Have you heard of Forces Help to Buy?
If you are a member of the armed forces then you could be required to move around to different locations. Sometimes you may spend a considerable amount of time out of the country.
You could be stationed abroad and be there for some years. For this reason some high street lenders might not look favorably at your circumstances if you apply for a mortgage.
What is the scheme?
Forces help to buy scheme maybe able to help by providing you with financial support to make your application stronger. This is a £200 million Government scheme to help members of the armed forces launched back in 2014. The scheme was created to help combat the low home ownership rates of members of the armed forces. You could potentially borrow up to 50% of your salary up to a maximum £25,000 interest free. It’s available to regular personnel to buy their first home or move to a new location. Essentially it’s a helping hand to get on the property market and purchase your first home by helping you raise a deposit.
How does it Forces Help to Buy work?
The scheme in it’s present form runs until the end of 2022 so you have plenty of time to make use of it should you be eligible. It is an advance of your salary and has to be repaid over 10 years. To be entitled you need to be in regular service, have at least 6 months left to serve and in the past 12 months have not owned any property within 50 miles of the proposed house purchase location (There could be exceptions to this). Those serving in the Naval Service must have been accepted onto trained strength, i.e. in a complement billet. Army and RAF personnel must have completed two years’ service from the date of enlistment and be on the trained strength i.e. completed Phase 2 training.
How can Forces Help to Buy help you?
Having a large deposit opens you up to far more lenders and also means you get access to better rates too. The loan must be paid off by the time you leave the services or within 10 years whichever comes first. You can then apply for an armed forces mortgage of which we have vast experience with. We have worked on many applications and each comes with its own unique circumstances. There are special mortgages that allow you to purchase abroad too.
The key factor to army mortgages is the lenders who offer specific criteria to accommodate specialist and often unique requirements.
For instance allowing:
- military personnel to rent out their property on a standard residential mortgage.
- armed forces stationed abroad to purchase in the UK.
- the property to go unoccupied for periods.
- armed forces to purchase overseas.
What are the benefits of Forces Help to Buy?
Normally things like being abroad for long periods of time can affect your credit rating making it harder to get on the property market. We work with specialist lenders who take into account your career and job role. They view each application on a case by case basis too meaning you might think you won’t qualify when in fact you do.
You can apply for the loan online through the JPA (Joint Personnel Administration) system and can seek advice on their application through your Chain of Command and staff and personnel support detachment.
How we can help?
If you are considering buying a home, you will also need to speak to a mortgage specialist. Someone who has knowledge of the forces lifestyle and FHTB scheme. This is where Mortgage Squared can help, having the experience and knowledge of this type of application process. Not all mortgage lenders will allow Forces Help to Buy so going to your bank will likely get you nowhere and seeking the guidance and advise of experts in this field is highly recommended. For more information on the forces help to buy scheme you can find all the help you need on our page here: