BARRE, Vt. (11/9/09)--An $8,000 federal tax credit to help buyers on the purchase of their first home has been extended until April, and lenders in Vermont, including a credit union, said the tax credit is helping them make more loans. A bill passed Thursday in the House extends the tax credit, which was scheduled to expire Nov. 30. Vermont State Employees CU, Montpelier, Vt., said it is handling about a half-dozen transactions that may not have taken place without the tax credit (Times-Argus Nov. 6). “It’s created an opportunity for some first-time homebuyers to come in with some cash and know they’ll have cash at the end of the year to offset the 20% down that they have to come up with,” Chuck Karparis of the credit union told the newspaper. More than 2,000 homebuyers in Vermont have taken advantage of the tax credit as of mid-September, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The bill passed Thursday also provides up to $6,500 for existing homeowners if they have lived in their homes for five consecutive years. Vermont State Employees CU has $427 million in assets.