Next Level Resources

Information to empower you during the next step of your financial journey.


How do I develop a safe basement unit?

This manual provides you with the tools to better understand the planning, costs, and risks associated with legally building out or converting your basement into a rentable unit.

Need legal help?

Cook County Legal Aid can help you resolve eviction, foreclosure, debt, and tax deed issues.

Preparing for an appraisal?

Here’s your comprehensive guide to understanding the entire process and how to take action against low valuations.

Need utility assistance?

Community and Economic Development Association (CEDA) provides utility bill and home weatherization assistance.


Homebuyer counseling

Get free, personalizing counseling and coaching as you begin your homebuying journey.

Down payment grants

Neighborhood Lending Services offers up to $20,000 in down payment assistance.

How much house can I afford?

Our mortgage calculators will help you plan as you enter the market.


What are my tenant rights?

Be sure you know what’s expected of you and what you can expect in return. There are laws that spell out your rights and responsibilities.

Looking for housing?

The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) offers opportunities for rental voucher housing, resources, and the innovative “choose to own” program that helps qualifed voucher holder become homeowners.

Small Landlord

Need Property Management Training?

Our Partner Community Investment Corporation (CIC) helps current and aspiring owner-operators grow and strenthen their business.

Looking for a lease template?

Domu’s free Chicago apartment lease form will help you simplify the leasing process.

Having problems with a tenant or with your landlord?

The Center for Conflict Resolution offers impartial mediators to help find a solution that works for both parties.

Business Owners

Need a small business loan or coach?

Our partner Allies for Community Business provides capital, coaching and connections for entrepreneurs.

Starting a small business?

The City of Chicago Small Business Center offers resources and information on licenses, permitting, public way use, and other resources.

Property Management

Landlord Readiness Checklist

See if you’re ready to become a landlord.

CIC Property Management Training

CIC offers best-in-industry workshops and training to help current and aspiring owner-operators grow and strengthen their business.

Chicago Rents Tenant Connect

Connect to tenants utilizing housing subsidy programs, helping property owners receive guaranteed rent, fill vacant units, and access individualized support.

Avail Illinois Rental Application Guide

Information on what property owners should and should not include in a rental application as well as free application templates.

2024 Lease Template with Supporting Documents

Lease template including the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance summary and hazard statements for lead-based paint and radon.

Property Owners Resources

Information for property owners on tenant screenings, lease agreements, renewals, renter rights, and more.

Preservation Next Toolkit

This toolkit covers acquisition and rehab, green building, and property management for small multi-family property owners.

Home Repair

Seasonal Maintenance Checklist

Staying on top of your home’s regular maintenance can reduce the number of costly repairs you’ll have to make. 

Average Lifespan of Appliances

Learn how long you can expect your major household appliances to last.


Free lead risk assessment as well as grant funding to remove lead paint hazards.

City of Chicago

Up to $10,000 in roof and porch repair grants for income-eligible homeowners.

Habitat for Humanity

Home maintenance tutorials and workshops.

DIY Property Repairs

Simple repairs that can be done without a professional.

Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU)

Guide on conversions, code compliance, permits, and budgets for the construction of basement units.


Center for Conflict Resolution

Mediation training and services for tenants and owners to avoid eviction.

Law Center for Better Housing

Free legal and supportive services for income-eligible renters.

Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt

Hotline for evictions, defaults, lawsuits, and other legal inquiries for tenants and property owners.

Illinois Legal Aid

Legal resources for tenants and property owners covering foreclosure, evictions, and lease agreements.

Fair Housing

The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on identity factors.

Just Housing Amendment

Prohibits housing discrimination based on an individual’s covered criminal history; and requires landlords considering an individual’s covered criminal history to perform an individualized assessment of an otherwise qualified individual’s criminal conviction history prior to denying them any application for housing.

Fair Notice Ordinance

The ordinance increases the amount of notice a landlord must give to non-renew or terminate a lease, or to raise a tenant’s rent. The ordinance also extends the amount of time during which a tenant may end an eviction filing against them by paying the rent they owe and their landlord’s court filing fees.

Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance

The ordinance covers most rental properties located in Chicago except units in owner-occupied buildings with six units or less; most units in hotels, motels and rooming houses; dormitories, shelters, employee’s quarters, and non-residential rental properties; and owner-occupied co-ops.

Property Taxes

Certificate of Error

How to apply for missing property tax exemptions and submit a certificate of error.


How to file a property assessment appeal with the Cook County Assessor’s office.


Pamphlet on property tax exemption eligibility, how to apply, and details on how exemptions can impact your property tax bill.

