This site provides basic information on ASP saving, ASP loans, and ASP monitoring. The information is divided between three tabs. More detailed instructions on ASP system can be found in the Stipulations and instructions section (in Finnish).
ASP in brief
The home savers bonus system or ASP system is a system based on the Act on Bonus for Home Savers, which allows for the state to support ASP savers in purchasing their first owner-occupied home. The State Treasury advises banks and home buyers on applying the ASP regulations.
An agreement about opening an ASP account is made between the ASP saver and the bank. An ASP account can be opened by a 15-44-year-old person who has not previously owned an apartment. When the ASP saver has saved at least 10 per cent of the purchase price of a home on the ASP account, the bank may grant an ASP loan.
The benefits of ASP interest subsidy loans include:
- tax-exempt interest and additional interest on savings on the ASP account
- a lower interest rate on your loan compared to similar first home loans granted by the bank
- state interest subsidy for the first ten years of the loan period
- a state guarantee free of charge.
Before starting saving, the ASP saver must sing an ASP agreement with the bank before starting saving. The agreement contains information on the ASP account, deposit terms and conditions as well as the receivable loan. The ASP agreement also specifies the tax-free interest rate of 1% per annium paid by the bank and an additional interest rate of 2-4% to be paid once the ASP saver has fulfilled the terms of the ASP agreement and purchased their first home.
An ASP saver can be a 15-44-year-old person who has not previously owned an apartment. The ASP agreement may include the applicant’s married partner even if the partner is already over 44 years old. The same applies to other partners if they have or have had a child together or if they have previously been married or in a registered partnership.
If the ASP saver is under 18 years old, they can make an ASP agreement at a bank together with their guardian.
An ASP account is intended for persons purchasing their first home, meaning that an ASP saver cannot be a person who has previously owned 50 per cent or more of an apartment. However, it is still possible to open an ASP account if the saver has been given a specific share of an apartment (less than 100 per cent holding) gratuitously, i.e. as a gift or inheritance. An apartment that has been given gratuitously after opening an ASP account will not affect the ASP benefits either.
Underage ASP savers
You can start saving for ASP as early as at the age of 15–17. If the ASP saver has not reached the age of 18, they can make an ASP agreement at the bank together with their guardian. An underage ASP saver can only deposit money earned through their own labour into the ASP account.
Money earned through own labour can include
- weekly and monthly allowances that are paid to the ASP saver’s wages account (the money must be earned from work, it cannot be given as a gift)
- stipends, for example from school.
The following are not considered assets saved through one’s labour
- survivors’ pension
- child benefit
- financial aid for students.
Money given as a gift by parents, grandparents or other people cannot be deposited into the tax-exempt ASP account of a minor. The bank is responsible for ensuring that the funds deposited to the ASP account comply with the regulations.
A minor ASP saver may agree with the bank on whether the additional interest to be paid when a home is purchased is calculated from the start of the deposits (maximum of five years) or the date when the saver turns 18 years old.
If the calculation of the additional interest does not start until when the saver turns 18, only the normal one per cent interest is paid on any deposits made when the saver is 15–17 years old.
Number of deposits
The ASP saver must save at least 10 per cent of the purchase price of a home (so-called required savings). If the ASP saver is planning to build a detached house, they must save 10% of the cost estimate.
The ASP saver must make deposits to your ASP account for at least eight calendar quarters. The deposits must amount to at least 150 euros and up to 3,000 euros during one calendar quarter, i.e. three months. However, the deposits do not need to be in consecutive quarters. Instead, the ASP saver may have a break from saving, if necessary. No maximum period for ASP saving has been set, so the ASP saver can continue saving as long as they want.
ASP account interest
The bank pays an annual interest of one per cent on deposits to the ASP account. In addition, the ASP saver receives an additional interest of 2-4 per cent when they have achieved the savings targets and purchase a home. The additional interest is paid for the first year of deposits followed by up to five calendar years.
In addition to deposits, the interest and additional interest paid to ASP savings are calculated into the required savings. In addition to this, the required savings may include other assets in the savers bank accounts.
