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State program helps vets and active military buy homes

Illinois is offering a financing package for veterans and military families looking to buy a first home.

Major General William Enyart said many service members struggle to find a job when they come home.

"We're talking about someone who typically is not in a high earning situation and so they need that extra boost to help them get into the homeowner market," he said.

The statewide program provides a grant up to $10,000 toward the purchase of a home. It also gives an additional mortgage tax credit up to $20,000 over the life of the loan.

"With a tight credit market that we've seen, it makes it more difficult for veterans to get the financing. So this in essence loosens that credit possibility up for veterans," Enyart said. "Still, the restrictions are such that we're not going to have people defaulting on loans. But it is easier than the current overly tight market."

Veterans and service members can contact lenders in their area to apply.

The program is funded through $5 million in state capital funds and $5 million from the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

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