Help to Save - Get a 50% Bonus on your savings for freeDisclosure: This post contains affiliate links & I may earn commission if you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Help to Save is a Government-backed scheme that provides workers on low incomes with a 50% boost on their savings for free. For every £1 you save, the government will top your savings up by 50p.
All low earners, employed or self-employed and in receipt of Working tax or Universal credit are eligible, and the bonus is worth up to £1200 over a four year period and is completely tax-free.
What is the Help to Save Scheme?
It's a new type of savings account specially designed for low-paid workers to boost their savings by 50p for every £1 saved. There's no catch, your savings are tax-free and there's a huge 50% bonus, which is unheard of. Not only does it offer a huge bonus but as it's a government scheme all your money is secure.
This guide explains who is eligible to open a Help to Save account, how to pay money into one, how the bonus payment scheme works and your rights.
Some FAQs about the Help to Save Scheme
Am I eligible for Help to Save?
To meet the criteria you need to be a UK resident, have a UK bank account, be working or self-employed and in receipt of working tax or universal credit.
Is a Help to Save account right for me?
You should only open a savings account if you can afford regular payments without negatively affecting your living standards and never prioritise it over meeting outstanding debt commitments.
TOP TIP - Use our Free Budget planner to see if your budget can stretch to savings which can go into your Help to Save account
How much am I allowed to save per month?
The current 2020 monthly savings cap is £50. The minimum you can save is £1 per month, but obviously the more you save the more they boost.
Does the Government match what I save?
They don’t match what you have saved, they give you 50% of the highest balance at the end of the two years. This bonus is then paid into the account you selected when you set it up. If you leave the full amount in there and carry on for another 2 years they will give you another 50% of the amount saved between years two and four.
Can I withdraw the money early?
You can withdraw the money as and when you need it, but obviously the higher your balance at the end of each two year period, the more you'll get back.
What's the maximum amount I could earn?
Potentially if saving the maximum amount allowed and not touching it at all, you could save £1200 with a £600 bonus paid into your current account at the end of year two, then a further £1200 and again the £600 bonus paid into the current at year four. The grand total in saving account would then be £3600 at the end of year four.
Can my partner also apply?
If you are living with a partner and get payments as a couple, you can both apply for your own Help to Save accounts. You need to apply separately.
What if my circumstances change?
If your circumstances change in terms of higher wages, marriage, etc you can still carry on with the scheme and will still be eligible for the bosts at year two and four.
Will it affect my benefits?
Having any savings over £6000 will affect your benefits, so although this scheme alone will have no effect, if you have other savings, you need to take them in to account.
What happens if I close the account?
Like any other savings account, you can close it early, however, you won't be eligible for the next bonus that's due. It's also worth noting that you’re only allowed one Help to Save account, so you won’t be able to open another in the future.
How to apply for Help to Save?
To apply for the scheme, You need your Government Gateway user ID and password handy. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you apply. You will also need to provide your bank account details. For more advice and to apply for the scheme, please visit the gov.uk website here
As always, if you know of any similar schemes we may not know about or have any further questions, please let us know in the comments below...