If the ASP saver has saved more than 10 per cent of the future home’s purchase price on the ASP account, they may agree on how to use the excess funds with the bank. If all of the assets are used to pay for the purchase price of a home, the tax-exempt additional interest is paid on the entire amount of savings. Note: The ASP agreement may include a clause stating that the additional interest is paid for another sum (e.g. 10 per cent of the purchase price of a home).
According to guidelines issued by tax authorities, the interest paid to the ASP account is fully tax-exempt even if the entire deposit is not used to purchase a home.
ASP saving together
Adding a second saver to an ASP account
It is possible to add a spouse or another person to your ASP agreement after the account has been opened. The prerequisite here is that the person attached to the account also meets the criteria set for savers.
A married partner can be attached to the account even if they have turned 45 years old. The same also applies to other people in relationships if they have or have had a child together or if they have previously been married or in a registered partnership. Other attached savers must meet the required age limit.
After joining, at least one shared and approved deposit (EUR 150–3,000) must be made to the account during one calendar quarter, i.e. three-month period, before a home is purchased.
Two separate ASP accounts
Two ASP savers with separate ASP accounts can purchase a shared home. In this case, both save funds on their own accounts until the requirements of the ASP loan are met. They can take out either a shared loan or separate loans. For more information on buying a shared home, see the section “Buying a shared home” under the ASP loan section.
Changes to the ASP account
Transferring an ASP account
It is possible to transfer the ASP account from one bank to another during the saving period. In this case, ASP savings will continue without interruption in the bank to which the account was transferred. The transfer of the ASP account to another bank must be complete at the time of the closing of the sale of the home at the latest. The bank must ensure that the account history is transferred to the receiving bank. The bank that grants the ASP loan is responsible for paying the additional interest to the savings.
Dividing the ASP account in the event of separation
In the event of separation, a joint ASP account can be split between the savers so that both parties continue saving onto their own accounts. Both savers may agree on new saving goals with the bank. When the account is split, the required minimum deposit amount per calendar quarter may be under 150 euros.
If a partner that is over 44 years old was attached to the ASP account or the joint ASP account was opened when the partner was over 44 years old, the partner cannot continue as an ASP saver on their own.
The one saver may also be removed from the ASP account, in which case the account remains solely with the other saver.
Termination of the ASP account
The ASP agreement is terminated if funds are withdrawn from the ASP account before meeting the terms of the agreement. The ASP saver can stop saving onto the ASP account and use the savings for other purposes than purchasing their first home. In this case no tax-exempt interest in accordance with the terms of the ASP account will be paid on the savings.
An ASP account can be reopened if the age-related condition is met and the person opening the account is still buying their first home. In this case, a new ASP agreement must be made with the bank. Saving will start from the beginning.
When the ASP saver has saved the required amount, the bank may grant an ASP loan. Receiving ASP benefits requires that the apartment purchased is used as a home (permanent personal dwelling) by the ASP saver.
The maximum amount of the ASP interest subsidy loan is calculated based on approved deposits made into the ASP account (savings multiplied by nine). Approved deposits, the one per cent basic interest and the additional interest paid on the deposits, are all taken into account when calculating the maximum loan amount.
The ASP loan may be up to 90 per cent of the purchase price of the home or the cost estimate for the construction of a detached house. If the ASP interest subsidy loan is not sufficient to cover the 90 per cent share of the purchase price of the home, the ASP saver can agree on an additional loan with the bank which is an ordinary mortgage.
The maximum amount of the ASP interest subsidy loan is determined based on the location of the home:
Municipality, where the apartment is located Maximun loan amount (euros) Helsinki 215,000 Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen 160,000 Tampere, Turku 140,000 Other municipalities 120,000
The purchase price is always paid first with the funds from the ASP account. Once the funds in the ASP account have been used, the ASP saver may use other funds of their own, followed by loans.
The state guarantee can only be applied when agreed on at the time of the purchase.
The interest rate of the ASP interest subsidy loan must be lower than the interest rates of other similar loans granted by the bank for first-time home owners. General reference rates applied to housing loans may be used as a reference rate (e.g. Euribor). Interest rate hedging cannot be applied to ASP loans.
