VIRGIN MONEY HELP TO BUY: ISA

The first step to owning your first home

2.00%

Tax-free3/AER1 Variable

  • Open your account with as little as £1.
  • Choose from annual or monthly interest.
  • Receive a tax free government bonus of up to £3,000, subject to Scheme Rules and Eligibility.

A Help to Buy: ISA is a great way to save for your first home. As well as earning tax-free interest as you save, the government will give you a £50 bonus every time you put away £200, up to a maximum bonus of £3,000, payable when your house purchase completes.


The Virgin Money Help to Buy: ISA is for first time buyers aged 16 and over. To view the Scheme Rules in full, visit helptobuy.gov.uk/isa Opens in a new window 


Help to Buy: ISAs explained

Straightforward and straight-talking – Help to Buy: ISAs explained in three minutes.

How it works

1. Open a Help To Buy: ISA and start saving

  • In the first calendar month you can put away £1,200.
  • Put away up to £200 each calendar month thereafter.
  • If you’re saving for your first home with another first time buyer, you can both open a Help to Buy ISA.

2. Get a 25% government bonus just by putting into your Help to Buy: ISA

  • The government will give you 25% of whatever you put away into your Help to Buy: ISA towards your first home, subject to eligibility.
  • The minimum bonus is £400 (if you put away £1,600) and the maximum is £3,000 (if you put away £12,000 or more in the ISA).

3. Get a mortgage boost when you buy your home

When you buy your first home, the government pays the bonus you’ve earned to your solicitor or qualified conveyancer, who’ll use it to complete your house purchase.

Like to save more?

If you can save more than the £200 monthly Help to Buy: ISA allowance – or if you already have money saved – you could open our Saving to Buy Account for your extra savings, or one of our other accounts.

Saving to Buy Account details

Bonus calculator

I can afford to put away

£
a month.

I have already saved up

£

I'm planning on buying my first home in


months.

The calculation does not include any interest earned on your savings in each account, therefore your deposit would be greater.

Help to Buy: ISA guide

Am I eligible?

You'll be eligible to open a Help to Buy: ISA and claim the Government bonus when buying your first home, if you:

  • Are a first time buyer, looking to buy a property in the UK.
  • Are a UK resident aged 16 or over with a valid National Insurance Number.
  • Have never received payment of a bonus under the Help to Buy: ISA Scheme Rules.
  • Will hold only one Help to Buy: ISA, and won’t pay into that Help to Buy: ISA more than the monthly allowance, as set out in the Scheme Rules.
  • Won't pay into another Cash ISA in the same tax year as you pay into this Help to Buy: ISA.
  • Agree to be bound by the Scheme Rules, which may be amended and/or restated at any time. To view these rules and eligibility criteria in full, visit helptobuy.gov.uk/isa Opens in a new window 

How do I get the government bonus?

Once you've found your home, confirmed your mortgage and had an offer accepted, your qualified conveyancer or solicitor will complete the purchase of your home. They must be registered as an eligible conveyancer with the Help to Buy: ISA Scheme.

When the relevant paperwork is in place, the conveyancer/solicitor will apply for the bonus on your behalf.

The bonus will be paid to the conveyancer/solicitor. They will add these funds to pay towards your property purchase. It should not be used when exchanging contracts, to pay for solicitor fees, estate agent charges or any other indirect costs associated with buying a home.

Are there any limitations to the scheme?

Customers must meet the eligibility criteria and accept the Scheme Rules in order to claim the Government bonus. The Scheme Rules are summarised below and can be viewed in full at helptobuy.gov.uk/isa

  • The minimum bonus payable from the Scheme is £400, and the maximum is £3,000.
  • The maximum you can deposit in the first calendar month is £1,200. Your first calendar month is classed as the month that you make your first deposit, for example, if you transfer money in to your Help to Buy ISA on 15th August, you will have until the end of that month to top your account up to £1,200.
    After that, the maximum is £200 per month.
  • You don't have to deposit money every month.
  • You can withdraw money from your Help to Buy: ISA but these funds will lose their tax-free status. Any funds you want to pay back in will be subject to your monthly deposit limit.
  • You have 12 months from the date you close your Help to Buy: ISA to complete your house purchase using the bonus. If your house purchase falls through within this period, we can reinstate your Help to Buy: ISA
  • You can't have a joint account - but if you’re buying your first home with another person and both of you are eligible for the Help to Buy: ISA Scheme, you can each open your own ISA. If one person isn't eligible (e.g. not a first time buyer) this doesn't stop the other from saving in a Help to Buy: ISA and claiming their bonus.
  • HM Treasury reserve the right to terminate the Help to Buy: ISA Scheme. In this event they'll provide written notice to all ISA managers, who will in turn notify their Help to Buy: ISA customers. HM Treasury will give a date when no further bonus can be claimed. This will be at least 12 months after their notice of termination.

