FIRST time homebuyers will not be able to take advantage of a government scheme offering "free money" once it closes this week.

The government's Help to Buy ISA savings programme will be officially closed to new applicants on November 30.

The scheme involves paying into a Help to Buy ISA which the government tops up by 25 per cent on the savings paid in.

There is no minimum deposit for opening a Help to Buy ISA, meaning anyone over the age of 16 can open it as long as they do not already own a property and have a valid National Insurance number.

Javed Ahmed, an associate at county law firm mfg Solicitors, said: "There are very few occasions in life when you will be offered what is effectively free money.

"That’s what the Help to Buy ISA gives to first-time buyers to assist with the purchase of a home.

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“However, it isn’t going to be around for much longer as new accounts can only be opened until 30 November this year.

"These ISAs have been hugely popular as there’s no tax payable on any interest earned.

"This means the Government’s 25 per cent top up beats the very best saving rates of any bank account currently on the market.

"A simple visit to a bank can help get the ball rolling before it’s too late."

Help to Buy was introduced in 2013 as a means of getting more first time buyers onto the property ladder.

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People are allowed to put up to £200 a month into an ISA and, when ready to buy a house, the Government will top it up with a further 25 per cent up to a maximum of £3,000 with a maximum savings limit of £12,000.

The bonus can be claimed on homes worth up to £250,000 outside of London.

Contributions to Help to Buy ISAs can be made up until November 2029, and the bonus claimed until 1 December 2030.

Most high street banks will allow you to set up a Help to Buy ISA, with most offering the ability to apply online.

Critics of the scheme argue it has inflated house prices – meaning home buyers are saddled with bigger mortgages for longer.

For more about Help to Buy, go to