Often members of the armed forces can be penalised when it comes to borrowing, through no fault of their own, because they may move regularly or be stationed abroad for periods of time, which may then affect their credit rating. Mortgage lenders may therefore be less likely to accept an application when compared to other mainstream occupations. Luckily, there are lenders out there who understand, and adopt a more common sense approach, allowing for more flexible and unique underwriting criteria. These lenders are happy with differing income types, or the fact you may be stationed abroad for example.
The FHTB scheme is an interest free advance of salary and is to be repaid over ten years.
It is available to Regular personnel to buy their first home or move to a new location (more than 50 miles from their current property), although there may be some exceptions to this.
The current scheme is running until December 2019
Find out more at from gov.uk help to buy.
To be eligible personnel must fulfil the following criteria:
Be in Regular service.
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.
Have at least six months left to serve at the time of application
In the last twelve months, not have owned a property within 50 miles of the proposed house purchase (although there may be some exceptions to this).
You can borrow up to 50% of your annual salary, to a maximum of £25,000. This can be used towards a deposit and other costs such as solicitors. See our guide to the cost of buying a home.
You can also use the normal Help to Buy scheme, should you need the extra money. See our help for first time buyers guide!
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.
If you are considering buying a home, you will also need to speak to a mortgage specialist. Not all mortgage lenders will allow Forces Help to Buy so going to your bank will likely get you nowhere. Contact us to discuss your options.
The money must be paid back by the time you leave the forces, or within 10 years, depending which comes first, it is possible to remortgage your property at a later date to repay the debt or many soldiers will repay the loan with part of their lump sum when finishing their service.
Read the DIN JSP 464 Volume 1 Part 1 Chapter 12 – Forces Help to Buy.
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.
Allowing armed forces stationed abroad to purchase in the UK.
Allowing the property to go unoccupied for periods.
Allowing armed forces to purchase overseas.
Yes, there are special mortgages for the armed forces overseas. You can purchase property abroad, and would do so through our international mortgage specialists, who have years of experience arranging purchases for the army and other occupations all over the world. We find that our customers really value this expert service as we are familiar with the unique processes and requirements that countries abroad often demand – an important service to avoid getting ripped off!
Part and parcel of the job is travel, and when you’re away fighting for queen and country, mortgages and finance is the last thing you need to be concerned about. We understand that being asked to relocate at short notice, or take your family across the globe, which can have knock on effects to your credit rating. Luckily, there are still lenders out there that consider applicants with adverse credit and consider each mortgage on a case by case basis, avoiding awkward and frustrating ‘computer says no’ scenarios. It really depends on how your credit file looks, how recent and severe the issues were, and how much deposit/equity you’ll have with your new mortgage.
You and your family need protecting, and life cover is essential to ensure your mortgage is paid and family looked after financially should anything happen. It’s important to get the proper advice when it comes to life insurance, as many policies don’t cover the armed forces in the event of death in the line of duty.
We are currently working closely with a lender that will cover Army personnel so if you are after Protection then please contact us and we will give you competitive quotation.
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