First-Time Homebuyers

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Purchasing your first home can be intimidating. Let the experts at Dollar Bank guide you through the process. We offer mortgages with fixed and adjustable rates, lower payments, and reduced rates, especially for first-time homebuyers. We also offer mortgage options with no Private Mortgage Insurance required and down payments as little as 5% accepted. Grants may also be available.*

Here are a few first-time homebuyer loan options available:

  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Mortgages – Requires only 3.5% down, and all of the funds can be a gift from a relative.
  • Ohio Housing Financing Association (OHFA) and Pennsylvania Housing Financing Association (PHFA) Mortgages - Reduced rates and payments if you live and are purchasing a home in Ohio or Pennsylvania.
  • U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Mortgages – Helps qualified veterans, reservists, and national guardsmen borrow up to 100% of the home.

Financing is available for properties in many areas throughout the U.S.**

Not sure what house price range you should be searching in? Check out our tips on figuring out how much house you can comfortably afford.

To find out more about Dollar Bank’s first-time homebuyer loan options, contact a Dollar Bank mortgage representative at 1-800-344-5626 and ask about other mortgage options that may be available in your county.

If you need extra support with the home buying process, we also offer credit enhancement assistance and homebuyer education. Learn more about our Homeownership Program

You could be eligible for a $10,000 grant!

The Welcome Home Program is offering grants to qualified homebuyers. Call 1-800-344-5626 or email to learn more.

5 basic steps to getting a mortgage

Step 1.  How much house can I afford?

At Dollar Bank, we take the mystery out of mortgages! Our interactive Home Affordability mortgage calculator will help you determine how much house you can afford before and during your house shopping experience. Simply plug in your income and debt figures and out comes your mortgage amount. See how these numbers change with your changing financial picture.

Home Affordability Calculator

Step 2.  Select a mortgage

Selecting a mortgage that meets your needs is not an easy job. The challenge is choosing the mortgage that best fits your financial picture today as well as the changes that may occur in your finances over the next several years. View our current mortgage products to compare your options, or talk to one of our mortgage experts to discuss the right option for you by calling 1-800-344-5626 Monday - Friday from 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM.  If you already know what you want, start your application online. 

View Our Current Mortgage Products

Step 3.  Mortgage pre-qualification

Getting pre-qualified is important because then you’ll know approximately how much home you can afford and what your estimated costs will be, so you can quickly begin negotiating a great deal on the purchase of your new home! To get pre-qualified, apply online or call 1-800-344-5626.

In the current market with a lack of inventory, some real estate agents prefer a pre-approval over a pre-qualification, as pre-approval includes a verification process through your lender to determine exactly how much you are qualified to borrow. Contact our mortgage experts to learn more about pre-approval and how it differs from pre-qualification. 

Apply Online

Step 4.  Mortgage application

Once you’ve been pre-qualified, you’ll complete your mortgage application with one of our mortgage experts.  They’ll guide you through the entire process and help make it as seamless as possible to get you closed on your mortgage and into your new home!

Contact a Mortgage Expert

Step 5.  Closing information

When you reach the closing for your mortgage you’re in the home stretch! All of the tough decisions have been made and all you need to do is carefully review the documents presented to you before signing them. We've got all the details for you, including a clear and concise explanation of this process including an explanation of the documents involved.

Learn About the Closing Process


The best time to get pre-qualified for a mortgage is before you meet with a realtor. Getting pre-qualified is important because then you’ll know approximately how much home you can afford and what your estimated costs will be. Also, most realtors won’t even begin showing you homes until you’ve been pre-qualified.
In the current market with a lack of inventory, some real estate agents prefer a pre-approval over a pre-qualification, as pre-approval includes a verification process through your lender to determine exactly how much you are qualified to borrow. Contact our mortgage experts to learn more about pre-approval and how it differs from pre-qualification. 

There are two types of mortgages with different down payment requirements. There's a conventional loan and a FHA loan. With a conventional loan, you can have 5% down as the minimum down payment. With a FHA, the down payment  is only 3.5%. So, your decision is based upon on how much money you have available at the time. Also, certain mortgages allow you to put a gift from a parent or relative as your funds for a down payment.


Yes, there is the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Mortgage. In the 1930s, the federal government realized that down payment requirements were preventing many people from buying a home - especially a first home. They created the FHA to help with this problem. FHA does not lend money. It ensures lenders against loss on loans when greater than 80% of the purchase price is borrowed.

An FHA-insured loan can be as high as 96.5% allowing the borrower to put only 3.5% down. If the lender must foreclose, FHA pays the difference between the normal loan amount (80%) and the actual loan amount.

There are costs associated with an FHA loan called Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP). They take the form of an initial premium and an annual premium. The initial premium can be added to the loan amount rather than being paid out of pocket. There are maximum loan amounts for FHA insurance. If you think an FHA loan might fit your needs, contact us at 1-800-344-5626 or for more details.


Many lenders expect a substantial down payment when buying a house. Dollar Bank can offer most of its mortgage loans with as little as 5% down depending upon the size of your loan. Loans with down payments of less than 20% usually require Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). We also offer customized mortgage programs which enable you to reduce your down payment and possibly eliminate PMI. Programs like Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA) mortgages are also offered by Dollar Bank along with our Rent-No-More Mortgage for first-time home buyers.

If you're afraid that accumulating the cash for a big down payment could keep you out of the housing marketing for a while, talk to one of our mortgage experts at 1-800-344-5626. We'll be happy to tell you about programs that can reduce your down payment and get you into a home sooner.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is the insurance you are required to pay if you have a down payment of less than 20% (or less than 20% equity in your home when refinancing). This insurance protects the lender if the borrower defaults on their loan and the lender must foreclose. The lender then uses the money collected from PMI to offset any losses. Once you accumulate enough equity in your home, you lender may eliminate your PMI.

The cost of PMI varies according to loan type, loan amount and the amount of equity in the house. PMI costs can be included in your monthly mortgage payment. These costs typically change from .25 to .35 of your mortgage amount per year.

Salary, hourly wages, social security, pension, alimony and child support are considered acceptable sources of income. Commission, overtime, bonuses, dividends, interest and net rental income may also be used if received consistently over the past 24 months and is likely to continue.
Funds from checking, savings, money markets, certificates of deposit, retirement accounts, 401K, IRA, Keough, mutual funds, stocks and bonds may all be used. Funds from the sale of personal assets, including, but not limited to home, automobiles and boats are acceptable if the appropriate documentation is available. Cash or other funds that cannot be verified may only be used in specified mortgage programs.

Our goal is to make obtaining a mortgage easier by providing you with information about how credit plays an important role in getting a mortgage application approved. With the help from Dollar Bank, you also may realize the dream of owning your own home.

Some individuals experienced difficulty qualifying for a mortgage due to insufficient savings for a down payment and/or past and present credit difficulties.

If you've experienced any of these obstacles, Dollar Bank can help. With our Homeownership Program, you'll gain the knowledge you'll need to get ready to purchase a home. Regardless of whether or not you've been denied a mortgage in the past, our program can be beneficial in preparing you for the purchase of a home. There is no cost or obligation to enter this program.

Learn more about the Homeownership Program

We're here to help 1-800-344-5626

Dollar Bank representatives are available Monday - Friday from 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM.
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*Consult your tax advisor regarding grant options.
**Some restrictions may apply.
The information presented is general in nature and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific legal, tax or other advice to individuals.