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Spanish Lifetime Mortgage / over 65’s Home Income Plan Spain (HIPS)

Introducing the Spanish Lifetime Mortgage – a financial solution exclusively designed for individuals who have reached retirement age and have been residents of Spain for over three years.

What is a Lifetime Mortgage or Home income Plan Spain?

As a homeowner, you may find yourself in a situation where you have substantial equity tied up in your property but could benefit from accessing some of that value to enhance your retirement lifestyle. That’s where the Spanish Lifetime Mortgage comes in. Similar to a reverse mortgage or equity release, this mortgage option provides a unique opportunity for senior citizens to unlock the potential of their home equity.

By placing a charge against your property, you can convert a portion of its equity into much-needed cash without the requirement of making regular monthly payments or repaying the loan during your lifetime. It’s a hassle-free solution that allows you to maintain complete ownership of your property and continue living in it for as long as you wish.

When the time comes, the loan, along with the accumulated interest, can be settled by either selling the property or by your designated heirs. They will have the responsibility to fully repay the loan after you or your surviving partner passes away. The flexibility of this arrangement allows you to receive the funds as a lump sum, in monthly instalments, or a combination of both, catering to your specific preferences and financial needs. Furthermore, the amount you qualify for increases as you age, following a sliding scale.

Importantly, with the Spanish Lifetime Mortgage, you will never be obligated to repay more than the actual value of your property, even if the resulting debt exceeds this amount. This crucial feature sets it apart from conventional mortgage loans.

In essence, upon your demise, it is sufficient to transfer the property to the lender or settle the debt in full, ultimately your beneficiaries can decide on what to do next. You can rest assured that you are protected from negative equity, providing you with peace of mind. The valuation of your property at the time of obtaining the loan establishes the threshold of what you owe the lender, eliminating the risk of financial burden.

In Spain, a reverse mortgage comes with a non-negative equity guarantee, ensuring a secure and reliable financial option for retirees.

Discover the possibilities that the Spanish Lifetime Mortgage can offer you. Take advantage of your hard-earned home equity and enjoy your retirement years to the fullest.

If you have invested into your property for most of your adult life and you do not want to have to move to a new environment, then a Spanish Lifetime Mortgage / Home Income Plan Spain could be a useful solution to enhance your income in retirement.

Benefits of a Spanish Lifetime Mortgage (SLTM) for Clients in Retirement Age:

1. Financial Stability: With the current global financial uncertainty and government budget cuts affecting public pensions, relying solely on a state pension can be risky. A SLTM provides a secure alternative by allowing you to access your hard-earned money without monthly repayments or the fear of falling into arrears.

2. Flexible Withdrawal Options: Whether you prefer periodic withdrawals or a lump sum, a SLTM gives you the freedom to choose how you receive your funds. You can use the money for any purpose you desire, such as treating yourself to a luxury holiday, completing your bucket list, reforming your home, for medical expenses or to give monetary gifts to family members.

3. Protection from Negative Equity: Unlike traditional mortgages, a SLTM ensures that neither you nor your heirs will be pursued for negative equity. The loan is tied to the property itself, limiting the responsibility to the asset’s value. This protects you from financial burdens and provides peace of mind that you will not leave over hanging debt for your heirs to sort out.

4. Supplementing State Pensions: As state pensions become increasingly insufficient, a SLTM offers a valuable way to supplement your retirement income. By unlocking the hidden equity in your property, you’ll have more money available each month, allowing you to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.

5. Retain Full Ownership: With a SLTM, you retain full ownership of your home throughout your lifetime. This means you can enjoy the benefits of the loan while living in your property without the worry of losing it.

6. Unlock Hidden Equity: If you’re asset rich but cash poor, a SLTM enables you to access the equity tied up in your property. This newfound liquidity can enhance your financial situation and provide opportunities for a more comfortable retirement.

7. No Income Requirements: A SLTM is accessible to individuals without any income requirements. This ensures that even if you don’t have a regular income, you can still benefit from the loan and ease any financial burdens.

8. Stress Reduction: A SLTM eliminates the stress of making ends meet for the rest of your life. By securing a lifetime loan, you can enjoy peace of mind and focus on enjoying your retirement years.

9. Increased Lending Potential: The older you are, the more money lenders are willing to offer through a SLTM. This means that as a retirement-aged client, you can access a larger loan amount based on your age and the value of your property.

