BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Help with down payments for first-time home buyers is available from the Illinois Housing Development Authority. The Belleville News Democrat reports the housing agency received $30 million from the federal government to help those wanting to buy homes in ten Illinois counties. As many as 4,000 would-be homeowners may be assisted through the program. The money comes from the “Hardest Hit Fund” operated by the U.S. Treasury. The housing agency says those who qualify may receive $7,500 in down-payment assistance with an interest rate that could be as low as 4.1 percent for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. Applicants must contribute $1,000 or 1 percent of the purchase price — whichever is greater — and need a credit score of at least 640.