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Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis Warns People To Open Help To Buy ISA Before Deadline's Up

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis Warns People To Open Help To Buy ISA Before Deadline's Up

Buying a home is a notoriously stressful experience - especially if you're a first-time buyer, when things seem even more daunting than they do for those who've been through the rigmarole before.

But, as always, Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis is here to help, and he reckons Brits should be acting fast to avoid missing out on thousands of pounds' worth of help towards a deposit from the government.

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In the Money Saving Expert weekly newsletter, Lewis warned that the deadline is looming for the Help to Buy ISA scheme, which has been set up to help first-time buyers save up for a deposit and mortgage for a home.

Encouraging people to open the ISA, whether or not they definitely need one just yet, Lewis said all it takes is as little as £1 ($1.20).

Martin Lewis says time is running out to take advantage of the government's Help to Buy ISA scheme. Credit: PA
Martin Lewis says time is running out to take advantage of the government's Help to Buy ISA scheme. Credit: PA

He said: "If you think you'll need these [the Government top-up] but aren't sure, just open them. You need £1 in a Help To Buy Isa by November 30 or you lose the opportunity."

Set up in 2015, the scheme sees the government match any contributions you make towards the H2B ISA by 25 percent, up to the limit of £12,000 ($14,800).

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​Martin Lewis Issues Last Minute Warning To Open Help To Buy ISA Before Deadline
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​Martin Lewis Issues Last Minute Warning To Open Help To Buy ISA Before Deadline

It's available to people over the age of 16, but you can only apply for it if you've not owned or part-owned a home before - and that includes property anywhere in the world.

While you can start the ISA with an initial minimum deposit of up to £1,200 ($1,400), if you don't have that much to hand right now you can put in £1 to get started, in turn securing yourself an ISA before the deadline of 30 November.

Martin Lewis. Credit: PA
Martin Lewis. Credit: PA

The maximum contribution from the government you can get is £3,000 ($3,600) on savings of £12,000, bringing your total up to a massive £15,000 ($18,000).

The ISAs are per person and not per household, so if you're looking to buy your first home with your partner and both of you have the ISA, you can receive a £6,000 ($7,400) contribution from the government.

Though you can't open a new ISA after 30 November, you can continue putting savings into your account until 30 November 2029 and still claim your bonus from the government.

Speaking about the scheme earlier this year, TV presenter Lewis - who also founded the financial information website MoneySavingExpert.com - wrote in the MSE newsletter: "They're a great way to save for older children. If your kids are 16+ for a Help to Buy ISA or 18+ for a LISA, the bonus means these are a great place to give them money to save in, if you have it."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: uk news, News, martin lewis, Money

Jess Hardiman

Jess is a journalist at LADbible who graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Film Studies, English Language and Linguistics - indecisiveness at its finest, right there. She also works for FOODbible and its sister page Seitanists, which are both a safe haven for her to channel a love for homemade pasta, fennel and everything else in between. You can contact Jess at [email protected]