any other suggestions?
What's wrong with the suggestion that you pay off your CC? That's the easiest way to get a boost, unless you get lucky with a GW.
I agree with AJC. Do you already have an offer in and accepted on a property? If you have not gotten an accepted offer then that alone you are pushing it if you need to close by Dec 24th. Yes it can be done, but I also live in Illinois and most homes are short sales/foreclosures. Is this program no longer good after the Dec 24th deadline? You could also look into Wells Fargo CDMP loan. There is a ton of restrictions though so you would have to dig deeper to see if you qualify. It is basically a loan with no PMI, only 2% down but you take a higher interest rate I hope it all works out for you!