We understand that saving is the last thing on students’ minds, but for some students particularly mature students and those who are graduating this year, may be thinking about the next step. If you have been considering saving to buy your first home, we have some information about the “Help to Buy ISA” scheme that may help you along the way.

Here’s what you need to know:

How Does It Work?

 A “Help to Buy: ISA” scheme will help you in saving to buy your first home with a

helpful government boost of 25%, up to a maximum of £3000.

 To start your account in the first month, you can deposit a lump sum of up to £1200.

 There is no minimum monthly deposit but you can save up to £200 per month.

 New accounts will be available for 4 years, but there’s no limit on how long you can

save for once you’ve opened an account.

 These accounts are available to each first time buyer and not restricted to each

household. So the good news is, if you’re saving up to buy a place together with

your partner, you could receive a total bonus of up to £6000.

 The minimum government bonus however, is £400 per person, so you need to have

saved at least £1600 before you can start claiming your government bonuses.

 Once you’re in the process of buying your first home, your solicitor/conveyance will

apply for your government bonus.

 

Who’s Eligible?

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 and not own a property elsewhere in the world

 Not have another active cash ISA in the same tax year. If you’ve already opened a

cash ISA this tax year, you can still open a Help to Buy ISA, but might have to take

additional steps. For this, it’s best to ask your bank.

To qualify for the government bonus, the property you are buying must:

 Be in the UK

 Cost up to £250,000, or up to £450,000 if you are buying in London

 Not be a second home or a buy-to-let property

 Not be rented out after you buy it

 Be purchased with a mortgage

Which Banks Offer the Scheme?

 Aldermore (telephone and online only)

 Bank of Scotland

 Barclays (branch and telephone only, from January 2016)

 Clydesdale Bank

 Halifax

 HSBC

 Lloyds

 Nationwide (branch and online only)

 NatWest

 Newcastle Building Society

 Santander (telephone only)

 Ulster Bank

 Virgin Money (online only)

 Yorkshire Bank

If you would like to find out further information or you have any questions about the scheme, read these guidelines or contact your bank.

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