Last updated: 7th April 2020
November 2019 brought with it the important deadline of the Help to Buy ISA. First-time buyers should be aware that, now the government scheme has closed to new applications, they will no longer be able to set up a new Help to Buy ISA. However, you can still use your existing Help to Buy ISA until November 2029, meaning there is plenty of time left to save for your first home.
In this guide, we take a look at the bonuses offered by the Help to Buy ISA and how you claim yours.
Help to Buy ISA deadline
The scheme came to an end on 30th November 2019, but those who opened an account before this date will still be able to add to their ISA and receive bonuses until November 2029.
Help to Buy ISA was an attractive prospect for first-time buyers all over the UK. There were plenty of providers offering Help to Buy ISAs and you could open an account with as little as £1. However, the scheme was closed and replaced by the government’s Lifetime ISA. There are many differences between the two ISAs, with the Help to Buy ISA offering more flexibility compared to the Lifetime ISA offers greater rewards. For more information, read our Help to Buy vs Lifetime ISA guide.
Martin Lewis said the scheme was a ‘no brainer’
Prior to the deadline, Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis, urged first-time buyers to get in on the action while they can. He told Good Morning Britain:
“It’s the simplest, easiest form of help for first-time buyers. You save money in there and then the state adds a 25% boost.
“So for every £1,000 you put in, you get 25% – £250 on top. It’s an absolute no brainer – however, it closes to new applicants on November 30.”
How does the Help to Buy ISA work?
Did you apply before the deadline and are still using your Help to Buy ISA to save up for your first home? You’ve made a great choice!
For more information on when you’ll see your bonus, exactly how it works, and what you can use it towards, take a look at our complete Help to Buy ISA guide.
Our easy-to-read guide answers all first-time buyer questions about the scheme to help you make an informed decision on whether or not to set one up.
Claiming your Help to Buy ISA bonus
Once you’ve started saving, you’ll be able to claim your Help to Buy ISA bonus after the purchase of your house has gone through. This means you won’t be able to use the savings towards your deposit, but you could earn £3,000 tax-free cash towards your home furnishings and renovations.
You’ll need a solicitor to help you claim your ISA bonus from the government. The government will transfer your bonus directly to your solicitor who will then send it to you. Our first-time buyer solicitors have been helping home buyers save using the Help to Buy ISA for many years. If you’d like any advice or assistance with claiming your bonus, get in touch with our team.