Feature as published in the Irish Times, February 2021

Is a Lifetime Loan the right next step for you?

Get expert guidance from Spry Finance about how a Lifetime Loan could help you

Life has many stages. From starting out in careers, and relationships, to raising families, seeing them grow and develop their own lives, to retirement and beyond.

The early stages of our lives are often taken up with responsibilities to others. As we get on in years, many of us find ourselves in the position where the focus returns to what to do for ourselves. We begin to look forward to what our next life stage has to offer.

There’s more time for interests, and time to spend with loved ones. It can also be a time to do the things that perhaps were put on hold or would make our retirement years more comfortable, like home improvements.

Of course, to get these things done requires the finances to do so. If you don’t have the finance, aren’t eligible for standard loans, don’t want to borrow from your children or sell the place you call home, an alternative worth considering is a Lifetime Loan.

Lifetime Loans are not suitable for everybody but, with expert guidance from Spry Finance, you can find out if it is the right next step for you or not.

What is a Lifetime Loan?

A Lifetime Loan is a mortgage loan secured against your home designed to last the rest of your life. When getting a Lifetime Loan, you do not sell a share of your home. Instead, you’re borrowing a cash sum using your house as security. There are no regular repayments to be made. The loan becomes repayable if you pass away, cease to reside in your home, or sell your home.

Who can avail of a Lifetime Loan?

The Lifetime Loan is available to residents of the Republic of Ireland aged 60 or over who own their own home. If there are two of you, the younger person must be aged 60 or over. Your home must be of standard construction and worth a certain minimum amount.

What can a Lifetime Loan be used for?

Lifetime Loans can be used as you wish, and many people have more than one purpose for securing a Lifetime Loan. Some may use one for home improvements, purchases for the home, paying off a mortgage balance to free up monthly cash flow, or reasonable lifestyle expenses. They are designed to help you better prepare for the future and to meet your financial needs in your retirement years.

What are the benefits of a Lifetime Loan?

The key benefit of a Lifetime Loan is that it gives you access to the value of your home without having to move out of it. No regular repayments are required, and the loan only becomes repayable if you sell your home, or after you pass away or cease to permanently reside in your home. A no-negative equity guarantee is included. This means that, as long as you are not in default, you will never owe more than the value of your home.

What are the drawbacks?

The most important thing to understand is that, because you are not making any repayments along the way, interest is added to your loan (compound interest) so that the loan balance grows in size until it is repaid. This means that the future value of your equity in your home, available for you or for your inheritors, will be less than if you never took out the Lifetime Loan.

Why Spry Finance?

As a member of the Seniors Money group, we at Spry Finance have over fifteen years’ experience in helping customers across the globe to understand Lifetime Loans and whether they are suitable for them or not, including in Ireland, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand. We are fully regulated and know our business inside out, and have already helped thousands of Irish residents over the age of 60 to meet their financial needs or improve their quality of life. With us, you will have total peace of mind that we will professionally guide you through establishing if a Lifetime Loan is a suitable solution or not for your particular circumstances. If it is, we will assist you in preparing your application for a Lifetime Loan from our lending division, Seniors Money.

How do I start?

The first step is a consultation with an experienced Spry Finance client consultant who will explain everything to you and establish if a Lifetime Loan is suitable for you or not. If it is, they will help you submit your application. A property valuation will be conducted and you will be required to seek independent legal advice before signing the legal documents. Once the signed legal documents are returned, the funds will be issued to your solicitor.

If you are interested in opting for a Lifetime Loan, here are a few frequently asked questions to give you further peace of mind.

Do I continue to own my own property?

Yes. You still have full ownership of your property and continue to live in it for as long as you wish.

Can I repay all or part of my loan at any time?

You can repay the loan in full at any time, although Early Repayment Charges could apply. However, there are generous exemptions and a degree of partial repayment is allowed each year without such charges applying.

What happens if someone else is living in my house?

Friends or family may live with you but will have no legal right to remain in the property after the loan becomes repayable and may be required to obtain their own, separate legal advice.

We believe that this stage in your life is an important one, and that you deserve to feel financially secure in your retirement years. To find out more about how a Lifetime Loan can benefit you, visit spryfinance.ie