There was good news announced recently for military personnel looking to lay down some roots. The Forces Help to Buy scheme, introduced in 2014 for three years, was due to expire this December but has now been extended until the end of 2022.
Further Assistance To Enable Armed Forces To Buy
Since its introduction, the scheme, originally intended as a pilot, has lent over £280 million to over 18,000 armed forces applicants enabling them to buy homes which they may otherwise have been unable to do. The purpose of the scheme was to honour our Armed Forces personnel and enable them to provide a more stable home life and families for themselves and their families.
Serving for your country can come at a great cost in terms of your home life. Being in the military can often mean you’ll struggle to secure mortgage finance to buy your home through no fault of your own. Troops often fail to meet the lending criteria of mainstream banks and building societies due to the nature of their service – a common example of this being incomplete credit records due to being stationed abroad.
As with any other sector of society, you may have adverse credit or another common pitfall is that you may be looking to buy a barracks home on non-standard construction such as concrete prefabs. High street lending criteria hasn’t previously facilitated any measures to assist you with these common barriers to acquiring mortgages, despite you having a stable income. Add to this that it’s hard to save enough for a deposit, it’s easy to feel that your own set of keys is never going to happen.
What Is The Forces Help To Buy Scheme?
The main intention of the scheme is to provide the facility for military personnel to borrow up to half of your annual salary for a deposit. This loan is interest-free and can be put towards buying a home, moving to another property or to build an extension on your current property.
The FHTB Scheme can help you or your family get on that tricky first rung of the property ladder without having any money previously saved. It provides an advance, up to half of your annual pay, before tax – up to a maximum of £25,000 with no interest being added at any point.
The pilot of the scheme has proven to be so popular it will be made available to service personnel for a further three years.
Single service personnel can also apply for the scheme as you do not need to be married or have children in order to qualify.
How Much Do I Have To Pay Back For My FHTB?
This will depend on how much of your available assistance you actually borrow. As no interest is payable, the amount of your loan advance is divided equally across the ten-year repayment term and you pay back that amount monthly.
You have the option to start making payments towards the loan straight away, to start paying it back six months after receiving it, or you can defer it until your final ten years of service. If you wish to repay it sooner, you can also opt to make overpayments.
If you leave the forces after receiving your FHTB any outstanding FHTB loan balance will be taken automatically from your terminal benefits or resettlement grant.
What Is The Criteria Of The Forces Help To Buy Deposit?
The loan is intended to be used to help with that elusive first purchase or extending your current home. Property purchases or alterations can be costly affairs with substantial costs involved.
The FHTB deposit can be used to help with all of this. The balance of the purchase price of a house can include additional costs such as the deposit, legal fees, surveyors reports, land registration searches and estate agent fees, none of which are insignificant.
Regular personnel are able to borrow up to 50% of their annual salary up to £25,000 to help with this. By offering an increased advance of salary, the scheme can provide more flexible support to help you with your home purchase and can then be repaid over a period of 10 years.
You are eligible for the scheme if you are classed as regular service personnel who:
● has completed the pre-requisite length of service,
● has more than 6 months left to serve at the time you apply,
● if serving in the Royal Navy has been accepted onto trained strength.
● meet the right medical categories.
There are some exceptions to the standard criteria, particularly if you have extenuating medical or personal circumstances.
Get in touch with our team and we can talk you through your application with no obligation to proceed.
The property you are using to claim your FHTB assistance must be intended for your own immediate occupation, or for that of your immediate family. Exceptions to this may apply if you are in an overseas posting at the time of your application and purchase.
Forces Help To Buy Scheme Commended By The Defence Secretary
Regarding the scheme, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
“The extension of this scheme demonstrates the value we put on our Armed Forces and means service personnel can continue to realise the ambition of owning their own home or borrowing to extend.
It has already proven very popular amongst the Armed Forces community and by extending it further we will be able to help many more service personnel make those first steps on the property ladder or expand their home to fit their family.”
Johnny Mercer, Minister for Defence People and Veterans commended the scheme:
“The extension of the Forces Help to Buy Scheme is fantastic news for all those wanting
to take that first step on to the property ladder. The Scheme helps to provide stability for our Armed Forces personnel and families, as a thank you for their commitment to their service for this country”
Speak to Apex Today…
We think this is great news for military personnel and we are still seeing that many armed forces personnel are not aware of the financial assistance they have available to them.
Get in touch today to see if buying your next home is closer than you think.