Student loan repayment program attracts buyers to Illinois
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Illinois is attracting homebuyers to the state with a $ 25 million SmartBuy program that helps pay off student loans and provides a $ 5,000 loan for a down payment or closing costs.
So far, 26 people have bought a home under the program out of nearly 200 who have registered between December 1 and the end of March, the Chicago Tribune reports. the SmartBuy program is offered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
Lawyers are among those affected by high student loans. Over 55% postponed or decided not to buy a home due to student debt, according to a 2020 investigation report by the ABA Young Lawyers Division.
None of those interviewed by the Chicago Tribune said they were lawyers. But those interviewed said they would not have been able to buy a home yet without participating in the program.
The Chicago Tribune explained the requirements. The program pays off up to $ 40,000 in student debt, or 15% of the purchase price of the home, whichever is lower. Eligibility in the Chicago area is limited to individuals with a household income of $ 109,200 or less. The purchase price of the home is capped between $ 325,000 and over $ 500,000, depending on the location and type of home. The mortgage interest rate is set by the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
The house must be a primary residence. All student debt of a borrower must be repaid upon purchase. Those who sell their home within three years must repay part of the loan assistance, depending on the length of their residence, and will have to sell to someone else who meets the income requirements at a price within the limits. from the program.
The Chicago Tribune spoke to some lenders, who said they were generating interest in the program from out-of-state residents.
“I’m trying to get people to say, ‘I want to go back to Chicago for this program,’ said Chanon Slaughter, vice president of guaranteed rate mortgages.