Illinois has a lot of history and is home to both bustling cities and countryside farms. Rising real estate prices can make home ownership difficult for those looking to purchase property in Illinois, however.
Luckily, local and national programs exist that offer down payment assistance and grants to qualified applicants. The Illinois Housing Development Authority and the City Council of Chicago are two organizations that offer such programs.
If you're thinking about purchasing a home in Illinois, you may have options to help with the down payment or closing costs. Click on any program below to learn more and see if it can help with your home purchase!
- Down Payment Plus Programs
- HOMEbuyer Program
- Chicago Home Buyer Assistance Program
- City of Alton’s Homeownership Program
- Joliet Down Payment Assistance Program
- Kane County First-Time Homebuyer Program
- Normal Homebuyer’s Down Payment Assistance Program
- Romeoville Assist Program
Offered by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, there are two Down Payment Plus programs that borrowers can utilize for down payment and closing cost funds.
DPP, or Downpayment Plus Program, is a grant that matches the contribution from the borrower’s own funds using a 3:1 ratio, for up to $6,000 (or 25% of the first mortgage – whichever is less). For example, if borrower puts down $1,000, the grant will be in the amount of $3,000, and if the borrower puts down $2,000 or more, the grant will be in the amount of $6,000. These funds can be used for the down payment, closing costs, counseling costs (as much as $700), and certain rehabilitation costs.
Downpayment Plus Advantage Program varies slightly, in that it’s only meant for applicants who are working with a non-profit organization which is also a partner of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. The Downpayment Plus Advantage Program is also not required to follow the 3:1 ratio for matching, but still has the $6,000 (or 25% of the first mortgage) cap.
While these programs offer grants, the grants would need to be repaid in the event that the property is sold or refinanced within 5 years.
In order to qualify, applicants must fall within a total household annual income of less than 80% of the area median income. Income and employment status must be disclosed, and homebuying counseling is also required. The minimum amount that an applicant can contribute towards the home purchase is $1,000.
Only primary residences are eligible for these grants, and must be an attached or detached one- or two-unit home, condominium, or manufactured home.
This program is for applicants in Madison County. In order to be eligible, applicants have to be a first-time homebuyer. Further, applicants must fall within the following total household income limits as of 2020:
- 1 person household: $41,750
- 2 person household: $47,700
- 3 person household: $53,650
- 4 person household: $59,650
- 5 person household: $64,400
- 6 person household: $69,150
The property being purchased must be a new-construction or existing one to two-unit family house or condominium.
Applicants can receive as much as $5,000 for costs associated with the down payment and closing. This can include appraisal fees, credit report fees, inspection fees, home buyer counseling fees, settlement and title fees, and underwriting and processing fees.
Applicants must also be working with a participating Madison County lender.
Offered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, 1stHomeIllinois offers mortgages and down payment grants to eligible applicants. This down payment grant is for the amount of $7,500.
In order to qualify, the applicant must be a first-time homebuyer or a veteran. They are also required to fall under certain income limits. A minimum of $1,000 (or 1% of the sale price of the house – whichever is the larger amount) must be put down by the applicant from their own funds.
Applicants will also be required to undergo homeownership counseling, which can be done either in person or online, as well as meet certain credit score requirements. Only primary residences under a certain price limit can be purchased using this program.
The property must be located in Boone, Cook, DeKalb, Fulton, Kane, Marion, McHenry, St. Clair, Will or Winnebago county. Only one or two-unit, existing residential dwellings are allowed.
The Chicago Home Buyer Assistance program was founded by the City Council of Chicago.
The amount offered depends on the applicant’s income and the loan amount. A grant for as much as 7% of the loan amount can be used to help cover the costs associated with the down payment or closing. This grant can also be used to refinance a property, with the condition that there is no cashback to the borrower.
In order to qualify, individuals must meet certain income and credit score requirements. As of 2020, these are:
Annual Household Income for FHA, VA, and USDA: no higher than $131,775
Credit Score for FHA, VA, and USDA: no lower than 580
Annual Household Income for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac: no higher than $88,435
Credit Score for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac: no lower than 640
A minimum of $1,000 (or 1% of the sale price of the house, if that amount is less than $1,000) must be put down from the applicant’s own assets. A homebuying education class must also be completed. Single-family houses, townhouses, condominiums and owner-occupied properties (with no more than four units) are all allowed.
