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Help to Buy ISA or Lifetime ISA?

Lifetime ISA and Help to Buy ISA are two government ISA schemes for first time buyers, so it makes sense to compare the two. Both pay government bonuses on top of the tax-free interest, though your tax rules may change in the future.

The Help to Buy ISA scheme closed to new applications on 30 November 2019. If you opened your account before then you can continue to save into your Help to Buy ISA until November 2029.

While you can still hold both accounts (if you meet the criteria), you can only benefit from the bonus on one of them to buy your first home, the government bonus on a Help to Buy ISA must be claimed by 1 December 2030.

Below you can find a table comparing the two ISAs as well as information on how to transfer a Help to Buy ISA to our Lifetime Cash ISA.

How do they compare?

  Lifetime ISA Help to Buy ISA
Who can open an account? Anyone aged 18 to 39 No longer available for new applications
Amount you can save per year Up to £4,000 £2,400 until November 2029
Amount you can save per month No restrictions £200
Maximum bonus £32,000 (over 32 years) assuming a maximum contribution each year and the account is opened at the age of 18 £3,000
Bonus paid Paid monthly on each month's deposits until the age of 50 Added to the account balance on completion of mortgage
Home buying restrictions Can be used for a first home with a purchase price of up to £450,000 Can be used for a first home up to the purchase price of £250,000 (£450,000 in London)
When can you use the funds towards buying your first home? 12 months after your first payment into the account. Once you have saved £1,600. The government bonus must be claimed by 1 December 2030.
Can you withdraw money if not for your first home? Yes, after the age of 60 but if earlier you will incur a government withdrawal charge^. Yes at any time, you just don't get the bonus.

Important Information

^Any withdrawals within the first 12 months of your first payment into a Lifetime ISA will incur a 25% government charge, which would mean you would get back less than you paid in. After 12 months of making your first payment, you can withdraw money to buy your first home, but if you withdraw for any other reason than that before you reach 60, the government withdrawal charge will apply (unless you're diagnosed with a terminal illness).

Find out more about the Lifetime ISA withdrawal charges.

Transferring your Help to Buy ISA to our Online Cash Lifetime ISA (LISA)

If you think a Cash LISA may be a better option for you then you could transfer the funds from your Help to Buy ISA into our Skipton LISA in three easy steps:

  1. Apply for our Online Cash Lifetime ISA online.
  2. Once set up, login, click ‘pay in’, select ‘ISA transfer in’.
  3. Fill out the electronic form, print and return it to us in the post to the following address Customer Delivery, Skipton Building Society, The Bailey, Skipton, BD23 1DN.

Please note: Any transfer from a Help to Buy ISA will count towards your current tax year's LISA allowance of £4,000.

Plus there is an exclusive offer of £250 cashback for any of our LISA customers who go on to take out a mortgage with us. Please see the terms and conditions below.

£250 Cashback mortgage terms and conditions

Subject to our normal affordability assessment and lending criteria at the time, Skipton Lifetime ISA customers who are buying their first home with a Skipton mortgage will be eligible for £250 cashback following completion of their mortgage. This offer is only valid for mortgages completing from 6 April 2018 to 30 June 2027. Cashback will be paid for new mortgages where at least one of the applicants is a Skipton Lifetime ISA customer buying their first home. If the mortgage is in joint names and with another Skipton Lifetime ISA holder, only one cashback amount will be paid. Cashback will only be available once. Security is required for any loan.

Next Steps

Apply online

Find out more and apply for our Cash Lifetime ISA

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