Lifetime ISA vs Help to Buy ISA

3 min read
Lifetime ISA (LISA) vs Help to Buy ISA? Given that both of these ISA products can give you a Government bonus towards buying your first home, it's understandable that you'll want to work out which is best for your individual needs. We've therefore created a handy infographic below which summarises the main differences between the two products.

NB The Government's Help to Buy ISA scheme closes to new applicants latest Saturday 30 November 2019 with some schemes closing a day or so before that. If you are over 40 and wish to take advantage of a free Government bonus towards the purchase of your first property, you need to adhere to this deadline.

The main difference between the two is that the Help to Buy ISA's Government bonus (£3,000 maximum) can only be put towards buying your first home, whereas the Lifetime ISA's Government bonus (£32,000 maximum) can be put towards both buying a first home and towards pension savings.

SAM Conveyancing uncovered a considerable flaw in the Help to Buy ISA (click to find out more) - the Government deposit is not available for use at the point of exchange. The Lifetime ISA, which came out later than the Help to Buy ISA, corrected this issue.

That said, with the average of age of first time buyers rising, there are considerable numbers who are aged 40 and over and whereas the Help to Buy ISA is open to them (click here to view the full HTB ISA eligibility criteria), the Lifetime ISA is not.

Scroll down to view our infographic.

Lifetime ISA (LISA) vs. Help to Buy ISA compared


Lifetime ISA (LISA)

Help to Buy ISA

What is the maximum you can save? £128,000 (starting at 18 and finishing at 50 years old)


How much can you save per year? £4,000 per year

£2,400 per year (£3,400 in year one)
What is the maximum bonus you can receive? £32,000 (starting at 18 and finishing at 50 years old)


Can you put lump sums in?
  • On opening you can pay in £1,000 (on top of your £200 monthly limit)
  • You can pay in any value up to £4,000 per year
How much must be in the account to be eligible for a bonus?£1


When is the bonus paid?Annually in the 2017/18 tax year, then monthly from April 2018

On completion when you buy a home

Can you invest as well as save?
  • with cash & shares LISAs
  • cash only
What's the maximum property price?£450,000

£250,000 (£450,000 in London)

What is the earliest time when you can withdraw your savings and get your bonus?After LISA has been opened for 12 months

Once you've saved £1,600+

Who can open it?Anyone aged 18-39

Any first time buyer aged 16+

Can I withdraw money if not buying a home?
  • at age 60+, if earlier you don't get the bonus and have to pay a withdrawal penalty
  • at any time, you just don't get the bonus
Is there a charge for withdrawing ISA savings?
  • No - if buying your first home or withdrawing after you are 60
  • Yes - if you withdraw the savings for any other reason. The charge is 25% of the amount withdrawn.

No - you can withdraw your money at any time for any reason
Can you use the bonus to fund your deposit on exchange?
  • Yes

  • No - it can only be used on completion to pay for the purchase price
How long does it take to draw down the bonus?
30 days from conveyancer application

14 days from conveyancer application

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SAM Conveyancing's guide on managing your Help to Buy ISA

Managing your Help to Buy ISA

Lifetime ISA - help for first time buyers?

Lifetime ISA - help for first time buyers?

Lifetime ISA withdrawal - How do I make a withdrawal to buy a house?

Lifetime ISA withdrawal - How do I make a withdrawal to buy a house?


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