Applying for an equity loan
Before you get started, make sure you have the funds to pay for:
- a reservation fee to reserve your home (up to £500)
- a 5% deposit on exchange of contracts (if you have a larger deposit, pay the rest on completion)
- other fees on completion (stamp duty, legal fees and mortgage fees).
Check that the equity loan meets your needs and that you can afford to repay it.
Consider seeking independent advice to help you understand your financial situation.
The 4 stages for buying a home with a Help to Buy: Equity Loan
Stage 1. Applying
Find your new home
Search online for new homes for sale using a Help to Buy: Equity Loan. You can use our property search.
Our property search results do not list every home available and are only for the region we cover. If you are searching for something specific please contact us
Reserve your new home
Reserve your home with the homebuilder and pay a fee of no more than £500. You will get a refund if we’re not able to approve your equity loan. Make sure the homebuilder gives you a signed copy of the reservation form.
Get financial advice
Consider seeking independent financial advice, for example from a financial adviser or mortgage adviser.
Apply for your equity loan
You need to complete a Property Information Form to start your application for an equity loan.
You will need to provide personal and financial information, such as household income, the property details, your proposed repayment mortgage and deposit details.
The information you provide must be accurate and true. False details will lead to delays and may put you at risk of fraud, which is a criminal offence.
Return your paperwork
Please return your completed and signed Property Information Form and a copy of the homebuilder’s signed reservation form to us at email@example.com.
Stage 2: Authority to Proceed
Know how your finances stack up
We will review the details you provide on the Property Information Form.
We will use our Help to Buy eligibility calculator to check your monthly income and outgoings. This includes household bills and estimated mortgage repayments.
Your repayment mortgage should be less than 4.5 times your gross annual income.
Get Authority to Proceed
If we approve your application, we will issue an Authority to Proceed (ATP) so you can buy your new home. The ATP is valid for 3 months.
Apply for a repayment mortgage
You can now complete your application for a repayment mortgage to buy your home.
Only apply for your repayment mortgage if you have received our Authority to Proceed, or you may lose money.
Get the conveyancer’s pack
We’ll send your conveyancer legal guidance and forms to complete. Please check these forms carefully before you return them to us, as mistakes can delay your completion.
Stage 3: Mortgage offer and exchange of contracts
Your conveyancer will:
- explain the Help to Buy: Equity Loan contract and your legal responsibilities.
- ask you to sign the property sale contract, the Help to Buy: Equity Loan contract and a declaration to confirm that you and anyone you’re buying with are first-time buyers
- make sure your repayment mortgage offer, property price and deposit are the same amount as agreed in the Authority to Proceed
- ask us for permission to exchange contracts.
- check the paperwork is correct and issue the Authority to Exchange (ATE) to your conveyancer so they can exchange contracts.
- pay a 5% deposit when you exchange contracts, even if your full deposit is more
- make sure your repayment mortgage offer does not expire before the completion date
- be legally bound to buy your new home by an agreed date.
You can visit your new home once you exchange contracts. Your homebuilder will arrange this for you. This will give you a chance to confirm any last-minute details or changes before you move in. Speak to your conveyancer or your homebuilder for more information about home visits.
Stage 4: Completing the purchase
Pay for your home
On completion, you pay the rest of your deposit, if it’s more than 5%. Your repayment mortgage lender provides its share of the funds so you can buy your new home. Your equity loan is paid to the homebuilder. You then legally own your home, get the keys and can move in.
Confirm the sale
Your conveyancer will contact us to confirm the sale. We will pass your details to our equity loan administrator to help you manage payments and make changes to your account.
Registration of interest
Your conveyancer will register a legal charge on your home for us. They will also register a separate legal charge for your repayment mortgage lender.
This is recorded with HM Land Registry and will be shown on your property title deeds. When you’re ready to sell your home, you need to let us know.
You must pay back your equity loan and repayment mortgage before we can remove our legal charge on the property.