Equity release lender More 2 Life is increasing maximum loan sizes by a third and cutting rates as it moves to increased individual underwriting.
Customers are now assessed for different levels of medical and lifestyle impairment with rates cut by 0.2 per cent and maximum loan-to-value deals increased by up to 11 per cent.
Someone aged 65 on the maximum level of impairment can now access a maximum LTV of 45.1 per cent compared with 34 per cent previously and at 70 LTVs are a maximum 50 per cent compared with 39 per cent previously.
The focus on individual underwriting taking into account factors such as weight, smoking, general health and early retirement on ill-health grounds enables More 2 Life to offer higher LTVs.
Government figures show the average 65-year-old male has 9.9 years of healthy life expectancy compared with 11.5 years for women underlining the need for increased flexibility in retirement income funding, More 2 Life believes.
M2L managing director Jon King says: “Equity release needs to adapt to changes in lifestyles and increased longevity by providing more flexible and tailored solutions.
“Customers need access to higher LTVs than are currently available and we have designed our products to meet that demand and to address the issues customers and brokers face.
“Enhanced equity release has already demonstrated its value since launch and the improvements will help drive further growth.”
More 2 Life’s new product range is available to customers aged 55+ with the lowest LTVs for 55-year-olds starting at 17.6 per cent rising to a maximum 50 per cent at age 70.
Customers are assessed for health and lifestyle issues with LTV rates rising on the level of impairment – at age 65 LTVs range from 28.6 per cent to 45.1 per cent.
It assesses customers for enhanced terms based on its health questionnaire which covers issues such as smoking, diabetes, height-to-weight ratio, high blood pressure and early retirement through ill-health in addition to medical conditions including cancer and heart conditions.
Its equity release loans are available with rates of between 6.99 per cent and 7.29 per cent on minimum property values of £70,000 with a maximum loan of £500,000.