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Guide: Interest-Only Lifetime Mortgage

An interest-only lifetime mortgage is a kind of equity release from the property, provided only to people over the age of 55.

The borrower only has to pay monthly interest at a fixed rate, while the principal amount borrowed remains the same. This amount need only be paid when the person should pass away or move to residential care by selling the property.

House in a village

Source - @philhearing

Eligibility Criteria


This loan is meant for older people who have difficulty getting a standard residential mortgage. However, for you to be able to benefit from the mortgage, you will have to fulfil some eligibility criteria, which will be the decisive factor of how much money you can borrow.

  • Age: You should be at least 55 years of age.

  • Your income: You will have to provide proof of income for monthly interest payments.

  • Property Value: Your property should be worth £70,000 or more.

  • Health: Your health can also affect the amount you can get as a mortgage.

  • Existing Mortgage: Your existing mortgages should be cleared first before you can be eligible to get this mortgage. Otherwise, you can get enough loans with which you can repay your existing debts.


Pros and cons of interest only lifetime mortgage


Pros



  • You won't have to move out of the house, and you can retain the ownership of the house.

  • The cash withdrawn will be tax-free, which you can spend the way you want.

  • You won't have to repay the debt. The debt will be repaid in the event of your death or when you sell the house.

  • You can stop making interest payments anytime without incurring any penalty charges. The interest will be added to the amount loaned and paid on the sale of the house. You can still have some inheritance to pass on after the debt is paid.
    You can also repay all or part of the loan. However, there may be some early repayment charges or penalties by the lender. So be considerate of all the terms and conditions.


Cons



  • The inheritance value of the estate will be affected after settling the debt amount.

  • If you are unable to pay the interest, it can build up very quickly, whereas if you choose to borrow from other means, you can get lower-interest-incurring loans.

  • An interest-only lifetime mortgage can negatively impact the means-tested benefits that might be entitled to.

  • The interest rate of this mortgage is higher than other traditional mortgages.


Conclusion


This mortgage is meant to help older people unlock some part of the equity with simpler rules and regulations. For a start, you can search online for various equity release calculators from different financial services providers that will help you to calculate your risks and benefits for this kind of Lifetime Mortgage. Typically the initial filing fees (arrangement, legal advisor, completion, etc) could cost you around £3,000.
It's always better to seek financial advice and understand all the ins and outs of an interest-based lifetime mortgage before deciding to get one.

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