Buying a home can be exciting and filled with lots of important decisions. One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make when you buy a home in Ohio is which mortgage lender to work with.
We’ll explain the different types of mortgage types and terms, then walk you through how to search for a good lender. Lastly, we’ll show you the top mortgage lenders in the Buckeye State so you can get the mortgage that’s right for you.
The Best Mortgage Lenders in OH:
- Quicken Loans®: Best Overall in Ohio
- Fairway Bank: Best for First Time Home Buyers
- PNC: Best for Low- and Mid-Income Home Buyers
- Flagstar: Best for Government Loans
- Chase Bank: Best for Face-to-Face Service
- Veterans United: Best for VA Loans in Ohio
You’ll find various types of mortgages to choose from, each with different terms. The type of mortgage you choose refers to the way the mortgage is funded and the incentives offered to you. The mortgage term refers to the length of time of your home loan.
Let’s take a look at 4 of the top types of mortgages.
A conventional mortgage is the most popular type of home loan. These loans are funded privately through banks, credit unions and other financial institutions.
A conventional mortgage tends to have higher interest rates because it’s not backed by the government. Conventional loans offer more flexible eligibility terms, which can make it easier for you to get financing approval.
Some conventional mortgages offer low down payment options, though if you put down less than 20%, you’ll need to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) each month. This protects your lender in case you default on your loan.
An FHA mortgage is a type of home loan generally geared toward first-time homebuyers. FHA loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and typically have lower-than-market interest rates.
FHA loans offer low down payment options with as little as 3.5% down. FHA loans also have low credit score requirements — scores can range from 500–580. You can apply for an FHA loan through most major conventional lenders.
Let’s say you put less than 20% down on your home. You’ll be required to purchase an FHA mortgage insurance premium (MIP). You’ll pay 1.75% of the home value at the time of closing and between 0.45% and 1.05% of your home’s value each year.
A VA mortgage is a type of home loan offered to veterans, current military members and their families. VA loans are backed by the Department of Veteran Affairs and typically have lower-than-market interest rates.
VA loans offer no down payment options, have no credit score minimum (though most lenders set one) and are offered by VA-only and conventional lenders.
You won’t need to purchase mortgage insurance with a VA loan, but you will need to pay an origination fee to cover loan processing charges.
A USDA mortgage is a type of home loan used for homes located in rural areas of the country. Most homes outside of major cities qualify for a USDA home. USDA loans are backed by the Department of Agriculture and offer lower-than-market interest rates.
USDA loans offer low- to no-down-payment options, have low credit score requirements (minimum of 640) and offer low-interest rates on mortgage insurance.
You’ll need to purchase USDA mortgage insurance if you put less than 20% down on your home. Similar to PMI, USDA mortgage insurance costs 1% of your home’s value at the time of closing and 0.35% of your home’s value each year.
Next, let’s look at a few popular mortgage terms.
A 30-year fixed mortgage term refers to a home loan with a fixed mortgage rate — the same monthly payment — for 30 years. You can make smaller monthly payments with a 30-year fixed mortgage, though you’ll pay more interest than with shorter fixed-term loans.
A 15-year fixed mortgage term is similar to a 30-year fixed mortgage, except the loan term only lasts 15 years. This means your monthly payments would be higher than with a 30-year loan, though you’ll ultimately end up paying less in interest.
Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) refer to any mortgage without a fixed rate for the duration of the loan term. ARMs typically have fixed rates for an introductory period, then the rate changes. A 5/1 ARM locks in your introductory rate for 5 years and then it fluctuates based on the market.
Which Mortgage Lender is Best for You?
Now that you understand the different types of mortgages, you’re ready to take the next steps to decide which lender is right for you.
Here are some factors you should consider as you search for a mortgage lender:
- Lender type: There are two main kinds of mortgage lenders: traditional brick-and-mortar lenders and online lenders. Both types might have access to the same mortgage offerings but you’ll want to decide which type of experience is most important for you. Would you rather look someone in the eye as you apply for a mortgage? If so, look for a physical mortgage branch. On the other hand, if speed is important, an online lender might be right for you.
- Lender incentives: Not all lenders offer the same types of mortgages or incentives. Some lenders might offer low down payment mortgages that help you save more money at closing. Others might offer discounts for existing bank customers. Figure out which incentives you’re most interested in before you shop.
- Lender qualifications: Each lender has its own criteria for evaluating buyers. Finding a lender with low or no credit score minimums might be important if you’re a first time buyer or low- to mid-income buyer.
- Lender processing time: Every lender processes home loans in a different amount of time. If you need to act on a home fast, you’ll want to find a lender that can push your closing through in 30 days or less.
Lender Credit Score Minimums in Ohio
Lenders will look at your credit score when they decide whether to approve you for a loan. Your credit score reflects the way you handle debt. Lenders specifically look at how quickly you pay off debts and how much credit you tend to use.
