Lauren Bunting

Lauren Bunting

(April 9, 2021) The state offers a unique program called Maryland SmartBuy, which can help buyers with student debt attain homeownership.

This program can also significantly increase a buyer’s purchasing power.

The program works by paying off student debt during the purchase of the home through special Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) financing.

The program is now in its third iteration, and is called Maryland SmartBuy 3.0. It gives homebuyers an opportunity to purchase any home in the state that meets Maryland Mortgage Program guidelines while paying off student debt.

To qualify for the Maryland SmartBuy 3.0 program, homebuyers must have an existing student debt with a minimum balance of $1,000.

Maryland SmartBuy 3.0 financing provides up to 15 percent of the home purchase price for the borrower to pay off their outstanding student debt with a maximum payoff amount of $30,000.

The full student debt for at least one of the borrowers must be paid off at the time of the home purchase, and homebuyers must meet all eligibility requirements for the Maryland Mortgage program.

The payoff of the student loan debt comes in the form of a loan that is fully forgivable in five years (reduced by 20 percent each year until year five when it’s fully forgiven).

Financing for the Maryland SmartBuy program is available only through approved Maryland SmartBuy lenders. These lenders can help you confirm your eligibility and ensure you meet all applicable requirements. A list of the approved lenders is available at www.mmp.maryland.gov.

Lauren Bunting is an Associate Broker with Atlantic Shores Sotheby’s International Realty in Ocean City.

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