Student loan forgiveness for those buying a home


ILLINOIS (WIFR) – Andrew Earlywine is still getting settled in his Machesney Park home and says buying property is something he and his fiancé always had in mind.

“We talked about it before we moved into the rental that we wanted to buy a house and said why don’t we work for a year and save up some money since we both graduated about a year and half ago,” said Earlywine.

Earlywine says his student debt wasn’t going to stop him from eventually owning a home, but it did make it more challenging.

“We were still motivated to buy a house, but this ultimately made us say let’s go buy a house now,” said Earlywine.

That’s when he learned about a program called SmartBuy which offers qualified first and non-first-time homebuyers up to $40,000 in student loan forgiveness in exchange for buying a home in Illinois.

“I know for young people the decision on whether to save money for a home down the road or to pay their student loan debt is a tough decision, and how do you balance that how much do you put towards each and this really helps them be able to just do both,” said Midwest Community Bank Residential Lending Vice President Frank Valentine.

Earlywine says he jumped at the opportunity in disbelief the program would allow him to own a home and get rid of his student debt.

“Rents are already expensive and why not own a property that you know you can make money on in the future, so it was kind of a no brainer for me,” said Earlywine.

After striking success with the program, Earlywine says he wants to get the word out and help others in a similar spot.

“Everybody’s kind of like ‘really’ and they don’t believe me and they make me repeat it, and then they’re like okay can you send me the link,” said Earlywine.

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