This just in:

Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said that the Federal Housing Administration is going to permit its lenders to allow homeowners to use the $8,000 tax credit as a down payment.

Donovan's remarks came in an address to several thousand Realtors gathered this morning at The Real Estate Summit: Advancing the U.S. Economy, a special daylong session at the Realtors Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo here
Secretary Donovan said that important changes, which the National Association of Realtors ? has been calling for, will help consumers purchase a home. "We all want to enable FHA consumers to access the home buyer tax credit funds when they close on their home loans so that the cash can be used as a down payment," Donovan said. According to Donovan, the FHA's approved lenders will be permitted to "monetize" the tax credit through short-term bridge loans. This will allow eligible home buyers to access the funds immediately at the closing table

This is great news, but be sure to read the fine print- they are allowing you to MONETIZE the tax credit, which means you're taking out a loan based on the fact that this tax credit is coming. You are not really spending your tax credit in advance, you are taking a loan with the anticipation that you will later get the money to pay it back. Y'all know I don't like debt. And by now, you know I especially hate such schemes because you never really know what's going to happen in the future: you may get that money or you may not. But times are tough, and if you calculate the costs wisely, this may actually help you out.