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How Long Does Equity Release Take?

There is no set amount of time for taking out equity, so the question ‘how long does equity release take?’ is not easy to answer.

However, we can provide you with a general idea of how long it could take, as well as explaining each step of the process to help you understand why it takes some time.

Sometimes, equity release is a lengthy process, so you must be prepared for this.

Once you are on the scheme, it is very low maintenance as repayment is not a requirement until you pass away or go into long-term care.

However, there are things you can do to speed up the process, so we will share our top tips and hopefully, you will be in with a better chance of getting your loan sooner rather than later.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Step 1: Research

Technically, research is not a requirement when it comes to equity release, as you will not be refused a loan if you have not conducted enough research.

However, it is a very bad idea to jump into equity release without learning as much as you can about it, as it is a decision that will impact the rest of your life.

We recommend researching at least the basics of releasing equity, the different plans that are available, and the advantages and disadvantages.

This does not mean you will be sat at your computer researching for hours, as most of this information will be presented to you in meetings with advisers.

If you don’t research equity release, you may end up selecting a plan that is not right for you, and once you have committed, it is tough to back out of the scheme.

On the other hand, equipping yourself with as much knowledge as possible ensures you are in the best position to make a sensible financial decision.

We also encourage you to invite other people to join you in this stage of your journey, as the more people you can discuss the process with, the more opinions you will have access to.

As well as professionals, we would advise speaking to your close friends and family, particularly if your loan will impact them when you die i.e. you are planning on leaving some inheritance to them.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Step 2: Apply For an Equity Release Loan

When you have learnt all about equity release and had a consultation with an unbiased equity release adviser, you will find out whether you are eligible for any of the plans, and if you are, you’re ready to apply for an equity release loan.

Don’t worry about the paperwork being complicated, as the adviser will show you how to complete it. They will also fill out some of the sections themselves before pointing out which parts you need to complete.

Filling out the paperwork mainly involves inputting your details and confirming that the details added by the adviser are correct, before offering proof of your identity.

Most people present their driving licence or passport along with proof of address.

The application can then be sent off, either online or in the post. You will usually receive a response within a few days (sometimes weeks). A positive response will result in a property valuation being arranged.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Step 3: Property Valuation

The reason a property valuation is carried out is that the lender needs to know how significant the risk will be when they agree to offer you a loan.

If your property is not high in value, they are risking their money more than they would be if it was worth a lot, as they will receive less money at the end of the process.

Another reason that property valuations are important is that the lender must receive confirmation that your property is eligible for equity release, as certain requirements need to be met, relating to how likely the house is to sell and how well-kept it is.

Fortunately, the valuation should not take very long – it is usually carried out in around half an hour.

In this time, a surveyor will walk around your home and analyse each room. When they are finished and they have an idea of the value, they will either inform the lender immediately or within the next couple of days.

During the pandemic, some property valuations took place remotely with digital footage of the property.

This was the case for both One Family and Aviva (1). However, most lenders have reverted back to in-person valuations now.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Step 4: Mortgage Offer

If the lender is happy with the surveyor’s valuation, they will send you a mortgage offer. This usually happens 1-2 days after they have received the valuation, so this part of the process is quick.

The higher your home is in value, the higher the mortgage offer tends to be. However, there are various other factors taken into account, including your age, health, the location of your home, and potentially your income.

For example, if you are not in good health, you may be able to receive a higher loan through an enhanced/ill-health lifetime mortgage. Older people also tend to receive higher loans.

After you have received the mortgage offer, if you still want to go ahead with equity release, you will need to work with a solicitor to set things in motion.

Step 5: Solicitor

It is very important that you choose a reputable solicitor so that they can check that the offer is legitimate and fair.

They will look through the terms and conditions and explain these to you to ensure you are willing to abide by the rules of your equity release plan.

If you are still content with your decision, you will be asked to sign a deed.

It is often costly to pay a solicitor, but it is possible to find one that is affordable. Generally, the legal costs of equity release are around £500.

You can sometimes use the equity loan to pay for this fee, and if you choose to do this, the solicitor’s fees will be deducted from your loan before it is paid to you.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Step 6: Completion

When you have completed all of the previous steps, you will be provided with a formal completion date by your solicitor, and this tells you when the lender will have your funds ready.

You could receive a lump sum of tax-free cash or your first instalment, depending on what you have discussed with your adviser.

No one will force you to spend your loan on a specific thing, so the money transferred to your account will be yours to keep.

