up. Add in independent as a keyword and you narrow it down a little more. Websites like Google, Bing and Yahoo are very helpful in this regard. You also have online Yellow Pages and sites like Unbiased information pages like the Equity Release Council and Equity Release Supermarket further help you conduct a search for independent brokers. These same sites can lead you to an online equity release calculator that provides you with independent, unbiased results on available products.

Before choosing a broker, you will want to check their website to ensure they are FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulated. The FCA has regulated the industry for your safety. Brokers are also required to have proper qualifications as financial brokers to provide advice on equity release products. They will have proper education, as well as having gone through testing to obtain these qualifications. It is imperative that you make certain any broker you seek has these qualifications before you start to obtain advice.

Equity Release Options
Home reversion is one option you have for equity release. It allows for a partial or full sale of a house without a mortgage product attached. You get to live in the house without paying rent, obtain funds to live on in retirement, and at the end of your life or when you need more care, you sell the remainder of the home. There are home reversion calculator tools to use. It is best to use this tool only for home reversion because the results will differ from that of a lifetime mortgage calculator.

Lifetime mortgage calculators work differently as you are obtaining an actual mortgage with an interest rate. Most calculators will allow you to choose the time of lifetime mortgage. For example, an enhanced, interest only, lump sum and drawdown mortgages are available to you.

Calculating your Choices
While you have plenty of choices in equity release, there is one thing you still need to consider – independent results. As you look for a broker, you also want to make certain any equity release calculator you use will offer independent information.

A calculator tied to a lender such as More2Life is typically designed to offer information about their products based on their interest rates and qualifications. This can mean the products they offer might be specifically set for a certain age of borrower. While it provides results, it might be a product you are not aged correctly for.

Another issue with some online calculators, whether it is through an independent site or lender, is updating the information. Like website information can become old, so too can the calculator information. Unless the calculator has been updated in the last few months, you might be getting improper results.

You should be ready to start your search. Just remember to make certain any broker you choose has been regulated by the FCA and they also have proper certification for equity release schemes. As you look for an online equity release calculator to determine affordability, also keep in mind to check the last time it was updated.