Home Energy Savings


Heating and electricity bill assistance for income-eligible households.

Chicago Bungalow Association

Free energy assessments and recommendations for energy-saving products (single-family and two-flats only).

General Resources

CFPB Sample Closing Disclosure

See how this form is presented to applicants.

Sample Lease Pre-Qualification Form

See what information a typical pre-qualification asks for.

Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

The State of Illinois offers help with student loan repayment for Illinois residents who qualify based on certain eligibility requirements.

SAVI for helping with loan consolidation

The National Housing Resource Center and your local counseling agency are working with SAVI to provide student loan relief.

Sample Credit Report

See what information a typical credit report posts.

Mortgage Relief Scams

Learn how to avoid mortgage relief scams, review options for legal representation, and report fraud.

10 Important Homes to Ask Your Home Inspector

10 questions compiled by HUD to ensure an equitable inspection.

Working With a Lender

Neighborhood Lending Services

For 2-4 units

Community Investment Corporation

For 5+ units

Chase Bank

For 5+ units

Liberty Bank

For 2-4 units

U.S. Bank

For 2-4 units

Investing for Beginners


Offers a wide range of resources and educational materials for investors. From understanding investment products to learning about the risks of investing, this website aims to empower investors with knowledge and information.

CNBC – Stock Market News

Leading source for real-time stock market news, analysis, and insights. From market updates to expert commentary, CNBC provides investors with the latest information and trends impacting the stock market.

Morningstar – Investing Classroom

Morningstar’s Investing Classroom provides educational resources and tutorials on investing topics, ranging from basic concepts to advanced strategies. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced investor, this resource can help enhance your investing knowledge.

Yahoo Finance Stock Screener

Stock screener tool allows users to filter stocks based on various criteria such as market cap, sector, price, and performance metrics. It’s a valuable tool for investors seeking to identify potential investment opportunities.

Investopedia Stock Market Simulator

Stock market simulators allow users to practice trading stocks without risking real money. These simulators provide a realistic trading environment, helping beginners learn how to invest and develop trading strategies.

SEC – Beginners Guide to Investing

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) provides a beginner’s guide to investing, covering essential topics such as how the stock market works, types of investments, and tips for avoiding fraud.

Investopedia – Stock Market Basics

Comprehensive guide to understanding the basics of the stock market. From terminology to fundamental concepts, this resource is ideal for beginners looking to grasp the fundamentals of investing in stocks.

Beginner-Friendly Investment Platforms


Commission-free trading platform known for its user-friendly interface and simplicity. It offers stock, options, cryptocurrency, and ETF trading.


Commission-free trading platform that provides advanced charting tools, real-time market data, and a wide range of investment options including stocks, options, and cryptocurrencies.


Online brokerage platform that offers commission-free trading for stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. It also provides access to financial advisors and automated investing tools.

Full-Service Investment Platforms

Charles Schwab

Full-service brokerage platform offering a wide range of investment options including stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options, and futures. It provides research tools, educational resources, and retirement planning services.


Full-service brokerage platform known for its extensive research tools, educational resources, and retirement planning services. It offers commission-free trading for stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, and more.

Stock Market Research Tools


Powerful stock screener that allows users to filter stocks based on various criteria such as market cap, sector, price, volume, and technical indicators. It provides customizable charts and heatmaps for visual analysis.


Leading financial news network that provides real-time market updates, analysis, and insights on stocks, bonds, commodities, and economic trends. It offers video interviews, expert commentary, and interactive tools for investors.

Seeking Alpha

Crowd-sourced platform for stock market analysis, offering articles, research reports, and investment ideas from contributors and financial experts. It provides real-time market news, earnings call transcripts, and stock analysis tools.


Global financial information and news provider offering real-time market data, analysis, and insights on stocks, bonds, commodities, and economic indicators. It includes customizable dashboards and research tools for professionals and individual investors.


Financial news website that provides market data, analysis, and insights on stocks, bonds, commodities, and currencies. It offers real-time quotes, interactive charts, and customizable watchlists.

Zacks Investment Research

Provides stock research, analysis, and recommendations based on its proprietary rating system. It offers stock screeners, earnings estimates, and investment newsletters to help investors make informed decisions.


Leading provider of investment research, offering analysis, ratings, and insights on stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, and portfolios. It provides detailed fund and stock reports, portfolio analysis tools, and investment recommendations.

Yahoo Finance

Offers comprehensive financial data, news, and analysis for stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and more. It includes interactive charts, financial statements, analyst estimates, and stock screeners.

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