Drawdown Equity Release & Lifetime Mortgages

Drawdown Equity Release and Lifetime Mortgages | March 2024 

The concept of a drawdown lifetime mortgage offers an alternative approach to financial planning for homeowners, particularly as they navigate the complexities of retirement and estate management.

Drawdown equity release allows individuals to access the equity in their homes flexibly, adapting to their changing financial needs over time.

The article will help you do the following:

  1. Understand the significance of considering a drawdown lifetime mortgage in your financial planning.
  2. Learn about drawdown lifetime mortgages’ key features, benefits, and considerations.
  3. Explore the main topics covered, including how these mortgages work, eligibility criteria, and the application process.
  4. Recognise the benefits of integrating this financial tool into your long-term planning.
  5. Consider actions to take post-reading, such as consulting with a financial adviser to assess if a drawdown lifetime mortgage suits your circumstances.

Key Takeaways & Learnings From This Page on Drawdown Equity Release

Here are 7 key takeaways from this article:

  1. Drawdown lifetime mortgages provide a flexible way to access home equity, allowing withdrawals as needed.
  2. Interest accumulates only on the amount withdrawn, potentially reducing the overall cost compared to lump-sum options.
  3. Eligibility typically depends on the applicant’s age, property value, and condition, among other factors.
  4. The process involves taking an initial loan amount, with the option to access additional funds from a pre-agreed reserve.
  5. Many plans come with a no negative equity guarantee, ensuring you never owe more than your home’s value.
  6. It’s crucial to compare different plans and consult with a financial adviser to find the best option for your needs.
  7. Using an equity release calculator can provide an estimate of how much you might be able to borrow.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

A Drawdown Lifetime Mortgage

Drawdown equity release offers a way for homeowners to access the value of their home without making monthly repayments. The total amount borrowed, along with accumulated interest, is then repaid when the homeowner moves into long term care or passes away.

A lifetime mortgage is a cornerstone of equity release plans, designed to offer homeowners a secure way to access the equity in their home. For those wondering what is a lifetime mortgage or how does a lifetime mortgage work, it’s a loan secured against your home while retaining ownership, with the loan amount and interest repaid when your home is eventually sold.

One of the primary features of a drawdown mortgage is the flexibility which it offers. Homeowners can decide when and how much money they want to release, up to a certain limit. This means that they can manage their loan in a cost-effective way which suits their financial requirements and personal circumstances.

Whilst online equity release calculators offer homeowners an estimate of how much they may be able to borrow, it is always best to get a personalised illustration from a qualified adviser. This is because actual amounts will vary depending on individual circumstances.

For those who do not need an upfront lump sum, the drawdown equity release scheme is a preferred choice. Instead, it allows homeowners to draw down money as and when necessary, which can be beneficial for managing future costs.

How Does Drawdown Lifetime Mortgage Work

A drawdown lifetime mortgage works by providing homeowners with an initial loan amount, as well as a reserve facility for any future withdrawals.

Although the initial lump sum is generally smaller compared to other equity release products, it means that further advance can be drawn down from the reserve facility as and when needed.

The interest on a drawdown lifetime mortgage is charged solely on the amounts withdrawn, rather than on any undrawn reserves .

However, interest rates on future drawdowns may differ from the initial rate, as they’ll be based on prevailing market rates at the time of withdrawal.

One of the key benefits of a drawdown lifetime mortgage is the ability to manage the interest. By taking out smaller amounts over time, you can limit the interest that accumulates.

Therefore, this results in a lower total cost, compared to a lump sum lifetime mortgage plan.

When considering an equity release lifetime mortgage, it’s crucial to identify the best drawdown lifetime mortgage options available. The best drawdown lifetime mortgage plans offer a balance between flexibility and cost-effectiveness, allowing homeowners to access their equity with minimal financial strain. It’s advisable to compare different equity release lifetime mortgage products to find one that aligns with your financial goals and lifestyle needs.

It’s worth noting that the total sum you can borrow with a drawdown lifetime mortgage will depend on various factors.

Process For Taking Out a Drawdown Lifetime Mortgage

Understanding the mechanics of a drawdown mortgage is essential for any homeowner considering this financial strategy. A mortgage drawdown allows for a more flexible approach to accessing home equity, providing an opportunity to withdraw funds as needed. This flexibility makes the drawdown mortgage an attractive option for managing future financial uncertainties.

