ISAs stand for individual savings account. There are several different types and you can open them up in a variety of places. It can easily be daunting as to where to look or where to find the best deal, so here’s a quick overview of where to open ISAs. This will be the first in a dozen or so posts I have written regarding mortgage help, so please keep a look out for those also.
The Frugal Frenchie
The different types of ISAs
Before talking to you about opening an ISA, it may be helpful for you to learn a little bit about the different types:
- Cash ISAs – these are essentially your normal savings accounts. Put savings inside and keep the interest (it’s free of income tax)
- Fixed term ISAs – ISAs with a fixed interest rate. You can choose how what period you open it for, however, be wary you can’t access the money during that time
- Stocks and shares ISAs – this account allows you to put money into a variety of different investments. For example individual company shares in here
- Innovative finance ISAs – put your tax-free ISA allowance into peer to peer lending. This essentially means you lend your money to businesses or other borrowers and they will pay it back with interest on top
- Lifetime ISAs – a type of ISA I will be talking about frequently. It’s a type of ISA that allows you to save for your first home or retirement. The government, until a certain point, will give you a the25% bonus of what you pay in every tax year
- Help to Buy ISAs – another form of ISA to help you buy a home. On top of interest from your provider, the government also puts in an additional £50 for every £200 you put in (which is the maximum per month). This stops after they have given £3000.
Banks may appear to be the most prevalent and obvious choice to open any type of monetary accounts, however, they are not the only options available. With such a big market out there and a wide choice, it is worth either researching your nearest branches and meeting with them to discuss what they can offer, or having a look on their websites.
Alternatively, you can visit different comparison sites to see which banks offer the best deals for your need. Possible websites include Compare the market and ISA compare.
Building societies, such as The Nottingham, tend not to be very well known. I myself have ISAs with a building society, to which most people respond saying “Never heard of it.”
The differences between banks and building societies aren’t very vast. Banks are on the stock market and so are therefore businesses. They prioritise shareholders as they are more likely to invest. Building societies are not businesses and so work for their customers. The consequences? Bigger interest rates *woop.*
Financial management/Saving companies
Financial management services, such as Fidelity, can have different approaches, particularly in regards to investing, stocks and shares.
- Do it yourself
- Them do it for you
- Them guide you through it
Some companies offer all ISAs, some don’t, so just take a look through their websites at what they have available.
Another thing to look at with stocks and shares ISAs are:
- Their annual platform charge
- Min ISA deposit
- Transfer out fee
- Fund dealing
- Number of funds
- Account closure fee
I hope this is a useful introduction to ISAs. Stay tuned by subscribing to my blog, for more savings and mortgage information.
You may also like my diary post about my hopeless estate agent!