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Benefits/help to buy mortgage confusion!

(14 Posts)
Proudtrout Thu 29-Jun-17 17:27:06

This is just an academic question as I'm a single parent on benefits and completely broke but that (hopefully!!) won't be the case forever.

I'd really love to buy my own home and have seen there's a help to buy scheme where you can get a mortgage if you've got a 5% deposit.

I understand that mortgage lenders take tax credits etc into account when deciding if they'll give you a mortgage and I can return to work soon so can hopefully improve my financial situation.

What I don't understand is that if you're not entitled to any benefits once you have savings of 6,000 how on earth you can ever save above that as a single parent?! There's no way I could pay childcare costs/rent etc and save money on top.

Am I misunderstanding the way it works? Can anyone help clear this up for me?

Tia x

Rockchick1984 Thu 29-Jun-17 17:52:24

Tax credits are not affected by savings, only the interest earnt on them. Most other means tested benefits are on a sliding scale when savings are over £6k, finally stopping when savings reach £16k.

Proudtrout Thu 29-Jun-17 17:59:39

Thanks rockchick, that clears things up a bit...I was beginning to think there was no way out!

Babyroobs Thu 29-Jun-17 18:51:13

Once Universal credit is fully operational though within the next few years and everyone will be switched over to it , you will not be allowed to claim it if you have savings over £6k I think ?? Therefore your original concern is still valid as UC is replacing tax credits.

Babyroobs Thu 29-Jun-17 18:52:36

Or maybe Uc is also on a sliding scale over £6 k also? Hopefully someone who knows more can clarify.

Babyroobs Thu 29-Jun-17 18:55:46

Sorry - just looked it up. You can get UC if you have savings up to £16k but after that you won't get anything. the amount you get will decrease if you have savings over £6k up to £16k when it will be nil. So depending on house prices and deposit required if you need to save more than £16k, you'll lose all your UC once you hit that savings limit.

RebootYourEngine Thu 29-Jun-17 18:55:46

From what i understand you cant claim jsa or income support if you have savings over £16k but you cant claim housing benefit if you have savings over £6k. This could just be our local LA. Tax credits i didnt think there was a savings limit.

Unescorted Thu 29-Jun-17 19:00:44

You could also consider shared ownership or rent to buy. These are offered through housing associations in the main.

SerfTerf Thu 29-Jun-17 19:07:48

Fewer and fewer lenders are accepting tax credits as income. If you google "mortgage lending criteria" and click on examples from U.K lenders you recognise, you'll get a flavour of who allows what.

Shared ownership could be a very good idea.

Proudtrout Thu 29-Jun-17 22:10:09

Thanks everyone, I'll definitely look into shared ownership and rent to buy. Trying really hard to be optimistic but it's not looking easy!
Just so frustrating to be the one penalised for being left (literally) holding the baby. My ex owns his own home but we were never married so I guess it's the workhouse for me!!

SerfTerf Thu 29-Jun-17 22:16:57

I knew someone who bought a beach hut with a small inheritance as a way of ring fencing a disposition until she needed it. Similar circumstances to yourself. So it's worth bearing in mind that investing in tangibles can be a form of saving. Just be careful about what you choose if you go down that road. A lot of collectibles, for example, depreciate.

SerfTerf Thu 29-Jun-17 22:17:24

Deposit not disposition hmm

Proudtrout Fri 30-Jun-17 18:53:21

Thanks SerfTerf, that's an interesting idea, hadn't thought about that ...and if it doesn't work out i could always kip in the beach house 😉

SerfTerf Fri 30-Jun-17 22:02:05

I'm sure it won't come to that grin

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