One Family Equity Release review
This review of One Family equity release is one of several equity release reviews we’ve created to highlight the main providers and what they offer. These simple summaries help you compare the different companies and equity release schemes available so you can decide which, if any, may be right for you.
One Family has over 2.6 million customers and £7.4 billion in funds under management. It was formed from the merger of two mutuals - Engage Mutual and Family Investments - in April 2015. As a mutual, it is owned by its customers and run for their benefit, which means profits go back into the business and wider community.
One Family is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is a member of the Equity Release Council, so its customers are protected by the rules and guiding principles of these governing bodies.
One Family offers a range of award-winning savings, investments, insurance and lifetime mortgage products. They also offer a broader equity release advice service that compares lifetime mortgages from across the whole market, which we’ll talk about first.
One Family’s equity release advice service – in summary
One Family’s equity release service provides independent, impartial advice on lifetime mortgages from across the whole market including Aviva, L&G, LV, Just, Pure Retirement and One Family’s own products. This is similar to the service provided by our chosen partner, Age Partnership – the award winning, independent equity release advisers.
A One Family specialist will advise you on whether equity release is the right solution for your circumstances and if so, they will research all available providers and recommend the one that is most suited to your needs.
In keeping with their mutual status, One Family’s equity release advisers earn a salary rather than working on commission, and you pay a one-off fixed fee of £750 for the advice you receive (plus the usual legal, completion and valuation fees), no matter how much equity you release.
A lifetime mortgage must be taken out through a regulated adviser. If you don’t have an adviser, One Family provide options for obtaining independent advice, one of which is their own advisory service. However, you are under no obligation to use it.
One Family lifetime mortgages – in summary
Alongside this independent advice service, One Family has two MoneyFacts and DeFaqto-rated lifetime mortgages, both of which provide a one-off lump sum for you to spend as you wish. They also offer flexible repayment options to suit your financial circumstances and priorities.
- Interest Payment Lifetime Mortgage – lets you pay some, or all, of the interest each month. You can stop making regular payments and switch to the Interest Roll-Up with Voluntary Payment Lifetime Mortgage at any time.
- Interest Roll-Up With Voluntary Payment Lifetime Mortgage – lets you make voluntary repayments of up to 10% of the initial loan amount each year, free of any early repayment charge. This can either be as a one-off payment, or in smaller payments of £25 or more. You can reduce or stop repayments as you wish.
Both lifetime mortgages share the following features:
- You retain ownership and can continue to live in your home
- A choice of a 2-year fixed rate or a variable rate based on the consumer price index.
- Fixed early repayment charges
- The option to repay the mortgage in full and incur no charge after the Early Repayment Charge period ends
- If you move to a new property that is acceptable to One Family, your lifetime mortgage can move with you
- Any outstanding balance is repaid when you die or move into long term care
- After five years, if you sell your property you can repay the lifetime mortgage in full with no charge
- The ‘no-negative-equity’ guarantee means you won’t pass on any debt to your estate
- The amount you can borrow depends on how old you are and the value of your property
- Taking out a lifetime mortgage may affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits or pension credit
To be eligible for a One Family lifetime mortgage you must meet the following criteria:
- Minimum 55 years of age
- Maximum 85 years of age at mortgage completion. Or 70 years of age 2-year for the fixed rate lifetime mortgage
- Own a home in England, Wales or Scotland, which is your main residence
- UK resident or permanent rights to reside in the UK
- For joint applications, both applicants must have full title to the property
- If you have an outstanding mortgage, this must be paid off in full using the One Family lifetime mortgage if necessary.
To compare equity release companies or find out how much equity you could release from your home, using our free calculator . And of course there’s no obligation to go further.
Always seek professional advice, but please be aware that not all advisers look at the whole market like Age Partnership do. Some may only look at one or two equity release schemes, which not be the best option for your particular circumstances. For impartial and independent advice on plans from right across the market, call 0800 133 7380 to speak to a specialist adviser.
And finally, before you make a decision, please look into alternatives to equity release, take the time to understand exactly what you’re committing and discuss your intentions with your loved ones.
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