In this brief guide, we are going to discuss “how to save for a house deposit in a year”.

Saving for a house deposit is really hard, research shows that it takes a couple around 3.5 years to save the average house deposit and a single person around 13 years.

How to save for a house deposit in a year?

Saving for a house deposit in a year is going to be very hard but there are clear steps which you could take to get you closer to the target

Steps to start saving for a house deposit in a year

  • Calculate your likely mortgage deposit
  • Calculate your monthly disposable income
  • Get a second job
  • Cut down on your expenses
  • Start a budget
  • Collect vouchers
  • Shop at cashback merchants
  • Get a cashback credit card
  • Build your credit score
  • Sell your assets e.g cars, jewellery
  • Get a gifted deposit from your family
  • Get a Government schemes
  • Get a co-buyer
  • Calculate your likely mortgage deposit

If you want to save a for a house deposit in a year then the first thing you will want to know is how much your mortgage deposit is likely to be. 

Without knowing this it will be hard for you to know how much you need to save within a year.

For you to know how much mortgage deposit you will need to save you should first decide on if you are buying a residential home or a buy to let home.

The mortgage deposit for a residential home will be around 5% of the purchase price and the mortgage deposit percentile for the buy to let property will be around 20%.

Decide on what the maximum you will pay for the property is and then use the percentiles above to decide what your mortgage deposit will need to be. This is the first amount you must save but not everything you will need to save.

E.g if your budget is £500,000 and the property you want to buy is a residential property then you will need to save at least 5% for your mortgage deposit which is £25,000.

The next obvious question is can you save at least £25,000 for your mortgage deposit within a year.

If your answer is yes then carry on if your answer is no then you may need to reconsider if it is possible to save for a house deposit within a year.

Don’t forget a house deposit is not the only cost you will need to pay for when buying a house, other costs include:

  • The stamp duty costs
  • The home insurance
  • The council tax
  • Renovation costs
  • Utility costs such as water gas and electric.

Calculate your monthly disposable income

The next obvious thing you will want to do is calculate what your monthly disposable income per month currently is and by how much you will need to increase that in order to be able to afford the mortgage deposit you need to save.

To calculate what your monthly disposable income is, add up all your income and then subtract it from all your monthly expenses. 

Whatever is left is your monthly disposable income and this is how much you will need t put away to save for a house deposit within a year.

To find out the difference you will need to make up each month or how much extra you need to save each month simply subtract your current savings from your mortgage deposit requirement and then divide this by twelve months tocome up with what you need to save each month.

The difference between what you need to save each month and what your monthly disposable income is what you need to save up so you can afford your house deposit within a year.

Get a second job

The next thing you will need to do is get a second job if your monthly disposable come will not be enough to save for a house deposit in a year.

You should ensure that your second job provides you with enough monthly disposable income to cover the shortfall which you have each month and if it doesn’t then you may very well need to get a third job.

There are a lot of part-time jobs you could take which could provide you sufficient time to save a house deposit in a year but most of these jobs will put a big strain on your health and how much sleep you get each day.

Cut down on your expenses

If you want to save for a house deposit within the year then an obvious thing which you should do is cut down on your monthly expenses and this will increase your monthly disposable income.

You can cut down on lifestyle expenses such as going to the gym, going on holiday eating out etc.

These could save you a big chunk of money which you can put towards your house deposit.

Research  shows that on average 26-30 year olds spend £66 on a night out, and that 40% of young drinkers go out at least once a week.

This means you could be spending as much as £350 eahc month and over £2,500na year.

Not going out could save you this money to ut towards your house deposit.

Another big expense which cuts into kost peoples ability to save for a house deposit is going on holiays.

Reearch from Lloyds banm shows the average adult spend about 1400 on a holiday nd usually spends 17% more than they anticipated once theyb arrive at their destination.

Start a budget

Once you have analysed how much you will need to save each month and how much extra you need to earn each month you will then need to start a strict budget to ensure you keep to your monthly expenses and spend only as much as you need.

Collect vouchers

If you want to save for a house deposit ina year then you may want to further cut down on your expenses by collecting vouchers which you can use to save money on any purchases you make.

