RAFFF branded Forces Help to Buy graphic showing a house in a shopping trolley.

Tuesday 15th March 2022

The government scheme to help Service personnel get on the housing ladder, launched in April 2014, has been extended until the end of 2022.

The Forces Help to Buy (FHTB) scheme was conceived to address the low rate of home ownership in the Armed Forces. Since it was launched as a pilot in April 2014, it has lent over £280 million to over 18,000 Armed Forces applicants.

Here we explain how it could help you get on the property ladder:

What is the Forces Help to Buy scheme?

The £200-million scheme was setup to help Regular Armed Forces personnel to get on the property ladder. It enables servicemen and servicewomen to borrow up to 50% of their salary, interest free, to buy their first home or move to another property on assignment, or as their families needs’ change.

Who does it help?

Regular RAF personnel who:

  • have completed the pre-requisite length of service
  • have more than 6 months left to serve at the time they apply
  • meet the right medical categories.

However, it is recognised that there may be instances where exceptions to the standard rules may be justifiable, especially where there are extenuating medical and personal circumstances.

How much can be borrowed under the scheme?

This scheme allows service personnel to borrow up to 50% of their annual salary, to a maximum of £25,000. The money can be used towards the deposit and other costs, such as solicitor’s and estate agent’s fees.

The loan can be used to help in covering the balance of the purchase price of the home and many major mortgage lenders will accept FHTB loan being used towards the deposit for your new home. 

How do I apply for the scheme?

Servicemen and servicewomen can apply for the loan online through the Joint Personnel Administration system and can seek advice on their application through their Chain of Command and personnel agency. Advice can also be sought through the JPAC [email protected]

If you would like to buy a home, but have not done so before, you may wish to do some additional research to understand better how the process works.

Additional information about the scheme

The scheme is primarily focused on first-time buyers but not to the exclusion of others. For the full guidance on your situation we recommend talking to your PSF.

The property you buy using FHTB must be used as for the Service person’s own occupation, or that of their immediate family. It should be noted that the loan is not intended for the purchase of ‘buy-to-let’ properties or any other second property.

Useful information if you are considering buying a home for the first time:

Other related content and source: GOV.UK FHTB.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

Accommodation information

See also our Housing and Accommodation section.

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