Finally Home (formerly known as Our Own Home) was established in 2002 to help Illinois residents buy a home or keep their existing homes from going into foreclosure. Since that time, over $35 million in loans to more than 450 families have been guaranteed.
Finally Home is a free program that helps borrowers who cannot obtain conventional, sustainable mortgages from credible lenders because of factors such as bruised credit or a high debt-to-income ratio. Additionally, the program may help borrowers refinance a mortgage.
The requirements and directions on how to apply for our mortgage guarantee are listed below.
Program Eligibility for Purchase or Refinance:
- Your combined household income may not exceed 150 percent of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) median family income for the area in which your home is located. This limit is based on the number of people in your home and is updated annually. See income limits here.
- You must be an Illinois resident and documented Illinois income tax payer.
- The home must be a one to four unit owner occupied property in Illinois that will serve as your primary residence.
- The purchase price of your home cannot exceed the conforming loan size limits as established by the Federal National Mortgage Association. This figure is updated annually. See the home value limits here.
- You must be unable to meet your lender’s conventional mortgage guidelines. Your lender will make this determination when you apply for your mortgage.
How to Apply:
Follow these steps if you plan to purchase a home or refinance a mortgage:
- Complete the Finally Home pre-qualification checklist to see if you meet our program guidelines.
- If you meet the Finally Home guidelines, a Treasurer's Office representative will provide you with a list of participating lenders in your area.
- Schedule an appointment with the lender of your choice. Make sure to tell the loan officer you want to use the Finally Home program and ask what information or documents you need to provide.
- If you meet the lender's guidelines, the lender will begin the mortgage loan application process and submit the Finally Home program application on your behalf.
- Your lender will notify you regarding your mortgage approval. If approved, the bank will contact you directly to discuss the mortgage loan details.
Prepare for Homeownership:
- Read our guide to Housing Resources as well as the mortgage glossary before speaking with your lender.
- Schedule an appointment with a HUD certified counselor to review any questions that you may have regarding the mortgage process.
- Always take the time to read and understand the terms and conditions of your mortgage prior to closing on the loan.
When Barbara Yerly rented a home in Dalzell, Ill., she lived with the fear that her landlord would force her to uproot her three sons and relocate.
“There was always the chance of the landlord selling the house and forcing us to move,” Yerly said. “We really love the neighborhood. We live a block away from the grade school, and living anywhere else would have been a culture shock.”
To bring comfort and stability to her household, Yerly decided to pursue her dream of home ownership. She is among the 450 individuals and families with limited credit history who’ve purchased homes thanks to the Treasurer’s Finally Home program.
“I didn’t have a solid work history on paper so I didn’t think my chances for a mortgage were very good,” Yerly said. “I was pleasantly surprised when the loan officer told me that I would qualify for a mortgage backed by the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office.”