Do I continue to own my property?
Yes, you still have full ownership of your property and continue to live in it for as long as you wish.
Are there any loan repayments required?
No, there are no regular repayments required. Repayment is only required after you die, permanently cease to reside, or when you sell your house.
Read more about how and when the loan becomes due for repayment.
What happens if I want to move house?
You remain the owner of the house so you are entitled to sell it and move to another one at any time. However, a number of practical issues arise:
- If you sell the house the loan becomes due for repayment.
- You may request to transfer your loan to the new house instead, subject to the usual lending criteria (age and house value), but you must tell Seniors Money in advance. If the new property is worth less than the original one you may be required to repay some of the loan.
- If there would be insufficient funds to repay the loan after selling the house and buying a new one, you may not be able to move unless you have alternative funds to repay the loan (or part of the loan in a transfer situation).
It is best that you contact Seniors Money first if you are thinking of moving. A new loan application will be required, including a new Set Up fee and new legal fees.
What happens if there is limited growth in house prices and the loan becomes larger than the house value?
Because of the “No Negative Equity Guarantee” you will never owe more than the net sale proceeds of your property, as long as you are not in default.
Can I repay all or part of my loan at any time?
Yes, you can repay the loan in full at any time but Early Repayment Charges could apply. However a degree of partial repayment is allowed each year without such charges applying and there are numerous other exemptions from the ERC.
Read more here:
What happens if someone else is living in the house?
Friends or family may live with you but they will have no legal right to remain in the property after the loan becomes repayable and will be required to obtain their own, separate legal advice.
Read more here:
What happens when I no longer live in my home?
The loan becomes repayable 12 months after you die or cease to reside in in the property. Unless there are other sources of funds to repay the loan, your home would have to be sold. The sale proceeds, after legal and selling costs have been deducted, will then be used to repay your outstanding loan balance.
When your property is put up for sale, Seniors Money must be notified of the sale price. If the sale price, less expected legal and selling costs, is likely to be lower than the outstanding loan balance, Seniors Money may insist on a second, independent valuation at its cost. In the event of a dispute, a mediation process will be followed.
How much will I be able to leave to my family?
This will depend on how much you borrowed, the fixed interest rate, house price inflation and how long the loan is in force.
It must be stressed that the value of your property may or may not increase over the term of the loan and could even fall. This may mean that the amount of equity remaining in your property (the difference between the property value and the outstanding loan balance) may be substantially less at the end of the loan than it was at the outset.
As part of the consultation process, we will provide you with personalised estimates of what your loan balance will roll up over time and how much equity would remain based on certain house price assumptions.
You can also use the Lifetime Loan calculator to run your own scenarios with your own assumptions:
Will the loan affect the State pension benefits I receive?
As at January 2021, the State Pension (Contributory) and the Widow(er)’s/Surviving Civil Partner State Pension (Contributory) are not means tested and your Lifetime Loan will not affect your entitlement.
If you are in receipt of the State Pension (Non-Contributory) or a Widow(er)’s /Surviving Civil Partner State Pension (Non-Contributory) please be aware that these are means tested and the proceeds of your Lifetime Loan may affect your entitlement.
There are other means-tested State benefits (e.g. Carer’s Allowance, Medical Card). You should confirm with the Department of Social Protection if the Lifetime Loan would have any effect on such benefits.