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Equity Review | November 22, 2019

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Can Independent Equity Release Advice Be Found Online?

Can Independent Equity Release Advice Be Found Online?
Kenneth Hardman

Making a decision whether to take out an equity release plan can be a hard task especially if you have never done it before. This is the reason why the FSA and the government insists its elderly citizens use a certified equity release adviser before they can take out any equity release mortgage. According to the FSA’s requirements any financial adviser providing equity release advice in this market needs to be certified and have had the necessary training to handle financial advice on releasing equity.

This is totally understandable. An industry that has been rocked in the past by poor advice and products during the 80’s and 90’s has come a long way with cleaning up its act. With the introduction of SHIP (Safe Home Income Plans) in 1991 and latterly the revamped version of SHIP called the Equity Release Council, the industry has now found its voice and representation in the higher echelons of society and members of parliament.

These representative bodies are pressing the message to the journalists and press about how the importance of independent equity release advice can never be underestimated. By using an independent lifetime mortgage adviser will help you make the right decisions for the right reasons based on your individual circumstances. Your adviser will counsel you on both the negative and the positive aspects of using this lifetime mortgage plan for your future. The good thing with such advisers is that there are different mediums that can be utilised in order to source their advice.

There are the older traditional routes of the directories or your accountant, however with the width and breadth of the internet, many equity release advisory firms can be found here. One of the forerunners of the online practical solutions was Equity Release Supermarket back in 2008. With its online presence, thousands of customers have received quality information on the best equity release deals available and seen their aspirations come to fruition.

However, an online solution is not for everybody and as such face-to-face advice is also provided, offering the best of the two financial advice alternatives. However, you cannot take out an equity release mortgage without advice so it isn’t a simple matter of going to an online equity release company and just picking out a plan you think will suit. The FSA do not permit this and will police this by the equity release lenders checking any lifetime mortgage application to ensure that the applicant has ticked to say they have received advice and from whom.

The other reason why the FSA and government recommends people to use independent equity release advisers is that these consultants have been highly trained to handle and take care of the elderly and understand their plight better and provide empathy towards their situation.

Hopefully, all the necessary steps have been taken by the equity release industry to eradicate the indifferences of the previous generation of plans and any stigma that was attached. They have shown the movement has made a forward step and with the various modes of communication available these days, the equity release industry has now thankfully caught up with the times.