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Buying your first home? Look here for a $6,000 loan

If you're out on the hunt for your first home, you might want to add checking out the Illinois Housing Development Authority to your list of to-dos. The Chicago Tribune reports the IHDA will offer interest-free loans up to $6,000 for down payments on homes. If you're a first-time buyer and go through the state's Home Start Loan Program, the IHDA will help you out with a zero-interest loan for up to 3.5 percent, or $6,000, of the purchase price as a down payment. That's if you set up a 30-year, fixed rate Federal Housing Administration-insured loan through one of the state's participating lenders. You have to pay $300 for the application fee and the loan must be repaid before June 30, 2010. After that, interest will start accruing. There are some restrictions. If you're looking to buy a home in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties, families of three or more can't make more than $86,135 and a single-family home must cost less than $349,020. If you're a veteran or active-duty military personnel, you don't have to be a first-time buyer to quality. Get more info and a list of lenders at

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