Illinois Mortgage and Refinance Rates
Current mortgage rates in Illinois
As of Thursday, December 7, 2023, current interest rates in Illinois are 7.37% for a 30-year fixed mortgage and 6.67% for a 15-year fixed mortgage. Before you buy, know your options and compare as many mortgage offers as you can to find the best deal.
Refinance rates in Illinois
Illinois borrowers who saw their home equity rise during the pandemic might be interested in refinancing their mortgage as a way to tap those funds. Check out Bankrate’s guide to cash-out refinancing to learn more.
How to find the best mortgage rate in Illinois for you
When shopping for a mortgage, compare at least three loan offers — research shows this exercise can save you thousands of dollars over the life of a loan.
Bankrate can help you find the best mortgage deal. Here are some basic steps to securing a loan on favorable terms:
Step 1: Strengthen your credit score
Long before you start looking for a mortgage lender or applying for a loan, give your finances a checkup, and improve your standing if needed. This means pulling your credit score and credit reports. You’re entitled to a free credit report from each of the three main reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion), which you can get through AnnualCreditReport.com.
Step 2: Determine your budget
To find the right mortgage, you’ll need a good handle on how much house you can afford. That’s because a lender could qualify you for more mortgage than you need, or one that would max out your budget and leave no room for unexpected expenses.
Step 3: Know your mortgage options
There are a few different types of mortgages. Many lenders offer conventional loans that require as little as 3 percent down. FHA loans also have a low down payment threshold, while VA loans (for veterans) and USDA loans (for borrowers in rural areas) have no down payment requirement. If you’re in the market for a jumbo loan, check Pennsylvania’s county-by-county loan limits.
Step 4: Compare rates and terms from several lenders
Don’t settle on the first lender you talk to — rate-shop with at least three different banks or mortgage companies. You can look to your bank or other banks, credit unions, online lenders and local independents to ensure you’re getting the best deal on rates, fees and terms.
Step 5: Get preapproved for a mortgage
As you comparison-shop, keep in mind that getting a mortgage preapproval is the only way to get accurate loan pricing for your specific situation.
Mortgage options in Illinois
If you’re looking to get a mortgage in Illinois, there are several options depending on what you qualify for:
- Illinois conventional mortgages: To be eligible for a conventional mortgage, you’ll need a minimum credit score of 620 and a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of no more than 43 percent. If you make a down payment of less than 20 percent, you’ll need to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums, as well.
- Illinois FHA loans: If your credit history disqualifies you from a conventional mortgage, you might be able to obtain a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). If you have a down payment of at least 3.5 percent, you could qualify for this type of loan with a credit score as low as 580.
- Illinois VA loans: If you’re a veteran or active-duty member of the military, you might qualify for a mortgage backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). A VA loan doesn’t require a down payment or mortgage insurance, but you do need to pay a funding fee, which starts at 2.15 percent for homebuyers who haven’t obtained a VA loan in the past.
First-time homebuyer programs in Illinois
If you’d like to become a homeowner in Illinois, the state can help make it easier and more affordable. The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) offers several Illinois first-time homebuyer assistance programs, including fixed-interest mortgages and down payment assistance loans through its Access Mortgage initiative. This includes:
- IHDA Access Forgivable Mortgage: The IHDA Access Forgivable Mortgage program offers fixed-rate 30-year mortgages via participating lenders. To find the best mortgage lender, the IHDA website has a tool to help you find one in your area. Through this program, you can get 4 percent of the home purchase price, up to $6,000, as a closing cost and down payment assistance loan. You don’t need to pay this loan back as long as you live in the home for at least 10 years. Qualifying for the IHDA Access Forgivable Mortgage requires a minimum credit score of 640. You also need to meet certain income and purchase price limits that vary by county.
- IHDA Access Deferred Mortgage: The IHDA Access Deferred Mortgage program offers a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage through an FHA, VA, USDA or HFA Preferred (conventional) loan. You can also take out a loan worth 5 percent of the home’s purchase price, up to $7,500, to help you pay for closing costs and the down payment. This is an interest-free loan, and you don’t need to pay it back until the end of your loan term, or when you sell your home or refinance your mortgage. To qualify, you need a credit score of at least 640. The same income and purchase price limits as with the IHDAccess Forgivable Mortgage apply.
- IHDA Access Repayable Mortgage: The IHDA Access Repayable Mortgage program offers a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Your loan options include an FHA, VA, USDA or HFA Preferred (conventional) loan. You also can get a down payment and closing cost assistance loan worth 10 percent of the purchase price, up to $10,000. To qualify, you’ll need to meet the same program requirements as the Deferred and Forgivable programs options.