How do I pay into and manage my account?

You can pay money into your account in a variety of ways, but the easiest way is to arrange a standing order or send a Faster Payment. We will let you know how to do this once you've opened your account.

Your Virgin Money Help to Buy: ISA will be managed online, with access when you need it, 24/7.

You can withdraw money from your Help to Buy: ISA, but these funds will lose their tax-free status. Any funds you want to pay back in will be subject to your monthly deposit limit.

Can I transfer or pay into another cash ISA?

  • You can only have one Help to Buy: ISA at any time.
  • You can transfer a Help to Buy: ISA in full from one ISA provider to another. The normal deposit limit of £1,200 in the first month would not apply.
  • If you transfer a Help to Buy: ISA the £200 monthly limit can be paid into your new or existing Help to Buy: ISA, not both.
  • You can transfer money from a Help to Buy: ISA to another Cash ISA, but this will be classed as a withdrawal. Any funds you wish to pay back in to your Help to Buy: ISA will be subject to your monthly deposit limit.
  • You can't transfer funds from a Cash ISA held elsewhere, to a Virgin Money Help to Buy: ISA. Other ISA managers may allow you to do this, but you can only transfer up to £1,200 in the first calendar month of subscription, or £200 in any subsequent calendar month.
  • You can't pay into a Help to Buy: ISA and a Cash ISA in the same tax year.

What if I can save more than £200 a month?

If you can save more than the £200 monthly Help to Buy: ISA allowance – or if you already have money saved – you could open our Saving to Buy Account for your extra savings, or one of our other accounts.

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Why choose Virgin?

First Time Buyer Hub

Help and support for first time buyers like you – everything from tips on how to save up your deposit to finding your first home.


Virgin Group offers

Your Help to Buy: ISA comes with a fantastic range of offers that could save you money across the Virgin Group and beyond.

Summary box

Account Name

Help to Buy: ISA Issue 3

What is the interest rate?

Issue Annual interest
% Tax Free3
Annual interest
% AER1
Monthly interest
% Tax-free3
Annual interest
% AER1
3 2.00 2.00 1.98 2.00

Annual interest is paid on 11 March, and will be available the next business day. Monthly interest is paid on the last day of the month, and will be available the next business day.

Can Virgin Money change the interest rate?

Rates are variable. This means we may increase or decrease interest rates at any time. When we increase interest rates we will inform you of any change at the earliest opportunity. When we decrease interest rates we will give you at least two months notice of the reduction. Please refer to Condition 12 within the Savings Terms and Conditions for details.

What would the estimated balance be after 12 months based on a £1,000 deposit?

Issue Projected balance
Help to Buy: ISA Issue 3 £1,020.00

This projection is provided for illustrative purposes only. It is based on no withdrawals or further deposits being made and interest being added to the account. The projected balance is based on the annual interest rate.

How do I open and manage my account?

  • This account can be opened online by UK residents aged 16 years and over, who do not, and have not previously owned their own home.
    • If you are opening this account with the intention of claiming the 25% government bonus, please ensure that you meet all of the eligibility criteria set out at www.helptobuy.gov.uk/isa.
    • You can only open an account in the name of one person – joint accounts are not allowed.
    • The account holder must have a National Insurance number.
  • Minimum to open £1.
  • Minimum additional deposit £1. There is no obligation to add to your Help to Buy: ISA each month.
  • Each tax year you can pay in up to the sum of your monthly tax-free allowances (subject to the terms and conditions of your account). The monthly allowance is currently £200 per calendar month, plus in the first calendar month of your Help to Buy: ISA you can subscribe an additional £1,000. If a deposit results in your account going over this limit we will return the additional funds to you. This does not include any interest you have asked to be added direct to your account.
  • Each customer can save up to a total of £2 million with Virgin Money, across all accounts held.
  • Only one Help to Buy: ISA can be opened per person.
  • Deposits and instructions can be made by:
    • Arranging an electronic transfer.
    • Transfer from an existing Virgin Money account, subject to the Terms and Conditions of that account.
    • Transferring an existing Cash ISA or a Stocks and Shares ISA from another provider.
    • Cash – Store** only.
    • Cheque.
    • CHAPS/BACS.
  • There are limits on the amounts you can deposit each calendar month but access to your funds is not restricted. An ISA may become void if invalid contributions are made and we may transfer the account to a non-ISA account which may not pay the same interest rate as the current ISA. This account will also no longer be eligible for the Help to Buy: ISA Scheme.

Can I withdraw money?

