22 10, 2019

Get Smart About Credit

2021-09-28T16:50:27+00:00October 22nd, 2019|Blog, General, Tips & Advice|

The third Thursday in October is recognized as national Get Smart About Credit Day. This day is meant to bring awareness about credit, common mistakes and ways to build or improve your credit. While there are many ways to build and improve credit, we’ve taken a moment to highlight a few.

Pay on Time

First, pay your bills on time. While you usually have 30 days before a bill is considered late, it’s best to pay it on the date arranged. By paying your bills on time consistently, you’re improving your score and also showing lenders that you are responsible at making payments.


A helpful tip is to keep the utilization of your credit to 30% or less. For example, if you have one credit card with a $1,000 limit, using $300 or less will keep you at 30% utilization. Ideally, a person would utilize 10% or less to raise scores.

Don’t Close Unused Accounts

If you have a card that is paid off or doesn’t get much use, consider leaving it open. Unless the card comes with a high annual fee or another financial burden, do not close it. Leaving the card open will give you a higher amount of available credit which will help keep utilization low. Leaving these accounts open may help with the number of accounts and length of account history which also play a part in credit scoring.

Experian Boost

A newer way to build and improve credit is through Experian Boost. This allows a person who has paid their utility or cell phone bills on time to have it reported toward their credit score so if you’re paying your bills, you’re improving your credit score.

Authorized User

If you don’t have credit and need to jumpstart your credit history, look into having someone add you as an authorized user on their account. […]

11 10, 2019

Small Business Spotlight

2021-09-28T16:50:29+00:00October 11th, 2019|Blog, General, Latest News|

During the third quarter of the Ohio State University’s football game on Saturday, October 5, First Ohio Home Finance was recognized as the United Health Care’s Small Business Spotlight Company.

The award was given by United Health Care and Ohio State Athletics to highlight the importance of small businesses in our community. We received four tickets (with parking!) to the Buckeyes game, access to a pre-game VIP hospitality tent, a visit from the spirit squad and two personalized jerseys! We are honored to have received this recognition and to be an active part of our community.

8 10, 2019

Closing Costs

2021-09-28T16:50:31+00:00October 8th, 2019|Blog, Buying a home, Home Finances, Mortgage 101|

Settlement costs, better known as closing costs, make up a large amount of expenses when buying a home. The closing costs may include a loan origination fee, points, appraisal fee, title search and insurance, survey, taxes, deed recording fee, credit report charge and other costs. Some costs may not apply to every person or circumstance. Your loan officer will give you a breakdown of costs in a document called a Loan Estimate or LE. The LE will include each fee that is specific to your loan. Closing costs usually make up two to six percent of the mortgage amount.

One factor that is not included in every loan is the buying of points. Points are a percent of your loan amount that is paid up front. If you purchase points, it can reduce the interest rate on your loan. You will decide in advance if you would like to purchase points but it is not required. If you choose not to purchase points, you will have a zero-point loan.

Settlement costs are paid at closing which is the meeting that legally consummates the transaction. When you are provided a Loan Estimate, you will know how much your settlement costs are in advance. Settlement costs are paid with a cashier’s check and also includes your down payment.

The experts at First Ohio Home Finance are here to simplify these difficult aspects of home buying. Contact us to get started on your home buying process today.

4 10, 2019

Down Payment Assistance

2021-06-14T21:04:31+00:00October 4th, 2019|Blog, Buying a home|

If you are looking to buy a home but are concerned about being able to save for a down payment, you may be eligible for the down payment assistance program from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA).

Down payment assistance can be used for a down payment, closing costs and/or pre-paids. A buyer can receive 2.5% or 5% of the home’s purchase price. The assistance is forgiven after seven years unless the homeowner sells before that time period. If you sell your home before that seven-year period is up, you will have to repay the down payment assistance.
This program is designed for people who have low and moderate incomes who may not be able to front the cost of a down payment. To be eligible, you must:
• meet income and purchase price limits
• meet credit score requirements
• meet debt to income ratios for your loan type

Eligible borrowers are required to complete free homebuyer education through OHFA. The homebuyer education program is not completed until the borrower completes their application with their loan officer.

Your city or county may have other options available to help you. Check with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and ask your lender to look at options with you. First Ohio Home Finance is an approved OHFA lender. Contact us to get started on your home buying process!