There is a common misconception that once you take out an equity release mortgage you are stuck with it.
This is not the case.
In the same way that you can switch current accounts between banks, you can switch to new equity release products and for many people, there is a strong case for doing so.
As the equity release sector has grown, so have the number of providers and products they are offering.
Today, you can find equity release mortgages and home reversion plans with some excellent rates, however, many people are failing to take advantage of the opportunities open to them.
If you took out an equity release plan ten years ago, the rate of interest you are paying is likely to be higher than the rates attached to some newer products and it is in your interest to check whether this is the case or not.
Should it transpire that you are paying significantly more than you have to, then it may be worth your while looking into switching to a more competitive plan.
However, interest rates are only one consideration.
Many equity release schemes have early repayment charges in place, so you must factor these in when determining whether or not to switch products.
In addition, you need to be aware of any other penalties imposed by you switching to another product and determine whether or not it makes economic sense for you to do so.
Given the significance of such a decision, it is important that switching is in your best interests.
The best way to ensure this is to consult an equity release adviser and discuss the issue with them. They will be able to advise you on which plans are suitable for you and whether you would benefit from switching.
Something else an equity release expert can discuss with you is top-ups.
If it has been five years since you completed your equity release scheme, you may be eligible for a top-up to give your finances another lift.
An adviser can talk you through this and handle the administration on your behalf, making the whole process quicker and more straightforward.
Equity release is supposed to work for you and if you are paying more interest than others, looking into switching is something you may want to give consideration to, so why not see whether you could save from switching?