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Equity Release

Frequently Asked Questions

It's important to understand all the facts before you take out a lifetime mortgage, so we've answered some of the more common questions you may have below.

This is a lifetime mortgage. To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration.

What is equity release?

Equity release is a way of releasing some of the money that's tied up in your home, providing you with a cash lump sum. Aviva offers lifetime mortgages which are a type of equity release plan.

You can continue to live in your home and use the money to get more from your retirement. Whether it's to top up your income, make home improvements, buy a new car or even take a special holiday - it's up to you how you spend it.

Taking a lump sum, plus the costs, will reduce the value you have in your home, and therefore the amount of any inheritance you leave. Your tax position and any entitlement to welfare benefits may also be affected.

Equity release isn't right for everyone, so it's important to understand the features and risks.

Can you still leave an inheritance?

Although the amount of inheritance you can leave will always be reduced you can choose an inheritance guarantee on our lifetime mortgages to ensure you can leave something for your loved ones. However, this will reduce the amount of money you can borrow and may affect the interest rate charged. Find out more about our lifetime mortgage inheritance guarantee.

Are you eligible for a lifetime mortgage?

Lifetime mortgages are available to homeowners aged 55 and over. The amount you can release will depend on a number of factors including your age, value of property and type of property.

You may be able to borrow a higher loan amount on the Lifestyle Lump Sum Max plan if you have certain health or lifestyle conditions.

Find out if you're eligible for a lifetime mortgage..

Does your home qualify?

Your home may qualify for a lifetime mortgage if it is a residential property of standard construction in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Please bear in mind that minimum property values apply. We are not able to offer lifetime mortgages for properties in the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.

Lifetime mortgages are not offered for the following property types: freehold flat or maisonette (except in Scotland), studio or basement flat, flat or maisonette in a local authority or housing authority block of more than four storeys, mobile home or houseboat, farm, hotel, retirement properties, guest house or B&B.

How much equity can you release?

This depends on a number of factors including the value of your home and your age when you start the plan.

If you have certain medical conditions, you may be able to borrow a higher proportion of your property's value, or may benefit from a lower fixed interest rate.

For a general guide on if you're eligible and how much you may be able to release from your home please use our eligibility calculator.

Will you still own your own home?

With a lifetime mortgage, you keep ownership of your home.

Lifetime mortgages offered by Aviva allow you to continue living in your home until you die or need to go into long term care as defined in our terms and conditions.

How flexible are lifetime mortgages?

With a lifetime mortgage you may be able to release more in the future. You will be able to move home, subject to our lending criteria at the time, but if you move to a property of lower value, you may have to pay back part of the lifetime mortgage.

Are there valuation and legal fees to pay?

The arrangement fee is deducted from the amount you receive. However, you will be required to pay the costs of a solicitor acting on your behalf. We will then arrange for an independent valuation of your home, for which you will have to pay a fee, so we can tell you exactly how much money you could release.

What interest rate will be applied?

A lifetime mortgage has a higher interest rate applied to it than a standard mortgage, because you don't make any payments during the term of the mortgage. You can find out more about interest rates and APRs for each of our lifetime mortgages.

Are you still responsible for maintaining the property and paying bills?

Yes, lifetime mortgages offered by Aviva require you to maintain your property and keep it in a state of good repair. It's also still your responsibility to insure your property and pay all your property related bills, such as utilities and council tax.

Can you repay the lifetime mortgage early?

Lifetime mortgages are designed to last for the rest of your life. If you want to repay the lifetime mortgage early in full you will have to repay the total of the loan and interest you owe and there may be a substantial early repayment charge.

However once you've had your lifetime mortgage for one year, you can make partial repayments on a voluntary basis, with no early repayment charge. The maximum you can pay back each year is 10% of the amount borrowed. You can repay in up to four installments a year, and the minimum you can pay in each installment is £500. Please note that this option is only available to new customers who have applied for an Aviva lifetime mortgage since 28th April 2014.

Are there any tax implications?

It's important to understand that taking out a lifetime mortgage will reduce the value you have in your home and therefore the inheritance you leave. You don't have to pay tax on the amount you release, but it may affect your tax position and entitlement to means tested benefits.

Is equity release regulated?

Yes, equity release is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This is an independent body reporting to the government that helps to ensure that financial products offered to the public are fair and meet its required standards.

Aviva is also a long-standing member of the Equity Release Council(formerly known as SHIP), a trade body set up in 1991 to help protect people taking out equity release. We adhere to the strict standards set out in their code of conduct.

Lifetime mortgages are not available in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

WC07048 07/2014

Contact us

For more information or to find out if you're eligible for a lifetime mortgage call us on

0800 404 6220

Lines open Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm

Whilst we are unable to give you financial advice, if you don't have a financial adviser already we can refer you to a carefully selected equity release specialist. This adviser isn't employed by Aviva but can only advise on Aviva's lifetime mortgages.

Calls are free from a BT land line. Costs may vary from mobiles and other networks.

Or alternatively arrange for us to call you back at a time convenient to you.

For our joint protection, telephone calls may be recorded.

Are you eligible?

Use our calculator to find out if you could be eligible for a lifetime mortgage, which products may be available to you and how much you might be able to release.

Why Aviva Equity Release?

  • Over 140,000 people have released money from their home with Aviva Equity Release.
  • We have provided equity release since 1998.
  • We're award winning
20th Anniversary what Mortgage Awards 2013 Winner - Best Equity Release Lender