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/help-to-buy-isa/how-does-it-work Opens in a new window
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.
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/help-to-buy-isa/how-does-it-work Opens in a new window
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.