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March 3, 2011

Statewide Loan Makes Homeownership Affordable for First-time Buyers
SmartMove programs offer low-interest rates, down payment assistance

CHICAGO – With spring around the corner, it’s an ideal time for first-time homebuyers and Veterans to take advantage of a statewide affordable loan program available through the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA). SmartMove loan programs enable residents across the state to benefit from historically low interest rates and home prices. SmartMove features down payment assistance and interest rates as low as 4.5 percent.
SmartMove loan programs offer homeownership opportunities to fit a variety of first-time homebuyer’s needs. Homebuyers who qualify for the 30-year, fixed-rate SmartMove loan also have the option of applying for a second loan for up to $6,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance as a zero-percent loan forgivable over 10 years.

“Our SmartMove loan programs make it possible for hardworking Illinois families to achieve the dream of homeownership affordably and securely,” said Gloria L. Materre, IHDA Executive Director. “In this economy, it’s important more than ever to encourage responsible homeownership. That’s why we require homebuyer counseling for our statewide SmartMove loan programs.”
SmartMove programs are geared toward borrowers who need extra flexibility on sources of income, or who have limited funds for down payment and closing costs.

SmartMove features:

• Conventional, FHA, USDA and VA programs
• Streamlined 203(k) FHA loan ideal for buyers of “fixer-upper” foreclosures or short sale homes
• Generous purchase price limits
• Conventional mortgage insurance requirements one-third less than other loans

SmartMove qualifications include:

• Minimum credit score 620 for FHA, USDA and VA loans, or 660 for conventional loans
• Buyer must contribute at least 1 percent or $1,000 of purchase price, whichever is greater
• Household income and purchase price limits apply
• HUD-approved counseling required to ensure successful homeownership

Homebuyers interested in applying for the SmartMove loan should contact an IHDA partner lender to find out if they qualify. A list of SmartMove lenders is available at www.ihda.org under statewide resources.


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