Want to buy a home? The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) has an assortment of amazing programs to assist potential buyers with financial support for their down payment and/or closing costs. As the state’s affordable housing leader, OHFA offers a variety of programs to help first-time homebuyers, renters, senior citizens and others find quality affordable housing that meets their needs.
According to the OHFA website (https://myohiohome.org/downpaymentassistance.aspx), you can choose from the following programs if you meet the criteria listed below:
- You meet income and purchase price limits.
- You meet debt to income ratios for your loan type.
- You meet the credit score requirements.
- Conventional, USDA, VA and FHA 203(k) Loans: 640 or higher
- FHA Loans (Non-203(k)): 660 or higher
Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance (1) allows homebuyers to choose either 2.5% or 5% of the home’s purchase price. Assistance can be applied towards down payments, closing costs or other pre-closing expenses. This assistance is forgiven after seven years. If you sell or refinance your home within seven years, you must repay all of the assistance provided.
The Ohio Heroes (2) rewards Ohio residents who serve the public with a discounted mortgage interest rate. You may qualify if you work in one of the following careers:
- Veterans, active duty military members or members of reserve components (including surviving spouses)
- Police officers, firefighters, volunteer firefighters, EMTs and paramedics
- Physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses (RN and LPN) and STNAs
- Teachers (pre-K through grade 12), administrators and counselors
You can choose to include down payment assistance in your Ohio Heroes loan. Down payment assistance is forgiven after seven years. If you sell or refinance your home within seven years, you must repay all of the assistance provided.
OHFA’s Grants for Grads (3) provides a discounted mortgage interest rate to recent graduates as an additional incentive for you to make Ohio your home.
Grants for Grads includes either 2.5% or 5% down payment assistance. Down payment assistance is forgiven after five years as long as you remain in the state of Ohio. If you sell your home and move out of Ohio within five years, you must repay some or all of the assistance provided.
The OHFA Advantage (4) conventional loan provides additional down payment assistance in the form of a grant in the following amounts:
- $2,500 for homebuyers whose income falls within 50 percent of the area median income in the county they purchase a home
- $1,500 for homebuyers whose income falls within 80 percent of the area median income in the county they purchase a home OHFA’s Next Home (5) program provides 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages to those who are not first-time homebuyers, but lack the down payment funds to purchase a new home. Available loans include conventional, FHA, VA and USDA-RD government loans.
- Buyers using the Next Home program receive down payment assistance equal to 2.5% or 5% of the home’s purchase price.
- This assistance is in addition to OHFA’s 2.5% or 5% Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance. OHFA Advantage can only be used with conventional loans.
How Do You Apply?
OHFA works with lenders, credit unions and mortgage companies across the state. Check out the OHFA website to find OHFA-approved lenders in your area, along with tips to help you with the application process. Or, call them toll-free at 888.362.6432.