Interview with Louise Baker, mortgage broker at My Sort of Loan
We caught up with experienced mortgage broker, Louise Baker from My Sort of Loan. We discussed her journey with equity release and how products like the Optional Payment Lifetime Mortgage are giving her clients more flexibility. Louise shared her motivations for getting qualified, convincing her director to follow suit, and carving out a successful equity release division within the business.
What’s your background and how did you enter the later life lending space?
"Over the course of my career, I’ve been lucky enough to work within great financial institutions. I’ve gained invaluable experience across several areas including mortgages, investments, pensions, wills and insurance.
When the pandemic hit, like many other businesses, we knew we needed to diversify our services. I’d seen first-hand how equity release had served real purpose to friends and family. This led me to research the products in more detail and get my qualifications."
How has equity release evolved?
"As an industry, it’s evolved significantly. Knowing that the Equity Release Council (ERC) is there to regulate these types of products is huge. Not only does if give the customer peace of mind, but for advisers like me entering the market, we’re confident we can offer fit-for-purpose solutions without the risk of the client ever losing their home."
Why are products like Optional Payment Lifetime Mortgages (OPLM) growing in popularity?
"One of the best features of the OPLM is that the interest rates are fixed for life. For a lot of people, their mortgage repayments can be their biggest outgoing. Being able to reassure the client it’s fixed is brilliant, particularly during times of uncertainty."
Are there certain types of customers who are more likely to choose an OPLM over another type of later life mortgage?
"Many of our equity release clients are choosing the product as a vehicle to repay their first charge mortgage, pay off credit cards and consolidate debt. By doing so with a lifetime mortgage, their biggest asset is safe."
What would you say to other advisers looking to get into the later life lending market?
"Oh my gosh, I’d encourage everyone to do it. I’d love to be able to grow this part of our business. We’ve seen first-hand how impactful the right advice combined with the right products can make people feel financially secure when they reach a certain age.
The fact that people are so thankful at the end of the process makes it all the more worthwhile. This is an industry that’s not without its challenges. Shifting past perceptions and educating people who never knew these types of products existed is no easy feat. Yet, with products offering greater flexibility for the client, it’s a no brainer to get qualified."
Find out about our OPLM
We have a wealth of information available on our website. From product summaries and key documentation, to technical case studies to support your client conversations.
A lifetime mortgage is a loan secured against your client’s home.
Our Optional Payment Lifetime Mortgage enables your client to pay some or all of the monthly interest by Direct Debit, from as little as £25 a month.
The product is suitable for clients aged 55 and over, and is usually repaid when the last remaining borrower dies or moves into long-term care.
You client should think carefully before securing debt against their home. There may be cheaper ways to borrow money.