FHTB was originally set to last just 3 years, from 2014. However at the tail end of 2019 the MoD confirmed that the cheap Forces Help To Buy loan scheme for serving military personnel was extended again – this time until “at least the end of 2022”.
What is Forces Help To Buy?
The government scheme to help armed forces personnel and their families with cheap loans to get onto the property market is aimed at first time buyers and those who are forced into moving after a new posting. The loans cannot be used to fund the purchase of a second home.
What is the purpose of the scheme?
Why the generous scheme? The MoD has made it clear though that they do not want to have the responsibility for accommodation for the current number of serving personnel and their families. Also, when compared with the population as a whole, the percentages of serving military personnel who are homeowners is low. As an example, only 70% of officers own their own home, compared to 90% of that socio-economic group as a whole. The situation is much worse in other ranks, with only 35% of them owning their home compared to 65% of the equivalent civilian population.
One of the main reasons why rates of home ownership are so low in the Armed Forces is that military personnel often find it very hard to get mortgages from high street lenders. This is because they may have poor credit scores due to moving around often, being posted overseas and not appearing on electoral roles.
Serving in the military can be hard – from lengthy deployments away from your loved ones to the strain, both physical and emotional, that comes with the job. With such long periods away it can be very hard and frustrating for members of the UK armed forces to find places to live. Service accommodation can be fine up until you intend to start a family. When this situation arises it is highly likely that you will want to provide your family with not just a place to stay but an actual family home.
When you serve in the military getting your first home can be difficult and you may need some extra help to get your first home sorted. In such situations the MoD’s Forces Help to Buy (“FHTB”) loan scheme could help you.
How much can I borrow under Forces Help to Buy?
Depending on the applicants personal circumstances, the interest free loan available could be any amount up to £25,000 – this can be a significant boost in relation to placing a deposit on a house.
Eligibility For Forces Help to Buy
In general terms, all military personnel in regular service with six months or more before discharge are eligible for a FHTB loan. It makes no difference with your single, married or in a civil partnership.
However, it is always important to read the terms and conditions thoroughly before applying for the FHTB loan as there may be other eligibility requirements that apply specifically to a particular applicant.
Types of property you can by using a FHTB
Military personnel who are intending to apply for the FHTB should be aware that the FHTB can only be used on a property.
• within the United Kingdom [including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, and the Republic of Ireland if at least one of your parents has an Irish passport],
• that an organisation (such as a bank or a building society) is willing to advance a mortgage for.
• in addition, for example, you can’t use these specialist military home loans to buy a mobile home or houseboat.
Advantages of Forces Help To Buy
In the last few years significantly more forces personnel have choose to enrol in FHTB than either of the two previous schemes. Firstly, it is much more generous than other schemes. It allows a loan up to a maximum of half your salary capped at £25,000. Loans are paid back through monthly salary deductions for a period of 10 years. The FHTB can also be combined with the Help To Buy scheme open to everyone, which will guarantee up to 15% of the mortgage value.
The FHTB scheme replaced the previous schemes- Armed Forces Home Ownership scheme [ AFHOS] which was stopped and Long Service Advance of Pay loan scheme which was “frozen”. Military personnel who are already enrolled in the LSAP scheme are unaffected, but no new applications can be made.
Want to buy a property using the Forces Help to Buy loan? Contact us now
If you are planning on using a FHTB loan to buy a house or flat, then please get in contact with our specialist conveyancing team – in addition to representing members of the UK Armed Forces throughout England and Wales with their legal problems for over 25 years, we have already helped many dozens of serving service personnel to buy their home using FHTB.
Click here to read more about the conveyancing process
Looking to Buy a Home Using Forces Help to Buy? Need a Solicitor? Call Us Now
The team here at specialist military solicitors, Bonallack and Bishop, have helped hundreds of service personnel like you buy their own property using the government’s cheap military home loan scheme.
So whether you’re based, call us today to see what we can do for you.
And remember, we always offer FREE initial phone advice and a FREE no strings attached conveyancing quote
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- Calling FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or on (01722) 422300
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