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Government Help to Buy Scheme

Dreaming of a Bigger home … but only have a small deposit?


There are now a number of Government-backed schemes that offer help towards deposits or fees for both new build and resale properties in the UK.

It’s a bit of a challenge to navigate your way through the maze of options - there are currently five different schemes - so use our handy guide below to help you find the best Help To Buy scheme for your home purchase:

Help to Buy Scheme Type
Property TypeMortgage GuaranteeEquity LoanArmed ForcesISA
New BuildYes*YesYesYes
Your Situaton
First Time BuyerYesYesYes, if in Armed ForcesYes
Non-First Time BuyerYesYesYes, if in Armed ForcesNo
Armed Forces PersonnelYesYes, if also a first time buyerYesYes, if also a first time buyer
Your Deposit
Less than 5%NoNoNoNo
5% or MoreYesYesYesYes

     * if do not own another property at time of application


Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee

The Mortgage Guarantee scheme works in exactly the same way as any other mortgage except that under the scheme the Government offers lenders the option to purchase a guarantee on mortgage loans. Because of this support, lenders taking part are able to offer home buyers more high-loan-to-value mortgages (80-95%).

You will still be fully responsible for your mortgage repayments. So if you have a 5% deposit, you will need to take out and pay back a 95% mortgage.

Example: for a home with a £200,000 price tag:


Who is Eligible?

Purchasers of existing or new-build homes in the UK, priced up to £600,000 and with a repayment mortgage of less than 4.5 times income. Must have minimum deposit of 5% that has not come from a Government scheme.

How Can I Apply?

Make your application via your lender. Lenders currently in the Mortgage Guarantee scheme include Al Rayan Bank, Aldermore, Band of Ireland (Northern Ireland only), Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, Post Office Mortgages, RBS, Ulster Bank, Virgin Money


Help to Buy Equity Loan

With a Help to Buy Equity Loan, the Homes and Communities Agency of the Government lends up to 20% of the cost of your new-build home, so you’ll only need a 5% cash deposit and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest. You won’t be charged loan fees on the 20% loan for the first five years of owning your home.

The equity loan must be repaid after 25 years, or earlier if you sell your home. You must repay the same percentage of the proceeds of the sale as the initial equity loan. For example, if you received an equity loan for 20% of the purchase price of your home, you must repay 20% of the proceeds of the sale.

For example, on a house costing £200,000, you will need a deposit of £10,000 and a Help to Buy mortgage for £150,000. The Homes and Communities Agency will give an additional £40,000 equity loan.

Example of Equity Loan Purchase Scheme on a property costing £200,000:

    Financial      Percentage of Purchase  
Price of property£200,000100%
Buyer Deposit£10,0005%
  Buyers’ Help to Buy Mortgage  £150,00075%
Equity Loan from HCA£40,00020%

The equity loan is interest free for the first five years. After that, you will pay a fee of 1.75%, rising annually by the increase (if any) in the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 1%. Local Help to Buy Agents will assess and approve your purchase for Help to Buy, and you will need their approval before you proceed with the buying process.


Eligibility for Help to Buy Equity Loan

Available on new build homes only up to a maximum purchase price of £600,000 (separate figures may apply for homes in London) 5% deposit required.

How to Apply

Via Government-appointed Help to Buy agents or via new house builders. Contact us to speak to our independent financial adviser.



Armed Forces Scheme

If you are a member of regular armed forces personnel, you can now benefit from a specialist Government scheme to help you onto the property ladder. The Forces Help to Buy scheme enables servicemen and servicewomen to borrow -interest free - up to 50% of their salary, up to a maximum, of £25,000, to buy their first home or move to another property on assignment or as their family’ needs change. This can be used towards a deposit and other costs such as solicitor and estate agent fees.


Who is Eligible?

All regular armed forces personnel who:

  • have completed the pre-requisite length of service
  • have more than 6 months left to serve at the time of application
  • meet the right medical categories

How to apply

Servicemen and servicewomen can apply for the loan online through the Joint Personnel Administration system and can seek advice on their application through their Chain of Command and personnel agency.



Help to Buy ISA Scheme

If you are saving to buy your first home, save money into a Help to Buy: ISA and the government will boost your savings by 25%. So, for every £200 you save, receive a government bonus of £50. The maximum government bonus you can receive is £3,000.

Open: The Help to Buy: ISA will be available from a range of banks and building societies. The accounts are available to each first time buyer, not each household. This means that if you are planning to buy with your partner, for example, you could receive a government bonus of up to £6,000 towards your first home.

Save: Put away up to £200 a month into your Help to Buy: ISA. To kickstart your account, in your first month, you can deposit a lump sum of up to £1,200. The minimum government bonus is £400, meaning that you need to have saved at least £1,600 into your Help to Buy: ISA before you can claim your bonus.

The maximum government bonus you can receive is £3,000 – to receive that, you need to have saved £12,000.

Receive bonus: When you are in the process of buying your first home, your solicitor or conveyancer will apply for your government bonus. Please check whether your solicitor or conveyancer is participating the Help to Buy: ISA scheme, as they will need to register with the scheme before they can apply for your bonus.

Who is 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 (PDF), and not own a property anywhere in the world
  • not have another active cash ISA in the same tax year


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

Providers in the Scheme

You can apply for your Help to Buy: ISA through one of these banks and building societies either online, by telephone or in a branch unless otherwise stated:

  • Aldermore
  • Bank of Scotland
  • Barclays
  • Clydesdale Bank
  • Halifax
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds
  • Nationwide
  • NatWest
  • Newcastle Building Society
  • Santander
  • Ulster Bank
  • Virgin Money
  • Yorkshire Bank