Here’s how a flexible drawdown lifetime mortgage works in practice:

1 – Initial Loan Amount

A homeowner can take an initial sum from the equity in their property. This amount is based on several factors, including the property’s value, the age of the youngest applicant, and the specific terms set by the equity release provider.

2 – Cash Reserve Facility

Instead of taking the full amount you’re eligible for at once, the remainder is held in a cash reserve facility. You can draw down from this reserve as and when needed, up to the maximum agreed amount.

3 – Interest Accumulation

Interest is typically rolled up on the amount you’ve released, meaning you don’t have to make monthly payments.

The interest compounds over time.

However, with a drawdown product, interest only starts accruing on the amounts you’ve actually drawn down, not on the total facility available.

This can make the flexible drawdown option more cost-effective in the long run compared to taking a total lump sum at the outset.

4 – Repayment

The loan and accumulated interest are usually repaid when the homeowner either passes away or moves into long-term care. Typically, this is done by selling the property.

5 – No Negative Equity Guarantee

Many providers in the UK are members of the Equity Release Council, which means their products come with a “no negative equity guarantee”.

This ensures that even if the property’s value drops below the amount owed, the homeowner or their estate will never owe more than its sale value.

6 – Flexibility

As the name suggests, the flexible drawdown option’s main advantage is its flexibility.

Homeowners can adapt to changing financial needs by accessing their funds in stages.

When considering this option, it’s essential to consult with a financial advisor specialising in equity release.

Equity Release Calculator

Before committing to an equity release drawdown, it’s wise to use an equity release drawdown calculator. This tool can provide a preliminary estimate of how much you can release, helping you plan your finances more effectively. An equity release drawdown calculator is an invaluable resource for understanding the potential impact of a drawdown plan on your overall financial situation.

Try Age Partnership’s equity release calculator and estimate how much money you could release from your property.

If you take out a product from Age Partnership, we will receive a fee for introducing you to them. This helps support the site and for us to produce more content.

Benefits of Flexibility and Control With A Mortgage Drawdown

Drawdown lifetime mortgages offer flexibility and control over your finances, making them an attractive option for homeowners looking to manage their equity release more effectively. 

This type of financial product allows you to access the equity tied up in your home in smaller amounts as and when you need it, rather than taking a single large sum. 

This section looks into the specific benefits this flexibility offers.

1 – Tailored Financial Planning

One of the most significant advantages of drawdown lifetime mortgages is the ability to tailor your financial planning to match your immediate and future needs. Unlike traditional equity release plans that provide a lump sum, drawdown options allow you to only take what you need when you need it. 

This means you can better manage your loan amount and potentially reduce the amount of interest accumulated over time.

2 – Control Over Interest Accumulation

The unique structure of drawdown plans means interest is only charged on the amount you have actually withdrawn. 

If part of your pre-agreed equity release remains in your reserve facility, it does not accrue interest until you decide to draw upon it. This control over interest accumulation can lead to significant savings, especially if you do not require the full loan amount immediately.

3 – Adapting to Changing Financial Needs

Life is unpredictable, and your financial needs can change. 

Drawdown lifetime mortgages offer the flexibility to adapt to these changes without committing to a fixed loan amount upfront. Whether it’s unexpected medical bills, home repairs, or simply wanting to help family members financially, the ability to access additional funds as needed ensures you have financial support available, without the pressure of accruing unnecessary interest.

By incorporating these elements into your financial planning, drawdown lifetime mortgages can give you a strategic way to access your equity while allowing you to maintain control over your debt and interest payments. 

This approach not only offers immediate financial relief but also ensures you have a plan in place for future needs, all while keeping the cost of borrowing as low as possible.

Eligibility Criteria for Drawdown Lifetime Mortgages

Understanding the eligibility criteria for a drawdown lifetime mortgage is important  for homeowners considering this as a financial option. 

This section provides information on the qualifications required to access a drawdown lifetime mortgage.

1 – Age Requirements

The minimum age for applicants typically starts at 55 years old. 

However, some lenders may have higher age minimums. It’s important to check with individual companie,s as age criteria can significantly influence the amount you can release from your property.

2 – Property Value and Condition

Lenders require that your property meets certain value thresholds, usually starting around £70,000, but this can vary by lender. 

The condition of your property also plays a critical role in eligibility. Homes must be well maintained and free from conditions that could negatively affect their value.

