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Forces Help to Buy

Happy father, mother, and child

What is
Forces Help to Buy?

How it works

Forces Help to Buy is backed by the Government, with the aim of addressing the low rate of home ownership within the British Armed Forces.

The scheme allows service personnel to borrow up to 50% of their annual salary up to a maximum of £25,000, interest free, towards the purchase of a home.

As of 1st January 2023, the Forces Help to Buy scheme is a permanent policy – there is no end date.

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Father in military uniform on tablet with daughter

How does it work?

Through the Forces Help to Buy scheme, the Government allows you to borrow up to 50% of your yearly salary (up to a maximum of £25,000).

The advance is interest free, and may be used towards a deposit for owning your own home, as well as towards fees for solicitors and estate agents. In certain extenuating circumstances, it can be used to adapt a current property as your family's needs change.

You should apply through the Joint Personnel Administration portal, allowing at least six weeks before your expected purchase completion date. The process generally takes four weeks. For more information, see the gov.uk website.

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Please refer to our dedicated guides for information regarding England and Wales.

Help to Buy FAQs

What is the aim of the scheme?

The scheme aims to encourage and support home ownership amongst eligible service personnel, addressing the low rate of home ownership within the British Armed Forces.

How many people have used this scheme?

Over 27,500.

How do I apply for the scheme?

Online application through the Joint Personnel Administration portal.

When is the best time to apply?

A minimum of 6 weeks before the expected purchase completion date.

How long is the scheme open for?

The scheme has no end date. As of 1st January 2023, the scheme is permanent, ensuring its availability to service personnel now and in the future.

How long will the process take?

Generally around 4 weeks, but this is dependent on the applicant providing the right information and responding to queries quickly.

Where can I get more information?

Further detail can be found on the gov.uk website

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*YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT. Help to Buy is subject to the Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) terms and conditions and is available on new build homes on selected Ashberry Homes developments where the property represents your only residence. Help to Buy is available to first-time eligible buyers only and is subject to maximum regional price caps. HomeBuy agent eligibility checks are required. The equity loan is interest free for the first five years. If you are an eligible first-time buyer, the Government will lend you a minimum of 5% and up to 20% (or up to 40% in London) of the market value of your new build home. You start to pay interest from year six, on the fifth anniversary of your equity loan and this is calculated at a rate of 1.75% of the equity loan amount. The interest rate will rise each year thereafter in April by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), plus 2%. The interest you pay during the life of the equity loan does not reduce the amount you owe. The amount of interest you pay will reduce if you make part repayments. Interest will be worked out on the amount of equity loan left to pay. You may be charged interest on overdue money and pay administration fees to make changes to your equity loan. When your equity loan starts you must pay a £1 monthly management fee, this is paid for the life of your equity loan. When you take out your equity loan, you agree to repay it in full, plus interest and management fees. You must repay your equity loan in full: at the end of the equity loan term (normally 25 years), when you pay off your repayment mortgage, when you sell your home and if you do not comply with the terms set out in the equity loan contract and you are asked to repay the loan in full. Help to Buy operates under terms and conditions imposed by the HCA and may be subject to change. Please visit www.helptobuy.gov.uk for further information. Help to Buy cannot be used in conjunction with other schemes. Information correct at time of broadcast. Please see www.helptobuy.gov.uk/equity-loan/eligibility/ for further information. †Terms and conditions apply.