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LISAs outstrip Help to Buy ISA bonus

LISAs outstrip Help to Buy ISA bonus

Category: ISAs
04/05/2018

With the first lifetime ISA (LISA) bonuses now successfully paid to savers, analysis from Hargreaves Lansdown shows that the average LISA bonus outstrips the average Government bonus that can be gotten with a Help to Buy ISA, at £812 compared to £767. While both offer 25% on top of one's savings, the LISA allows more to be set aside per year, and people are clearly taking advantage.

The figures from just one provider show that £32 million has now been paid to almost 40,000 lifetime ISA investors, which rises to an estimated £114 million when the 140,000 lifetime ISA savers across all providers currently offering the product are taken into account. The LISA allows £4,000 to be set aside every year for either a first home or retirement, which means some could even be enjoying a £1,000 bonus.

Sarah Coles at Hargreaves Lansdown calls the latest figures "a useful reminder of the rewards on offer for those who take advantage of the LISA. In fact, if both members of a couple are eligible and contribute the maximum of £4,000 each, the Government will give them £2,000 a year towards their property deposit. If you're eligible for the scheme and you're saving for a property, you'd need a very good reason to turn down this sort of free cash."

However, it should be noted that the lifetime ISA is more restrictive than its Help to Buy counterpart, with a strict penalty on any access that isn't buying a first home or at/after the age of 55. It can also only be opened by those between the ages of 18 and 39, and almost all LISAs are of the stocks & shares variety, which means that unlike a Help to Buy ISA, they will require investment risk.

So, if you want to know how much interest you're getting every year, want to keep the option of withdrawing your funds without penalty and aren't looking to get more than a maximum £3,000 bonus (which you'd get after four years but only as part of the mortgage process), then have a look at the Help to Buy ISA chart. As you can see there, you'd be able to get a higher interest rate on these accounts than is available on regular easy access deals.

On the other hand, if you don't mind losing access to your savings and are happy to invest your funds over the long term, a LISA could just be for you. Read more on what they entail here, or see what options are available here. Remember that investments are a long-term savings vehicle; you may end up with less than you put in, but that also depends on when you choose to extract your funds to take that first step onto the property ladder.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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