What is a Help to Buy: ISA - and who qualifies?

If you’re prepared to be canny with your cash, and are planning ahead to purchase your first-ever home, then our Help to Buy: ISA will boost your house-buying savings pot.

It’s an Individual Savings Account and eligible individuals over 16 who are a first-time buyer with a valid National Insurance number can apply. There’s a lot of expense when you move house and careful, regular saving will cut a slice off what you have to pay out when the time comes.

The Nottingham is one of the trusted providers able to look after your cash and pay interest on your nest egg while it builds as you save up. 

Every little helps, and our tax-free savings scheme is backed by the Government which rewards your regular saving by adding a welcome 25% contribution to whatever you can set aside yourself (subject to maximum monthly deposits and a minimum balance of £1,600).

The maximum bonus is £3,000 but if you’re buying with a partner, you might both be eligible to open an account – and double that to a free bonus of up to £6,000.

This scheme covers first-time house buyers across the whole of the UK, up to a maximum house price of £250,000, or £450,000 if it is in London. It can also be used for shared ownership purchases, where people buy a share of their home and pay rent on the remaining share, usually owned by a housing association or local authority.

You’re allowed to save as much as £200 a month into your Help to Buy: ISA – and to get your account off to a good start you can deposit a lump sum of up to £1,200 in the first calendar month of deposit.

Then, as long as you’ve saved at least £1,600 in your Help to Buy: ISA you could claim your bonus. At that level it would be the minimum Government contribution of £400. However, the maximum bonus is £3,000 and to receive that you will need to have saved £12,000 in your Help to Buy: ISA.

Who can get a Help to Buy: ISA?

The whole process is straightforward, as the bonus money is claimed by your chosen eligible conveyancer between exchange of contracts and completion of the purchase. This means it can’t be used for the house deposit, solicitor fees, estate agent fees or any other indirect costs involved with buying a home.

So when you are close to buying your first home, you will need to instruct your eligible conveyancer to apply for your bonus. And once if comes through, it’s added to all the money you are putting towards your first home, to be included at completion. 

To qualify for a Help to Buy: ISA you must:

  • be 16 or over;
  • have a valid National Insurance number;
  • be a resident in the UK for tax purposes;
  • be a first time buyer, and not own or have previously owned a property anywhere in the world;
  • not have another active cash ISA in the same tax year. If you have paid into a cash ISA this tax year, in order to open a Help to Buy: ISA, you will be required to transfer their active cash ISA to a Help to Buy: ISA. You can transfer £1,200 of your active cash ISA balance into your Help to Buy: ISA. Anything more than this should be moved into either a stocks and shares ISA, an Innovative Finance ISA, or a non-ISA account. The total amount saved must not exceed the annual subscription limit for ISAs. You can call us for more details on this.

To qualify for the government bonus, your new home must: 

  • be in the UK;
  • have a purchase price of up to £250,000 (or up to £450,000 in London) – this also applies to shared ownership;
  • be the first home you have purchased;
  • be where you intend on living;
  • be purchased with a mortgage.
Call your local branch of The Nottingham and speak to one of our advisers to find out how you could benefit.

The Help to Buy: ISA scheme is subject to the Scheme Rules. For all the details – and to make sure it’s the right account for you – click through for our Help to Buy: ISA rates and key product information.

You can open a Help to Buy: ISA until November 30, 2019. If you open yours before then you can keep saving into your account until November 30, 2029, when accounts will close to additional contributions. Then you must claim your bonus by December 1, 2030.

T&Cs summary:

  • You must be aged 16 or above, be resident in the UK for tax purposes, be a first-time buyer;
  • Have a valid National Insurance number;
  • You can save up to a maximum of £200 per month;
  • Minimum deposit £1;
  • Customers may deposit up to £1,200 in the month in which we receive your opening deposit.;
  • Interest rate can be changed;
  • Instant access to your money, although you won’t be able to claim any Help to Buy: ISA bonus on funds you withdraw;
  • This is a cash ISA and you can only add contributions into one cash ISA in a tax year;
  • Opening the account doesn't automatically entitle you to a bonus;
  • The bonus is claimed from the government by your eligible conveyancer when you purchase a property, in between exchanging contracts and completion;
  • Have not previously received payment of a bonus, unless the full amount has subsequently been repaid;
  • Full details of Scheme Rules and property eligibility at helptobuy.gov.uk/isa.
Please refer to the Help to Buy: ISA fact sheet and full Help to Buy: ISA terms and conditions.
Help to Buy: ISA

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