Equity release ‘being used more’ by older people

Pensioners appear to be using equity release to help pay off their debts more than they used to, it has been suggested.

Director general of equity release provider Safe Home Income Plans (Ship) Andrea Rozario said there is some anecdotal evidence in the industry of this happening.

“Some have said that they have seen an increase in people taking equity release to pay off debts,” she noted, adding that the over-60s are seeing their debt levels rise faster than any other age group.

However, Ms Rozario noted, the money released this way appears to be getting used mainly to pay off mortgages and not unsecured debt.

This would make sense, she suggested, as many people may wish to clear off their outstanding home loans when they retire, so they have no more payments to make.

Over-60s saw their average debt rise from £6,732 in 2008 to £7,344 this year, according to the annual Scottish Widows UK Pensions Report.

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