3 – Property Location

Your property must be located in the UK. Some lenders may have restrictions on properties in Northern Ireland or specific postcodes. Ensure your property’s location is eligible with the lender you’re considering.

4 – Outstanding Mortgage or Loans

If you have an existing mortgage or secured loans on your property, you must pay these off at the time of taking out the drawdown lifetime mortgage. In some cases, the initial lump sum from the drawdown can be used to clear these debts.

By meeting these eligibility criteria, homeowners can access the financial flexibility offered by drawdown lifetime mortgages.

It’s advisable to consult with an equity release adviser to ensure you meet all requirements and to explore the best options based on your circumstances.

Best Equity Release Interest Rates as of 24 February 2024

The table below shows you some of the best equity release rates, as of 24 February 2024, for lifetime mortgages from some of the leading equity release providers in the UK. 

Provider NameProduct NameInterest RateType of productOffers
Standard LifeHorizon 200 Drawdown5.26%FixedFree Valuation
Standard LifeHorizon 200 Drawdown Fee Free5.31%FixedFree Valuation
No application fee
More2LifeCapital Choice Ultra Lite Drawdown 15.46%FixedFree Valuation
No application fee
LV=Drawdown Lifestyle DD15.58%FixedFree Valuation
No application fee
Scottish WidowsFR15.60%FixedCashback
Free Valuation
No application fee
Standard LifeHorizon 280 Drawdown5.60%FixedFree Valuation
Legal & GeneralInterest Roll-Up 15.61%FixedFree Valuation
Legal & GeneralOptional Payment 15.61%FixedFree Valuation
LV=Drawdown Lifestyle DD25.63%FixedFree Valuation
No application fee
Legal & GeneralInterest Roll-Up 1 (no fee)5.65%FixedFree Valuation
No application fee

The equity release rates have been sourced by UK Care Guide from the Equity Release Supermarket website. These rates may have changed since this table was created and should be taken as indicative only. There may be other providers not listed on this table that could offer better deals.  In addition, the providers and products noted may not be right for your particular circumstances.  Therefore, they should only be taken as a guide, and we cannot guarantee their current accuracy. Please also note that we do not provide advice on or endorse any particular product listed here. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances and subject to lender approval. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you speak to an equity release adviser, who will be able to provide you with information on the latest rates that apply to you.

Speak To An Equity Release Specialist Today

Call Boon Brokers on 0333 567 1607 to discuss your equity release requirements and see what deals are available to you.

Advantages of an Equity Release Lifetime Mortgage 

We have broken down some of the advantages below.

  1. A significant reduction in the cost of equity release , as you only take as much money as you need from your property.
  2. Flexibility and freedom – your lifetime mortgage works for you, not the other way around. You’re in control and can adapt depending on your circumstances as your needs change over the duration of the plan. You take out as much as you want, when you want, with fewer restrictions imposed.
  3. Reduced impact on inheritance tax – so you’re free to leave a larger amount to family and friends in your will.
  4. Accessing this type of equity release scheme may not affect your state benefits in the same way as traditional plans do. As you’re in full control, you can organise your finances so that you won’t miss out on means-tested benefits.
  5. The money you release can be used for any purpose you choose. You may like to use it for care set it aside for funeral costs or make home improvements.
  6. You will not have to pay interest on the unused cash facility.
  7. You will retain full home ownership, unlike with a home reversion plan, when the lenders technically own part of your home.

Drawbacks of Equity Release Drawdown

We have listed some of the disadvantages related to a drawdown equity release.

  1. Some providers don’t provide a guarantee on your reserve funds, meaning they could be withdrawn at a later date.
  2. Once an agreement is made, your loan provider has a primary legal charge on your property. Upon the sale of your property, they will be repaid first (loan and interest due) – the rest will go to your estate.
  3. There are usually minimum limits set on the initial lump sum you can take, and subsequent payments after that can vary depending on the provider, so it’s important to shop around, to find the deal that works in your best interest.
  4. Withdrawals may be subject to a higher interest rate than the initial lump sum – something worth considering when you’re deciding how much to withdraw and when.
  5. Although a drawdown lifetime mortgage is usually more beneficial from a welfare perspective, it will still affect the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to means tested benefits.
  6. If you decide to repay the loan early, you may be subjected to early repayment charges.

