Equity Release

Equity release comparison tool launched

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

A digital solution for consumers has been introduced to help older borrowers look at their later life lending options

Equity Release Supermarket has launched a new sourcing and comparison tool that it says is ‘the only intelligent search engine tool in the equity release market’.

The advisor said its smartER digital platform helps consumers to research their later life lending options and draw up a shortlist of plans based upon their personal circumstances.

They can understand exactly how much they could borrow across the whole of the market in real time and filter their choices.

Mark Gregory, founder & CEO at Equity Release Supermarket, said: “The current equity release landscape simply doesn’t cater for consumers who are hungry for knowledge and want to research their options in their own time.

“It is as if the equity release industry believes that consumers shouldn’t be given the opportunity to develop their own understanding, which we know from our research is a huge frustration and a reason why some are sceptical about equity release.

“We wanted to resolve this and have spent the last three years developing the technology to build a digital platform that gives consumers not only more control, but more in-depth information, a better understanding of the plans out there and greater insight to match their requirements.”

Jim Boyd, CEO of the Equity Release Council, added: “The pandemic has accelerated the role of technology in the equity release sector and it is encouraging to see firms investing in innovations to support the essential step of seeking regulated financial advice that is personalised to people’s circumstances.

“Vibrant competition means today’s market offers older homeowners an unprecedented choice of products that provide secure, flexible finance. Helping consumers to understand the modern market can open more eyes to the potential benefits of accessing property wealth in later life.”

How does it work?

The later life lending search engine – smartER – works by presenting a shortlist of equity release plans following completion of a short user questionnaire.

Plans are subsequently narrowed down and tailored to the consumer’s specific personal circumstances, available in real-time, providing rates, as well as additional features and benefits of the plans.

The platform also identifies exactly how much could be borrowed, which can be subsequently stored if the user chooses to create an account, enabling them to revisit the results and amend if required at their leisure.

Gregory said: “smartER is effectively a digital equity release sourcing tool that has been specifically designed for consumers. It’s important to stress that smartER isn’t designed to replace the advice process, but rather to enhance it for both consumers and advisers alike.

“The information the customer provides to generate their smartER results is shared with their adviser so that when their conversation starts, the adviser already has a detailed understanding of the consumer and what they are looking to achieve financially through equity release.”