Not all lenders have the same credit score criteria for loans. Benzinga has compiled some of the top Ohio lenders’ credit score requirements below.
|Lender||Minimum Credit Score Required|
|PNC Financial Services||700|
|Ally||N/A (no minimum)|
Current Mortgage Rates in Ohio
Your credit score, how much of the home’s value you’re financing, the location of the home, loan type and loan term will determine your mortgage rate. Compare 30-year fixed rates to 15-year fixed mortgages and you’ll see that 15-year mortgages tend to have the lowest mortgage rates, since these loans are paid off sooner than others.
Here are the current average mortgage rates in Ohio for the 3 most popular loan terms. These rates may fluctuate as the market changes.
|7/1 ARM (adjustable rate)||0%||0%|
|5/1 ARM (adjustable rate)||3.854%||3.605%|
Average Days to Close on a Loan
When you close on your home loan, you’ll finalize all remaining paperwork, have your down payment and closing costs ready, take a final walkthrough of your home and receive your keys.
The closing process can take between 30–45 days, depending on your lender. Here’s how long it takes to close with Ohio’s top mortgage lenders.
|Lender||Average Days to Close|
|Quicken Loans®||30 days|
|Bank of America||45 days|
|Discover Home Equity||45 days|
The 6 Best Mortgage Companies in Ohio
Now you’re ready to look for your perfect lender! We’ve put together a list of the top lenders in Ohio and grouped them into 5 categories to help you choose the right one for your new home.
1. Quicken Loans®: Best Overall
Quicken Loans® is a leader in mortgages throughout the country and Ohio.
Quicken makes it easy to apply fully online with an intuitive application process, quick income verification design and 24/7 customer service representatives. Quicken Loans® offers conventional, FHA, VA and USDA loans.
2. Fairway Bank: Best for First Time Home Buyers
Fairway Bank is a top mortgage lender for many first time homebuyers in Ohio because the company doesn’t have a credit score requirement.
This makes it easier for you to get approved if you’re in the process of working on your credit. You’ll also be able to get low down payment options and a large selection of mortgages. Fairway Bank offers conventional, FHA, VA and USDA loans.
3. PNC: Best for Low- and Mid-Income Buyers
Do you have low income but still need a bank that will help you get approved for a home? PNC might be the right choice for you.
PNC offers small down payment options, down payment loan assistance and takes non-traditional credit (like rent and utility payments) into account when it looks at your credit score.
PNC offers conventional, FHA, VA and USDA loans.
4. Flagstar: Best for Government Loans
Flagstar offers a large selection of government-backed mortgages. The company allows you to see your personalized rates online and make the online application process smooth and simple.
Flagstar provides conventional, FHA, VA and USDA loans.
5. Chase Bank: Best for Face-to-Face Service
Don’t want to spend your time navigating through an online mortgage application?
Try Chase Bank instead. You can apply for a mortgage in person and get advice and answers from loan officers.
Chase Bank also offers discounts to existing customers and provides conventional, FHA, VA and USDA loans.
6. Veterans United: Best for VA Loans
If you’ve logged some time in the military, Veterans United’s loans will likely be the best deal. Unlike other veteran-marketed loan programs, Veterans United only accepts active duty and veteran military members.
In addition to no-down-payment loans, you’ll also eliminate the private mortgage insurance you’ll have to pay with other mortgages.
Veterans United is also more forgiving of lower credit scores. Interest rates are lower than average.
Buy Your Ohio Home with Confidence
Finding the right mortgage lender for your new Ohio home is a step you shouldn’t take lightly. First, it’s important to decide on the mortgage type and term that best suits your needs, then start your lender search.
Don’t forget to shop for lender incentives when you apply for a mortgage — down payment assistance can help keep more money in your pocket when you close. Focus on the benefits that are most important to you and find a lender that aligns with your goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I get pre-approved?
First, you need to fill out an application and submit it to the lender of your choice. For the application you need 2 previous years of tax returns including your W-2’s, your pay stub for past month, 2 months worth of bank statements and the lender will run your credit report. Once the application is submitted and processed it takes anywhere from 2-7 days to be approved or denied. Check out our top lenders and lock in your rate today!
Q: How much interest will I pay?
Interest that you will pay is based on the interest rate that you received at the time of loan origination, how much you borrowed and the term of the loan. If you borrow $208,800 at 3.62% then over the course of a 30-year loan you will pay $133,793.14 in interest, assuming you make the monthly payment of $951.65. For a purchase mortgage rate get a quote here. If you are looking to refinance you can get started quickly here.
Q: How much should I save for a down payment?
Most lenders will recommend that you save at least 20% of the cost of the home for a down payment. It is wise to save at least 20% because the more you put down, the lower your monthly payment will be and ultimately you will save on interest costs as well. In the event that you are unable to save 20% there are several home buyer programs and assistance, especially for first time buyers. Check out the lenders that specialize in making the home buying experience a breeze.