Ohio Mortgage Lender

    How Do I Find The Best Ohio Mortgage Lender?

    The median home price in Ohio is $145,700, making it the state with the eight-lowest home prices. Since the median price is over $100,000 lower than the national median, you’re likely to find an affordable new home in Ohio. To save even more money, you need to choose a good mortgage lender that can give you the best rates.

    If you’re looking for the best Ohio mortgage lender to purchase your first home, you’re in luck. Read on to find out our top five Ohio mortgage lenders and learn how we choose them!

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    Choosing An Ohio Mortgage Lender 

    In addition to choosing a home, finding the right mortgage lender is another important step in your home buying journey. We use five key criteria to choose the best lender, which are:

    Mortgage Products Offered

    Mortgage lenders offer many loan types to fulfill the varying needs of homeowners. Since most of these loans cater to a specific need, choosing the right loan for your financial circumstances is essential. 

    Here are the most common loan types offered:

    • Conforming mortgage: Most purchase loans fall into conforming mortgages, meaning they’re valued under local lending limits. For Ohio, that limit is set at $548,250.
    • Jumbo mortgage: If you’re eyeing an expensive Ohio home, you may need a jumbo mortgage. These loans can exceed local lending limits but come with the tradeoff of higher mortgage rates.
    • Fixed-rate mortgage: This is a type of conventional mortgage with static interest rates. They’re stable and easy to budget for, which is why they’re a staple among first-time homebuyers.
    • Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs): The rates on an ARM are readjusted every year according to market fluctuations, after a period of lower fixed rates for the first 3 to 10 years. 
    • Government mortgage: Three major government agencies back their own loan products: The Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the United States Department of Agriculture. Their loan programs often offer lower mortgage rates and lower down payment requirements.
    • Refinancing (refi): Refis allow you to “exchange” your mortgage with a new loan. They can help you save money by altering loan terms or getting better home refinance rates.
    • Home equity lines of credit (HELOC): Using your house as collateral, this type of loan gives you a source of funds much like a credit card. 


    Interest rates change all the time, so having the lowest rate doesn’t make a lender the most affordable one. To examine a lender’s affordability, we measure how easy it is to get home loans from a mortgage lender or traditional bank.

    • Minimum credit score: Lenders often use your credit score as the primary qualification requirement, since it shows how likely you are to pay debts on time. Most lenders require you to have a score of 620, but some may impose lower requirements, making their mortgage loans easier to qualify for.
    • Minimum down payments: Most lenders require 20% down payments as a minimum. However, there are loan programs and lenders that allow you to qualify with 3% down payments but require you to pay private mortgage insurance.
    • Closing costs: Most of the costs you incur during the loan process are rolled into what’s called your closing fees. These usually cost 5% of your total mortgage amount, paid at closing. However, some lenders merge these costs into your interest payments instead.
    • Homebuyer assistance programs: Many American states’ housing authorities offer assistance programs to both new and repeat homebuyers. The most common assistance programs come in the form of down payment loans and closing cost grants.

    Application Process

    The best Ohio mortgage lenders make their application process easy for borrowers. We measure the ease of application with three criteria:

    • Online capabilities: Most lenders these days allow you to apply for mortgages online. This particularly helps would-be homeowners who can’t consult their mortgage applications with an in-person loan officer.
    • Online rate transparency: Being able to easily find rate estimates helps borrowers rate shop and compare between multiple lenders. Some lenders display rate estimates directly on their website, but others may require you to talk to a loan officer first.
    • Length of the process: Your loan usually closes within two to three weeks. However, in some cases, it can take months to finalize. Ask your loan officer about the lender’s average closing times for a better picture of how long the process will take. 

    Customer Service And Ratings

    Good customer service is important because you need a lender that can be there when you have issues with your mortgage. For a quantified look at a lender’s customer service, we look at data from two organizations: the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and J.D. Power.

    The BBB rates companies with a letter grade from A+ to F based on their trustworthiness. This score is based on the company’s handling of consumer complaints and transparency of business processes, among other factors.

    J.D. Power is a research firm that compiles data from customer surveys to determine customer satisfaction. Its findings are then reported in an annual study that also awards the top-performing companies.

    Access To Lender

    Our final criterion is the accessibility to a lender’s services. If a lender doesn’t serve your state, then you can’t make use of its services and need to search for another one. 

