Help to Save
Are you on a low income? You might be eligible for a Help to Save account. Learn more with Latest Deals and find out what the Help to Save is and how to make the most of it.
What is Help to Save?
The Help to Save scheme is a type of savings account provided by the UK Government.
This governmental savings account was created to help people on a low income to save money.
With this account, you can save up to £50 per month and withdraw cash if you need.
For every £1 you save, the government gives you a bonus of 50p, below you will find more information about how these bonuses work.
You can keep this savings account for up to 4 years.
To be able to get this savings account, you need to be entitled to Working Tax Credit or be receiving Universal Credit.
How does Help to Save work?
Every month, you can save from £1 to £50. Paying money into your Help to Save account is very easy; you just need to do a simple bank transfer.
You can pay in as many times as you want during the length of 30 days, as long as you respect the maximum amount of £50 per month.
The maximum amount you will be able to save in a year is £600 (12 months at £50 per month).
How do the governmental bonuses work?
You will get a bonus at the end of the second year and you will get another bonus at the end of the fourth year. These bonuses are tax-free.
For example, if you have saved the maximum amount allowed per year, after the second year, you will have £1,200. The government will give you £600 as a bonus.
The same will happen after the fourth year. If you have continued to save the maximum amount allowed per year, you will have an extra £1,200. The government will then give you £600 as a second bonus.
It's important to note that in the fourth year, the government will pay a bonus on the difference between:
- the highest balance saved in the first two years (years 1 and 2)
- the highest balance saved in the last two years (years 3 and 4)
This means that you will need to keep saving to be able to get the bonus. If you haven't saved anything more after the second year, you won't get an extra bonus.
The maximum amount you can save during these four years is £2,400, and the maximum amount that the government can give you is £1,200.
Even if you haven’t saved £50 per month, you will still get a bonus of 50% of the total saved after two years. Check the table below for an example:
|Months (First Year)||Amount Saved per month||Months (Second Year)||Amount Saved per month|
|Total Saved during the First Year:||£272||Total Saved during the Second Year:||£323|
In this case, after the first two years, you will have saved a total of £595, and therefore, you are entitled to a bonus of £297.50.
You will always receive a 50p bonus for every £1 saved, that’s the rule.
You will need to keep the same track of your savings during the third and the fourth years to know how much you would have saved and would be entitled to receive as a bonus.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The bonuses aren't paid into your Help to Save account but into your regular bank account.
What happens after four years of the Help to Save account?
After four years, your Help to Save account will be closed. Unfortunately, you won't be able to reopen it or open a new Help to Save account.
You can also close your Help to Save account anytime you want.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It's important to wait for the bonus payments before closing the account.
What happens if you withdraw money from your Help to Save account?
It's better to avoid withdrawing money from your Help to Save account because then you will be able to grow your balance and get the maximum benefit from it.
For example, if you deposit £50 on the first day of the month and withdraw £50 on the third of the month but deposit £50 again on the 27th, you should be fine. For that month, you were able to save £50.
It would be best if you made sure that at one point during the first two years of account, you have saved £1,200 to receive the £600 bonus and the same for the last two years.
You can only save these amounts if you have saved £50 per month for the entire two years. Otherwise, your bonus will be less than £600.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The government considers the maximum amount saved during the first two years and the last two years, meaning that you can withdraw money, but if you do, you won't get paid the maximum bonus amount.
How do I qualify for The Help to Save account?
To qualify for the Help to Save account, you need to be a UK resident. You also need to be receiving Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit. Learn more about these benefits here.
An important thing to know about this account is that you only need to be eligible on the day you apply for a Help to Save account.
If your circumstances change and you don't receive more benefits, you can still keep saving on your Help to Save account and receive the government bonuses.
How do I apply for The Help to Save account?
Applying online is the quickest way to start saving money with The Help to Save scheme.
You will need to provide your National Insurance number and your regular bank account details.
If you can't do it online, you can use this phone number: 0300 322 7093, Mon–Fri, 10 am–6 pm (HMRC's Help to Save line). You won't need to submit any paperwork.
Once the account is open, you will receive a welcoming package from HMRC with your account details at your chosen address.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You will need a Government Gateway user ID and password to apply. This can take some time if you don't have one or don't remember your details. Be patient and follow the instructions.