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Maryland Program Looks to Put Student Loan Debtors in Homes

A novel initiative called Maryland SmartBuy aims to help those with student loan debt buy homes.
December 3, 2016, 7am PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Jeramey Lende

The Maryland state government has a new program to pay off student loan debt for some of its residents. The catch is they have to buy a home. This novel approach to attracting young people to the state while supporting the housing market gained wide backing from the General Assembly and Republican Governor Larry Hogan, according to a Washington Post story by Danielle Douglas-Gabriel.

The $10 million dollar program "…lets people with education loans purchase a home and wipe out college debt at the same time," Douglas-Gabriel reports. She goes on to detail the process saying, "Only homes owned by the state’s housing department are eligible. White said the department has nearly 20 move-in-ready homes for sale." The program works by paying off a portion of the buyer's student loan proportional to the purchase price of the home he or she is buying. "If a buyer has at least 5 percent for a down payment, the state will provide up to 15 percent of the purchase price toward outstanding student loans," Douglas Gabriel reports.

Why the state government would want to incentivize people already in debt to buy more expensive houses is beyond this reader. But, while structure of the payouts is worrisome, I'm glad to hear of any state looking to help ease the burden of student debt.

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, November 24, 2016 in The Washington Post
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