house for sale 120320ARLINGTON HEIGHTS – To help young people facing student debt achieve home ownership, State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) is encouraging prospective homebuyers to apply for the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s (IHDA) SmartBuy mortgage assistance program.

“Young people have an opportunity to consolidate their student loan debt with a fixed rate mortgage,” Gillespie said. “At a time when home ownership is increasingly difficult to achieve, especially for those just starting out, this is a platform for success.”

IHDA launched the SmartBuy program Dec. 1, 2020. The program offers a safe, affordable 30-year fixed rate first mortgage with $5,000 in assistance to be used toward a down payment and/or closing costs. The SmartBuy program will also provide 15% (up to $40,000) in student loan debt assistance to borrowers.

Borrowers must have at least $1,000 in student loan debt to qualify and must pay off their remaining student loan balance at closing. Income and purchase price requirements also apply. SmartBuy is funded though the Rebuild Illinois capital plan and is expected to help 500-1,000 borrowers.

Learn more about SmartBuy and find a list of participating lenders at