Aviva has built quite a reputation as a leader in the equity release market since it started offering retirement solutions and products in 1998. Since then, the lender has provided services to over 198,000 individuals looking for ways to improve their lifestyle during their retirement years. Aviva has a wide range of lifetime mortgage and equity release products geared toward finding homeowners the perfect product for their particular retirement and lifestyle needs. Aviva has showcased its competence in the equity release marketplace through a variety of earned awards including the award for best equity release lender in 2013.
Flexi Scheme criteria
The Aviva Lifestyle Flexible Option meets the needs of retired homeowners by tailoring the product to suit one’s needs. The flexibility of this product lends itself to the ability to build features and options including cash reserve size, free valuation, cashbacks all of which will modify the interest rate accordingly. This was the first plan of its kind to do this and has proved the market leader.
In order to qualify for the Aviva Lifestyle Flexible Plan, borrowers must be at least 55 years old and must also own a property with a valuation of value at least £75,000. The property should be situated in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. It should be of standard construction although certain exceptions are permitted. Please contact the London team on 0800 471 4842 if unsure whether your property would qualify.
Ability to make partial repayments
The latest innovation in the equity release industry has been the introduction of voluntary partial repayments. Aviva (& formerly Norwich Union) have never allowed partial repayments & this has been a criticism of the scheme previously. However, the Aviva Flexi Plan will now accept 10% of the original capital borrowed as a yearly repayment, with the added benefit of NO early repayment charges. Therefore, effectively you have two options; to repay just the interest charged each year thus maintaining a level balance, or chose to repay the full 10%pa & effectively use it like a capital & repayment mortgage & repay the whole mortgage off over approximately 16 years! This is your choice & can be managed to your own lifestyle budget.
Flexible drawdown scheme
This Aviva Drawdown Lifetime product offers a great deal of flexibility to those homeowners who may be unsure of how much cash they will need over the course of their retirement years. For those who are worried about borrowing too much money, the Lifestyle Flexible Option might be the perfect solution. The Aviva Lifestyle Flexi Plan is a drawdown lifetime mortgage where homeowners can borrow a smaller amount of equity up-front while also being able to secure the ability to go back and release more equity in the future should they need to do so. This amount of extra cash availability is called the cash reserve fund & is a truly flexible option and helps homeowners to only borrow what they want and need. There is always the option to borrow more in the future from this cash reserve facility created as & when required.
How the drawdown operates
The money put aside in the reserve can be borrowed from at any time. There is a minimum amount required for equity releases from this reserve and that minimum is £2,000. There are no fees associated with withdrawals from the cash reserve or revaluation required. In terms of interest rate, the original capital sum taken is fixed for life. For subsequent withdrawals, the applicable interest rate will be the interest rate that applies at the time of withdrawal, thus could be higher or lower than the original amount.
Selecting your options
There are other features to this product that can be specifically designed with individual customers and their needs in mind. There are options available for a free valuation or for cashback. The cashback amounts available include £0, £500 and £1000. The free valuation option is available for properties that do not exceed a worth of £1,000,000. All of the additional features available will impact the overall interest rate applied to the borrowed amount & therefore can be personalized to one’s requirements. Likewise, should the size of the cash reserve be reduced below that of the standard amount, this can have the effect of reducing the interest rate further.
Enhanced Lifetime Terms
Another lifestyle option with Aviva Flexible Lifetime Mortgages is that should ill-health have been evidenced or is currently an issue, then the scheme would convert itself to an enhanced lifetime mortgage plan. This means that following completion of a health & lifestyle questionnaire, should the illnesses exhibited qualify for enhanced terms, then you have two options: –
1. To accept a higher loan-to-value amount based on the maximum release possible and receive as a single lump sum
2. To take a reduced equity release interest rate than standard terms & set up the plan on a drawdown lifetime mortgage basis
The decision will be entirely governed by your objectives which should be discussed with your London Equity Release financial adviser who can then tailor the plan accordingly.
*Free valuation on properties valued upto £1,000,000.
**Interest rates on the Aviva Flexible Lifetime plan are dependent upon personal health criteria, location and options selected.
***Reduced application fee of £5 is available until further notice
The rate published assumes male age 62, living in BS11 with a property valued at £215,000 releasing £32,000 initially with £15,150 in a reserve facility.