Sandra Forscutt Mortgages

Welcome To Our Mortgage Educational Blog About:

rrsp home buyers plan

by | Mar 14, 2023 | RRSP

Are you a first-time homebuyer in Canada?… And you are looking to dip into your RRSP savings and fund your down payment?

Before you take the plunge with the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP), it’s important to understand the eligibility requirements, repayment timelines, and potential drawbacks.

If you’re a first-time homebuyer in Canada, the HBP can help you achieve your homeownership goals while also maintaining your retirement savings.

Here’s all you need to know before you buy your first home.

The Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is a tax-advantaged investment account that Canadians use to save for retirement.

RRSP contributions are tax-deductible, which means that individuals can reduce their taxable income by contributing to their RRSP.

The Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP) program allows first-time homebuyers to withdraw up to $35,000 from their RRSP to use towards the purchase of their first home.

Eligibility For RRSP Home Buyers Plan

rrsp home buyers plan eligibility

To use the RRSP Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP), you must meet certain eligibility requirements.

You must –

  • be a first-time homebuyer
  • have an RRSP
  • intend to use the RRSP funds to buy or build a qualifying home
  • have a written agreement to buy or build a home
  • intend to live in the home as your principal residence

Note – You can withdraw up to $35,000 in a calendar year, and the funds must be repaid to your RRSP within 15 years.

How To Participate In The HBP?

Here are the steps to apply for HBP while ensuring that you are following the rules and requirements of the program –

Step 1: Determine your eligibility

Before applying for the Home Buyers’ Plan, you need to check the eligibility criteria. If you meet the requirements, then only you must proceed further.

Step 2: Determine how much amount you can withdraw

You can withdraw up to $35,000 from your RRSP under the HBP.

However, if you are buying the home with your current spouse or a common-law partner, you can each withdraw up to $35,000, for a total of $70,000.

Step 3: Complete the HBP request form

You’ll then need to fill out the T1036, which you can obtain from the official website or from your financial institution.

The form will ask for information such as your name, address, and RRSP account information.

Step 4: Submit the form

Once you’ve filled out the HBP request form, you’ll need to submit it to your financial institution.

They will then process the request and make the RRSP withdrawal from your contributions.

Step 5: Use the funds to buy or build a qualifying home

You can only use the RSSP withdrawal funds to buy or build a qualifying home in Canada.

Make sure that you have a written agreement in place to buy a home or build it as you will have to provide this as proof, as and when required.

Step 6: Repay the funds to your RRSP

You must repay the funds you’ve withdrawn under the HBP to your RRSP within 15 years.

You can begin repaying the funds two years after you first withdrew them, and you must make annual repayments.

If you fail to repay on time, you may face penalties and taxes.

Timeline For Repayment Of The Funds

It’s important to note that there are strict timelines for when you need to repay the funds under the HBP.

You must begin making repayments two years after your first RRSP withdrawal, and you must make annual repayments until the full amount has been repaid.

If you fail to make a repayment, it will be included in your taxable income for that year, and you’ll have to pay taxes on it.

So make sure you have a repayment plan in place before participating in the HBP.

Pros And Cons Of Using The HBP

Like any financial decision, using the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP) comes with both advantages and disadvantages.


  • Avoiding mortgage insurance
  • Reducing interest payments
  • Repayment flexibility
  • Reducing retirement savings
  • Risk of not being able to repay
  • Potential loss of investment growth

Though HBP is a useful tool for first-time home buyers, it is also vital to have a solid repayment plan in place so you don’t end up sacrificing your long-term retirement savings.

Alternatives To The HBP RRSP Plan

alternatives to hbp

HBP can be a useful tool for first-time homebuyers in Canada, but it’s not the only option available.

Here are some alternative options to consider:

Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)

A TFSA is a savings account that allows you to earn tax-free investment income.

While you won’t get the same tax benefits as an RRSP, the advantage of using a TFSA is that you won’t be required to repay the funds you withdraw.

This means you can use your TFSA to save up for a down payment on your home without worrying about repayment schedules.

Are you interested in reading more about the differences between the RRSP HBP and TFSA’s? Click here!


Saving up a down payment outside of an RRSP

This may take longer, but you won’t be reducing your retirement savings and won’t have to repay the funds you’ve withdrawn.

Shared equity programs

Some government programs, such as the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI), offer shared equity options where the government contributes to your down payment in exchange for an ownership stake in your home.

While these programs may not be right for everyone, they can be a good option for those who need additional financial support to purchase a home.

Carefully consider all of your options when deciding how to save up for your home.

Is HBP RRSP The Right Choice For You?

To sum it up, the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) can be a useful tool for first-time homebuyers in Canada.

  • The pros of using the HBP include avoiding mortgage insurance, reducing interest payments on your mortgage, and having repayment flexibility.
  • On the other hand, the disadvantages of using the HBP include reducing your retirement savings, the risk of not being able to repay the withdrawn funds, and the potential loss of investment growth.
  • So, if you have significant retirement savings and can comfortably repay the funds you withdraw under the HBP, it may be a good option for you.
  • However, if you’re already struggling to save for retirement or have doubts about your ability to repay the funds, it may be better to consider alternative options such as a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) or saving up a down payment outside of an RRSP.

Consider your individual circumstances and goals to decide whether HBP is the right choice for you or not. If you’re looking for more information, here is a blog that talks about the most common questions about the RRSP Home Buyers Plan.

Always consult a financial advisor to find the best home-buying option for you. So what are you waiting for? 

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

Recent Educational Blogs

Navigating the Mortgage Renewal Maze

Navigating the Mortgage Renewal Maze

With the current economic climate and the potential for further interest rate changes, it’s more important than ever for homeowners to be proactive and informed when it comes to their mortgage renewal. Learn about the mortgage market, key considerations and common pitfalls when renewing your mortgage.