The loan period may be up to 25 years, and the ASP saver can agree on the manner of repayment with their bank.
Purchase of a shared home
Government interest subsidy for an ASP loan
The state pays an interest subsidy if the interest rate applied to the ASP loan exceeds 3.8 per cent. The interest subsidy is paid for the first ten years starting from when the loan is first taken out. The interest subsidy is paid through the bank so that the bank charges the interest from the ASP borrower, minus the portion paid by the government. The State Treasury pays the interest subsidy to the bank twice a year (on 31st May and 30th November).
The interest subsidy covers 70 per cent of the portion of the interest rate that exceeds 3.8 per cent. When the interest rate of the ASP loan is less than 3.8 per cent, the borrower pays the entire interest.
The interest subsidy ends if the home is sold, and the loan is repaid. If a specific share of the home is sold, the ASP interest subsidy loan must be repaid in proportion to the sale.
A maximum of two instalment-free years can be applied to the loan during the period of the interest subsidy. If the receiver of the loan wishes to repay the ASP loan ahead of schedule, it is possible to agree on the repayment schedule freely with the bank.
State guarantee for an ASP loan
If necessary, the ASP interest subsidy loan can also be granted state guarantee. The state guarantee is free of charge. An agreement on the guarantee must be made in writing during the loan negotiations before the purchase of a home. The amount of the loan with a state guarantee may be up to 90 per cent of the purchase price of the home.
In addition to the ASP interest subsidy loan, the state guarantee can also be applied to the so-called ASP additional loan. The guarantee may be up to 25 per cent of the loan sum in both instances. The guarantee is free of charge for ASP interest subsidy loans, but the guarantee is subject to a fee when applied to additional loans. The maximum guarantee sum per apartment is 60,000 euros.
If a state-guaranteed ASP loan is transferred to a new home, the amount of the state-guaranteed loan cannot exceed 85 per cent of the purchase price of the home. In this event, the guarantee may be up to 20 per cent of the loan sum.
Conditions for an ASP apartment
Apartments bought using the ASP loan must be located in Finland. The ASP saver must purchase at least 50 per cent of the condominium shares or stakes or the detached house to be able to utilise the ASP loan.
In connection with the construction of a detached house, the plot may also be part of ASP financing, if the price of the plot is included in the cost estimate of the project and construction is started immediately after purchasing the plot. The share of the plot allocated to a condominium cannot be included when calculating the ASP loan.
- A parking space cannot be covered by an ASP loan.
- A condominium loan share can be included in the purchase price, as long as it has been valued and verified per apartment and it is paid off as soon as possible.
- A part-ownership apartment can be bought if at least 50 per cent of the shares will be owned by the borrower and at least 50 per cent of the shares or stakes are being traded.
- An ASP loan cannot be utilised to finance right-of-occupancy housing.
- The home must be used for personal use as a permanent dwelling after the purchase.
The ASP loan can be used to purchase a home that is rented at the time of the sale. In this event, the home must, however, be taken into personal use as a permanent dwelling immediately after closing the sale, and the borrower must terminate the lease of a tenant immediately after the sale is closed.
An apartment where the ASP saver is already living before the purchase is made can be purchased with an ASP loan.
The remaining share of an apartment inherited or gifted earlier for partial ownership can be bought from the estate (at least 50 per cent).
An ASP saver can agree with the bank on interim financing, if they want to purchase a home before the terms of ASP agreement have been fulfilled. The condition for granting interim financing is that the saver has made a deposit in the ASP account on at least four calendar quarters. If a home is purchased before the required four deposits have been made, the ASP agreement is terminated. In this case, the ASP saver cannot receive ASP benefits (for example, additional interest on ASP savings).
The total loan is agreed in writing at the time of agreeing on the interim financing, even if the ASP saver does not need to raise interim financing or they only need to withdraw one instalment. When they meet the ASP terms, the interim financing is paid off using the funds in the ASP account and the ASP loan.
