The Help to Buy assessment process: knowing an ATP from a PIF


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If you’re thinking about using the Help to Buy Equity Loan, it’s good to know what you can expect at each stage of the process.

This article answers some questions you’re likely to have and explains how the Help to Buy agent assessment works. You’ll also discover all you need to know about terms such as Authority to Proceed (ATP) and Personal Worked Example (PWE).

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What do I need to do before the assessment?

Once you’ve found and reserved the right home for you – and confirmed what you can afford to borrow with a New Home Mortgage Advisers – it’s time to complete the Property Information Form (PIF). It’s important to do this accurately in order to minimise delays and make the application process as smooth as possible.

Once complete, your PIF should be sent to the Help to Buy agent covering your region, along with a copy of the reservation form. An agent will then assess your suitability for the scheme.

How long does the assessment take?

Typically, it will take four working days from receipt of the PIF and reservation form for the Help to Buy agent to decide on your application.

What is the Help to Buy agent looking for?

The Help to Buy agent will assess your financial viability for the scheme, using all the information detailed in the Property Information Form (PIF).

Remember, the Government is providing you with a loan, so it’s up to the Help to Buy agent, using the information you’ve given, to make sure it’s something you’re able to pay back.

What is an Authority to Proceed (ATP) letter?

The Authority to Proceed (ATP) is a letter from the Help to Buy agent confirming you’re eligible for Help to Buy and can proceed with the purchase of the property. Within the letter will be a full financial breakdown of any of the terms of sale.

If the agent is satisfied with your application they will issue you, your solicitor and the house builder/developer with the ATP, as well as the completed Personal Worked Example (PWE).

They will also send the Solicitors Information Pack to your solicitor.

What is the Personal Worked Example (PWE)?

The PWE is an estimate of the fees you’ll need to pay on the equity loan, after the first five years.

Remember, the Government loan is only interest free for the first five years.

Is there a time limit on the Authority to Proceed?

Once you receive the Authority to Proceed, it is valid for a total of three months.

During this time, you’ll need to arrange a mortgage with your New Home Mortgage Advisers and exchange contracts.

Ready to make your move? Take a look at our new-build homes today.

This guide was produced in collaboration with L&C Mortgages, the UK’s largest fee free mortgage broker and adviser.