  • Minimum withdrawal amount is £1 (or less if closing).
  • If you withdraw money from your Help to Buy: ISA you cannot pay money back in to your account beyond the £200 per calendar month deposit limit. This could impact how quickly you can save for your first home and/or the amount of bonus you can claim.
  • You can have access to your money whenever you need it. Simply log into your account and arrange to take money in the following ways:
    • Electronic transfer.
    • CHAPS.
    • Transfer to another Virgin Money account, subject to the Terms and Conditions of that account.

Additional Information

  • You will be able to view your Help to Buy: ISA statement by logging into your account. These online statements will show the balance, details of any transactions and interest added to your account.
  • Monthly deposits are accepted from a minimum of £1 to a maximum of £200 but are not obligatory. In the first calendar month of paying into your new Help to Buy: ISA account you can put away up to £1,200, being an initial £1,000 plus the monthly allowance of £200.
  • Interest payments will not be counted towards the maximum £200 monthly deposit.
  • When you close your account we will send you a closing document that you will need to provide to your solicitor or licensed conveyancer.
  • We will contact you each year to remind you of the eligibility criteria of a Help to Buy: ISA. However, this information can be found at anytime by visiting www.helptobuy.gov.uk/isa.
  • Please also remember the tax advantages depend on your individual circumstances and the tax treatment of ISAs may change in the future.
  • No bonus payment will be paid by Virgin Money.
  • By opening a Help to Buy: ISA you limit the amount of tax-free savings you can make in a Stocks and Shares ISA and an Innovative Finance ISA.
  • Participation in the scheme will not result in an eligible customer qualifying for any other financial product or service, or any other HTB scheme or similar offered by Her Majesty’s Government.

Complaints and cancellations

We hope we can resolve any issues you may have in the first instance, but if you have a complaint, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can look into it for you. You can write the details of your complaint to the Customer Relations Team, Virgin Money plc, Gosforth, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE3 4PL or email customerrelations@virginmoney.com Email opens in a new window

If we cannot resolve the complaint to your satisfaction you have the right to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, which provides independent adjudication of complaints. A copy of our Internal Complaint Procedures leaflet PDF opens in a new window(PDF, 164KB) is available on request.

If you are not happy with your choice of account within 14 days of depositing your ISA subscription, we will help you close your account and you will not lose your right to invest in another Cash ISA or Stocks and Shares ISA or Innovative Finance ISA for that tax year. If you wish to take advantage of this 14-day rule, you must send your cancellation in writing to Savings Operations, Virgin Money, Jubilee House, NE3 4PL, when you close your account we will ensure that our reports to HM Revenue & Customs reflect the correct position. If you do cancel your account, the full amount of your investment, together with any interest earned will be returned to you.

Save with confidence

As we are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, savings with Virgin Money are covered up to £75,000 per person.

View the FSCS guarantee

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Help to Buy: ISA

A tax-free cash ISA that gives you a government bonus on savings of up to £1,200 in the first calendar month and £200 per calendar month thereafter.

Issue 3 – Variable rate

Variable rate of

2.00% AER1

2.00% Tax-free3 P.A.

Notice Easy Access
Account management Online
Min - max balance £1 - no max
Interest paid Monthly or Annually

Make sure you read and keep

As we're covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, most savings with us are covered up to £75,000.

Saving to Buy Account Online

Don't forget, if you can save more than the £200 monthly ISA allowance - or if you already have money saved - you could open our Saving to Buy Account(this will take you to the top of the page) for your extra savings, or one of our other accounts.

Before you start your application

Check the following statements are true:

  • I am a first time buyer.
  • I am over 16 years of age with a National Insurance Number.
  • I am resident and looking to buy in the UK.
  • I have never received payment of a bonus under the Help to Buy: ISA Scheme Rules.
  • I will hold only one Help to Buy: ISA, and won't deposit more than the permitted monthly allowance.
  • I agree to be bound as an eligible customer by the Scheme Rules Opens in a new window 

Things you'll need to hand

  • Your bank or building society account number and sort code to set up an account for future withdrawals
  • Your National Insurance number

This is an online account.

It can only be applied for online, and you will manage it through our 24/7 Online Service site.

I am a new customer

Apply now

I am an existing savings or mortgage customer

Sign in and apply

Apply online in three steps

  • Register as a new customer or sign in if you are an existing customer.
  • Complete your application. For security reasons, your application will time-out if it’s left for more than 13 minutes.
  • Get immediate access to your online account. We'll send you an email to let you know when your new account is open.

    If you're opening a Saving to Buy Account as well as a Help to Buy: ISA, you'll be able to open this once your ISA application is complete. Look out for the links to this account at the end of the ISA application.