Shop at cashback merchants

Another way to save money and cut down on your monthly expenses if you want to save a house deposit in a year is to shop at merchants who offer cashback for any purchases.

 This could greatly increase your monthly disposable income.

Get a cashback credit card

Another way you can increase your monthly disposable income and save for a house deposit in a year is to get a cashback credit card which allows you to receive cash back when you use the card or with certain merchants.

This could increase your monthly disposable income and hence the amount of money you have to put towards your house deposit.

Build your credit score

If you want to sve for a house deposit in a year then you shoild be very cosnscious of your credit score and how this could potentially affect your eligiblity for a mortgage if you plann to use a mortgage to purchase your home.

Your credit score is one of the factors mortgage lenders use to determine your creditworthiness and subsequently your mortgage affordability.

What is your credit score & history?

Your credit score and history is a reprot which displays your credit behavour for a set period of time. In the UK your credit score displays your credit behaviour for the past 6 years.

Your credit score will contain information supplied to the credit bureuas (usually on a monthly basis) by credit providers and utility providers which you have agreements with.

Your credit reportt may also contain rent reporting data.

Your credit score will also contain data such as:

  • If you are registered in the ecltoral roll and at what adress
  • All credit accounts you have had within the last 6 years. Open and closed accounts
  • All public court records which may affect your ceditworthiness such as the country court records, the banlruptcy records
  • Your credit report may also contain information from organisations such as CIFAS.

How to improve your credit score

You can improve your credit score by doing the below things but you should be aware that improving your credit score will take at least a few months.

Open a bank account or credit account

The simplest thing you can do to establish or improve your credit score is to open a bank account or any other credit account. 

By opening a bank account you open an account which gets reported to the credit bureaus as an account on your credit report.

The longer you have this account open for the longer you will have a credit history. It usually takes 3 years from you opening an account which gets reported on your credit file before you will have any credit history which can be seen by others.

Opening a bank account also allows you to have an account on your credit file with a verified home address. This means it will be easier for you to access credit products in the future.

A bank account might also be the easiest way to get a credit card as banks are more willing to offer credit cards to account holders as they can view your account history and see how credit worthy you are even if you have a low credit score.

Ask your bank for a small overdraft facility

To Build credit you need credit so one of the ways to improve your credit score or build credit is by having an overdraft. You then need to show good behaviour when you have access to this credit.

By asking your bank to give you an overdraft facility you will have a credit account open on your credit file which boosts your credit score. 

You will also have the ability to use your available credit, sticking to the 30% maximum credit utilization golden rule per credit account and thereby showing good credit behaviour which should boost your credit score even further. Always repay your overdraft as soon as you can to avoid any fees.

Get a Household Utility in your name

Some utility accounts are now being reported on your credit file and having one in your name is a very good way to improve your credit score. This means that your payment history on your gas, electric and telephone service will affect your credit score.

By getting yourself named as the account holder on these services you can establish and improve your credit score if your bills are paid on time and there are no balances or defaults on the Utility account. 

If you live in a shared accommodation be sure to avoid any disputes and get payment for utilities well in advance so as to avoid any of your house mates holding you hostage and ruining your credit file.

Do you live with your parents? Ask them to put your name, date of birth and address on the utility bill. This will open a new account on your credit file and ensure you begin to get credited for the regular payments being made on the account.

If payments are missed on the account this could negatively affect your credit score so you must ensure payments are not missed. 

You can also simply get a cheap phone on contract. A £5/month contract will be achievable with little or no credit history as the risk of default is very low and making regular repayments to your phone contract will boost your credit file.

You should avoid applying for more expensive phones with no credit file or score as this could damage your credit score even further even though you don’t have one.

Not all utility providers report your payment history to the credit bureaus so you may want to inquire with the utility provider before opening an account.

Keep your credit utilization below 30%

Your credit utilization is one of the factors that affects your credit score. The golden rule is to use no more than 30% of your available credit. If you are currently using above this then reducing your credit utilization below this limit will help improve your credit score

Pay down your credit card balance & other debts

Credit card balances and credit debts are recorded on your credit file. These balances have a negative impact on your score(especially when your revolving debt is over 30% of your available revolving credit) as well as costing you in interest rate charges and fees. 

