An ISA for first time buyers
Transfer your existing Help to Buy: ISA to us. You can carry on saving towards your first home and could earn a bonus from the Government.
Summary box for the Help to Buy: ISA
You will earn 1.00% tax free/AER variable interest on any savings from £1 to £12,000. Then 0.05% tax free/AER on any excess above £12,000.
Interest is paid after each year.
Yes. As this account pays a variable rate of interest it can change over time. We’ll always let you know of any planned changes to the rate. Our account conditions (PDF) explain when and how we do this. For example we might review the interest rate if the Bank of England base rate changes.
For example, if your balance is £1,000.00 when you transfer the account to us, after 12 months you will have a balance of £2,216.00 after interest is paid.
Or, if your balance is £13,000.00 when you transfer the account to us, after 12 months you will have a balance of £14,320.80 after interest is paid.
- You don’t withdraw any money or interest
- The interest rate stays the same
- You make regular deposits of £100.00 in the middle of each month.
If you have more than £12,000 in your account, you’ll get two different interest rates on your balance. The higher rate applies to everything up to £12,000 and the lower rate to any excess above £12,000.
Also, if your balance is £1,600 or more when you close the account, you'll get a 25% bonus on your final balance. This is paid by the UK Government if you buy a house up to the value of £250,000 outside London or £450,000 inside London. The minimum bonus of £400 is payable on closing balances of £1,600. The maximum bonus of £3,000 is paid on closing balances of £12,000 or more.
- You don’t withdraw any money or interest
This account can be managed:
- on our app
- in branch
- by phone.
Transfering into our Help to Buy: ISA
New applications for this ISA are no longer accepted. If you already have a Help to Buy: ISA with another provider, you can transfer it to us over the phone. All the money will be moved over to your new account.
Apart from the Help to Buy: ISA you are transferring from, you must not have saved into another cash ISA this tax year. Read our guide to ISAs for more information.
The ISA is for first time buyers who are:
- 16 or over and have a national insurance number
- resident in UK for tax purposes
- saving to buy a house up to the value of £250,000 outside London or £450,000 inside London.
There are limits on how much you can save in a Help to Buy: ISA:
- The Help to Buy: ISA is a cash ISA and you can only save into one cash ISA in a tax year. This includes cash ISAs with other banks. Read our guide to ISAs for more information.
- ISAs have an annual limit of £20,000 this tax year. This means you can’t pay more than this limit into any combination of permitted ISAs within the same tax year.
- The Help to Buy: ISA allowance is lower than the overall £20,000 ISA allowance as you can only pay in up to £200 in any calendar month. This must be paid by standing order and received by the 25th of the month (this can include the month you transfer your ISA). If you want to reach the full ISA limit in a tax year, you’ll have to invest any other new contributions into other permitted types of ISA.
Yes. You can make unlimited withdrawals, but you won't be able to claim the Government bonus on the funds you withdraw.
You can close your account at any time by visiting your local branch. If you choose to close the account and move the money to a non-ISA account, your savings will lose their tax-free status. The tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may change in the future.
How to start the claim for your bonus
To start the claim for your bonus, you need to:
- Close your account in one transaction in branch when you're ready to purchase your first UK property. The property should be up to the value of £250,000 outside London and £450,000 inside London. Remember you can't use the bonus to cover any costs you incur before completion or to use as the deposit due at exchange of contracts.
- Pass your Help to Buy: ISA closing documents onto your conveyancer. They will claim the bonus for you. They must be approved as an eligible conveyancer under the Help to Buy: ISA scheme.
Savings terms explained
Tax free means you will not pay income tax on your interest.
AER stands for Annual Equivalent Rate. Whenever you see an advert for a savings account which shows an interest rate, you will see the AER. This means you can use the AER to compare accounts. It shows what the interest rate would be if your interest was paid and compounded once each year.
For more definitions, view our savings glossary.
Help to Buy: ISA administrator
The Help to Buy: ISA scheme administrator is National Savings and Investments (NS&I). NS&I works with HM Treasury. The administrator was UKAR (UK Asset Resolution Limited) until 31st March 2019.
We’ve put all of the information you need along with lots of handy tools in one place to help you understand everything you need to know about buying your first home.
- Our first time buyer guide will take you through the mortgage and buying process, in an easy to understand way. Step by step, we’ll go from saving for your deposit to getting the keys to your new home.
- Use our Mortgage Calculator to get an idea of how much you could borrow, what your monthly payments could be and what costs you should budget for.
- An Agreement in Principle lets you know if you could get a mortgage and how much we could lend you, this enables you to set your property search budget, an essential first step in starting to look for your first home. It’s free, takes about 15 minutes and there’s no obligation to apply for a mortgage with us.