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Frequently Asked Questions

If you are specifically interested in Equity release - Click here for Equity release FAQs

Q. Can you recommend any Good books on Personal finance?
A. Yes, I am always happy to recommend good books, to make life easy, I have created a bookshop page where you will be able to buy my recommended books direct from Amazon. Click here to access my bookshop.

Q. Can you provide references from people you have worked with in the past
A. Of course, I would be happy to put you in touch with people I have worked with in the past. In the meantime, you will find a number of testimonials from our exiting customers here.

Q. There seems to be a lot of Jargon used in the financial markets, what does it all mean?
A. You may find this jargon busting guide from the FSA useful.

Q. I have had a few credit problems in the past, am I likely to be able to find a mortgage with a reputable lender?
A. Previous credit problems are not always a barrier to getting a mortgage form a reputable lender. Here is a guide on the subject published by the Council of Mortgage lenders.

Q. My mortgage provider is threatening to repossess my property, where can I get some practical impartial advice?
A. The Council of Mortgage Lenders is a great source of this type of advice. Here is a link to their guide on the subject.

Q. How can I quickly work out what my repayments will be on a repayment mortgage?
A. This mortgage calculator provided by the Council of Mortgage Lenders should give you the info you need.

Q. How can I check what qualifications my mortgage adviser should have?
A. Have a look at this answer on the Council of Mortgage Lenders FAQ page.

Q. Where can I get some impartial advice on mortgage protection insurance? i.e. in case I lose my job or off work due to sickness.
A. Have a look at this answer on the Council of Mortgage Lenders FAQ page.

Q. What if I have problem tenants?
A. Best to get rid of them! If they are deliberately not paying their rent you might be forced to go down the eviction route:
www.evictthem.co.uk

Q. What if I get made redundant?
A. Suggest you take out “accident sickness unemployment” insurance cover - contact us for a quote.

Q. My endowment company is telling me there will be a shortfall, what do I do?
A. There are a number of options to consider which the endowment provider is obligated to advise in writing. If you are unsure as to which option to take please contact us for a chat.

Q. I have to relocate to another area with my job but I cannot sell my house?
A. You could consider a “let to buy” scheme - call for details.

Q. I am a student with a £20,000 student loan but am desperate to get on the housing ladder as don’t want to be forever paying rent.
A. Not an easy one! There are options such as getting parental help with a deposit or acting as guarantor - best call for a chat.

Q. We urgently need extra funds to pay for a leaking roof but are “locked in” with our present lender how can we raise the money?
A. You could apply for a short term secured loan (that way avoiding redemption penalties) and pay it off when your present deal expires with a re-mortgage for the increased loan amount -we can provide quotes. The money is usually credited to your bank account within 2/3 weeks.

Q. We are retired and finding it difficult to get by on our pension - if we take out a loan we will struggle with the payments, any suggestions?
A. Equity release for the elderly is a popular solution - this is a specialist area of lending and it is best to arrange for a qualified consultant to carry out a fact find and report back with their recommendations. The most common type allows interest to roll up so avoiding the need for monthly payments. Refer to our Equity Release section on the web site as well as more answers to queries below.

FAQs about Equity release

Q. How much can I borrow?
A. Click here for our Equity Release Calculator - as a simple guide at the age of 65 it is typically about 30% of your property value, at 70 its 35% and the older you are the more you can get, usually to a limit of 50%.

Q. How does it work?
A. The most popular type is the “roll up lifetime mortgage”. In a nutshell you borrow against your home with no monthly payments are made as the interest “rolls up”. Upon the death of the remaining owner, the property is sold with the beneficiaries getting any surplus monies after the lender is paid back the rolled up loan. Click here to the FSA’s MoneyMadeClear web site: “No selling. No Jargon. Just the facts about equity release schemes”.

Q. What about the impact on income tax and state benefits?
A. Click here for the Guide to Welfare Benefits for the over 65’s + Web based calculators to help you work out your entitlement to benefits and tax credits. Additional sources of information: The Citizens Advice Bureau + Department of Work and Pensions + Local Authority + Home Improvement Trust.

Q. How much equity will be left for my beneficiaries?
A. Click here for simple table produced by Hodge Equity.

Q. Risk of losing my home?
A. All schemes by “SHIP” members offer a “no negative equity” guarantee. The house is only sold when the last remaining person dies or goes into a care home.

Q. Is there a minimum amount I have to take?
A. Usually about £10,000 - it will depend on the lender.

Q. What if I want to have access to a larger amount but don’t want it all immediately?
A. Drawdown loans can be taken out where you are approved for a maximum loan size but you can drawdown smaller amounts over time up to that limit. The advantage of the drawdown facility is that the interest is only applied when to the monies are drawdown. 

Q. What are the fees & costs associated with Equity Release?
A. Valuation fee, linked to the value of the property, typically £200-300. Legal costs, allow £600. Lenders arrangement fee, varies £300 to £750. Brokers fee: typically £500. The valuation fee is usually the only up front charge, the rest are normally included in the loan that is taken out.

Q. Which Websites offer good advice on the Subject of Equity Release?
A. You may find the following links useful:

www.ship-ltd.org
www.moneymadeclear.fsa.gov.uk

Other web sites that maybe of help:

www.citizensadvice.org.uk
www.dwp.gov.uk
www.entitledto.co.uk
www.houseproud.org.uk