If you have any questions about managing your Help to Buy: ISA account, check the frequently asked questions below to see if we can help (just click the question and the answer will appear underneath):

Help to Buy: ISA is a tax free savings account specially designed for first time buyers 16 or over looking to save for a deposit on their first home. Provided you qualify, the government will also add an additional bonus of 25% of your balance when you close the account, which 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 be used in the calculation of the bonus. The minimum bonus is £400, based on a balance of £1,600.

There are also eligibility rules for the property, which must be purchased with the aid of a mortgage.

To be eligible to open the savings account you must be aged at least 16 and be what the scheme calls an "Eligible Customer".

In summary, this means:

  • You have a National Insurance number
  • You are resident in the UK
  • You have not exceeded your ISA subscription limit for the relevant tax year
  • You have not subscribed to another cash ISA within the tax year. However, the Nationwide cash ISA can comprise all or any of our cash ISA products, and consequently subscriptions to more than one of these does not constitute a subscription to another cash ISA.
  • You have not received a bonus before under the Scheme
  • You are not and have never been a "Residential Property Owner"

Please note that there are separate eligibility rules to claim the bonus. For more information please visit www.helptobuy.gov.uk/isa or ask us in branch for a copy of the Scheme Rules.

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.

Yes, in the first calendar month in which you choose to make a deposit, you will have until the end of that same calendar month to pay in up to £1,200. For example, if you open an account with us on 10 February, but make a first payment of £50 on 10 March, you’ll have until 31 March to pay up to the balance of £1,150.

If you are considering taking out a Help to Buy: ISA at the end of the month you may wish to delay until the following month in order to make your maximum deposit.

After this you can pay in up to £200 a month. The maximum monthly limit of £200 will also apply to Help to Buy: ISAs that you transfer from another provider. You can only deposit £1,200 once. You don’t have to save the maximum but if you miss a contribution you can’t make it up the next month.

Help to Buy: ISA can only have one account holder, however for joint mortgages, if you are both eligible you could each have a Help to Buy: ISA and get a Government funded contribution of up to £3,000 each.

No, you can only hold one Help to Buy: ISA with one provider. Transfers to the Nationwide Help to Buy: ISA are permitted. Please note that you can only deposit £1,200 once; the initial £1,200 first month deposit is not applicable to transferred accounts.

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.

You can apply for a Help to Buy: ISA at any Nationwide branch, online, via the Internet Bank and Banking app.

The government bonus is paid before completion, usually between exchange and completion.

When you are ready to purchase a property, you must ask us to close your Help to Buy: ISA. Your conveyancer will need a closing statement from us confirming that your Help to Buy: ISA has been closed.

You must give the closing statement to your conveyancer who will apply on your behalf to the Government Administrator to claim your bonus (if you qualify). Please note that you will not be able to claim the bonus without the closing statement.

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

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 are able to withdraw funds from your account or transfer them into another type of account at any time. However the bonus is calculated on the closing balance, therefore if you take out any money before that time, you won't get the bonus on the amounts you withdraw.

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.