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Disclaimer: You need to be aged 18 years or over, resident in the UK and only liable to pay tax in the UK and are not, and never have been, a Residential Property Owner to open this account
What is a Help to Buy: ISA?
The Help to Buy: ISA is a government-backed scheme intended to help first-time buyers save for the deposit on their first home.
Savers who take out a Help to Buy: ISA will get their savings boosted by an extra 25% by the government, helping them to raise the money for a deposit. That means for every £200 you save, you will get an extra £50 towards buying your first home.
Help to Buy: ISAs are provided by nearly 30 UK banks and building societies, including most of the top high street lenders such as Barclays, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, Nationwide, NatWest, Santander and Virgin Money.
How Help to Buy: ISAs work
You can save up to a maximum of £12,000 in a Help to Buy: ISA and can put up to £200 a month into it. In your first month you can add an extra £1,000, meaning you can start a Help to Buy: ISA with a deposit of up to £1,200.
The minimum government bonus is £400, meaning you must save at least £1,600 to claim a bonus. The maximum the government will pay is £3,000, hence why the maximum you can save in a Help to Buy: ISA is £12,000.
Help to Buy: ISAs are available on an individual basis, not with respect to a particular property. This means a couple buying a home together can both have a Help to Buy: ISA each and claim up to £6,000 as a government bonus if they save the maximum £12,000 each.
You can withdraw money from your Help to Buy: ISA at any point, but be aware that if you do take money out, you can still only deposit £200 per month if you wish to then pay the money you withdrew back into the ISA.
The government bonus is paid once it is certain that the purchase of your first home will go ahead. It will be up to your solicitor or conveyancer to claim the bonus between the exchange of contracts and completion.
Make sure the person handling your conveyancing knows you are using a Help to Buy: ISA for your deposit so they can account for this in the exchange of contracts process.
Are you eligible for a Help to Buy: ISA?
To qualify for a Help to Buy: ISA you must:
- Be 16 or over
- Have a valid National Insurance number
- Be a UK resident
- Be a first-time buyer (this includes property outside of the UK)*
- Not have another active cash ISA in the same tax year**
* If you are buying a house with a partner, only the one of you taking out the ISA needs to be a first-time buyer to qualify
** If you already have a cash ISA in the current tax year, you will have to transfer the money into a Help to Buy: ISA up to a limit of £1,200 – the rest can be put into a stocks and shares ISA, an Innovative Finance ISA, or a non-ISA account – your total ISA savings should not exceed the annual ISA deposit limit.
Compare Help to Buy: ISAs
With so many different banks and building societies offering Help to Buy: ISAs, knowing which is the right one for you can be a challenge.
Our Help to Buy: ISA comparison table at the top of the page makes it quick and easy to find a great deal, showing you all the top Help to Buy: ISA deals from all the leading lenders.