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Forces Help to Buy Scheme (FHTB) Explained

Armed Forces Help to Buy Scheme

The Forces Help to Buy Scheme was introduced by the government in 2014 as a response to the success of other Help to Buy Schemes. The scheme was designed to address the low rate of home ownership among members of the Tri-Service, including the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army, and Royal Air Force.

To be eligible for the scheme, members of the Tri-Service must meet certain criteria as determined by the government. The Forces Help to Buy Scheme is part of the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Accommodation Strategy, which aims to provide all service members with access to good quality home ownership.

The strategy recognises the positive impact that home ownership can have on the lives of those with mobile careers, such as improved partner employability, stability for children’s education, and continuity as members transition out of active service.

The Forces Help to Buy Scheme was originally slated to end in 2019, but due to its success, the government extended the scheme and eventually transformed it into an enduring policy. This means that the scheme is now permanent and will continue to be available to all members of the Tri-Service in the future.

The Forces Help to Buy Scheme is an important tool for increasing home ownership among service members and supporting the unique needs of those with mobile careers.

How does the Forces Help to Buy Scheme work?

The Forces Help to Buy (FHTB) Scheme allows eligible service personnel to borrow up to 50% of their annual salary, capped at £25,000, for the purpose of purchasing their first or new family home. The loan is interest-free and can be used to cover costs such as a deposit, solicitors fees, estate agents fees, and stamp duty land tax.

To be eligible for FHTB, you must be a regular personnel who has completed the required service length, not a reservist or member of the Military Provost Guard Service, have more than 6 months of service left when applying, and meet the specified medical categories. However, exceptions may be made for special medical and personal circumstances.

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.

One of the advantages of FHTB is that you don’t need to have any savings to use the scheme and enter the property market. The loan from FHTB can be paid back over a period of 10 years, and the majority of mortgage lenders will accept it as a deposit. For more information on the Forces Help to Buy Scheme, please consult the government guidance website.

How a Mortgage Advisor in London May Be Able To Help

As a distinguished and trustworthy mortgage broker in London, we have a deep appreciation for the service members of our nation and are committed to supporting you through your home buying journey. From the moment you first get in touch with us until your mortgage is completed and beyond, your dedicated mortgage advisor in London will ensure that you receive exceptional care and the best outcome for your needs.

Note; The Forces Help to Buy is not the same as the standard UK Help to Buy Scheme in London or Shared Ownership Scheme in London either.

If you are a service member who is 55 years of age or older and looking to utilise the Forces Help to Buy Scheme for moving home, you may want to consider your options for equity release in London or retirement interest-only mortgages (RIO Mortgages) as your forces pensions could be beneficial in this scenario.

If you are interested in learning more about equity release and lifetime mortgages, book a free mortgage appointment to understand their features and risks. Keep in mind that a lifetime mortgage may affect the value of your estate and potentially impact your eligibility for current and future means-tested benefits. The loan and accumulated interest will need to be repaid upon death or moving into long-term care.

Date Last Edited: February 13, 2023

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