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What is equity release?

Equity release unlocks the value built up in your home as a tax free lump sum. There’s no need to move out and you’ll still own your home. With equity release you don’t have to make monthly payments, unless you choose to. It’s usually repaid when the last borrower moves into long term care or dies.

Lifetime mortgages are the most popular type of equity release product and are available to homeowners who are 55 or over.

Why choose equity release?

Some of the most popular reasons our members give for wanting to release equity include:

  • clearing debts.
  • helping a loved one buy their first property.
  • paying for home improvements.
  • making a major purchase, such as a new car, and
  • taking the holiday of a lifetime.

Taking out an equity release mortgage means being able to do this without having to dip into a pension or move home, and without using your other finances.

Is borrowing in later life right for you?

Borrowing in later life can impact on the inheritance you leave and any state benefits or local authority grants you receive. It’s also worth considering other options such as:

  • using any available savings.
  • moving to a smaller home, which is known as downsizing.
  • getting help from family members.
  • checking if you are eligible for any state benefits.
  • seeing if you can get a local authority grant.
  • applying for a personal loan or credit card.

Before deciding whether to borrow, it’s a good idea to speak with family members or trusted friends. They could give you support or suggest other ways to raise the money you need.

Types of equity release Nationwide offers

Our equity release product is a lifetime mortgage. This can unlock the value in your home as a tax free lump sum. The amount you can borrow depends on your age and how much your property is worth.

With our Lifetime mortgage, the interest rate is fixed for life, and you only make monthly payments if you want to. But, if you don’t, bear in mind that the balance will increase over the term.

Usually the loan is repaid when the last borrower moves into long term care or dies and your home is sold. Any money left over is passed on to the people you name in your will.

Things to consider before equity release

It's worth considering these factors before deciding if it’s right for you.

Impact on inheritance

Equity release can reduce the inheritance you leave. This could be due to the fact that you have spent the money, and also due to the interest on the amount you borrowed. That means there could be less for your beneficiaries when it’s time to sell the property.

Claiming benefits

If you are considering taking out a lifetime mortgage, it’s important you know that this could affect your ability to claim means tested benefits, including support for long term care. Your later life mortgage consultant will discuss this with you.

Negative equity

Make sure any equity release mortgage you opt for has a ‘no negative equity’ guarantee. This means that when your property is sold, if there isn’t enough left to repay what's owed, your estate won't have to pay the extra.

Our Lifetime mortgage has a ‘no negative equity’ guarantee.

Costs involved

There are no valuation, product or advice fees with our Lifetime mortgage.

You’ll need to take independent legal advice for this type of mortgage. Our Lifetime mortgages offer £1,000 cashback on initial completion, which you could use towards these legal costs.

Other mortgages for homeowners aged 55 and over

At Nationwide we offer 2 other mortgages to help you live a little better in retirement, by unlocking money built up in your home. There are no valuation, product or advice fees with these mortgages.

Retirement Interest Only mortgage

This is similar to a standard interest only mortgage. So your payments can be lower than a typical repayment mortgage. Unlike regular interest only mortgages, it doesn’t have a fixed end date to repay the balance.

This could be right for you if you:

  • want to keep your payments lower than a repayment mortgage.
  • are happy knowing the loan is usually repaid through the sale of your home after the last borrower moves into long term care or dies.

Retirement Capital & Interest mortgage

This is like a standard repayment mortgage, where you pay back both interest and capital on a monthly basis. However, where it differs is that you can borrow up to a higher age. The mortgages are still designed to be repaid in full by the end of their term.

Attend our online Later Life mortgage event

On the 24 August 2021, we're hosting a free, online ‘mortgages for later life’ event. Our mortgage consultants will talk you through our range of borrowing options, plus you can ask any questions you might have.

Can I apply for a later life mortgage with Nationwide?

To find out if later life mortgages are right for you, and how much equity you could release from your home, get in touch.

If you're happy, we can then arrange an appointment for you with one of our mortgage consultants. They'll talk through your options and make recommendations based on your individual needs.

When you speak to us, please have details of your:

To apply for a Later Life mortgage

You need to be:

  • aged 55 to 84 (or 94 if you already have a Nationwide mortgage)
  • applying for a mortgage on your main residence only
  • receiving a state private or workplace pension (unless applying for a Lifetime mortgage).



Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your mortgage is secured on your home, which you could lose if you do not keep up your mortgage payments. Check that this mortgage will meet your needs if you want to move or sell your home or you want your family to inherit it. If you are in any doubt, seek independent advice.