Paying down your credit card balances, loan balances or any default you have on utility and credit accounts will help improve your credit score.

Paying your credit card balance in full each month

Making only the minimum payment on your credit card means you have an outstanding balance which is recorded on your credit file.This negatively influences your credit file. Paying your credit balance on time full in each month will help improve your credit score

Make your credit repayments on time

Missing credit repayments negatively impacts your credit score. Keeping up with your monthly credit repayments will see your credit score improve gradually.

Making your credit repayments on time will also ensure you avoid negative credit markers such as:

  • Defaults
  • County court judgments
  • Missed repayments
  • bankruptcy

Get on the electoral roll

The easiest way to improve your credit score is to register to vote as this data is recorded on the public register which the credit bureaus check and include in your credit file. This is the first way to prove your identity and by far the easiest.

In the future when you apply for credit or a credit check is done, this will be the basis of their verification method for you and helps make you seem more creditworthy. You should check with your local council here if you are already on the electoral roll and if not you can register to vote here.

If you are not eligible to vote in the UK you will not be able to get on the electoral roll. In this case you can get a similar benefit by submitting a document to either Experian, Equifax or callcredit proving your identity and address. You can then ask them in writing to confirm that they have verified your identity on your credit file

Get a credit builder card

To improve your credit score you could get a credit builder card. Credit Builder cards are similar to secured credit cards as they are targeted towards people with low or no credit scores.

Credit Builder cards do not require security deposits but as with secured credit cards they will have low credit limits and high APRs. 

A student credit card will likely be available on the same terms as a credit builder card. The best place to get this might be from your bank as they will be more likely to approve you for this type of card due to already having an idea of your income and expenses.

Store credit cards are usually easy to get approved for too.There are also credit builder prepaid cards which charge a monthly fee which is then recorded on your credit file as repaying a debt. This helps you build your credit score.

Get a secured credit card

Secured credit cards can be used to improve your credit score as they allow you to show you can make credit repayments, they add to your available credit which will improve your score and they allow you to show a low credit utilization which will improve your credit score.

Getting approved for most credit cards will be difficult if you have a low credit score but a secured credit card can help you overcome this. 

Secured credit cards will approve you if you pay a deposit as part of your secured credit card application.

This deposit is usually your credit limit or a percentage of your credit limit. Secured credit cards aren’t very common in the Uk. 

Capital one was known to offer one and you should contact them to see if this is still available. 

You should be aware that secured credit cards will have low credit limits and high APRs. This can lead you to fall into serious debt if you fail to keep up your monthly credit repayments.

Get a credit builder loan

Another way to improve your credit score is by using a credit builder loan.

Credit Builder loans, just as they sound, help you build credit. The idea is you take out a loan but rather than receiving the loan funds these are deposited in an account(usually to earn interest) and you make repayments to the loan provider every month. 

As you make these loan repayments on time your credit file records this and your credit score improves. At the end of the loan term you get all your loan repayments and whatever interest you have gained.

Loqbox is a credit builder loan provider in the UK.

Get a cosigner for a credit card or loan or become an authorised user

If you can’t get a credit builder loan, credit builder card or secured credit card then your next bet to help you improve your credit score will be to get yourself a cosigner on a credit card or loan.

You should really only do this if you are likely to repay your credit cards or loans on time and in full every month.

If you fail to make your credit card repayments on time then this may affect your co-signer’s credit score too. If you make these repayments on time your credit score will rise and the payments will be registered on your credit file for at least 6 years.

Getting a cosigner on a credit card or loan creates a financial relationship between yourselves. This means any negative behaviour from them might affect your credit score negatively and vice versa. 

A cosigner essentially allows you to qualify for credit and in some cases cheaper credit. A cosigner will also be legally responsible for any debt owed on the account if you default.

Another way to help improve your credit score is by becoming an authorised user on someone else’s credit card.

The difference between authorised users and cosigners isn’t that much. Becoming an authorised user on someone else’s credit card will help you improve your credit score if the main card holder makes all their repayments in full and on time each month as well as keeping their credit balance low.

some credit card companies might not take you into account and may not collect this data and hence report it on your credit report.

