ISAs explained.


Common enquiries

Still unsure about something? We’ve collected some of the most frequently asked ISA questions and put them in one handy place.

ISAs are savings and investments products where you don’t pay income tax on the interest you earn or on the increase in value of your investment.

Halifax offer three types of ISA:

  • Cash ISAs are savings accounts where interest paid is tax-free.
  • Stocks and shares ISAs are a way to invest tax efficiently.
  • Junior ISAs are cash ISAs or stocks and shares ISAs for children under 18.

To get the best use out of your ISA you should use your maximum annual allowance during the tax year – which runs from 6th April one year to 5th April the next.

What’s the difference between cash ISAs and stocks and shares ISAs?


Cash ISAs

Where does my money go?

  • A cash ISA is a savings account where you don’t pay tax on any interest you earn.
  • You can choose whether to have easy access to your money or lock your money away to get a higher rate of interest.
  • If you are a first time buyer, you can choose to save up to £200 a month in a Help to Buy: ISA, however you will not be able to contribute in any other cash ISAs in the same tax year.

What are the risks?

  • You may lose money if you close a fixed cash ISA before the end of its term.

Stocks and shares ISAs

Where does my money go?

  • A stocks and shares ISA is a tax-efficient way to invest in a wide range of stocks, shares, funds, bonds and gilts.
  • You can choose to invest in our three professionally managed funds with our Investment ISA, or choose from a wider range of investments with a Self-Select Stocks and Shares ISA.

What are the risks?

  • Your money could lose value depending on how the markets perform and, if you withdraw your money when they are performing badly, you may get back less than you originally invested.
  • You should leave your money in place for at least 5 years to help even out the markets' ups and downs.

Our Investment ISA Our Self-Select Stocks and Shares ISA

If you want to learn more about the differences between savings and investments in general, then view our Investing or Saving page.


Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may change.