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By Pete Mugleston | Mortgage Advisor

Pete has been a mortgage advisor for over 10 years, and is regularly cited in both trade and national press.

Updated: 19th March 2021*

*UPDATE: The Help to Buy: ISA scheme is now closed to new applicants. However, joint first-time buyers can still get a bonus from the government to put towards their first home – read our guide to find out more.

Countless customers have asked us whether it’s possible to use a Help to Buy ISA as a springboard to a joint mortgage.

While the answer depends on a number of factors, we have helped many people successfully apply for a joint mortgage through this government scheme, some of whom have bad credit and had been turned down by lenders in the past.

In response to the enquiries we receive on this subject, we’ve put together a guide to Help to Buy ISAs and joint ownership, and you’ll find the following topics covered below…

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Can I use a Help to Buy ISA for a joint mortgage application?

Customers often ask us if they can use their first-time buyer ISA for a joint mortgage application, and the answer is yes. If you’ve been paying into a Help to Buy ISA, you will get your cash bonus regardless of whether you’re applying for a joint or sole name mortgage.

Help to Buy ISAs for joint mortgages work in exactly the same way as it would for sole applicants. The scheme allows first-time buyers to save for a home tax-free and it comes with a government cash bonus of up to £3,000, released upon completion.

The account holder can pay in up to £200 per month and the government will top up these contributions by 25% (but an initial contribution of £1,200 can be made in the first month).

The maximum amount of cash bonus you can receive is £3,000 and to get the full amount you would need to pay in a total of £12,000. The minimum amount you’d need to save to get any kind of cash bonus is £1,600, which would come with a top-up of £400.

Help to Buy ISA: Can a couple have one each?

Yes, this is certainly possible! Couples can have a Help to Buy ISA each and this doubles the potential bonuses on offer. When couples use first time buyer ISAs to boost their mortgage applications, the government will pay out the bonuses separately to each individual when they complete on buying their property and close their accounts.

Can I get a Help to Buy ISA with my partner?

Customers often ask us things like “can you have a joint Help to Buy ISA?” and the answer is no. A Help to Buy ISA cannot be a joint account, but you can have more than one Help to Buy ISA per couple, as we discussed in the previous section. While this government scheme is for individual applicants, both partners can open an account each.

So, there are no standalone Help to Buy ISAs for couples, but you can have a Help to Buy ISA each if you’re buying a property with someone else.

Can a married couple get a Help to Buy ISA?

If you’re married, either you or your spouse could open a Help to Buy ISA and put the cash bonus towards your joint mortgage application. Alternately, you could open one each and save separately, but it is not possible to have a Help to Buy ISA in joint names.

How to get the best rates on a Help to Buy ISA joint mortgage

For a Help to Buy ISA mortgage with two applicants, the lender will carry out their usual eligibility checks on both borrowers before deciding which rates to offer. Mortgage providers tend to base their lending decisions on the following factors…

Credit rating

Having clean credit will usually help convince the lender to offer you their top rates. If you have any adverse on your file, you may need a specialist lender to find a favourable deal.

Your deposit

Most lenders will expect you to have at least 10% deposit for a residential property, but some will accept 5% under the right circumstances. Putting down more deposit, if you’re in a position to, can help convince the lender to offer a more favourable deal.

Income and affordability

If you’re using a Help to Buy ISA and there will be two people named on the mortgage, the lender will base the loan on multiples of both applicants’ income. Most lenders offer x4.5 the combined salary, some offer x5 and a minority x6, under the right circumstances.

If you’re self-employed or need to include bonus income, commission or regular overtime in your mortgage application, a specialist lender might be needed to get the best deal.

The more confident the lender is that your declarable income will cover the mortgage payments, the more likely they are to offer favourable rates.

Your age

If a couple is using a first-time buyer ISA to get a mortgage in later life, they might find it harder to get the best interest rates, due to there being fewer lenders to approach.

Some providers won’t lend to anyone over 75, others over 85, but a minority will lend to pensioners of any age, as long as they can prove they will keep up with the payments.

Moreover, some people in their late 40s or 50s could have an issue with the mainstream lenders where the max age at the end of the term is normally 70, as a term past 70-75 might be needed for it to fit, affordability wise. 

There are a number of mortgage options for retired borrowers and flexible lenders with no age restrictions. Get in touch and the advisors we work with make sure you’re introduced to the best provide for your needs and circumstances.

The property type

If the property you’re buying has any elements of non-standard construction (such as a thatched roof or timber frame) a specialist lender might be required to get the best rates. 

Speak to an expert mortgage broker about joint Help to Buy ISA applications

If you have questions and want to speak to an expert for the right advice, call Online Mortgage Advisor today on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry here.

Then sit back and let us do all the hard work in finding the broker with the right expertise for your circumstances. We don’t charge a fee and there’s absolutely no obligation or marks on your credit rating.

Updated: 19th March 2021
OnlineMortgageAdvisor 2021 ©

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs. Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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