Photo by Dan Moyle/Flickr Creative Commons.

Maryland’s housing department has expanded its homebuying initiative, allowing homebuyers to eliminate more student loan debt and low-income borrowers to tap additional loan options for down payment and closing cost assistance.

“As the country continues to deal with an inflation crisis, we are again taking steps to provide relief to Marylanders,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement. “Our SmartBuy initiative—the first of its kind in the country—has established a national model for removing persistent roadblocks to homeownership and financial security, and this expansion will allow us to help even more families.”

Under the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s SmartBuy initiative, homebuyers can now get $50,000 in assistance to pay off student loans – up from $30,000 previously – or 15% of their home purchase price, whichever amount is lower.

Borrowers whose income is at or below 50% of the average median income can receive a 6% down payment and closing cost assistance loan.

The option of $6,000 or a 4% down payment and closing cost assistance loan remains for all borrowers who are using the SmartBuy product.

“As interest rates increase and demand drives housing prices up, the State of Maryland is always looking for innovative ways to help make homeownership affordable,” said Kenneth Holt, Maryland’s housing and community development secretary, in a statement. “Launched more than five years ago, SmartBuy was the first government mortgage program in the nation to specifically address student loan debt, which is a significant barrier for many potential homeowners.”

The state housing department provides other assistance to homebuyers. For more information, borrowers can visit

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at

One reply on “Maryland expands loan options for homebuyers with student loan debt, low-income borrowers”

  1. This does not address the real problem. Inflated home prices and exorbitant student debt are merely symptoms of the financial wreckage of the step by step takedown of the once thriving industrial, agricultural and infrastructure that has been purposely looted. The service/information age economy cannot sustain our nation. The Wall Street financial apparatus must be reigned in. Student loans must be entirely written off. New long term credit must be established to truly rebuild. All other measures will fail so long as our physical economy is wasted.

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