First Home Savings Account (FHSA)

It's never too early to start planning for your first home.

We want to help set you up for Success with a
NEW First Home Savings Account!

Saving for a down payment on your first home is no small feat, and in our current economic landscape, prospective home buyers need to be savvy and take advantage of opportunities to maximize their savings goals.  

The First Home Savings Account (FHSA) is the newest registered plan allowing Canadians to save for their first home tax-free (up to certain limits). Similar to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), every dollar you contribute to your FHSA reduces your taxable income for the year. Unlike an RRSP however, when you withdraw funds from your FHSA to purchase a qualifying home, you do not need to pay them back to avoid penalties. 

The FHSA is a great investment tool for new home buyers with annual contributions capped at $8,000 and a lifetime contribution limit of $40,000. For added flexibility, you can carry forward amaximum of $8,000 unused contribution room to the following year.

Other things to know about the FHSA:

  • It is eligible to Canadian residents aged 18-71 who have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN) and are considered a first-time home buyer.
  • Applicants cannot own or jointly own a qualifying home (nor can their spouse or common-law partner) being used as their principal residence in the calendar year before the account is opened or the preceding four years.
  • Applicants must not have withdrawn funds from their RRSP under the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) or must have repaid any HBP withdrawals to their RRSP before the year they plan to open a FHSA.
  • Parents/guardians and grandparents can contribute to their child’s/grandchild’s FHSA but only the FHSA holder is eligible for tax deductions. 
  • When a qualifying withdrawal is made, the amount withdrawn is not taxable. For a withdrawal to qualify, the applicant must intend to occupy the qualifying home as their principal place of residence within one year after buying or building it. 
  • Non-qualifying withdrawals (when the funds are not used to purchase a qualifying home) are considered taxable income.
    • Withholding tax schedule of rates is as follow:
$0 – $5,00010%
$5,001 – $15,00020%
  • Your FHSA can remain open for a maximum of 15 years or until the end of the year you turn 71.
  • Any unused FHSA contributions can be transferred, without being taxed, to another registered account, such as your RRSP or RRIF. 
  • Your FHSA can hold a variety of qualified investments, including cash, GICs, and mutual funds. 
  • At ECU, eligible deposits in your FHSA are fully insured. 

Variable FHSAs

  • No minimum investment required
  • Use regularly scheduled automatic transfers to build your FHSA investments
  • Interest is calculated on the minimum daily balance and paid quarterly 
  • Can be invested into a fixed-term FHSA after reaching a $500 balance 

Fixed FHSAs

  • Minimum investment of $500
  • Select from terms of one month up to five years
  • Competitive interest rates offered
  • Interest is compounded annually back to the FHSA


  • FHSA elsewhere? Switch to WFCU and we will refund up to $75 of any transfer-out fee

For more information about the FHSA: