FAQs - Armed Forces Help To Buy

FAQs - Armed Forces Help To Buy

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Forces Help to Buy is a government affordable housing scheme that provides you with an interest-free loan on your salary to help you buy a home.
There are a few rules and conditions that apply to the scheme, so here are some of the most commonly asked questions that we receive about Forces Help to Buy.
The below contains some important things you need to know, so read through the list carefully.

Less interested in FAQs and more in a detailed overview of the scheme? Check out our complete guide to Forces Help to Buy, where we cover everything from how it works, to who's eligible, to the types of property you're allowed to buy using the loan.

I already own a property. Can I use the loan to buy another?

Forces Help to Buy is available to armed forces personnel who want to buy their first home or those who want to move to a new location. The new location must be over 50 miles from your current property. There are some exceptions to this rule, so it's worth double-checking with your Chain of Command and personnel agency.

Will any mortgage lenders refuse to accept Forces Help to Buy?

The majority of mortgage lenders accept Forces Help to Buy, but not all of them. It's very important that you ask your chosen mortgage lender whether they accept Forces Help to Buy before proceeding with a formal mortgage application.

Once I've got Forces Help to Buy, will it be easier to get a mortgage?

Not necessarily. Being approved for Forces Home to Buy doesn't automatically guarantee that a mortgage lender will give you a mortgage. You will still need to apply for one and meet the lender's requirements.

My partner and I are both in the armed forces. Can we use Forces Help to Buy to buy a house together?

No. Only one Forces Help to Buy loan is allowed per property. That means that if you have a partner in the armed forces then you can't use Forces Help to Buy to buy a property together.

My partner is not in the armed forces, but she/he already owns a property. Can I still get Forces Help to Buy?

Yes. It doesn't matter if your partner already owns a house, but their property needs to be solely in their name – you can't be the joint owner (except in certain circumstances, so check with your Chain of Command and personnel agency).

Can I apply for Service Accommodation if I've bought a property with a Forces Help to Buy loan?

If you've purchased a property using a Forces Help to Buy loan, and that property is within 50 miles of your assignment location, then you are not eligible for SLA or SFA for the duration of your current assignment.

However, if you buy a property that's over 50 miles away from your current assignment location (or your next location if it starts within 6 months), the rules change.

You'll still have to live in your Forces Help to Buy-purchased property to begin with, but will be eligible to use SLA (or SSSA) after that. If your next assignment is over 50 miles away from the home you purchased, your SLA and SFA entitlement will be reinstated.

For further details, check with your Chain of Command and personnel agency.

What about Long Service Advance Pay?

The Long Service Advance Pay Scheme (LSAP) is frozen for the duration of the Forces Help to Buy pilot scheme. You'll still carry on making monthly payments, but you can extend your Forces Help to Buy loan to the £25,000 limit if you're eligible under the rules laid out above. If you choose to do so, your LSAP loan will be consolidated under the Forces Help to Buy scheme.

Will I need any legal help?

You're not required to obtain any legal advice to apply for the Forces Help to Buy scheme, but it's usually a good idea to seek the services of a qualified solicitor with any property purchase. Many armed force personnel choose to use legal firms that specialise in assisting those working in the military, although it's not essential.

What happens if I get posted overseas and want to bring my family with me?

You are allowed to keep your Forces Help to Buy loan. However, if you want to rent out your house, you'll have to pay interest on the outstanding balance of the loan for the duration of the tenancy.

Is any other help available to me?

There are many welfare and support services available to armed forces personnel, including housing support. You may wish to start with the MoD's welfare support page for the armed forces.

What are the loan fees?

There are no fees and no interest payments with Forces Help to Buy. However, you will have to pay insurance, typically up to £6.50 per month. The insurance is there to protect the government in the event of a medical discharge or death.

Where is the scheme available?

Forces Help to Buy is available anywhere in the UK.