You are here: Home - News -

Over 55s using equity release to pay off debt – Key Retirement

  • 15/11/2017
  • 0
Over 55s using equity release to pay off debt  – Key Retirement
Half of equity release customers still owe money on their mortgages, and almost one in four use home equity to repay credit card debt, research from Key Retirement shows.

The research used internal data for the nine months to the end of September this year, and showed that an increasing number of pensioners are using equity release to reorganise their finances and cut debt burdens.

According to the financial specialist, who focuses on over-55s, equity release is proving a popular strategy to clear outstanding mortgages: 45% of equity release customers still owe an average balance of £85,119 on their mortgages.

However, pensioners also hold other forms of debt: 24% owed money on credit cards, while 23% owed money on personal loans – a phenomenon, Key Retirement says, that illustrates the reliance on borrowing to boost incomes in retirement.

As a result, monthly repayments are the source of a “major drain on retirement finances”.

Customers with mortgages are making average monthly repayments of £762, while credit card borrowers are paying £289 a month. An average of £310 a month was also paid to service other types of loans.

Commenting on this trend, Dean Mirfin, group product officer at Key Retirement, said: “Debt repayments take a major bite out of monthly incomes with many pensioners having to set aside cash to fund debts which they can clear by taking equity release plans which do not require monthly repayments, with the loan repaid on death or a permanent move into care, when the property is sold.”


Gloomy winds

The research also showed an increase in average debt levels compared to the same period in 2016. According to Key Retirement’s data, the average mortgage balance has jumped up by £4,550, with servicing costs increasing by £369.

Meanwhile, the average credit card balance has risen by £93, but the amount paid monthly has actually fallen by £138.

“Pensioners are clearly struggling with debts and the continuing interest-only mortgage repayment issue is only adding to the pressure.

“The increase in monthly repayment levels for mortgage may be indicative of the fact that we see many with interest-only mortgages overpaying to repay capital or many borrowers being on lenders standard variable rates,” said Mirfin.

However, Mirfin noted: “The advantage that retired homeowners have is they’ve benefited from strong house price growth and have considerable wealth tied up in their homes which they can use to clear serviceable debts and to substantially improve their standard of living.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

Comments are closed.

You may also be interested in

Business Skills

In this section, we offer short ‘how to’ guides on harder to crack areas of business. From social media, to regulation or niche product areas, we cover it all.


Our journalists interview key industry entrepreneurs, strategists and commentators for day-to-day market insight and a strategic view of where the industry is heading. We offer lessons for success and explore the opportunities for your business

Success in Practice

Here, we share case studies fleshing out best practice to help you decide what could work for your business. Take a look at how others approached complex tasks like launching a new mortgage lender, advising on a new product area or deciding to specialise in another. Learn from others mistakes and triumphs.


Each week, we ask top mortgage and property commentators with a unique perspective to examine a key news headline, market move or regulatory or political issue.


Vote in our weekly poll here. It’s your chance to tell us what you think and be heard on the top news stories of the week. Review our archive to find out what your industry really thinks and all our coverage of the results.

Top Comments

Be part of the conversation on Mortgage Solutions. We want to hear from you. We have a tool called Disqus to tell us which stories get the most comments each week. Every Friday, the team picks the most thoughtful or opinionated contributions from our readers to enjoy again. Don’t forget to share your favourite stories from the site on social media to keep the conversation going.

Read previous post:
A couple hold a set of keys and a small toy house
Downsizing pensioners turn to part exchange for quick home sales – Spicerhaart

More older people are using quick sale services to move into retirement homes, according to data from Spicerhaart.