Anytime something is free it does not come without some catches. For example if you want to get a free quote for an equity release product, you might have to give up some of your information first. How much information you have to supply the free equity release calculator is dependent on where you find the tool and whether the company is data mining. There are, unfortunately, several online websites that will try to get your information to pass on to brokers.
If the site is going to collect your data if should always be clear this is going to happen. Words used to let you know this are often something about offering you the results in the next step. They may also state the results will be emailed to you or a broker will call you with the results. You want to stay away from calculators making these statements unless you are prepared to receive calls from such companies.
Accuracy of the Results
Another situation you can find yourself in is tainted accuracy. Accuracy is dependent on several factors, one being how up to date the calculator actually is. It is difficult to find out when a calculator received an upgrade unless you know your way around the Internet. You could seek out two websites to eliminate this issue. The first is Equity Release Supermarket and they offer independent advice. This website has to keep up to date in order to provide you with the most current equity release products. The other is CompareEquityRelease.com. Like the Supermarket, this website offers a comparison of various products and thus they need to offer the most up to date information.
When you look for a free equity release calculator you want it to provide you with the appropriate loan to value data in which the percentages will cover age ranges 55 to 90.
Independent or Dependent Sites
You could visit Aviva, More2Life, Prudential, and a host of other sites which have offered equity release products over the years. These sites might offer calculators, but the results are skewed. They are only going to provide information for products they sell and only provide brokers for their products. This also means the information and products you are researching may not be the best for your situation. It is another reason to go with an independent site offering a free calculator.
Follow Up Calls
With sites that take your information you are guaranteed a follow up call whether you want to receive one or not. With independent sites like those mentioned above, you can request a call back. You can speak with an independent adviser and ask them to double check the numbers. In this way you can find out what the best equity release deals may be for you based on what the market has available.
The Type of Calculator
Results can be different based on the type of calculator you use too. Equity release calculators are available in four forms: standard, enhanced, home reversion, and interest only. This is due to the types of products on the market. You have a standard healthy lump sum lifetime mortgage, an ill health lifetime mortgage, interest only lifetime mortgage, and home reversion option.
Lifetime mortgages are loans with compounding interest. Home reversion is an actual sale of your home. You decide if you sell the entire home or part of it in exchange for living rent free for the rest of your life. In one you repay the loan and interest while living in the home for the rest of your life and in the other you have nothing to repay. Repayment is never given until you die or you leave the home. Once the home is no longer your main residence it has to be sold or other funds have to pay off the outstanding loan.
If you use an interest only lifetime calculator the results are going to differ from the standard calculation. This is due to the amount of equity to be released. In an interest only lifetime mortgage the company is wary that you may need to stop making monthly interest payments (this is the only loan you make a payment on) and you may need to convert to a different option like a standard lump sum. It makes the amount lower. An ill health loan increases the amount thus the free equity release calculator would show a larger maximum than is otherwise available.