Comparison Between Drawdown and Lump Sum Equity Release

With a lump sum plan, you receive the full loan amount upfront as a single payment. This can be useful if you need a large amount of money in the short term. However, it is important to note that interest will be charged on the total sum from the outset.

A drawdown equity release, on the other hand, allows you to take out an initial amount and then drawdown further amounts as and when necessary for you. This gives you greater control over the interest, as it is only charged on the money you’ve withdrawn.

For many people, having the option to take out smaller amounts over a period of time is a more cost-effective option. This is because it offers the flexibility to manage the loan in a way that suits their needs.

When deciding on a drawdown or lump sum equity release, your individual circumstances are important. This means that seeking advice from a professional is essential, before making any decisions.

The Influence of Property Values on Drawdown Lifetime Mortgages

The property market plays a significant role in the functionality and benefits of drawdown lifetime mortgages. 

This section examines how fluctuations in the property market can impact these financial products.

1 – Property Value and Equity Release

The amount of equity you can release through a drawdown lifetime mortgage is directly tied to your property’s value. 

As property prices increase, homeowners may find they can access more equity. Conversely, if the market experiences a downturn, and property values fall, the available equity may decrease, affecting the total funds accessible for withdrawal.

2 – Interest Rates and Market Conditions

Interest rates for new drawdown withdrawals can vary based on the current market conditions. 

If you have a drawdown facility and the interest rates increase, future withdrawals may come with higher interest rates compared to your initial draw. It’s crucial to monitor the market trends and plan your withdrawals accordingly to manage costs effectively.

3 – Market Impact on Repayment Strategy

For homeowners considering a drawdown lifetime mortgage, the property market’s health at the time of their property’s sale (usually upon the homeowner’s death or move into long-term care) can affect the loan’s repayment. 

A robust market can result in higher property values, potentially leaving a larger inheritance after the mortgage is repaid. In contrast, a weaker market may reduce the estate’s residual value.

Understanding the interaction between drawdown lifetime mortgages and changes in property values is essential for homeowners. This knowledge can help in making informed decisions about when to access additional funds and how to plan for the mortgage’s eventual repayment, ensuring that the benefits of a drawdown lifetime mortgage align with your long-term financial goals.

Regulatory Framework for Drawdown Equity Release in the UK

Drawdown lifetime mortgages in the UK are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means that providers are required to adhere to specific standards and rules, ensuring that customers are treated fairly.

In addition to the FCA, the Equity Release Council (ERC) also provides a set of standards for its members. These standards provide additional protections for customers, including the negative equity guarantee. This ensures that you will never owe more than your home is worth.

Consequently, before taking out a drawdown equity release, it’s important to check that the provider is regulated by the FCA and, ideally, a partner of the ERC.

This provides you the peace of mind that you are dealing with a reputable and professional provider.

Impact on Inheritance and Estate Planning

Drawdown lifetime mortgages influence your ability to leave an inheritance and require careful consideration during estate planning. 

This section outlines how these financial products affect your estate and provides guidance on planning for your legacy.

1 – Understanding the Impact on Inheritance

Drawdown lifetime mortgages reduce the value of your estate because the amount you owe grows over time, especially if you make multiple withdrawals. This means there will be less equity in your home to leave to your family and heirs. It’s crucial to consider how important leaving an inheritance is to you and to discuss these plans with your family.

2 – Safeguards for Your Estate

Many drawdown lifetime mortgage providers offer a “no negative equity guarantee.” 

This guarantee ensures that your family and heirs will never owe more than the value of your home when it is sold, even if the loan amount exceeds the property value. This safeguard protects your estate from debt but also limits the amount available for inheritance.

3 – Planning for Your Legacy

If leaving an inheritance is a priority, consider taking smaller amounts from your drawdown facility or exploring products that allow you to ring-fence a portion of your property’s value. Some plans also offer the option to make interest payments, which can help preserve more of your estate’s value for your heirs.

Incorporating these considerations into your estate planning ensures that you understand the implications of a drawdown lifetime mortgage on your ability to leave an inheritance. It’s advisable to consult with a financial adviser to explore how different drawdown options can align with your estate planning goals, ensuring your legacy is protected according to your wishes.

Future Financial Planning with Drawdown Lifetime Mortgages

Drawdown lifetime mortgages can play a pivotal role in your future financial planning, especially in the context of retirement planning. 

This section explores how these financial products can be aligned with your long-term financial goals.

