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The help to buy scheme has ended

Applications for Help To Buy had to be submitted by 31st October 2022 and successful purchase transactions must be completed on or before 31st March 2023. This guide is for reference only.

To see details of other schemes designed to help First Time Buyers, like the Own New scheme, please click here

What can I borrow?

Help to Buy lenders will look at how much you earn and your outgoings. As a general rule, multiply your income by 4.49 and you’ll get that magic number.

Which mortage?

This is where we come in. Our expert Help to Buy advisors will find out all about you, your history and future plans, and let you know which mortgage fits you best.

How we help

We don’t just pick a mortgage product; we will be by your side until you’ve turned the key in your front door. And we’ll even stick around afterwards (if you’ll have us).

So, how does it all work?

Your first home will likely be the biggest purchase you’ve made yet and the list of considerations is probably endless. But don’t be daunted, millions of people have successfully bought their dream home before you, and you can do it too.

First things first, you should work out how much you can afford, including any government support from your Help to Buy scheme. Viewing a £3,000,000 penthouse in Kensington sounds like fun, but if you can only afford £300,000 you might get your heart broken. Give our Help to Buy advisors a quick call and we can give you an estimate on how much you can borrow or get number crunching yourself and use our how much can I borrow calculator.

We can even help deal with the Help to Buy agents and get official approval for you as well as then arrange an Agreement in Principle (AIP) for you. This provisionally lets you know how much a particular bank will lend you. When you’re ready to put an offer on a property, you can use the AIP to show the builder and estate agent that you are a serious buyer who has already considered their financial situation.

Saving through an ISA or more specifically, a Lifetime ISA, can really help you save for your first home. These ISAs can also be used in conjunction with the scheme above. If you’re planning on buying a home in the next few years, we think this is a no-brainer. Here are the key features of the account:

Lifetime ISA

  • You can open a LISA if you’re aged between 18 and 40
  • You can deposit up to £4,000 a year in total – no monthly limits
  • Every year, the government bonus of 25% is deposited straight into the account so you can easily track how much you can put towards your deposit.
  • The bonus is available on properties worth up to £450k anywhere in the UK
  • You can’t withdraw the savings in the first 12 months so if you’re planning on buying in the next 12 months, go for the standard ISA option.

Q. Who is the Government Help to Buy Scheme for?
A. First-time buyers, who wish to purchase a new build property when they could not otherwise afford one in their area because they have an insufficient combination of the income and deposit needed to secure the level of mortgage required.

These loans are only available to First Time Buyers trying to get onto the property ladder, and are no longer available to ‘second-movers’, needing to move up the ladder to a bigger home, buy to let landlords or second homeowners.

Q. Who is eligible for the government Help to Buy Scheme – and for what types of property?
A. First time buyers with a minimum deposit of 5% of the purchase price

Buyers who are borrowing from a participating lender

Available in England on New Build properties up to £600,000, (regional caps now apply), up to £400,000 for the version in Scotland and £300,000 for the version in Wales

Residential property, where you plan to live in it and not rent it out

Your only property, so you cannot have an interest in any other property, anywhere in the world

Q. How does the Help to Buy Scheme work?
A. You’ll need to put down a deposit of at least 5% of the property price, the government will give you an equity loan for up to 20%, interest free for the first 5 years, and you’ll need a mortgage of 75% to cover the rest.
If you live in London, you can obtain a loan of up to 40%, so in addition to your 5% deposit you would need a mortgage of 55% LTV.

As a result of providing you with this assistance, the government is entitled to its money back, plus a share in the future sale proceeds equal to the percentage contribution it made to assist your purchase.

This type of loan is known as a ‘shared equity’ mortgage.

Imagine you bought your home initially for £200,000, putting in £10,000 as a deposit and then taking out a £150,000 mortgage and a Help to Buy Equity Loan of £40,000.

If you then sold your property for £250,000, making a £50,000 ‘profit’, you’d get £200,000 (£150,000 from your mortgage, £10,000 cash deposit back and £40,000 as 80% share of the ‘profit’) and pay back £50,000 to the government (the £40,000 equity loan, plus an extra £10,000 as 20% share of the ‘profit’). You’d need to pay off your mortgage with your share of the money.

Q. When will I have to pay back the Equity Loan?
A. The home will be in your name, which means you can sell it at any time. However, you’ll have to pay back the Equity Loan when you sell your home or at the end of your mortgage term – whichever comes first. You can also pay off all or part of your Equity Loan without selling your home.

Q. Are there any fees for the Government Equity Loan?
A. You won’t be charged loan fees for the first 5 years of owning your home. But in the 6th year, you will be charged a fee of 1.75% of the loan’s value. After this, the fee will increase every year in line with inflation. The annual increase in the fees is worked out by using the Retail Prices Index (RPI) plus 1%.

For instance, if the RPI is 5% at the end of Year 6 of your Equity Loan, the fee will increase by 6% from 1.75% in Year 6 to 1.86% in Year 7 (which is 1.75% + (1.75% x 6%) = 1.86%).

Interest is not charged on the version in Scotland.

We can provide you with a more detailed illustration when we help you with finding the right mortgage.

A government-appointed Help to Buy agent will contact you before the fees start, to set up monthly payments with your bank. You’ll also be sent a statement about your Equity Loan each year.

Q. What are the interest rates on the Help to Buy mortgage loan?
A. Help to Buy lenders offer more competitive rates to borrowers with bigger deposits as they carry less risk. This scheme means that they are only lending 75% of the property value, (or 55% in London) rather than 95% which means you will benefit from cheaper rates of interest than you would otherwise.

Important information

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend on your circumstances. The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.

Latest Help to Buy mortgage offers

We know you’re curious so we’ve picked out some of today’s best mortgage rates to give you an idea which lenders and interest rates could be available to you.

    Latest mortgage best buys

    Based on a property price of £300,000 with a 5% deposit from you and a 20% top-up from the government

  • Initial rate

    Overall cost for

  • 1.83%
    then 9.49%
  • 4.4%
    then 7.99%
  • 5%
    then 8.49%

  • Narrow down the right mortgage for me


How much can I borrow?

Annual Salary (£)

Bonus (£)

Help to buy guides

Newbie? You’ll feel like an expert in no time with our jargon-busting mortgage guides


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Mark Harris
Having dealt with Jan, Jenny, Tom and Ria from the team over the last 10 years, I have no hesitation in recommending them. They deliver on their promises and are efficient, proactive and solutions-driven in their approach.  Thank you!

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Marie Liesch
Great experience with Alex from Corecco . Alex has made our process of buying a house so much easier. He’s not only very efficient but also warm, friendly and relaxed while knowing exactly what he’s doing! You won’t waste your time with him nor will you waste your money (fees are very reasonable). Highly recommend

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Bosco Asua
I couldn't be happier with the service provided by Mark C. at Coreco. He helped us secure the best deal possible during challenging times and his advice was spot on. Mark patiently answered all our First Time Buyer questions and his expertise made the whole process seamless. While there's a fee involved, it's worth every penny for the peace of mind and savings we gained. If you need mortgage advice, Mark and the Coreco team are your best bet!

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