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Spring into a new home with the Help to Buy: ISA from Progressive Building Society.

Progressive Building Society is helping first-time buyers get a foot on the property ladder by introducing the Government's new Help to Buy: ISA at its branches and agencies across Northern Ireland. Declan Moore, Progressive's Operations Director answers your Help to Buy: ISA questions.

1. How does a Help to Buy: ISA work?

The Help to Buy: ISA can offer a Government bonus to help those saving for a deposit on their first home. The Government bonus is paid on the amount of the closing balance of the Help to Buy: ISA as long as the money is used for a deposit on a first home.

The maximum you can save into the account is PS200 per month and the government will boost your savings by 25% - that's an additional PS50 bonus for every PS200 saved. The closing balance must be at least PS1,600 to qualify for the Government bonus.

The minimum government bonus is PS400 - so an account holder must save at least PS1,600 into a Help to Buy: ISA before claiming a bonus. The maximum government bonus is PS3,000 per person - which will require savings of PS12,000.

2. Who qualifies for a Help to Buy: ISA?

The Help to Buy: ISA is available to savers over the age of 16 years who wish to save for a deposit for their first home. The closing balance together with the bonus can be used to buy a home with a purchase price of up to PS250,000.

3. Can I make an initial deposit into the Help to Buy: ISA account?

Yes, first-time home buyers can deposit a lump sum of up to PS1,000 in the first calendar month of opening the account in addition to the monthly PS200 maximum instalment.

4. Can those hoping to purchase a home together open individual Help to Buy: ISA accounts?

Yes, The Help to Buy: ISA is available to all eligible first time buyers, so those saving for their first home together, can each open a Help to Buy: ISA resulting in a potential bonus of up to PS6,000 towards their house deposit.

5. How long can the Help to Buy ISA stay open for?

Progressive's Help to Buy: ISA launched on March 14 2016. However, first-time buyers have four years from December 1 2015 to open a Help to Buy: ISA - the government bonus must be claimed by December 1 2030.

6. How can I apply for a Help to Buy: ISA at Progressive?

You can apply for a Help to Buy: ISA at Progressive by visiting any of our 12 local branches, or through our agency network.

7. I already have a cash ISA can I open a Help to Buy: ISA?

Progressive Building Society will accept transfers from cash ISAs of up to PS1,000 for the initial deposit but not for the monthly subscription. Help to Buy: ISA holders cannot subscribe to two ISAs in the same tax year so if you have deposited money into a cash ISA after April 5 2015, you must wait until April 6 this year to open your Help to Buy: ISA.

8. When do I receive the Help to Buy: ISA cash bonus?

When you buy your first home, the solicitor or conveyancer will apply for the Government bonus on your behalf. Once it has been received, it will be added to the money you are putting towards your first home.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 30, 2016
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