Help-to-Buy ISAs: What we know so far

26 Mar 2015 | COMMENTS: 0 | Author: Liberty Howard | General

One of the biggest announcements in last week’s Budget was the introduction of a new Help to Buy ISA, which aims to lend a hand to those saving to get on the property ladder, by offering a tax break on their savings and a 25% contribution to top up the amount they’ve saved.

Although when the accounts will be available has not yet been announced – with the Chancellor stating that the Government would be working with the financial industry to have them ready by autumn – there are a lot of other details we do already know – here’s a rundown of the key facts.

Who is eligible for the scheme?

The Help-to-Buy ISA scheme is specifically for first-time buyers, and you must be over the age of 16 to have an account.

Where can I get a Help-to-Buy ISA?

You’ll be able to open a Help-to-Buy ISA through banks and building societies.

How long will they be available for?

New accounts will be available for four years – but they’re not fixed-term products: you can continue saving in one for as long as you want to.

Is there a limit to the amount I can save?

As far as we know, there’s no limit on the size the account can grow to, but initial deposits are capped at £1,000 and monthly deposits are capped at £200.

I want to buy a house with someone else – can we save together?

The accounts and the tax relief are per person, not per house. So if you want to purchase a house with another person, you can save up to £200 per month each in two separate accounts, and would both be eligible for the bonus.

When do I get the bonus?

The bonus is paid when you purchase your first home.

How much bonus will I receive?

The minimum bonus is £400, and the maximum the Government will contribute is £3,000. Inside these limits, the bonus is 25% of the amount saved – so to get the maximum you will have to have saved at least £12,000 in your Help-to-Buy ISA, and it’ll be boosted to £15,000.

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