Easy saving with small sums
A one-bedroom flat in Tuusula houses a satisfied owner. Tomi Kallio, working as a car mechanic, has just bought his first own home. Kallio made an ASP agreement with Nordea at the age of 18 and started to save for a home.
– The idea came from my mum. I have also received other good advice in financial matters from her, says Kallio.
In Kallio’s opinion, saving was fairly easy, as you just had to remember to make occasional deposits to the ASP account.
– The sums were not very big, but if I hadn’t put them aside, I would have spent the money on something less useful. My fairly regular saving had hardly any effect on my standard of living.
Home saver’s bonus (ASP) is a popular means to save for a first home. In 2013, more than 29,000 new ASP accounts were opened in Finland.
Finding the home of your dreams will take time
After finishing his upper secondary school studies, Kallio has worked nearly all the time. First he was employed as a warehouse worker and after the army as a postman. When he studied, he had time to work in the summer. The savings accrued little by little, and as the employment situation was good, it was time for Kallio to find a home of his own at the age of 25. This called for some investigation and a number of home shows.
– There were quite expensive flats on sale, and if I found one that was more affordable, it was either in too bad a shape or badly renovated.
Finally, Kallio found a suitable one-bedroom flat in Tuusula, which was a familiar neighbourhood to him, as he had grown up in Kerava nearby. In Kallio's view, cooperation with the bank was easy and effortless. During the first visit to the bank, it was determined how big an ASP loan Kallio could get based on his savings, and the deal was already closed during the second visit.
Kallio encourages everyone to start saving as early as possible.
– If you start early, it is easier to save the required amount. It’s also worth the while to think carefully which home to buy.
What is ASP?
- ASP (from the Finnish word ‘asuntosäästöpalkkio’) is a government-subsidised scheme based on the Act on Bonus for Home Savers which aims to support young people’s first home purchase in Finland.
- Since 1 July 2016, it has been possible to open an ASP account at the age of 15–39 (previously the upper age limit was 30 years and the lower age limit 18 years).
- To be eligible for an ASP loan, you must make at least eight deposits of 150-3000 euros or more to your ASP account at three months’ intervals. In practice, this means that you will have to save at least 50-1000 euros a month during a period of two years.
- When you have saved at least 10% of the home price, you will be eligible for an ASP loan and a supplementary loan from Nordea.
- You can draw down an ASP loan from Nordea even if your ASP account were in another bank.
- In addition to the ASP savings, the interest for ASP-loan is always lower than that of other first home loans. In addition, a 10-year interest subsidy is also available for the loan.
- You will also receive a free government guarantee for your ASP loan, which means you do not need any other security aside from the home itself.
This article was published on 18 April 2016.