The terms of the interim financing are agreed with the bank, and ASP loan terms are not applied to this form of financing. Interim financing cannot come from parents or family members. Instead, it must be a loan granted by the bank. Funds deposited to the ASP account cannot be utilised at this time either.
The ASP saver can apply for a state guarantee (up to 20 per cent of the loan) as security for the interim financing, if necessary. In this event, a 2.5 per cent guarantee fee is paid for the guarantee sum, which is not returned to the borrower once the interim financing is replaced with the ASP loan. When the interim financing with the state guarantee is later replaced by the ASP loan, the state guarantee may be up to 25 per cent of the loan (see “State guarantees for ASP loans”). The state guarantee is free of charge for ASP loans.
After acquiring the home with interim financing, the ASP saver must continue saving to the ASP account until the required 10 % savings have been reached. The timetable for saving the missing deposit instalments and when the interim financing will be converted into ASP financing must be agreed with the bank.
Interim financing must be replaced with an ASP loan immediately when meeting the criteria for an ASP loan, i.e. when the required savings and calendar quarters are fulfilled.
ASP loans for building a property
The ASP saver may also be eligible for ASP benefits to purchase their first home from a new property being built. The ASP saver may be involved in a joint building project and fund the apartment they are going to own, or parts of it, with ASP savings and the ASP loan, which can be withdrawn in instalments as construction progresses.
Any additional or amendment work commissioned by the buyer during the construction phase of the new home can be included in the total price of the apartment, in which case their costs can be covered by the ASP loan. The bank must document the amendment work in a reliable manner and attach the documents to the bill of sale.
The reservation fee charged during the advance promotion of the apartment cannot be paid with ASP savings or the ASP loan, as they can only be withdrawn at the time of the sale.
When the ASP saver’s required savings are met, the purchase price of the apartment may be paid using ASP savings and the ASP loan in accordance with the payment schedule specified in the bill of sale. The sale price and the unencumbered price of the new property is usually divided into several instalments:
- When the deed of sale is signed, the first instalment of the sale price. The first instalment of the purchase price is paid for ASP savings and, if necessary, an ASP interest subsidy loan or an additional loan is also withdrawn. ASP savings are always used to pay the sale price first before raising a loan.
- Instalments paid during construction. The instalments of the sale price due during construction are paid by first using the remaining savings in the ASP account and then an ASP loan or additional loan.
- Last instalment of the purchase price (after completion). The final purchase price is paid with any remaining ASP savings and after that, with an ASP loan or additional loan.
- Saver’s share of condominium debt (if repayable). If so agreed, the condominium loan portion of the apartment can be included in ASP financing. In this case, the 10 per cent required savings are calculated based on the unencumbered price of the apartment. If the ASP saver wishes to utilise an ASP loan to pay for your share of the condominium debt, they must make an agreement with the bank by the time the deal is closed. The allocated share of the condominium debt is paid using the ASP interest subsidy loan or additional loan when it is possible to repay it.
- The redemption price of the share of the plot allocated to the apartment. The redeemed share of the plot cannot be covered by ASP funding, because the allocated share of the plot to be redeemed will not be in the saver’s name, but the condominiums. The redeemed plot share must be financed with an additional loan.
Renting an ASP home
A home purchased with an ASP loan may be rented for up to two years. Renting the home requires special circumstances, which may include studying or working abroad or in another location (outside the commuter area). Military service is also considered a special circumstance.
For long-term rental, the ASP loan must be converted into an ordinary mortgage. This must be agreed with the bank.
An ASP home can also be sublet. More than 50 per cent of the home must be used for the ASP borrowers own permanent dwelling. A studio apartment cannot be sublet.
Transferring an ASP loan
The ASP loan can be transferred to a new home if it is intended for the personal use of the saver as a permanent dwelling. You must agree on transferring the loan with the bank, and the sale price is deposited into a collateral account of the bank for the transition period.
You must own at least 50 per cent of the next home as well.
The ASP interest subsidy loan can be transferred as is if it is possible in terms of the purchase price of the new home. Any difference in price can be paid by taking out an additional loan.
- The new home costs 150,000 euros.
