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BMO Harris helps increase access to homeownership

December 15, 2020 |

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) recently announced an innovative new program called SmartBuy, which aims to put homeownership within reach for families in Illinois by removing the burden of student loans. IHDA finances the creation and the preservation of affordable housing across the state.

Student loan debt is a common barrier to homeownership. The program aims to lower that barrier, by combining $5,000 in down payment assistance with up to $40,000 towards student loans.

“Saving for a down payment and paying off student loan debt are two common financial challenges,” said Scott Freudenberger, vice president of Community Reinvestment. “These programs will help bridge this gap and allow more people to reach their goal of owning a home, while also eliminating their student loan debt.”

SmartBuy launched December 1, 2020 and will continue until funding is exhausted. The program is expected to assist approximately 500 to 1000 borrowers across the state.

Interested homeowners can find additional information at and can also reach BMO Harris relationship managers Loretta Minor ( and Millie Reyes-Williams ( You can learn more about low down payment mortgages from BMO here.

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