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Three days until the Help to Buy ISA deadline: who offers the best rates?

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If you’re saving for a deposit for a house, you have until Saturday to open a Help to Buy ISA.

The government savings account, which is aimed at first-time buyers, closes to new entrants on 30 November.

If you open one before then, you’ll be able to continue contributing into it until 30 November 2029, and you’ll be eligible for the government bonus as long as you buy a property before December 2030.

With a Help to Buy ISA, you can save up to £1,200 in the first month and then up to £200 a month after that. The state will then add a 25 per cent bonus on top of what you save. So, for every £200 you save, the government will contribute £50.

You don’t have to take a mortgage out with the provider you opened your Help to Buy ISA with. So, it’s worth going for the best rate available.

The best open-to-all Help to Buy ISA is from Barclays. It also offers a competitive rate of 2.58%. Applications can only be made in branch and transfers are allowed.

Natwest, Ulster Bank, Nationwide and Virgin Money all pay 2.5%.

However, there are better rates available – but these deals are only available to existing customers or local residents.

Check whether you’re eligible…

Penrith Building Society: 3%

This is the top rate on the market. It’s only available to customers who live in Cumbria and it doesn’t allow transfers in.

The minimum opening deposit is £1 and the account can only be opened in branch or by post.

Vernon Building Society: 2.85%

This deal is available to anyone living within a 25-mile radius of Stockport.

The minimum opening deposit is £1 and it can be opened in branch only. Transfers from other ISA providers are allowed.

Darlington Building Society: 2.8%

You can get this deal if you live within the following post code areas: DL, DH, SR, TS, YO, HG.

Transfers in are allowed and the minimum opening deposit is £1. The account can be opened in branch or by post.

Cumberland Building Society: 2.75%

You’ll be eligible for this rate as long as you are an existing customer, or you live within the following postcode areas: CA, LA, DG, TD9, NE46-49, PR, FY, LA, BB1-2 and BB5-7.

Transfers in are allowed and the minimum opening deposit is £1. It can only be opened in branch.

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