The Forces Help to Buy Scheme (FHTB) was launched in April 2014. It was announced that from 1 January 2023 the initial pilot scheme would now be an enduring policy, meaning that there is no end date for personnel to take advantage of the scheme.
The Scheme provides financial assistance to service personnel towards the purchase of their first homes, a move to another property on assignment or as their families need change. Since its introduction, over £430 million has been advanced to more than 28 million people
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How does the Forces Help To Buy Scheme work?
The FHTB Scheme allows service personnel to borrow, by way of an advance, the equivalent of half their annual salary (before tax) up to a maximum of £25,000. The loan is interest free and is recovered over 10 years or less from your pay. Repayments will be taken from your pay in equal installments.
The loan is intended to be used to help towards the balance of your purchase price for which a mortgage lender is willing to advance a mortgage. This could be towards your deposit, legal costs or land registry fees.
Most major high street lenders accept the FHTB Scheme and you can use it together with other government backed housing schemes.
The Scheme can be used to purchase new build properties, second-hand properties and even self-builds. In some circumstances the Scheme can also be used to modify, adapt or extend your current home.
The property must be purchased for the applicant’s own immediate occupation, or that of their immediate family. The scheme cannot be used for the purchase of second properties or buy to let properties.
You will need to repay the loan before you leave the service.
Who is eligible?
To be eligible to apply for the Scheme you must be in regular service. Personnel must have served for 1 year from the date of enlistment and have completed Phase 1 training. You must also have more than six months of service remaining and have not yet drawn any terminal benefits.
How to apply?
You can apply for the FHTB Scheme online through the Joint Administration System (JPA) https://sts.defencegateway.mod.uk/Login.aspx or your Unit’s JPA suite. You can also ask for advice on the Scheme through your Chain of Command and Personnel Agency.