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Home Savings Account (CEL)

Verified 01 February 2023 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The Home Savings Account (CEL) is a savings product directed towards a real estate project. The accumulated savings make it possible to obtain, under conditions, a house loan or a work loan and a state premium. Unlike the housing savings plan (PEL), CEL savings are available. Rules differ depending on when the CEL opened.

Open since 2018

Any adult or minor can open a CEL, paying the minimum amount required.

No one has the right to hold more than one CEL.

However, you can open both a CEL and a housing savings plan (PEL), provided that the two accounts are opened in the same banking institution.

Initial payment

The initial payment must be a minimum of €300.

Other payments

The amount of other payments is free, but with a minimum of€75.

There is no maximum payment amount, but no payment must exceed the CEL ceiling of €15,300

Withdrawals

The amount of withdrawals is free, but subject to compliance with the minimum balance of €300.

CEL ceiling is €15,300.

The CEL interest rate is 2%.

CEL's interest is capitalizable: on 31 December of each year, it is added to the savings capital and becomes the producer of additional interest.

Interest from a CEL opened from 2018 onwards is subject to income tax and social security contributions.

When interest is paid, the banking institution must first make a single lump sum payment of 30%, which corresponds to income tax, up to 12.8%and social security contributions, up to 17.20%.

This one-time flat-rate levy is then taken into account when processing your tax return and calculating your final tax.

Without any action on your part, the single lump sum levy corresponds to the amount of your final tax.

But you can choose not to keep the flat rate of income tax and opt for the progressive scale. In this case, depending on your family situation, your income tax rate may be lower or higher than the flat-rate levy. You will then be able to pay additional taxes or, on the contrary, receive a refund from the administration.

The CEL opened after 2018 may allow you to obtain a real estate loan at a preferred rate.

Loan saves housing can be used to do any of the following:

  • Purchase of the main residence (new or old)
  • Construction of the main residence (land purchase and construction work)
  • Expansion, repair or improvement of the main residence (elevation, energy saving, facade renovation of a condominium building...)
  • Acquisition of shares in residential civil real estate investment businesses (CREPS)

To obtain the loan, your CEL must have been open for at least 18 months, and you must have acquired a minimum amount of interest.

This amount is €75, €37, or €22.5 depending on the purpose of the funding.

A family member can help you to assign his rights to a loan, and you can combine them with yours to get a larger amount of borrowing.

Similarly, you can give in your loan entitlements to a member of your family, but provided that he or she has a CEL that has been open for at least 18 months.

The 18-month period can be reduced to 12 months when you use rights that have been given to you by the holder of a CEL that has been open for at least 18 months. The same applies if you use rights from your ELP or rights from your co-borrowing spouse's ELP.

CELs open from 1er January 2018 no longer qualify for the State premium.

The closure of the CEL and the recovery of the money is not conditional.

The procedure varies from one bank to another.

If you wish to close your CEL, you must inform your bank and provide it with the details of a bank account into which the balance of the CEL can be paid.

Open before 2018

Any adult or minor can open a CEL, paying the minimum amount required.

No one has the right to hold more than one CEL. However, you can open both a CEL and a housing savings plan (PEL), provided that the two accounts are opened in the same banking institution.

Initial payment

The initial payment must be a minimum of €300.

Other payments

The amount of other payments is free, but with a minimum of€75.

There is no maximum payment amount, but no payment must exceed the CEL ceiling of €15,300.

Withdrawals

The amount of withdrawals is free, but subject to compliance with the minimum balance of €300.

CEL ceiling is €15,300.

The CEL interest rate, excluding the State premium, is 2%.

CEL's interest is capitalizable: on 31 December of each year, it is added to the savings capital and becomes the producer of additional interest.

Interest on a CEL opened before 2018 is exempt from income tax, but subject to social security contributions.

Under certain conditions, you can use your CEL opened before 2018 to get a loan at a preferred rate.

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CELs opened before 1 March 2011

The CEL may allow you to obtain a real estate loan at a preferred rate.

The home savings loan can be used to do one of the following:

  • Purchase of the main residence (new or old)
  • Construction of the main residence (land purchase and construction work)
  • Expansion, repair or improvement of the main residence (elevation, energy saving, facade renovation of a condominium building...)
  • Acquisition or subscription of shares of SCPI (civil residential real estate investment Businesses)
  • Construction or acquisition of a secondary residence (in the new)
  • Renovation or extension of a secondary residence
  • Acquisition of a residence for leisure or tourism

To obtain the loan, your CEL must have been open for at least 18 months, and you must have acquired a minimum amount of interest.

This amount is €75, €37, or €22.5 euro according to the purpose of the financing.

A family member can give you their loan rights, and you can combine them with yours to get a larger loan amount.

Similarly, you can assign your loan rights to a family member, but only if they hold a CEL that has been open for at least 18 months.

The 18-month period can be reduced to 12 months when you use rights that have been given to you by the holder of a CEL that has been open for at least 18 months. The same applies if you use rights from your ELP or rights from your co-borrowing spouse's ELP.

CELs open from 1 March 2011

The CEL may allow you to obtain a real estate loan at a preferred rate.

Loan saves housing can be used to do any of the following:

  • Purchase of the main residence (new or old)
  • Construction of the main residence (land purchase and construction work)
  • Expansion, repair or improvement of the main residence (elevation, energy saving, facade renovation of a condominium building...)
  • Acquisition of shares in residential civil real estate investment businesses (CREPS)

To obtain the loan, your CEL must have been open for at least 18 months, and you must have acquired a minimum amount of interest.

This amount is €75, €37, or €22.5 euro according to the purpose of the financing.

A family member can give you their loan rights, and you can combine them with yours to get a larger loan amount.

Similarly, you can assign your loan rights to a family member, but only if they hold a CEL that has been open for at least 18 months.

The 18-month period can be reduced to 12 months when you use rights that have been given to you by the holder of a CEL that has been open for at least 18 months. The same applies if you use rights from your ELP or rights from your co-borrowing spouse's ELP.

For CELs open before 1er January 2018, it is possible to have the state premium.

The premium is not subject to income tax, but is taxable on social security contributions.

It is paid at the time of obtaining the mortgage.

The amount varies according to the date of opening of the account and the date of acquisition of the interest.

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Interest accrued from 16 June 1998

The amount of the premium shall be equal to 50% vested interests, with a maximum of €1,144.

Interest acquired from 16 February 1994 to 15 June 1998

The amount of the premium shall be equal to 55% vested interests.

Interest accrued until 16 February 1994

The amount varies according to the date of opening of the account.

CEL opened between 16 May 1986 and 16 February 1994

The amount of the premium is equal to 45% vested interests.

CEL opened between 1 July 1985 and 15 May 1986

The amount of the premium shall be equal to 70% vested interests.

CEL opened before 1 July 1985

The amount of the premium shall be equal to the amount of interest earned.

The closure of the CEL and the recovery of the money is not conditional.

The procedure varies from one bank to another.

If you wish to close your CEL, you must inform your bank and provide it with the details of a bank account into which the balance of the CEL can be paid.

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