You should contact the credit card company asking them to report the fact that you are an authorised user on the credit card to the credit bureaus. 

Becoming an authorised user does not give you any liability, so if the main card holder defaults you won’t be held liable but it does affect your credit score if the account is mismanaged or goes into default.

Keep your credit accounts open as long as possible

Closing credit accounts can negatively impact your credit score as this reduces the number of accounts with a credit history. This is especially worse if the credit account you close is one with a long history. The account will no longer be open and will therefore not count towards the majority of your credit score. 

Unused credit accounts which don’t have long histories can be closed as they do not add to your credit score. Having access to too much unused credit may also be seen as negative.

Avoid payday loans

Most lenders look down on payday loans as they view people who take out these loans to be desperate and hence financially irresponsible.

Paydayloans will therefore have a negative influence on your credit file and you should avoid them.

Avoid making too many credit applications

Making applications for utility or credit can reduce your credit score. This is because everytime a utility or credit provider is about to open a new account they will do a hard credit search. You should only apply for credit or utility which you are pre-approved for. If you make multiple credit applications then multiple hard credit searches will be done on your credit file.

This means your credit score will go lower as the credit bureau will view too many credit applications as you being desperate. If you stop making blind credit applications then your credit score will likely improve. 

You should always use an eligibility checker to see if you will be approved for credit or utility accounts before you apply. These checks are done with soft credit searches which only you can see.

Report your rent to the credit bureau 

Another way to improve your credit score is by reporting your rental payments to the credit bureaus.

If you currently pay rent or paid rent within the last 3 years you will be able to report your rental payments to the credit bureau and this will be an account on your credit file showing your payment history. 

Paying your rent on time will ofcourse improve your credit score whilst missed payments will reduce your credit score. The scheme is known as the rental exchange scheme and is currently only being offered via Experian.

Increase your available credit limit

Increasing your credit limit will reflect on your credit file and improve your credit score as it shows lenders are willing to trust you with more money as well as reducing your current credit utilization (how much you spend in relation to how much credit you have available. The golden rule is a maximum of 30%). 

You can ask your current card provider to increase your credit limit or let you know if you will be eligible for a credit limit. Also ask if they intend to run a hard credit search on you and do not consent to this unless they will pre-approve you for a credit limit increase.

Open a new credit card account

Opening a new credit account will be your next option if your current credit card provider will not increase your credit limit. You essentially accomplish the same things as your available credit limit increases. 

You must repay your balances on your credit card account every month and avoid using over 30% of your available credit. This is a good option if you want to improve your credit score.

Have a good credit mix

Mix things up a little by having a varying degree of accounts on your credit file. Like your partner, credit bureaus like to see you mix things up a little bit. By this, we mean that a proportion of your credit score is ranked by how diverse the different types of credit you have been utilizing is.

Examples include:

Revolving accounts (i.e. credit cards, store cards)

Installment accounts (i.e. home equity line of credit, auto loans)

Open accounts (utility accounts)

Increase your variety and your credit score will increase.

Ensure your registered address is the same on all your credit accounts

Any active accounts on your credit file should display your correct address. You can check the addresses on your accounts by viewing your credit file. Make sure all active accounts list your current address. This may improve your current credit score.

Check your credit score regularly

Checking your credit score regularly is one of the ways to ensure that the information on your credit score is indeed up to date.

It also informs you on what your credit score is and this allows you to have an idea of which credit providers may lend to you.

If you find any errors on your credit score or report you can contact all of the credit bureaus or the specific credit bureau where the error is mentioned and ask them to make the necessary corrections.

The credit bureaus will check and investigate the matter but in the meantime put a notice of correction on the record entry so that any third parties who are checking your credit score will be aware that the entry may be incorrect.

The credit bureau will usually let you know the outcome of their investigations within 28 days.

If you are unsure of what your credit score is then you should check your credit score from the four credit bureaus in the UK: Experian, Crediva, Equifax and Transunion.

Some of these credit bureaus may charge you a fee to view your credit report so what you can alternatively do is request a statutory credit report which is a free credit report which each credit bureau must provide to you upon you requesting it.

Alternatively, you can also use credit score services such as Checkmyfile and clearscore to check your credit report.

Remove negative financial links

You should check your credit file for financial links that you don’t recognise. Some financial links can reduce your credit file as this might mean your credit score is going down due to someone else’s bad credit behaviour.

Any financial links which seem out of the blue can be removed from your credit file. Financial links can be generated by just sharing apartments with someone else, getting a loan with someone else, etc. You should ask the credit bureaus to correct this. As you remove these negative financial links your credit score should improve.

Sell your assets e.g cars, jewellery

If you have any assets such as painting, cars, watches etc then you may want to sell this except they are essential for you to make an income each month.

Selling your assets could give you more money to put towards your house deposit and therefore make it more possible that you are able to save a house deposit in a year.

Get a gifted deposit from your family

Another thing you can do to save a house deposit in a year is to get a gifted mortgage deposit from your family or friends.

There are now a lot o mortgage lenders who accept gifted deposit although most will insist you use a gifted deposit letter which makes it clear that the person gifting you the house deposit does not have any claim over the property as it is a gift and not a loan.

Get a Government scheme

There are a variety of government schemes which may be able to help you save for a house depsit in a year.

In some cases, these first-time buyer government schemes will reduce the amount of the property price and thereby increasing the amount of mortgage deposit you have in relation to the property value.

These schemes include:

  • Lifetime ISA– gives you a government bonus of £1,000 if you save a maximum £4,000 a year.
  • Help to buy ISA– gives a maximum bonus us £3,000 if you save the maximum allowed of £12,000. Before you get either you should consider which is better. Lifetime ISA vs Help to buy ISA.
  • Help to buy equity loan– gives you up to 40% as a 5-year interest-free equity loan. You begin to pay interest at 1.75 % after the fifth year and 1% plus RPI for every year thereafter.
  • Shared ownership– You can buy between 25% to 75% of the property initially with a shared ownership mortgage and then buy more using a staircasing mortgage.
  • Armed forces help to buy– similar to the help to buy equity loan but specific for the armed forces personnel giving them an increased chance of acceptance.
  • Rent to buy– This is the right to buy scheme on which this guide is currently discussing. A different marketing name is just used. Watch out for this when shopping to avoid missing out on eligible properties due to confusion.
  • Right to buy– allows you to buy your home at a discount price.
  • Preserved right to buy– same as above.
  • Right to acquire– similar to the above.

Depending on where you live, you may also be able to take advantage of home buying schemes provided by your local council. Example: In Norwich, the local councils provide the Norwich home options scheme

Use a mortgage broker for your mortgage in principle

You may want to use an independent mortgage broker to help you get a mortgage on your new home.

Mortgage brokers are important as they can access mortgage products from across the whole of the market in some cases.

This could be over 11,000 mortgage products. This may have some advantages rather than going directly to a mortgage lender.

A mortgage broker will look to understand your financial circumstances and then provide recommendations on which mortgage products may be suitable for you based on your mortgage affordability.

After giving you these mortgage recommendations, most mortgage brokers will seek your consent to apply for a mortgage in principle

This will allow you to shop for your home as more estate agents and sellers may take you seriously and it will also give you confidence that your mortgage is indeed a possibility before you make a full mortgage application. 

Once you have found a home you want to buy and are satisfied with the mortgage offer for your mortgage then the mortgage broker will then look to get you a mortgage offer.

This will come with a key facts illustration document that details the features of your mortgage including how much you will pay per month.

It will also contain information on if there are any limits such as early repayment fees, or annual overpayment limits.

If you are happy with everything you can then go on to secure your mortgage with the help of a conveyancer.

Your conveyancer will manage the legal searches on the property to ensure there aren’t any issues with it.

They will oversee the sales agreement to ensure it is in your best interest, they will manage the transfer of mortgage funds, exchange contracts with the seller or their conveyancer, and set a completion date with the seller or their conveyancer.

This will then bring an end to the conveyancing process, at which point you will receive the keys to the house and move in.

In this brief guide, we are going to discuss “how to save for a house deposit in a year”.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know

If you are in need of advice about your money and you live in the UK then you may contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.

You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.

If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.

You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.