How does a help to buy ISA work?
Available to first-time buyers only, a help to buy ISA is a saving scheme whereby the government will boost what you save by 25%. So, for every £200 you save, the government will pay a £50 tax-free ‘bonus’ to go towards your first home.
You can deposit £1,200 into the ISA during the first month, then up to £200 a month after that. The maximum bonus you can get from the government is £3,000, which you'd receive if you saved £12,000. The minimum you need to save to qualify for a bonus is £1,600 (generating a bonus of £400).
You’ll get the government bonus when you buy a property; if you decide not to buy one, then you won’t get the extra money. The bonus part of a help to buy ISA is paid per person, so if you’re planning on buying a home with someone else and you’re both first-time buyers, you’ll get double the money.
You can open a help to buy ISA until 30 November 2019 and you must claim your bonus by 1 December 2030.