What is the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme and what alternatives are there?
These days, scraping together a deposit for a mortgage can be tough. We receive a huge number of calls every day from people looking for guidance on raising a deposit for a home loan, and whether any financial assistance is available to them.
Many customers ask about the government Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee scheme, and whether it is still available in 2019.
Unfortunately you are no longer able to apply for this particular product, but don’t lose faith; there are still plenty of other options and the expert advisors we work with know how to find them.
Read on, where we’ll be covering:
What is the Help to Buy guarantee mortgage?
What alternatives are there to Help to Buy mortgage guarantees?
Help to Buy Equity Loan
Help to Buy Lifetime ISA
Help to Buy Shared Ownership
Other factors impacting mortgage eligibility
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How does the government Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee work?
Help to Buy (HTB) was a government initiative made up of various schemes aimed to give financial assistance to those struggling to save for their own home.
The mortgage guarantee Help to Buy (AKA “Help to Buy Phase 2”) product was available until 2016. This element of Help to Buy gave first-time buyers or home-movers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland a better chance of getting approved for a mortgage by contributing to their mortgage deposit, provided the property value was under £600,000 (£300,000 in Wales).
The Mortgage Guarantee applied to existing homes as well as new-builds, which set it apart from the Equity Loan scheme (discussed later).
As with a HTB Equity Loan, under the Mortgage Guarantee scheme buyers were only required to save a 5% deposit, with the government providing up to an additional 15% on top.
While this product is no longer available in 2018, there are still a number of alternatives available if you’re looking for help getting a foot on the ladder.
What are the alternatives to the Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantees?
There are so many different options available to help you get a deposit for a mortgage; here are some of the most popular:
Help to Buy Equity Loan
This Equity Loan scheme is another popular Help to Buy product which is available until 2020 in the UK. Again, this allows first-time buyers with as little as 5% deposit a boost from the government of up to an additional 20% of the property’s value (40% in London).
You would then take out a 75% mortgage as usual (55% in London) to make up the rest. The Equity Loan scheme is interest free for the first five years, after which time a 1.75% is charged, rising annually by the increase of the Retail Price Index + 1%.
Help to Buy ISA
The Help to Buy ISA is another government-funded scheme which can add to your deposit savings fund up to a maximum of 25% (max. £12,000), meaning you could receive up to an additional £3,000 bonus to put towards your first home.
You can open up your ISA with an initial deposit of up to £1,000. The minimum sum you need to save to be eligible for the government contribution is £1,600 (so a £400 bonus).
Lifetime ISA (LISA)
The LISA is available to first-time buyers aged 18 - 39. After opening one, you can save a maximum of £4,000 a year, and the government will add a 25% bonus on top. So, if you save £4,000 per year, there’s an additional £1,000 to be earned.
As long as you’ve held the LISA for over 12 months and are a first time buyer, you can use these funds towards a deposit for any residential property up to the value of £450,000.
Help to Buy Shared Ownership
The government Shared Ownership scheme is aimed at first-time buyers or low income households (up to £60,000 combined income per year).
It allows you to buy a share (typically 25 - 75%) of a resale or new-build home, while you pay significantly reduced rent on the remaining share. Later on down the line, you have the opportunity to purchase a larger share of the property.
Some high-street lenders offer specialist mortgage packages for first-time buyers. These include, but are not limited to, the “Lend a Hand” scheme from Lloyds TSB, and “Family Springboard” from Barclays.
These schemes allow a borrower’s relatives to contribute to their deposit. Typically a borrower will need to contribute a minimum sum, and the second party can will provide an additional 10% of the property’s price into an interest-bearing account as security.
(Springboard isn’t a contribution to the deposit, the relative simply deposits money into an account and they can get that money back - usually after three years - expand)
As with any mortgage assistance programme, each has their own criteria and requirements; for example, the Family Springboard scheme does not apply to new-builds. Each bank will have their own mortgage eligibility calculators if you want to get a rough idea as to whether you’re eligible.
Alternatively, the team we work with have expert knowledge in this area, so get in touch for further advice.
What other factors do I need to consider when applying for a mortgage?
When you apply for a mortgage under any government Help to Buy or bank scheme, expect to be subject to the same checks as you would with any other mortgage application.
There are also restrictions in place to prevent you from using particular schemes in conjunction with another; contact us to speak to a specialist advisor for more information on this.
Almost everyone that applies for a mortgage is subject to affordability checks.
When assessing your income, lenders tend to cap loans at a multiple of your earnings using an affordability calculator. The majority of providers wil cap at 3 - 4x your yearly income, but some are more generous than others.
Depending on your other financial commitments, some lenders may offer you up to 5 - 6x your salary in the right circumstances. Visit our affordability section for more information.
Mortgage providers are generally more cautious about lending to those who have a history of bad credit.
However, all lenders have different stances on the type of adverse they will consider, and it tends to depend on the recency and / or severity of the issue. Visit our bad credit section to find out more.
Older borrowers can struggle to get a mortgage as they can be perceived as higher risk. As a result, many lenders many lenders have a maximum age cap at the time of application, or a maximum term length they’re willing to offer. Others will not lend into retirement at all.
A whole of market broker can connect you with a wide variety of lenders who are happy to lend into retirement - and some have no age restrictions at all. Contact us today to speak to a later life lending specialist.
Typically, you are not able to take advantage of any deposit help scheme if you intend to use it for a Buy to Let (BTL) investment, nor can you sublet the property or enter a part exchange deal on a previous home.
Non-standard properties can also prove problematic as lenders can consider them as higher risk. For example, if you have a particularly old property, perhaps with a thatched roof (or anything than deviates from the non-standard definition), you could be perceived less favourably.
However, there are a number of lenders who are happy to consider a vaster range of property types. Visit non-standard property section here.
There are various restrictions surrounding the value of the property you wish to purchase when taking advantage of deposit help schemes; these vary depending on the lender and / or which scheme you use.
For example, the HTB equity loan cannot be used on a property under £600,000, a LISA can be used if valued £450,000 or less, and the HTB ISA is only available on properties under £250,000 (or £450,000 in London).
Again, it’s best to seek specialist advice in these situations; contact us today and we’ll put you in touch with an expert.
While the Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee scheme is no longer available, there are still plenty of high-street lenders offering affordable rates on alternative options such as those discussed above. Whether you approach HSBC, Halifax, Natwest or Barclays (to name a few), there are often competitive options and rates available, whatever your circumstances.
Why you should speak to an expert Help to Buy mortgage broker
The advisors we work with have all completed a 12 module training programme that sets them apart from the rest. They’re experts in Help to Buy mortgages and can help you find the perfect mortgage to suit your circumstance. In fact our customers consistently rate us 5 stars on Fifo. You’ll enjoy real peace of mind knowing that the brokers we work with:
Are whole of market.
Already know the lenders to go to as they successfully arrange these already.
Are OMA Accredited advisors.
Have successfully completed the LIBF Training course.
Speak to a Help to Buy expert today
If you like what you’re reading or you’d like to know more, call Online Mortgage Advisor today on 0800 304 7880 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 no obligation or marks on your credit rating.
*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 info 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.
Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes.
The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.
Pete's presence in the industry as the 'go-to' for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!
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