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Many people in the military don’t own their own home, and the government is looking for ways to boost homeownership for forces personnel. If you are in the forces and looking to buy a property, we can help.
Are there mortgages just for the military?
While there aren’t any mortgage products specifically for the armed forces, many lenders are happy to arrange a loan. Some mortgage companies are comfortable with the typical elements of a military career, such as overseas tours and postings at short notice.
For more information, see our page on Military Mortgages.
What is the Armed Forces Help to Buy scheme?
The Forces Help to Buy Scheme launched in 2014 as a pilot scheme, which has now been extended until 2022.
The purpose of Forces Help to Buy is to help military personnel to get on the property ladder, without needing to save up a deposit.
Who can apply for the Forces Help to Buy?
Forces Help to Buy is aimed at both First Time Buyers and people moving to another property. It applies if you’ve been assigned to a new location, or need to move as a result of certain extenuating family or medical circumstances.
To be eligible, you need to:
- Be in regular service.
- Have at least six months left to serve at the time of application.
You don’t need to be married or have children to apply, single applicants are welcome.
How does a Forces Help to Buy mortgage work?
Forces Help to Buy is not specifically a mortgage, but a loan for a deposit. It provides you with a lump sum of up to £25,000 to put towards a home. It is usually used as a deposit and to cover other moving costs such as estate agent fees and legal costs. You will need a mortgage to cover the rest of the property value.
Under the scheme you can borrow up to 50% of your salary, before tax, to a maximum of £25,000. The loan is interest free.
To apply, access the Joint Personnel Administration system, using the Self-Service Application for Forces Help to Buy. There are full instructions online.
You will also need to find a mortgage lender to loan you the remaining amount of property costs. A Mortgage Broker can help you find mortgage companies to accept you, and most mainstream providers are supporting the Forces Help to Buy Scheme.
What kind of mortgage can I get?
Forces Help to Buy is only applicable if you or your immediate family will live in the property. An exception is if you’re on an overseas posting at the time of applying.
It is not suitable for Buy to Let properties or any other second home.
How do I repay a Forces Help to Buy mortgage?
You will repay the loan amount, interest free, via your monthly pay, with the cost spread over ten years. It is fairly flexible, you can overpay to bring down the overall debt more quickly, and you can choose to start making loan repayments straight away, after six months or in your final ten years of service.
Can I combine Forces Help to Buy with a Help to Buy scheme?
Yes, it’s possible to combine the two schemes. Help to Buy is a government programme that allows you to buy a new build home with just 5% deposit. The government then loans you up to 20% further deposit, interest free for five years.
It is important to carefully assess the total cost of repaying the Forces Help to Buy loan, the government loan and the mortgage. Make sure the total will be comfortably affordable.
Can I use Forces Help to Buy with Shared Ownership?
Yes, Forces Help to Buy is also possible with shared ownership. With this programme, you can buy a 25% to 75% share of a home and pay rent on the remaining share. You can choose to buy a larger share in the future, as your finances allow.
To qualify for shared ownership your household must earn under £80,000 a year (£90,000 a year or less in London).
Where can I get advice on Forces Help to Buy?
At Choice Finance we have supported many members of the military to buy a home via Forces Help to Buy. We have a lot of experience with mortgage lenders who are familiar with the scheme as well as the unique challenges of military life.
Choice Finance, is an appointed representative of PRIMIS Mortgage Network PRIMIS Mortgage Network is a trading style of Personal Touch Financial Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. We have decades of mortgage sector experience.
A Forces Help to Buy Mortgage is designed to get you on the property ladder. It’s an interest free loan of up to £25,000 for military personnel to put towards a home.
Many people in the military don’t own their own home, so the government is looking for ways to help boost home ownership. If you are in the forces and looking to buy a property, forces Help to Buy is well worth exploring.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other debt secured on it.