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Lenders’ fear of lending into retirement must be faced

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Borrowers who need mortgages beyond retirement age will be the subject of upcoming talks between the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Equity Release Council (ERC).

Nigel Waterson, chairman of the ERC, said the reluctance of mainstream lenders to allow borrowers to extend their mortgage term into retirement has been heightened by the Mortgage Market Review and needs to be addressed.

“Supporting the UK’s ageing population requires a joined up approach to address low retirement incomes and lingering interest-only mortgage debt, to name just two of the looming challenges,” Waterson said.

Just over 80% of properties, which are owned outright fall within the 55-64 age bracket, the majority of which have a net property wealth in excess of £125,000 which could be used to support retirement income.

Waterson said getting mainstream mortgage lenders to consider an equity release solution for their customers would require a ‘major cultural shift’ which was important to bring about without compromising consumer protections.

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