The Help to Buy ISA has closed to new accounts – what to do now

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December 3, 2019

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Heard the Help to Buy ISA has closed for new accounts but still want to make use of that 25% Government Bonus

There is another ISA you can open which will allow you to benefit from the 25% Government Bonus. It is called the Lifetime ISA and differs from a Help to Buy (HTB) ISA in that the government bonus can be towards your first home and also towards your retirement.

I’m sure you’re not thinking about your retirment just yet and so we will focus on the benefits in regards to using the Lifetime ISA (LISA) for your first home.

We have created a table for you which compares the features of the LISA and the HTB ISA so you can decide if opening a LISA is right for you:

The Maximum Bonus £32,000 £3,000
When do you receive the Government Bonus? Monthly When buying your first home
How much can you save a year? £4,000 £2,400. £3,400 in the first year
Can you deposit a lump sum? Yes, whenever you want up to the maximum Only once. In your first month you can deposit £1,000. After that, each month you can only deposit £2,000
What is the maximum property value I can use with this? £450,000 £250,000 outside London. £450,000 in London
Who can open the account? Anyone ages 18-39 Anyone over 16 years old
When can you use the money to buy a house? 12 months after opening the LISA Once you’ve saved £1,600
What if I decide not to buy a house with the money? You can use the money after the age of 60 for your retirment You can withdraw your money but you will not receive any bonus on the amount you withdraw
Any withdrawal penalties? 25% on all savings withdrawn No, you just won’t get receive any of your bonus

As you can see, even though the Help to Buy ISA has now closed to new accounts, you can still benefit from the 25% Government Bonus for your first home. You may also find that the Lifetime ISA will benefit you more.

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