1 – Retirement Income Supplementation

Drawdown lifetime mortgages offer a flexible way to supplement your retirement income. 

By allowing you to access your equity in smaller amounts over time, you can create a custom income stream to cover living expenses, healthcare costs, or leisure activities in retirement, ensuring you have the financial support you need without overburdening your estate with interest.

2 – Managing Future Costs and Expenses

The flexibility to withdraw funds as needed makes drawdown lifetime mortgages an excellent tool for managing unforeseen expenses in later life.

Whether it’s home repairs, medical bills, or even providing financial assistance to family members, having access to a drawdown facility means you can meet these costs without compromising your lifestyle or dipping into other savings.

3 – Preserving Financial Flexibility

Opting for a drawdown lifetime mortgage can help preserve your financial flexibility by allowing you to control the timing and amount of equity released from your property. This approach not only helps in managing the loan’s interest accumulation more effectively but also ensures that you can adapt your financial strategy as your needs evolve over time.

Incorporating a drawdown lifetime mortgage into your long-term financial planning requires careful consideration of your current and future financial needs. By understanding the benefits and flexibility offered by these products, you can make informed decisions that support your financial well-being in retirement, ensuring that you maintain control over your finances and lifestyle.

Our Final Thoughts

The drawdown lifetime mortgage represents a strategic financial planning tool, particularly appealing to those seeking to manage their retirement finances with flexibility and control.

Here are some considerations and recommendations based on the article:

Flexibility and Control

The ability to draw funds as needed offers significant control over financial planning, allowing homeowners to adapt to changing needs without overcommitting financially.

Interest Management

Since interest is only charged on the amount withdrawn, this can lead to lower overall costs. We recommend carefully planning withdrawals to manage the accumulation of interest effectively.

Consultation with Professionals

Given the complexity and long-term implications of drawdown lifetime mortgages, consulting with a financial adviser specialising in equity release is crucial. They can provide personalised advice based on your financial situation and goals.

Comparative Analysis

Before deciding, compare different equity release products to find one that offers the best balance of flexibility, cost, and terms that suit your lifestyle and financial objectives.

Consider Future Needs

While drawdown lifetime mortgages offer a flexible solution for accessing equity, it’s important to consider future needs and the potential impact on your estate and inheritance plans.

In summary, a drawdown lifetime mortgage can be a valuable component of retirement planning, offering both flexibility and control over your financial future. We recommend thorough research and professional advice to ensure that this financial product aligns with your long-term goals and needs.


Speak To An Equity Release Advisor Or Use the Equity Release Calculator Below To Estimate How Much You Can Borrow

The UK Care Guide works in partnership with Boon Brokers, one of the UKs leading equity release specialists.

You can contact them on 0333 567 1607 , or use the equity release calculator to estimate how much you can borrow.

Here is what Boon Brokers Offer

Whole of market access
Over a decade of experience
Great customer service

5 star client testimonials, on Trustpilot, about Boon Broker’s support and hands-on service

Call Boon Brokers on 0333 567 1607 to discuss your equity release requirements.


All equity release and mortgage advice is provided by Boon Brokers Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Financial Services Register number is 973757. 

If you take out a product with Boon Brokers, we will receive a fee for introducing you to them. Boon Brokers provides advice for free and without obligation.  By contacting Boon Brokers through us, the cost of any equity release product would be the same as if you had contacted them directly.  

The fee we receive is used to help keep this site operational and to produce new content.  

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

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Meet the author

Saq Hussain

Saq is a financial expert, and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the UK Care Guide website.  Prior to taking on the operation of this site, Saq was a Director and the UK Head of DC Pensions, Benefits and Wellbeing at PwC.  Saq is also a part of the steering group at the Living Wage Foundation that has developed the UK’s National Living Pension standard.

Saq has regularly featured in the press, with examples including:

UK Care Guide is really proud to have been featured on some of the UK’s leading websites

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If you take out a product from Boon Brokers, we will receive a fee for introducing you to them.

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All equity release advice is provided by Boon Brokers Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Financial Services Register number is 973757. 


If you take out a product with Boon Brokers, we will receive a fee for introducing you to them. Boon Brokers provides advice for free and without obligation.  By contacting Boon Brokers through us, the cost of any equity release product would be the same as if you had contacted them directly.  

The fee we receive is used to help keep this site operational and to produce new content.  


Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

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