Illinois First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 16, 2020

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If you’re a first-time home buyer — or even a repeat buyer in Illinois — the state’s housing development authority offers down payment assistance and loan programs that may help you clear the hurdles of buying a home.

Almost all of the programs offered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, or IHDA, are valid in any county in Illinois.

National first-time home buyer programs

While you don't have to live in the Land of Lincoln to access these initiatives, the following national programs help first-timers across the U.S. get into a home of their own.

IHDA highlights and eligibility requirements

Here are the programs offered particularly for Illinois residents. You'll find cash assistance for down payments and closing costs, as well as incentives for buyers in areas targeted for redevelopment.


  • Cash assistance is available to apply to your down payment or closing costs.

  • One program is structured as a loan that doesn’t have to be repaid.

  • 30-year fixed-rate loans are offered.

  • Government-backed loans are available.


  • Minimum credit score of 640 is generally required.

  • Ability to make monthly payments.

  • Contribute $1,000 or 1% of the purchase price, whichever is greater.

  • The home must be your primary residence.

  • You must complete homeownership counseling, either in person or online.

Compare IHDA lenders

IHDA first-time home buyer loan programs

Summary: 2020 IHDA first-time home buyer programs

  • IHDAccess Forgivable loan for down payment assistance.

  • IHDAccess Deferred loan for down payment and closing cost assistance.

  • IHDAccess Repayable loan for down payment and closing cost assistance.

  • 1stHomeIllinois program for down payment and closing cost assistance.

The lender you work with may have additional borrower requirements beyond those stated in any state assistance program. That can include credit score minimums or other credit qualifications. Dig into the programs you’re interested in, learn all you can, then talk to a few lenders about the possibilities.

For full details on any Illinois Housing Development Authority program, visit the IHDA website.

You’ll find Illinois lenders that participate in these programs by searching the IHDA lender list.

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