*Please note, customer names and details have been altered slightly to provide anonymity*
LIVE MORE COMFORTABLY
Sarah's husband, Mike, died at the age of 62, just a few weeks after having been diagnosed with cancer. The family, including three children, were devasted, especially considering how fast everything happened.
Unfortunately, Sarah is now in a position where she has some credit card debt built up, following some fairly free spending during the last 5 or so years with husband Mike.
They were planning on paying off the total balance with Mike's pension in the future, so were content just paying the monthly balance for now.
However, when Mike died, his pension payments were reduced meaning that the amount Sarah received was only just covering her day to day living.
They usually paid off the minimum balance due, but always thought they’d pay off the total balance with Mike's pension later on down the line. Returning to work wasn't an option as she'd retired a few years ago because of ill health.
She owned 8 credit cards and began to miss the minimum payments on them and was getting increasingly worried about the financial situation she found herself in.
One of Sarah's friends suggested she speak to an equity release specialist, who reassured her that they'd work together to find a solution.
The adviser presented an equity release product that provided a sensible way to help consolidate the unsecured debt.
This lifetime mortgage allowed ad-hoc payments and meant that Sarah could consolidate the £17,000 due on the credit cards. She then started to make interest payments, paying a lower monthly amount of £90 per month, allowing her to regain control of her finances.
The monthly interest payments ensure that the mortgage balance was kept level, and so had control of the inheritance she left to her three kids.
REPAY INTEREST ONLY MORTGAGE
Louise and Paul are both still working and are in their early 60s.
They live in a semi-detached property in Buckinghamshire worth £320,000, with an outstanding mortgage of £50,000.
They've started receiving letters from their bank telling them that their mortgage would expire in the next 12 months and asked them how they intended to repay the outstanding money.
Louise and Paul became worried that their home would be repossessed if they couldn't raise the money to clear the mortgage amount.
Their existing mortgage provider was refusing to extend the mortgage term, and they were also turned down by other high-street banks, with their age being the most common issue. They sought help from a financial adviser who suggested they speak to an equity release qualified adviser to talk through their situation.
The adviser discussed the possibility of Louise and Paul downsizing but they loved the area in which they lived thanks to a great community and the fact it was convenient for their jobs.
With downsizing not an option, they started to explore an interest only lifetime mortgage.
This meant that they would release some money from their home and pay a fixed amount of interest each month, enabling them to pay the mortgage shortfall without having to move, and without any interest rolling-up against their property.
HELPING THE KIDS
Julia and Dave were keen to help their son, Andrew, buy his first home.
Andrew had a good job that paid well, but simply hadn't been able to save up a deposit to enable him to buy himself.
They had always planned to leave their estate to Andrew but thought that the money would be more useful to him now, rather than waiting for them to pass.
They sought advice from an equity release adviser, who talked through all their options with them. They didn't want to downsize and liked the area in which they lived, but were keen to release some equity from their unencumbered property to help Andrew.
They were concerned about how the interest might roll up and affect the total amount they could finally leave to Andrew when they died.
Their adviser suggested that they could make interest payments to ensure the level of the loan secured against their property didn't increase.
Julia and Dave only had state pensions and so couldn't afford to do, but Andrew offered to pay the interest. This enabled him to get the money he needed up front to purchase a home, whilst protecting the rest of his inheritance that he'd receive when mum and dad died.
As he had a good job, it was easy for Andrew to maintain his mortgage repayments on his own property, plus the interest repayments on the equity release loan.
Dave and Julia were delighted that they could help their son and see him in a property of his own.
John, 73, and Susan, 71, are both retired and now have found themselves spending more time at home.
They like to entertain and have family and friends over often, and even look after the grandchildren for the occasional weekend a the time.
They bought their home 20 or so years ago, so Susan and John have decided to make some home improvements, including a new kitchen and bathroom where their existing ones have become a bit dated.
They both have state and private pensions, but they don't have a lump sum saved up to make these improvements. They didn't want to ask their children to help them; borrowing the money from them wasn't an option as they were already stretched paying for school fees and childcare.
Their financial adviser suggested they speak to an equity release specialist.
The equity release adviser spoke to them about a capital and interest lifetime mortgage.
This enabled them to get the lump sum they needed, whilst paying back the interest and some of the capital each year.
This meant that John and Susan would be able to enjoy the improvements to their home, whilst using their pension income to repay the loan and leave their family an inheritance.