Eligible applicants can receive as much as $5,000 from the City of Alton’s Homeownership Program. This program is meant for low-income and very-low income buyers. Those in the very-low-income category can receive up to $5,000, and those in the low-income category can receive up to $3,000. This assistance is a loan with a five-year term that can be forgiven.
As funds are limited, they are offered first-come, first-serve to qualified individuals.
In order to qualify, applicants must have at least a year of clean credit history, finish an approved homebuyer counseling class, and secure a first mortgage.
Applicants have to be able to put down a minimum of $1,000 towards the purchase from their own assets.
As of 2020, applicants must meet the following annual household income limits:
- 1 person household - $37,600
- 2 person household - $43,000
- 3 person household - $48,350
- 4 person household - $53,700
- 5 person household - $58,000
- 6 person household - $62,300
- 7 person household - $66,600
- 8 person household - $70,900
Eligible properties include those located in Alton city that are the primary residence of the applicant and do not exceed property purchase limits.
This down payment assistance program for residents of Joliet City offers between $1,000 and 20% of the sales price of a home in down payment assistance. This is a second mortgage with 0% interest that can be forgiven.
In order to qualify, an individual must be from a low-income household (with an annual household income that is not more than 80% of the area median income). Applicants must also finish 8 hours of approved homebuyer counseling. They must be able to put down at least $2,500 towards the home purchase from their own assets.
Only primary residences are applicable, and the property must be a single-family house, townhouse, condominium, or manufactured home on a fixed foundation. The house cannot have any tenants, and must not be located within the 100-year flood plain. It must also fall within certain purchase price limits.
The income limits as of 2020 are:
- 1 person household - $43,050
- 2 person household - $49,200
- 3 person household - $55,350
- 4 person household - $61,500
- 5 person household - $66,450
- 6 person household - $71,350
- 7 person household - $76,300
- 8 person household - $81,200
Offered by the Kane-Elgin HOME Consortium, this DPA program has as much as $10,000 to help eligible applicants with their down payment and closing costs. This is a second mortgage with 0% interest and deferred payments. This loan becomes due when the property is sold, transferred, or when the borrower stops using it as their primary residence.
Only first-time homebuyers who have not owned a house in the previous three years can apply.
As of 2020, applicants must fall with a total annual household income less than 80% of the area median income. These numbers are below:
- 1 person household: $43,050
- 2 person household: $49,200
- 3 person household: $55,350
- 4 person household: $61,500
- 5 person household: $66,450
- 6 person household: $71,350
- 7 person household: $76,300
- 8 person household: $81,200
Applicants must have been living in Kane county for a minimum of one year in order to be eligible.
The program is available to individuals buying properties in the town of Normal. Funds from Normal’s DPA program come from the Community Development Block Grant program.
As much as $3,000 is offered to help borrowers cover the costs of closing and the down payment. This is a forgivable second mortgage that has no interest or monthly payments. 20% is forgiven each year, with the entire loan amount forgiven after 5 years.
Only primary residences are allowed to be purchased using this program, and mobile homes are not eligible.
As of 2020, the total annual household income limits are below:
- 1 person household: $46,000
- 2 person household: $52,600
- 3 person household: $59,150
- 4 person household: $65,700
- 5 person household: $71,000
- 6 person household: $76,250
- 7 person household: $81,500
- 8 person household: $86,750
The Assistance Program (or Assist Program) is offered by Romeoville and other local communities. Three percent of a borrower’s loan amount is offered as a grant to help cover the costs of closing and the down payment.
In order to qualify, an individual must be a first-time homebuyer and fall within certain income limits. This program cannot be used for refinancing.
Only primary residences are allowed for the Assist Program. The property must be a new or existing, owner-occupied single-family home, townhome or condominium. The purchase price limits for 2020 are $344,819 for non-targeted areas and $421,446 for targeted areas.
The income limits for the household for 2020 are:
- 1 or 2 person household in a Non-Targeted Area: $79,432
- 3 or more person household in a Non-Targeted Area: $91,347
- 1 or 2 person household in a Targeted Area: $92,280
- 3 or more person household in a Targeted Area: $107,660