The Forces Help to Buy Scheme (FHTB) was launched in April 2014 as a three year pilot scheme but has now been extended until 2022.
FHTB Scheme can enable you to get onto the property ladder without any money previously saved.
The subject of housing in the Armed Forces has again become an important topic, with the Defence Secretary and Chancellor jointly announcing new funding worth £200 million to improve service accommodation for military personnel and families.
But service accommodation is not the only housing option open to those serving in the Armed Forces ...
How Does The Forces Help To Buy Scheme Work?
FHTB allows service personnel to borrow by way of an advance, the equivalent of half their annual salary - before tax - up to a maximum of £25,000.
The loan can be and is intended to assist towards the balance of the purchase price of the home (taking into account, for example, deposit, legal, surveyors, land registration and estate agent fees).
Most major mortgage lenders accept the FHTB loan to be used as the deposit for your intended new home.
Who Can Apply For Forces Help To Buy Scheme?
The FHTB scheme is primarily designed for first-time buyers or those needing to move to another property, either because they are assigned elsewhere or as a result of certain extenuating family or medical circumstances.
Property for which FHTB has been claimed must be intended for the service person’s own immediate occupation, or that of their immediate family. An exception to this applies to those in overseas postings at the time of application and purchase.
It is not intended for the purchase of ‘buy-to-let’ properties or any other second property, but under certain circumstances can be used to extend or modify an existing property.
To be eligible, personnel must fulfil the following criteria:
- They must be in regular service.
- Those serving in the Royal Navy must have been accepted onto trained strength.
- Army and RAF personnel must have completed two years service from the date of enlistment and be on trained strength i.e. completed Phase two training.
- Have at least six months left to serve at the time of application.
You Do Not have to be married or have children to apply, single service personnel can also apply.
How To Apply For Forces Help to Buy?
Service personnel are to apply for Forces Help to Buy (FHTB) on JPA through the Self-Service Application for FHTB.
Full instructions can be found online under the tab JPA Self Service User Guide - ‘Applying for Pre-Approval for FHTB.’
How Much Do I Have To Pay Back?
It will all depend on how much you borrow. But your loan amount is divided over ten years and you pay back that amount monthly (you can choose to make overpayments).
You can opt to start making the loan re-payments straight away, six months after receiving it, or in your final ten years of service.
Can I Leave The Forces After Receiving FHTB?
Put simply, yes. However, if you are due any terminal benefits (resettlement grant), any outstanding FHTB loan balance will be deducted automatically from it.
Where possible, any outstanding balance should be paid before leaving.
If this cannot be achieved, you will have to continue making the monthly payments once you have left.
When Is The Forces Help To Buy Scheme Ending?
What Are The Forces Help To Buy Scheme Interest and Insurance Costs?
Great news, you will pay 0% interest on the loan. However, you will pay a small amount of insurance each month to protect the loan.
Insurance cost will work out at around £6 - £7 each month depending on how much you borrow.
What Is The Forces Help To Buy Scheme Address?
Defence Business Services Military Personnel, FHTB Section, Centurion Building, Grange Road Gosport, Hants, PO13 9XA.
Does The Property I Buy Have To Be A New Build?
No. Unless you are also using the government loan too.
Forces Help To Buy Scheme Contact Number?
You can be put through to the FHTB section if you contact the JPAC enquiry centre on: 0141 224 3600 Choose option four.
For full forces help to buy scheme terms and conditions, check out Joint Service Publication (JSP) 464