- The sum of the valid ASP interest subsidy loan is 85,000 euros, 21,250 euros (25 per cent) of which are guarantees.
- A total of 85 per cent (127,500 euros) of the new home may be covered by the state-guaranteed loan. Up to 20 per cent of this sum, i.e. 25,500 euros, may be guarantees.
- The existing ASP interest subsidy loan is transferred as is, which means that the sum of the new state-guaranteed loan may be up to 42,500 euros (127,500–85,000 euros) and 4,250 euros (25,500–21,250 euros) of this may be guarantees.
- A guarantee fee must be paid for the additional ASP loan.
From the beginning of 2023, the State Treasury is responsible for monitoring that the ASP interest subsidy loan is used for purposes specified in the legislation.
Aim of ASP system
The aim of the ASP system is to encourage saving for a home and improve the possibilities of acquiring the first owner-occupied dwelling. The home that is the object of the ASP loan must be used by the borrower after it has been purchased. In practice, this means that the borrower lives permanently in the home that is the object of the ASP interest subsidy loan.
Renting an ASP interest subsidy loan home
A home that is the object of an ASP loan may, for a special reason, be rented for a maximum of two years. For example, working or studying in another municipality are considered justified reasons. Renting for more than two years is not allowed even for a justified reason. Therefore, an ASP loan home cannot be purchased, for example, as an investment apartment.
The interest subsidy is paid for a maximum of the first ten years of the loan. For more information on the interest subsidy, see the section “Government interest subsidy for an ASP loan”. At the end of the interest subsidy, the restrictions on renting an ASP home will also end.
State Treasury’s monitoring task
The State Treasury monitors the use of ASP interest subsidy loans under the law. If the recipient of an ASP interest subsidy loan has used the loan funds for purposes other than those specified in the law, the interest subsidy may be terminated. In this case, the State Treasury may, by decision, oblige the recipient of the interest subsidy to repay the received interest subsidy back to the State at maximum five times its amount. In practice, the use of loan funds for purposes other than those referred to in the law means that the dwelling is not used by the borrower. From the perspective of the State Treasury’s supervisory task, it is particularly important that the ASP interest subsidy borrower ensures that their address information is always up to date and that any changes are reported to the Population Information System.
If the State Treasury finds that the loan funds may have been used for an unlawful purpose, it will launch an enforcement case in which the borrower is asked to investigate the use of the loan funds. Under the Act, the ASP interest subsidy loan recipient is obliged to provide the State Treasury with the information necessary to establish that the loan has been used for an approved purpose. If a supervisory matter is initiated, the borrower always has the right to be heard and to make a statement on the matter to the State Treasury. The State Treasury will investigate the matter on the basis of the available data and the data provided by the borrower before making a decision on the matter.
If the State Treasury finds that the loan funds have not been used for statutory purposes, the State Treasury will terminate the interest subsidy and, at its discretion, may recover the paid interest subsidy at maximum five times its amount. If it is considered that the use of the loan funds has been in compliance with the law, there will be no changes to the interest subsidy for the ASP interest subsidy loan.
The termination of the interest rate subsidy also entitles the financial institution that granted the loan to demand repayment of the loan in part or in full immediately, if the financial institution considers this justified on the basis of its own discretion. The decision to terminate the interest subsidy is also notified to the issuing financial institution.
Financial institution’s obligations
The supervisory task also entails statutory obligations for the financial institution that granted the ASP interest subsidy loan. The financing institution provide the State Treasury with the information necessary to establish that the loan has been used for an approved purpose. For this reason, the financial institution must submit the data through electronic data transfer method to the State Treasury. A separate regulation is issued on electronic data transfers, which can be found in the Stipulations and instructions section. Information related to ASP interest subsidy loans must be submitted to the State Treasury on a monthly basis. The aim is to make the monitoring task more fluent and to ensure that the information on ASP interest subsidy loans is correct.
If the financial institution neglects the tasks assigned to it in relation to the transmission of information by electronic means, the State Treasury may impose a conditional fine under the law. The State Treasury may set a time limit within which electronic data transmission must be implemented and brought into compliance with the law and the regulations issued under it.