‘Overwhelming’ demand for state programs to provide student loan solutions to homebuyers


Homeownership can be the key to building wealth, but it can seem like an impossible goal under the weight of student debt.

In December, the Illinois Department of Housing Development (IHDA) launched a $ 25 million SmartBuy program.

The program pays home buyers’ student loan debt and offers up to $ 40,000 at 15% of the purchase price of a primary home.

There are income and purchase price restrictions, you must use an approved lender, and the total debt of at least one student loan from a borrower must be repaid on closing.

At the end of May, the funds were exhausted.

Kristin Faust is the Executive Director of IHDA.

“I knew the demand would be strong, but I didn’t know it would be so strong. It’s true, it was overwhelming, ”she said. “We want people to put down roots in the community. We want people to feel they have a vested interest in their neighborhood and society. And it really is a house. Owning is what he does. “

Peter Maloney, 26, is one of some 200 people who took out SmartBuy mortgages this year, and 450 borrowers are still on hold on reservation loans.

“I had a little over $ 40,000 (on a student loan), but according to the mechanics of the program, they would only have paid 15% of the sale price of the house, or about $ 30,000”, a- he declared. .. “And I ended up paying the difference.”

Maloney is originally from the Chicago area. After graduating from graduate school in Florida, he wanted to be closer to his family. He envisioned Indiana affordably, but then found out about SmartBuy.

“It’s really good. From my point of view, it’s really great. I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

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Faust said the IHDA is working hard to raise funds to restart the program as soon as possible.

“The costs of education relative to average income are in a whole different league than they were 15, 20, 30, 40 years ago,” she said. “The combination of the structure of student debt, payment methods, housing, which will prevent people of all ages who I believe to really have the freedom, independence and security opportunities that homeowners can offer. . ”

“Student loans haven’t completely stopped me from buying a house,” said Maloney. “I wanted it, but I knew it would be a big delay. It would be a big burden. “

Home buyers closed with SmartBuy loans received on average over $ 25,000 in student debt relief.

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The IHDA has other homebuyer assistance programs that are still available.

Click here You can know in detail.

‘Overwhelming’ demand for state programs to provide student loan solutions to homebuyers

‘Overwhelming’ demand for state programs to provide student loan solutions to homebuyers


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