Forces Help To Buy scheme
Launched back in April 2014, the Forces Help To Buy Scheme replaces the Long Service Advance of Pay (LSAP) scheme. Armed forces personnel can benefit from the £200 million scheme which was recently extended to run until the 31st December 2019.
It allows military personnel to borrow up to 50% of their annual salary (up to a maximum of £25,000) to buy their first property. The loan is interest-free and would need to be paid off over a 10 year period.
At Forces Advice, we specialise in helping military men and women to find financial products to suit their personal needs. As ex-military ourselves, we understand your circumstances as a member of HM Armed Forces and can provide some useful guidance on the Forces Help to Buy scheme below.
Who can apply for the Forces Help To Buy Scheme?
The criteria for eligibility for the scheme is quite straightforward:
- You must be in regular service
- You must have at least 6 months left to serve at the time of your application
- In the last 6 months, you must not have owned a house within 50 miles of the house you propose to purchase.
- Naval Service men and women must have been accepted onto trained strength, ie in a complement billet.
- Army and RAF personnel must have completed two years service from the date of enlistment and have completed Phase 2 training.
How to apply for the Forces Help To Buy Scheme
You apply for the scheme through the Joint Personnel Administration system, and the application can be done online. Once you have the offer, you can approach would-be lenders with your offer letter as proof. Not all, but many UK mortgage lenders work with the scheme. However, just having the offer approved is not a guarantee that a lender will offer you a mortgage.
Once you have secured a property, you should ensure that you get the right insurances in place – something that the Forces Advice team would be able to assist you with.