10. Estate Planning and Heirs: If you have no heirs or if they are already well provided for with other assets, a SLTM can be an ideal financial solution. It allows you to use your property’s equity during your lifetime without worrying about repayment or affecting your heirs’ inheritance.

11. Flexibility to Sell: While retaining ownership is advantageous, if you decide to sell your property, you can repay the loan in full and benefit from the proceeds of the sale.

12. You are free to sell your property and pay back the SLTM at any time without incurring heavy redemption penalties, you can even repay the mortgage in full at any time even without selling the property. You are under no obligation to keep the mortgage for any specific period of time.

13. Inheritance Tax Liabilities can be reduced as the mortgage taken will mitigate any amounts due as the loan will be a charge against the value of the property once IHT would be due.

It is important that you receive independent tax & legal advice from suitably qualified experts in Spain, we at FFA are not able to give you independent tax or legal advice. By highlighting these advantages, a Spanish Lifetime Mortgage (SLTM) can provide retirement-age clients with financial stability, flexibility, and peace of mind during their golden years.

Considerations and Disadvantages of Spanish Lifetime Mortgage (SLTM) for Clients in Retirement Age:

1. Impact on Heirs: One major drawback of SLTM is the potential impact on your heirs. When you pass away, the outstanding debt will be deducted from the sales proceeds of the property, reducing the inheritance your heirs receive. This makes SLTMs unpopular among potential Spanish beneficiaries, as the debt may even consume all the equity, leaving nothing for the heirs. In extreme cases, the lender may retain the collateral (your home) to settle the loan in full, further diminishing the inheritance.

2. Higher Interest Rates: SLTM often come with higher interest rates, which can result in your heirs choosing not to inherit the property. This can lead to a situation where it seems like you sold your home to a lender for much less than its actual market value upon your passing. The longer you live, the more compound interest accrues, eroding the equity until none is left.

3. Lower Loan Amounts: When applying for a SLTM Spanish Lifetime Mortgage (SLTM), you will generally receive less money for your home compared to what you could obtain with a standard mortgage.

4. Property Requirements: To qualify for a SLTM, the property must be free of charges, encumbrances, and debts. If there is an outstanding mortgage on the property, your SLTM application is likely to be turned down. It’s important to ensure that any existing mortgages are properly cancelled at both the Notary and the Land Registrar to avoid complications.

5. Vulnerability to Real Estate Cycle: SLTM availability is affected by the real estate cycle. When the real estate market is thriving, lenders may readily offer SLTM. However, during slumps or recessions, lenders may restrict access to SLTM or make them less attractive due to liquidity shortages. Paradoxically, recessions are when potential clients may need SLTM the most.

6. Age and Loan Amount: Qualification for a SLTM requires being 65 years or older. The younger you are, the closer to 65 years old, the less money you will be able to receive from the loan.

7. Valuation Costs: Before the lender makes a decision on granting a SLTM, you will need to pay for the property valuation out of your own pocket. The valuation is a crucial factor in the lender’s decision-making process.

8. Limitation on Additional Funds: Once you have withdrawn funds from the SLTM facility, you cannot request additional funds or re-mortgage the property if the need arises, such as unexpected health expenses.

9. Requirement for Permanent Residence: SLTM is taken on your primary residence, and you are expected to live in the property year-round. This is to ensure the collateral remains well-maintained. Renting out the property is generally not allowed.

10. Repayment upon Long-Term Care: If you need to move away for long-term care, the repayment of the SLTM may become due in full.

11. Charges and Expenses: Taking on a SLTM involves placing a charge against the property, which incurs associated expenses and taxes. It’s crucial to request a detailed breakdown of the loan terms to avoid unexpected financial obligations.

Considering these factors and disadvantages, it’s important to carefully evaluate whether a Spanish Lifetime Mortgage (SLTM) aligns with your financial goals and the needs of your heirs. It is important that you receive independent tax & legal advice from suitably qualified experts in Spain, we at FFA are not able to give you independent tax or legal advice.

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"Clear and concise communication between clients and lenders is critical to this business"

Marc Elliott de Lama

Marc Elliott is the British expat and brains behind Fluent Finance Abroad, the Spanish mortgage brokers based in San Pedro de Alcántara, Marbella.

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