We’re no longer offering Help to Buy: ISAs to new applicants.

Recently applied? We’ve seen a huge demand for our Help to Buy: ISA, so there's a slight delay in processing applications. We’re working fast to open your account and will let you know as soon as it’s done by post.

If you already have a Help to Buy: ISA with us, here are some frequently asked questions about managing it.

From 1 December 2019, we no longer offer Help to Buy: ISAs for new applicants.

For those who opened a Help to Buy: ISA before 1 December 2019, it is a tax free savings account designed for first time buyers (aged 16 or over) looking to save a deposit on their first home.

You could also qualify for an additional government bonus of 25% of your balance when you close the account. This is claimed by your conveyancer and used towards the purchase of your first property. The maximum government bonus is £3,000, based on a balance of £12,000. If you save more, the additional amount will not go towards the bonus. The minimum bonus is £400, based on a balance of £1,600.

The property you’re buying also has to meet certain requirements and must be bought with the help of a mortgage.

You cannot take out a Help to Buy: ISA if you are or have ever been what the Scheme calls a Residential Property Owner.

In summary, this means:

  • Owning, or ever owning a property in the UK which:
  • In England and Wales is freehold, held on a long lease or commonhold
  • In Scotland has a registered or recorded title
  • In Northern Ireland is freehold or held on a long lease
  • Or is the equivalent in any country outside the UK, and
  • Is used or is being constructed as a dwelling.

You can save up to £200 a month (until 30 November 2029). You don’t have to save as much as this – but if you decide not to, you can’t make it up following month.

No, you can’t make your Help to Buy: ISA a joint account.

And from 1 December 2019, we no longer offer Help to Buy: ISAs for new applicants.

No, you can only hold one Help to Buy: ISA with one manager.

Yes, so long as the combined total of your cash ISA products including your Help to Buy: ISA held with Nationwide does not exceed the annual ISA allowance. This means that you can continue to subscribe to other Nationwide cash ISA products in the same tax year, in addition to your Help to Buy: ISA held with Nationwide.

The government bonus is usually paid between exchange and completion.

When you’re ready to buy a property, let us know so we can close your Help to Buy: ISA. We’ll issue a statement confirming that your Help to Buy: ISA is closed. You won’t be able to claim your bonus without this. Give the closing statement to your conveyancer, who can then apply for your bonus (as long as you’re eligible).

The latest date you can claim the bonus is 1 December 2030.

Your conveyancer can apply to claim the bonus within 12 months of the date the account is closed.

The latest date for claiming the bonus is 1 December 2030.

In order to claim the bonus you must be what the Scheme refers to as a “First Time Buyer”.

In summary, this means:

  • You are not and have never been a Residential Property Owner.
  • You will become the owner of a property in the UK (either on your own or jointly).
  • The property must be purchased by you with the aid of a mortgage (not necessarily a Nationwide mortgage).
  • The property must cost no more than £250,000 outside London and £450,000 within London (a list of inner and outer London Boroughs is given in the Scheme Rules). For shared or joint ownership properties this means the full sale price of the property, not just the cost of the initial share being bought.
  • The bonus is claimed on your behalf by your conveyancer and must be used directly to fund your purchase.
  • You intend to occupy the property yourself as your only or main residence.
  • You occupy the property when purchased (unless you are in the Forces and unable to do so).

If your property purchase falls through, your conveyancer will give you a "Purchase Failure Notice". If you give the notice to us within 12 months of closing your Help to Buy: ISA, we will allow you to open another Help to Buy: ISA provided we still offer a suitable Help to Buy: ISA account. You will be able to deposit an amount up to the balance of your old Help to Buy: ISA at the point it was closed.

You can withdraw or transfer money from your account any time you like. However, the bonus is worked out on your closing balance. So, if you take any money out before closing your Help to Buy: ISA, the bonus won’t count on the amounts you withdraw.

The latest date for claiming the bonus is 1 December 2030.

AER stands for Annual Equivalent Rate and illustrates what the interest rate would be if interest was paid and compounded once each year.
Gross p.a. is the interest rate without tax deducted.
Net p.a. is the interest rate after the deduction of tax.

Tax-free is the contractual rate of interest payable where interest is exempt from income tax.
The tax information provided is based on our understanding of current law and HM Revenue & Customs practice, both of which may change.