The problem with debt in old age

Georgina Smith is managing director of Stonehaven


The findings into persistent debt in old age by ICL-UK highlight that the financial strain on many over 50s is as prevalent as ever.

Unfortunately, many are turning to short-term loans for financial relief, unaware of the options a lifetime mortgage can present.

In a recent Stonehaven survey we found that eighty five per cent of homeowners have little or no awareness that interest can be paid in part or in full for lifetime mortgages.

Fifteen per cent of those surveyed were aware that interest can be paid on the equity release products in full or in part and only six per cent of clients were not surprised at the flexibility of the product.

The majority of Stonehaven’s customers choose to pay off at least a portion of the interest throughout the duration of the loan which saves money in the long-run and negates the erosive effects of compound interest.

The reasons for over 55s choosing lifetime mortgages have changed over the years and our products have naturally evolved to suit these emerging needs.  However, perceptions of the industry still have a long way to go and through our support programmes for advisers we are hoping to raise the awareness of the benefits of a lifetime mortgage and help their clients to better understand the flexibility and options offered by the products available.