On Thursday 3rd March 2011, the equity release market saw another welcome lender return with Stonehaven relaunching their Lump Sum & Interest Select plans.
Having been absent for over a year whilst new funders were sourced, Stonehaven have now streamlined & simplified their product range.
One product in particular will answer a common question –
“Can I have an interest only equity release plan where I can repay the interest?”
Well the answer is now categorically – ‘YES’
Before discussing the Stonehaven Interest Select option in greater detail, let’s have a look at the two products launched.
Stonehaven now have two propositions available to customers: -
Lump Sum Only Option
Interest Only Equity Release
The lump sum option does as it says on the tin; namely two lump sum options which offer different loan to values. Stonehaven are not launching at the maximum release end of the market, but aiming competitively with lower interest rates.
Lump Sum Lite has the lowest interest rate at market leading 6.13%.
Plans start at 55 & this product will release 11% of the property value at this age.
The Lump Sum plan has a higher interest rate of 6.24%, with a higher release of 14% at age 55.
Both plans have no drawdown facility, but a simplified single lump sum option from the outset.
Next we come to the Interest Select products.
These innovative plans allow you to choose how much of the interest charged you would like to repay each month, and also how long you wish to pay this for. You could pay off the whole interest, or if you have a specific budget just pay off part of the interest with the remainder rolling up onto the original capital borrowed.
In effect it can be classed as an interest only lifetime mortgage for pensioners.
Traditional equity release may not be suitable for everyone, especially due to roll-up of interest & the reduction this will make to potential beneficiaries.
Therefore, particularly suitable for people with good disposable incomes & used to servicing & managing debt throughout their working lives, these people can now control how much inheritance they leave behind by these new equity release schemes.
Primarily, it can be regarded as a half way house between a conventional mortgages and roll-up equity release. The scheme is an interest only equity release & has all SHIP safeguards and protection offered by the FSA.
However, a major feature of the Interest Select plan is the ability to be converted over to a full roll up scheme at a later date. This could be when one party to the mortgage dies or financial circumstances dictate that no more monthly payments wish to be made.
Simplification on the new Interest Select means that when conversion arises, the new rate on the equity release plan will only be 0.2% higher than on the previous Interest Select. However, better still, should the roll-over date be previously set, then roll-over will be at the SAME interest rate as the original interest only element.
With interest rates starting at 6.13% which are currently the lowest in the market, a particularly attractive proposition can be found here for those interest rate tarts!
TIP – Should one be able to afford the minimum monthly contribution of £25pm for the minimum roll-over period of 12 months, then one can easily achieve a roll-up equity release plan with a 6.13% monthly interest rate thereafter!
Surely, a tip not to be passed by?
There have been four Interest Select plans launched which surely indicates which way Stonehaven feels the market potential lies.
These range from the Interest Select Lite at just 6.13% & releasing 11% at age 55, upto Interest Select Max with an interest rate of 7.57%, but releasing a higher 19% at age 55.
An example of borrowing £40,000 on the Stonehaven Interest Select Lite at 6.13% would result in monthly payments of £205pm.
Qualification Criteria for Both Schemes
All Stonehaven equity release products are available to people aged 55 and over, living in a main residence in England and Wales & must have a minimum property valuation of £70,000. The minimum release has been reduced to £10,000.
No Negative Equity guarantee
There is the guarantee that when the property is sold on death or long term care, the proceeds payable to Stonehaven can never be greater than the property value itself. This guarantees there can be no excess debt passed to the beneficiaries.
A valuable inheritance protection feature applicable to the lump sum plans. There is the facility to choose to protect a percentage of the final sale value of the property. Point to note is that the no negative equity guarantee and the amount that Stonehaven will lend are based on the value of the unprotected portion of the property.
Thus, another chapter unfolds in the equity release storyline; providing greater diversity in the whole of market lifetime mortgage product range. A welcome read & a promising sign of further things to come for the industry.
If you have any questions, or wish to obtain advice on the Stonehaven range of products please contact the Equity Release Supermarket team on 0800 678 5159 or email [email protected].