As the cut-off point for Help To Buy (H2B) ISAs is fast approaching on the 30th November and the Lifetime ISA (LISA) primed to take its place, we’ve chosen to share our top five resources to help you get informed on how you can use this tool to boost your deposit as a first-time buyer – or even both of them while you still can.
Even if you don’t have short-term plans to buy, registering straight away for a savings ISA like the H2B or LISAs can be a great way to earn some money on your savings and increase your chances of becoming a homeowner. LISAs can also be used for your retirement (again, this may also be a lifetime away for you!) – whether a little extra for your pension pot or as your main later-life savings for those among you who are self-employed – so this scheme might come in very useful for you either way. Sound good? Keep reading!
1. Money Saving Expert
One of the most detailed and well-informed websites in the UK for money-related matters, Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert site is a good place to start. Not only can you clue yourself up on what LISAs are and how they work with a wealth of general information on the site, you can also check out more specific information in this newsletter. This particular piece outlines in detail the waning H2B ISA and highlights all the benefits and features of LISAs, allowing you to weigh all of your options before new applications for H2Bs close at the end of this month.
For a no-nonsense, purely fact-based guide to LISAs, you could also check out the Gov.uk website. Their section on LISAs includes a very basic breakdown of who can get one, what it means when making withdrawals, and how it works when the savings are going towards your first home. It also features helpful examples to spell things out if you feel like your head is still spinning!
3. Young Money Blog
For a bit more of a conversational, exploratory spin on the topic of LISAs, try this article on the Young Money Blog, founded by money maverick Iona Bain. Iona also links to a longer conversation all about LISAs and savings of this ilk on the Financial Times podcast. If you feel as though you retain information in spoken word better than in black and white on a page, this is for you!
4. First Home Coach
This website is similar to the straightforward guides provided by Money Saving Expert and Gov.uk, but this post on First Home Coach also provides a very handy breakdown of both the H2B ISA and the LISA in a table, helping you compare everything about the two side by side. As there’s still time to open a H2B ISA as well as, at the same time, opening a LISA from as little as £1, it’s worth knowing that you can only get the 25% homebuyers’ bonus on one of the two.
5. Money to the Masses
So you’ve read all the whys and wherefores about opening a LISA, but you would still like to know which providers are best. Check out this up-to-date list from Money to the Masses, an accurate guide which has been updated in the last month. Dive into the comparison tables and read a short bio of each provider in the UK to start to gain an idea of who looks good for LISAs. Martin Lewis also has some of his top providers listed on Money Saving Expert, so you can always revert there and do a bit of comparison for yourself.
So there you have it. Whilst we’re not able to offer consultation on the topic of LISAs, we hope that you find the above links and resources useful and will be a helpful springboard for further research. If you find that it’s the right choice for you, why not take advantage of these schemes and inch that little bit closer to your dreams of home ownership (and give us a bell when you’re ready to find the right mortgage!).