    We also examine the number of branch offices that a lender operates. This is especially important to people who prefer in-person service with Ohio mortgage brokers. Good branch coverage over multiple states will help you find a mortgage broker or mortgage loan officer easier.

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    The Best Ohio Mortgage Lenders

    We’ve chosen our top five Ohio mortgage lenders and banks that fulfill the aforementioned five criteria. Each of these five lenders is the best at one part of the lending process, so think about which part of the process is the most important to you and choose a lender that excels in that. 

    Before we analyze each lender in detail, here is a quick look at the key details of our top five picks:

    Fairway IndependentRocket Mortgage by Quicken LoansNavy Federal Credit UnionBank of AmericaCarrington Mortgage Services
    Best forVariety of financial productsOnline convenienceMilitary familiesClosing cost benefitsLow credit
    Conventional loan
    FHA loan
    VA loan
    USDA loan
    Jumbo loan
    Fixed-rate loan
    Adjustable-rate mortgage
    Mortgage refinancing
    Home equity loans
    Other criteria
    Minimum FICO credit scoreFHA640580620640500
    Minimum down payment3%3%0%3%3%
    BBB rating (A+ to F)A+A+N/AA+A+
    JD Power rating (out of 1000)865883867860703

    1. Fairway Independent – Best Product Variety

    Fairway’s wide variety of loan products means there’s something for everyone. In addition to its suite of conventional and government loans, borrowers can also take advantage of other loan options, like renovation loans and home equity loans. 

    However, Fairway’s rate transparency leaves something to be desired. You can’t see its rate estimates online, which means you need to talk to a home loan officer to get an estimate.

    Lender availability: Fairway operates over 700 branch offices and serves mortgages nationwide.

    2. Rocket Mortgage By Quicken Loans – Best Online Mortgage Lender

    Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans provides one of the most newcomer-friendly online lending experiences in the market. Borrowers can apply for a home loan online and get pre-approved within half an hour. However, potential homeowners who prefer face-to-face lending experiences may need to find another lender because this company is an online lender without physical branch offices.

    While Rocket boasts a wide variety of mortgage loan and home refinance options, one notable exception is USDA loans. Borrowers looking for USDA-backed options may need to look for another lender.

    Lender availability: Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans offers mortgages nationwide on an exclusively online basis.

    3. Navy Federal Credit Union – Best For VA loans

    Navy Federal boasts a complete suite of conventional and VA loans as well as mortgage refinancing to military members and their families. 

    Moreover, it has two premier no-down-payment programs: the HomeBuyers Choice and Military Choice loans. Both of them allow homeowners to pay zero down and skip mortgage insurance. They can even further reduce the upfront expense by folding the closing fees into interest payments. 

    Lender availability: Navy Federal serves loans nationwide through its website and 322 branches in 30 states.

    4. Bank Of America – Best Closing Cost Benefits

    Bank of America borrowers can take advantage of its Community Homeownership Commitment. This lender offers up to $10,000 in down payment assistance and a $7,500 closing cost grant for homebuyers in select areas. Moreover, if you’re already banking with Bank of America, you can get a closing cost discount worth $600. 

    Lender availability: The bank offers mortgages and operates more than 4,300 locations nationwide.

    5. Carrington Mortgage Services – Best For Low Credit

    Less-than-stellar credit scores are a common hurdle to getting mortgage loans or a home refinance. However, Carrington helps you get over that obstacle by closely examining its applicants’ financial profiles. 

    Carrington won’t just examine your credit score – this company also examines your rent payments and other financial information. This ensures that you have the best chance of qualifying for a mortgage refinance or home loans, even if your credit isn’t in tip-top shape.

    While its conventional loan offerings still need a credit score of 620, Carrington’s government-backed options are easier to qualify for. You need just 500 for FHA loans, while 550 is required for USDA loans. 

    Lender availability: Carrington offers mortgage services in all states except for Massachusetts and North Dakota. It also operates six branches in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, and Maryland.

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    Closing Thoughts 

    You need to find the right mortgage lender if you’re planning to find a house in Ohio. A good lender can help you get the best rates and capitalize on the state’s affordable home prices.

    For more resources and advice about buying homes in Ohio, contact Wesley Mortgage, LLC today! Our team is more than ready to help you navigate the mortgage process and realize your dream Ohio home.

    Written By Ed Wallace
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