Our free thinking approach
We aim to help people achieve more from life over 55. To do that, we plan to develop a wider range of bespoke financial solutions especially for them.
Our commitment is to use our fintech heritage and expertise to improve our customer service, enhance our efficiency and increase the attractiveness of our carefully designed products and services.
free2's story so far
The Over 55s Unsecured Loan
We’ve designed a new way for people over 55 to access capital where retaining home equity is important. Initially designed as a loan for people receiving annuities or final salary pensions, the Over 55s Unsecured Loan now allows more people to be potentially eligible. We look at all sources of income, including an annuity or final salary pension, income from a flexible drawdown pension, salaries (whether part-time or full-time), income from rental properties, and income from savings/investments.
More about the Over 55s Unsecured Loan.
Equity Release Advice Service
For people willing to use the equity in their home, we’ve introduced financial advice to help them choose how to release equity in the best way for them.
More about the Equity Release Advice Service.
Learn and discover
For people wanting to learn more about managing money over 55 – we’ve developed a range of learning and development resources.
Visit our Learn & Discover Centre.
A new way to access lump sums for people with annuities
In 2015 the government introduced "pension freedoms", this allowed thousands of people the freedom to use their pensions the way they want to, so enjoying more flexibility and choice.
At free2 we saw that these freedoms did not extend to people with annuity contracts and final salary pensions because, once in payment, there was no option to cash-in or withdraw lump sums from them. In recent years, thousands have been transferring from annuities to flexible pension schemes, potentially giving up highly valuable benefits to access greater flexibility.
That’s why, we’ve worked in close partnership with lenders who understand the over 55s market to design the Over 55s Unsecured Loan. It’s a fresh alternative to existing, more familiar options, such as equity release. The lending criteria has now been further enhanced, to add additional flexibility to the Loan, allowing underwriters to consider applicants on a variety of income sources. If you’re a UK Homeowner (with or without a mortgage), you may be eligible for an Over 55s Unsecured Loan, provided you’re receiving one of, or a combination of, the following:
- An annuity or final salary pension, or income from a flexible drawdown pension
- State pension
- Salary (part-time or full-time)
- Income from rental properties
- Income from savings/investments
Optimising your income and lump sum options in retirement
For people nearing the age where they can draw down an annuity or flexible pension, or for those considering retiring altogether along with the State Pension, we have also established a Pensions Advice Service. Based on an initial consultation and agreed fees, a professional adviser will draw up a personalised financial plan to help you make the best decisions about your retirement income and covering optimal ways that you could raise a lump sum.
Our approach to equity release
We know a lot of people want to their minimise outgoings in retirement and improve their access to a lump sum, using the hard-earned equity built up in their homes. That’s why we introduced the Equity Release Advice Service. Find out more.
An Equity Release specialist will source an appropriate product from a panel of leading lenders, or if preferred, the whole UK market, to find the best solution for using the equity in your home to raise a lump sum. And if equity release isn’t right for you, they’ll try and recommend an alternative solution to help you meet your plans in retirement.
Because we never stop learning
We’re committed to helping our customers and visitors learn more about ways to manage their finances when they reach 55 and over. We’re working with leading experts in the market to produce guidance material delivered in traditional and more innovative formats.
For example, our recently launched podcast series that we sponsored, called “freethinking finance”. It’s a set of 6 easy-to-listen podcasts featuring Chartered Financial Planners discussing the key financial issues, challenges and opportunities faced by the 55 plus age group.
We’re here to rethink financial services for the over 55s, create change, and bring innovative offerings and fresh alternatives to the market.
Over 55 is not old in our book, so we won’t treat you like you are. We’ll always talk to you as a real person and embrace a free thinking approach to the design of our products and services.
For example, the Over 55s Unsecured Loan gives you a new choice for financing significant plans. For added peace of mind, any unpaid amounts will be wiped off should you die before the loan is repaid. For the free2 Equity Release Advice Service, an Equity Release Adviser will scour the UK market to recommend the best product to meet your needs. Similarly, for the free2 Pensions Advice Service, an expert adviser will assess your needs and form a personalised financial plan for your retirement.
When you borrow through free2 we’ll do everything in our power to make sure you are comfortable making the final decision.
For example, before you take out the Over 55s Unsecured Loan, we’ll talk for about 10-to-15 minutes to make sure that you understand and are comfortable with the loan terms, that you’re not being pressured to take out the loan, and that you understand your commitment to making repayments. Rest assured, this is not a sales call, it’s part of our ‘gold standard’ approach to responsible lending.
Many of our team are over 55 and have similar plans and aspirations like you. Whether it’s requests from children to be ‘the bank of mum and dad’, meeting the needs of older parents requiring care, or doing something amazing for ourselves, we’re living the life and want to help our customers do more.
Provided it’s comfortably affordable and used judiciously, we believe borrowing could play a valuable part of financial planning in later life, alongside other important plans. So, if you have over-provided for your retirement, if you own your own home and are looking at using a lump sum, then you may wish to look at borrowing in a different light. We’ve published a free guide and sponsored a podcast series about managing your finances. All part of our ongoing series covering a variety of relevant ‘over 55’ subjects.