Published On: Wed, Sep 25th, 2019

Who can open Help to Buy ISA? Eligibility rules explained as deadline for new savers looms | Personal Finance | Finance

The government will boost savings in a Help to Buy ISA by 25 per cent, up to a maximum of £3,000. After opening an account, the eligible person can deposit up to £1,200. In future months, they can pay in up to £200 per month. The minimum government bonus available is £400 – meaning a saver must have deposited at least £1,600 into this particular ISA in order to claim the bonus.

According to the Help to Buy guide on the government website, a person must have saved £12,000 in a Help to Buy ISA in order to get the maximum bonus.

This type of account is only available to be opened by those who are eligible.

They must be 16 or older, and a first time buyer.

The government website briefly defines a first time buyer as a person who does not own, and has never owned, a home anywhere in the UK or the world.

To open the account, savers must also have a valid National Insurance number and be a UK resident.

The other requirement is the saver must not have another active cash ISA in the same year – and if one has opened a cash ISA in this year they would need to take additional steps, as explained by the government’s Help to Buy website.

When the purchaser buys their property, their solicitor or conveyancer will apply for the extra 25 per cent.

However, the government bonus can only be paid if the property the saver is purchasing is in the UK, be purchased with a mortgage, and have a purchase price of up to £250,000 – or up to £450,000 in London.

It must also be the only home a person will own and be where the buyer intends on living.

The deadline for opening a new Help to Buy ISA is later this year.

Until November 30, 2019, eligible people can open a Help to Buy ISA.

After that date, they won’t be available to new savers.

However, if a person opened this kind of ISA before then, then they can keep saving into the account until November 30, 2029 – when accounts close to additional contributions.

The bonus must be claimed by December 1, 2030.

A Help to Buy ISA differs to a Lifetime ISA – which is another type of ISA which also offers a 25 per cent government bonus.

READ MORE: Help to buy ISA vs Lifetime ISA – which can help you to amass biggest government bonus?

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