Homebuyer Center

Start your homebuying journey with all the facts!

Learning Modules

Explore our programs in a guided tour of who IHDA is and how our programs can help!

Where to Start?

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Resources and Guides

Connect with a buyers agent to show you homes! Also find calculators and guides to help you get ready!

Homebuyer Resources

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All our applications are handled by approved IHDA lenders. Click here to find one near you!

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How Can IHDA Mortgage Help Me?


The IHDA Mortgage


What to Expect When Buying a Home


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 Homebuyer Tips

8 Things You Can Do to Make This Easy


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Homebuyer Resources

Illinois Association of Realtors

Find a Realtor

Network of Illinois Real Estate Agents who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.


Illinois Housing Development Authority


Get connected with a certified housing counselor to help you through the homebuying process. They can also fulfill the pre-purchase education requirement on IHDA Programs!

Fannie Mae

Know your Options

Collection of tools, guides, and calculators offered by Fannie Mae. 

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Tools and Resources

A collection of guides and calculators provided by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development

Homebuying Tools

A collection of homebuying guides provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Freddie Mac

My Home by Freddie Mac

Collection of tools, guides, and calculators offered by Freddie Mac. 

Homebuying FAQ's


I understand that my income must be below a maximum amount. If I intend to buy the house myself, but another working adult will live with me, will their income be counted as well?

Yes. The income calculation includes all income generated by spouses or by persons 18 years of age or older who will live in the household, regardless of who is actually on title. This includes all child support, SSI, or pension. The Income and Purchase Price limits can be found on our website.

I'm recently separated, can my spouse's income be excluded?

IHDA Mortgage considers borrowers married or single, there is no grey area. If you are still legally married, their income must be considered even if the spouse will not be living in the household.

I am curious about specific program income limits.

All IHDA Mortgage programs require borrowers to meet required income and purchase price limits. They are available here on our website.


What is IHDA Mortgage's minimum credit score?

Your credit score must be 640 or above, regardless of loan type, to qualify for an IHDA Mortgage loan.

What if my credit score isn’t good enough to qualify?

Housing counselors are a great resource to help you improve your score and prepare for homeownership.

Do student loans in forbearance/deferred count against me?

That can vary depending on the length of time and loan type chosen. Your lender will be able to determine if your student loan debt can be included/excluded.

I had a bankruptcy or foreclosure. Am I eligible to buy a home?

Bankruptcy and foreclosure waiting periods vary depending on the loan type. Your IHDA Mortgage lender will be able determine eligibility based on your credit report.

Property Type

Can I buy a condo or townhouse using IHDA Mortgage programs?

Yes! Condominiums and townhouses are eligible. Speak to your lender about specific condominium requirements.

Can I buy a two-unit property using IHDA Mortgage programs?

Yes! You must occupy one of the two units as your primary residence and meet all other program guidelines.


How do I apply?

Go to our Find-A-Lender page, all applications are handled by approved IHDA lenders.

I already applied but I have questions about my application, whom should I call?

Please reach out to the lender with which you applied so that they may address your unique circumstances.

Is the Down Payment Assistance available with IHDA Mortgage products a gift or will I have to pay it back?

Repayment varies depending on which program you chose. Review our full list of programs for details.

Are there any other fees or expenses I may have to pay?

Most lenders charge upfront for an appraisal, which can cost $250-$500. Your IHDA Mortgage lender will be able to itemize all costs for you. You may need funds for closing costs. Closing costs are charges for services related to the closing of your real estate transaction. They include, but are not limited to, title company closing fee; attorney fees; and title and insurance policy. Your lender will be able to give you an accurate estimate of these costs.

I have heard so much about predatory lending. How can I be sure that IHDA products are safe?

All IHDA Mortgage products are safe because each is a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage. That means your interest rate will never adjust or change. Your monthly principal and interest payment will remain the same over the 30 years. In addition, these products are being brought to you by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, the state’s housing finance agency. We have been lending for 30+ years and we have never offered an exotic or predatory loan. It is our mission to provide sustainable homeownership opportunities.

Can I use a POA (Power of Attorney) to execute IHDA Mortgage docs?

IHDA Mortgage allows POAs for all documents signed at closing, provided that all POAs on IHDA Mortgage files follow applicable Agency regulations, State laws, and any overlays set forth by IHDA’s Master Servicer, U.S. Bank Home Mortgage. The POA must be specific to the transaction. Note: VA loans require a special form.

IHDA Mortgage does NOT allow POA on all pre-closing documents signed by borrower or non-borrowing spouse unless there is an extenuating circumstance such as an active military member stationed overseas. Management must approve all these exceptions.

I heard IHDA Mortgage loans take a long time to get closed, is this true?

No! We empower our lenders to close loans as quickly as they want! IHDA Mortgage has no involvement in the processing of the loan until after it has closed. It is up to your lender how quickly the process moves. Make sure you are QUICKLY providing everything your lender asks for to keep things moving!

What are the Down Payment Assistance products available with IHDA Mortgage?

  • The 4% up to $6,000 available with Access Forgivable is a forgivable loan. The borrower does not need to pay it back, as long as they live in the home for ten years. If they sell or refinance the home within the first ten years, a portion of the down payment will need to be paid back to IHDA.
  • The 5% up to $7,500 available with Access Deferred is a deferred loan. The borrower will be required to repay the funds at maturity of the 1st mortgage, unless repaid sooner, or in the event of a refinance or sale.
  • The 10% up to $10,000 available with Access Repayable is a repayable loan. The borrower will be required to repay the funds. The payment terms are 0 percent interest, repaid over 10 years.
  • The $7,500 available with 1stHomeIllinois is a forgivable loan. The borrower does not need to pay it back, as long as they live in the home for five years. If they sell or refinance the home within the first five years, a portion of the down payment will need to be paid back to IHDA.

Click here to view more program details.

MCC (Mortgage Credit Certificate)

What is a MCC (Mortgage Credit Certificate)?

The MCC entitles the borrower to take a federal income tax credit. The tax credit is in the amount of 25% of their paid mortgage interest. The MCC is registered with the IRS, and is effective year after year (up to 30 years), as long as the homeowner resides in the home and continues to pay mortgage interest on the initial loan. In some cases the borrower can apply for a re-issuance of the MCC in the event of a refinance, to continue to take advantage of the MCC tax credit. Eligiblity:

  • Available only in conjunction with the IHDA Access Programs.
  • Borrowers must be first-time homebuyers (or Exempt*).
  • Borrower must be below county MCC income limits. (The income limits on a loan taking a MCC are more restrictive than our general limits and are based on the number in the household.)
  • Borrower must be below county MCC purchase price limits.
  • Property must be a qualified dwelling situated on less than 5 acres of land.
  • (*Exempt = a qualified veteran (borrower must be a veteran), or property is in a targeted area. Note that if only the spouse is a veteran, the spouse must also be a borrower/mortgagor and obligated on the Note.)
  • $350.00 - Payable to Illinois Housing Development Authority

  • $150.00 - Optional fee that may be charged by the originating lender
(Both fees must appear on the CD for the 1st Mortgage)

Is a MCC worth it for me?

In most cases, borrowers do save money utilitzing an MCC. Every situation is different and you should consult with your tax advisor before applying.

We closed on our home already but I just heard about the MCC Program – can I apply now?

No, the MCC program is for first-time homebuyers and only available at the time of closing.


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