Originally introduced back in 2014, following the success of the then popular Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme, the government introduced a scheme that had the intention of reducing the low rate of forces home ownership throughout the country.
This is a scheme that is available to Tri-Service members, the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and Royal Air Force, providing they meet the criteria.
Additionally, the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Accommodation Strategy also is a factor in this, aiming to make sure everyone has access to good quality accommodation.
Outlined in this strategy, is the positive impact that owning a home can have to people with inherently mobile careers, such as partner employability, stable education for children and also continuity, as members of the services transition into being out of active service.
Slated to end back in 2019, we have seen extensions for the Forces Help to Buy Scheme, with the government eventually transforming it into an enduring policy, allowing it to remain available to all service members, now and in the future.
The way that the FHTB Scheme works, is that service personnel are able to borrow up to 50% of their annual salary, which is capped at £25,000, free from interest. This can be used to purchase their first home or a new family home.
It is currently available to all regular personnel who have completed the prerequisite service length, are not a reservist or member of the Military Provost Guard Service, have more than 6 months of time left to serve when they apply and that meet the correct medical categories.
Of course, there may be exceptions to the criteria, especially when you factor in special medical and personal circumstances. To learn more about this and more relating to Forces Help to Buy, please see the government guidance website.
The aspect of FHTB that is that you don’t need to have any current savings of your own, in order to use this scheme to get onto the property ladder. You are able to use this towards costs such as a deposit, solicitors fees, estate agents fees and stamp duty land tax.
The good news regarding deposit too, is the majority of all mortgage lenders will accept the funds from FHTB for that purpose. It is generally more relaxed than other home buying schemes, with the loan from Forces Help to Buy only needing to be paid back over a period of 10 years.
As an experienced and reputable mortgage broker, with a great love and respect for our service members across the nation, we’re here to support and help you on your home buying journey in any way we can.
From the first time you get in touch with us, all the way through until your mortgage completes and even beyond, your dedicated mortgage advisor will ensure you are taken care of and have the best outcome for what it is you are looking to achieve.
For more, please feel free to book yourself in for a free mortgage appointment and we will see how we are able to help you on your home buying journey.
Note; The Forces Help to Buy is not the same as the standard UK Help to Buy Scheme or Shared Ownership Scheme.
If you are an existing service member and homeowner looking to utilise Forces Help to Buy for moving home, aged 55+, it may be worth looking at your options for equity release or retirement interest-only mortgages (RIO Mortgages), as forces pensions may be beneficial for this.
To understand the features and risks of equity release and lifetime mortgages, ask for a personalised illustration.
A lifetime mortgage may impact the value of your estate and it could affect your entitlement to current and future means-tested benefits. The loan plus accrued interest will be repayable upon death or moving into long-term care.