16 Ways to Buy a Home for the First Time in Illinois

Exploring First-Time Home Buyer Loan Programs in Illinois!

Unlocking Homeownership Dreams with Special Mortgage Products!

Illinois offers a range of first-time home buyer loan programs designed to make homeownership accessible, even for those with low income or previous homeownership experience. These programs provide various benefits, including down payment assistance, tax reductions, and more.

1. 1st Home Illinois Program:

Location: Boone, Cook, DeKalb, Fulton, Kane, Marlon, McHenry, St. Clair, Will, and Winnebago counties.

This program combines a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a generous $7,500 in down payment assistance grants. It caters exclusively to first-time home buyers, veterans, and those without homeownership in the last three years.

2. IHDAccess Deferred:

This program offers 5% of the home’s purchase price (up to $7,500) as interest-free down payment and closing cost assistance. The amount is deferred until the mortgage is paid off, the house is sold, or refinanced, making it available for both first-time and repeat buyers.

3. IHDAccess Forgivable:

With 4% of the home’s purchase price (up to $6,000) in assistance, this program forgives the amount gradually over ten years. Available for all mortgage types, it supports both first-time and repeat homebuyers across Illinois.

4. IHDAccess Repayable:

Offering 10% of the home’s purchase price (up to $10,000), this program provides an interest-free second loan with a 10-year repayment term for down payment and closing cost assistance.

5. Mid-Central Community Action:

For buyers in McClean, Livingston, Ford, Piatt, DeWitt, Logan, Tazewell, and Woodford Counties, down payment assistance is provided as a fully forgiven loan after five years.

6. Regions Bank:

Low-income buyers with a credit score of at least 680 may qualify for 100% no down payment mortgages, contributing at least $500 towards the loan.

City and County Programs: Beyond State Initiatives!

Chicago: Unlocking Affordable Housing!

Chicago offers various programs for first-time homebuyers, including affordable homes for purchase and city-funded homes for rehabilitation. The Neighborhood Lending Program in partnership with Neighborhood Housing Services supports low-income homeowners in purchasing and improving one to four-unit buildings.

DuPage County: HOME DuPage!

HOME DuPage provides homeownership counseling, education, and financial resources, helping individuals identify options and make informed choices on the path to homeownership.

Joliet: Generous Down Payment Assistance!

Joliet offers down payment assistance ranging from $1,000 to 20% of the home’s purchase price as a zero-interest, deferred second loan, requiring buyers to contribute at least $2,500.

Kankakee: Partnering with Midland States Bank!

Buyers within Kankakee city limits can receive up to $2,500 in down payment assistance through a partnership with Midland States Bank.

Lake County: Affordable Housing Corporation!

The Affordable Housing Corporation of Lake County offers up to 5 percent of the home’s purchase price in zero-interest, deferred loans that are forgiven over time. They also provide homebuyer education and counseling.

Madison County: Potential $6,000 Assistance:

Madison County may award up to $6,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance through fully forgiven loans after five years.

Moline, Normal, Rockford, St. Clair County: Local Assistance Programs!


Can provide up to $6,500 toward your down payment and $2,000 toward your closing costs.


This offers up to $3,000 toward your purchase of a home in Normal. This program is not limited to first-time home buyers but does have income limits.


This program offers up to $14,999 toward your down payment and closing cost assistance.

St. Clair County:

Provide assistance with down payments and closing costs. However, their website does not list a maximum cap or eligibility criteria.


Illinois boasts a diverse array of first-time home buyer programs, offering financial support, education, and assistance to make the dream of homeownership a reality for many. Whether through state initiatives or local partnerships, these programs aim to create a pathway to affordable and sustainable housing for individuals and families across the region.

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