First-time buyers will be able to save into one of the Government's Help to Buy ISAs from today as competition to offer attractive rates heats up.

The Help to Buy ISA rates unveiled so far have been as high as 4%, as well as many deals with rates of about 2% to choose from. See MoneySavingExpert.com's Help to Buy ISA guide for the best buys as well as information on how they work.

These Help to Buy rates sit well above the average easy-access cash ISA rate on offer, which is just 1.56%.

Under the scheme first-time buyers saving for a deposit will be able to put up to £200 a month in a dedicated Help to Buy ISA that the Government will top up by 25% – meaning a £50 bonus for every £200 saved.

The maximum government bonus is £3,000. To receive that, someone will need to have saved £12,000.

However, to kick-start their account, first-time buyers can open their account with a one-off lump sum of up to £1,000 in addition to the monthly £200 maximum deposit.

Couples will also be eligible if they are buying together, meaning a potential boost of up to £6,000 towards a deposit.

Martin Lewis
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