ISA mortgage scheme: how long do I have to open a Help to Buy ISA account?

The ISA mortgage scheme that's part of the government's Help to Buy programme is closing soon. Find out all the useful dates and numbers

ISA mortgage scheme
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Looking to take advantage of the ISA mortgage scheme run as part of the Help to Buy programme? You will need to hurry up – the scheme closes on the 30th November 2019. Don't worry, though: this doesn't mean that you won't be able to put in money into the ISA after this date, or that you'll have to close an existing Help to Buy ISA. The deadline is for opening new ISAs only, but you will still be able to put in up to £200 a month (and up to £1,200 in the first month) until 2029. 

The main thing to understand about the Help to Buy ISA is that you're not limited to using the savings for buying a Help to Buy property. You'll be able to use the savings for any property, old or new build, and with any mortgage, so long as the property you're buying doesn't cost over £250,000 (or £450,000 in London). 

The main benefit of this ISA mortgage scheme is that the government will top up your savings by 25 per cent, up to £3,000 in total. This means that you'll keep getting top-ups until you've saved £12,000. You can still keep putting money in after that, you just won't get any more top-ups. 

The other thing to bear in mind is that if you're saving as a couple, you can each open a Help to Buy ISA, so you'd have a total of £6,000 extra savings. Do bear in mind that you won't have access to the extra money straightaway: it will be made available to you (via a solicitor) only when you commit to buying a property (i.e. you've signed the purchase contract). 

A Help to Buy ISA is a pretty good deal, regardless of whether you then buy a property as soon as you've saved enough, or at some point further away in the future. 

Just to reiterate, though: there's not much time left to open one, so it's a good idea to make an appointment with your bank as soon as possible.