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Illinois is a highly populated state located in the midwestern region of the country. It is currently the fifth most populated state in the country with a population nearing 13 million residents. Based on land area, it is the 25th ranked state. While the state has a high population, the majority of the land in the state is actually considered rural. The majority of the population base lives in the north eastern part of the state in and around Chicago.

Interest Rates in Illinois

The interest rate environment in Illinois is comparable to other states in the country. While interest rates have increased a bit over the past few months, they are still considered to be historically low. Today, a well-qualified borrower will be able to get a loan with a 30-year fixed rate of 4.15%. 15-year and adjustable rate mortgages are typically lower, around 3.25%. Those that do not have a good credit sore, have a low down payment, or do not have a strong income may have to pay a higher interest rate.

Illinois Housing Market Overview and Outlook

While the state fared better than other states in the country, areas of Illinois suffered from some of the housing crisis. Parts of Chicago fared the worst as some neighborhoods have seen big declines in value. However, areas of the city and state that have a strong economic footing have seen stable housing prices over the past few years and expect to see a dramatic improvement in the coming years.

Mortgage Laws in Illinois

Similar to many other states in the country, Illinois has enacted a variety of different statutes and increased regulations to the state mortgage industry. In Illinois mortgage lenders are now required to abide by several underwriting and credit guidelines that help to ensure that a borrower will be able to pay back the loan as agreed. These requirements include a minimum credit score and debt-to-income ratio. Mortgage lenders are also no longer permitted to provide loans that have periods of negative amortization or extended periods of interest only financing.

Most Populated Cities in Illinois

There are several big cities in Illinois. Most of the larger cities are located in and around Chicago. Chicago is the largest city in the state and third most populated city in the country with a population of around 2.7 million residents. The next four largest cities in Chicago include Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, in Naperville. These cities all have populations around 150,000 residents and are located near Chicago. Springfield and Peoria are two other larger towns in Illinois that are located further down south in the state and have populations in excess of 115,000 residents.