Illinois SmartBuy will help reduce student debt for home buyers


(iStock / Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

A new statewide program aims to help young adults struggling with student loans become first-time homeowners.

$ 25 million from the Illinois Housing Development Authority SmartBuy The fund will provide up to $ 40,000 per person to pay off student loans, according to Crain. The measure will help potential buyers secure a mortgage by lowering their debt-to-income ratio, according to the report.

The income limit for qualifying in Cook County is $ 109,000 per person, and the program seeks to help about 500 to 1,000 people statewide buy homes. The $ 40,000 figure will also help ensure that the program helps black and Hispanic borrowers, whose student loans are closer to that amount; for white borrowers, the amount they usually owe is around $ 30,000.

SmartBuy comes amid a heated national debate over the role the federal government should play in helping Americans pay off their student loan debts. About 43 million people still owe $ 1.6 trillion in federal student loans, NPR reported last month, citing government statistics. President Joe Biden has opposed calls asking him to sign an executive order to forgive up to $ 50,000 per person in student loans. He said he could support a smaller amount, around $ 10,000.

SmartBuy started in January and has so far helped nearly a dozen people buy homes, with dozens more on the way, officials said. Meanwhile, a National Association of Realtors survey of people aged 29 to 38 found that more than half cited student loan debt as the biggest obstacle on the path to homeownership, said. reported Crain. In the Chicago area, home sales continue to warm up and home inventory has reached an all time high.

[Crain’s] – Alexi Friedman

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