We recommend spending it on something that will make retirement easier, such as home improvements or paying bills on a monthly basis.

However, another idea is to spend it on things you have always wanted to do and never before had the means to do. This may include exciting day trips, luxurious holidays, and a new car.

At the end of the day, the money you borrow has been released from your property, and it would only ever get passed on when you die, so why not make the most of it while you can?

Don’t panic about inheritance, as it is possible to save some of the funds for your loved ones to ensure they are financially comfortable when you pass away.

You could also consider gifting them some money when you receive your loan if they are currently in a difficult position (2).

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

What Checks Does the Lender Make?

Aside from property valuation, some other checks can occur, but this depends on the requirements of the lender. Sometimes, they will check your credit rating and your income to decide whether they are going to offer you a loan.

However, even people who are low income with a bad credit history are eligible for some plans, as certain lenders do not discriminate when it comes to bad credit and a lack of savings.

Are Certain Equity Release Schemes Faster Than Others?

Yes, some equity release arrangements can be organised more quickly than others. However, there are many other factors involved, so we cannot categorically state that one will be faster than another.

Something to remember is that certain plans are more widely available than others, so it may be slightly quicker to opt for the following plans as you may be able to find a lender more quickly: lump sum lifetime mortgages and drawdown lifetime mortgages.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

How Can Equity Release Warehouse Make the Process Smoother?

We can make the equity release process smoother and safer for you by advising you every step of the way. The advisers have experience in all things equity, so they are prepared to guide you through the application process with ease.

We will be with you from beginning to end, so we can answer any queries you have and step in if things get complicated. We are also well-informed on the different types of plans available, so we can suggest one to you if you are struggling.

Tips For Speeding Up Your Application

Firstly, the more research you do, the faster the process will be. This is because you will be aware of exactly what you want, and you won’t take too long making decisions about the specifics of your equity release i.e. interest rates and plan types.

Secondly, if you are flexible with your time, the process may be faster as it means you can attend meetings at times that are suitable for the other parties involved in equity release, which means fewer delays (3).

Finally, ensure you only ever seek the counsel of people who are trained in equity release. This includes your solicitor, financial adviser, and equity release adviser.

Make sure they are regulated – for advisers, this means checking they are a member of the Equity Release Council (ERC) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

What Will Slow Down Your Application?

If you are unsure about your decision and you are taking a long time to get back to the lender, this will inevitably slow down the process for you.

The process may also be slower if you do not disclose everything to the adviser in the initial consultation, as they need to do all the necessary checks before approving you as a candidate.

Something else that can create application issues that delay the process is having an outstanding mortgage, as you need to figure out what to do with it.

However, this is a common situation for equity release consumers, and it is usually straightforward to switch to the equity release mortgage and use this one to pay off the regular mortgage.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

What Happens If I’m Not Eligible For Equity Release?

If you are not eligible for equity release, you will find this out early on, so don’t worry about having your time wasted in the equity release process.

You may be ineligible for your first choice plan but entitled to take out other plans, so don’t lose hope if your initial application is rejected.

Some people are not entitled to release equity with any plan. For example, if you are under 65 years old and you would like a home reversion, it will not be possible regardless of the lender and the plan you opt for.

In this case, we would be happy to discuss the alternatives to an equity release plan with you, such as credit cards, remortgaging, downsizing, and borrowing from friends and family.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Timeframe For Equity Release – What’s the Slowest and Fastest Possible Time?

Generally, we would say that the average time for equity release is around two months from start to finish. Some lenders quote around 6-8 weeks for most consumers.

In some cases, the process can be finalised within a few weeks, but this is quite exceptional.

Similarly, it could take months and months, but this would only happen if there were constant unexpected delays or if you applied during particularly busy times.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Use Our Equity Release Calculator Today

To take matters into your own hands and figure out how much money you could release from your property, use our equity release calculator right here on our website.

All you need to do is select your type of property, the value of this property, and your age.

You will discover whether you are eligible for equity release, and if you are, the cost of the loan that you could receive at the end of the application process.

If you don’t know much about eligibility, the age for equity release is 55 years old or more, and you must own a home that is worth £70,000 or more. You do not have to live in the UK, as we also have contacts with lenders abroad.


[1] Equity release lenders switch to remote valuations

[2] Will using equity release affect my children’s inheritance?

[3] How long does equity release take in July 2022?


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Equity Release Calculator

Use the equity release calculator below to discover how much money you could release from your home.

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