A new housing program in Illinois may actually entice individuals to move to Illinois rather than out. The program, called SmartBuy, started in December, 2020 and may provide graduates saddled with student loan debt a better (and quicker) opportunity to own their own home.

The program provides affordable 30-year fixed rate mortgages with a deferred $5,000.00 for down payment and/or closing cost assistance. Additionally, the SmartBuy program will provide assistance for homebuyers to the tune of 15% of the purchase price, up to $40,000.00, in assistance for student loan debt relief. Illinois has allocated up to $25 million for the program and is expected to serve between 600 and 1,000 homebuyers.


-Borrowers must have at least $1,000 in student loan debt

-Pay off at least one borrower’s full remaining student loan balance at loan close-no partial payoffs permitted

-Contribute $1,000 or 1% of the purchase price, whichever is greater

-Live in the home as primary residence

-Meet the income and purchase price limits

-If sell within 3 years, a portion of the student loan assistance and sell to someone who meets the program’s income requirements

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