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Ohio Mortgage and Refinance Rates

On Tuesday, February 27, 2024, the national average 30-year fixed mortgage APR is 7.24%. The national average 30-year fixed refinance APR is 7.21%, according ... to Bankrate's latest survey of the nation's largest mortgage lenders.

Current mortgage rates in Ohio

As of Tuesday, February 27, 2024, current interest rates in Ohio are 7.17% for a 30-year fixed mortgage and 6.71% for a 15-year fixed mortgage. 

 

Rates are much higher today than they have been in recent years, now closer aligned with historical norms. Despite some home price softening, a higher rate could cut into what you’d be able to afford in Ohio. Before you buy or refinance, know your options and compare at least three mortgage offers.

 

Refinance rates in Ohio

 

Ohio borrowers who saw their home equity rise during the pandemic might be interested in refinancing their mortgage as a way to tap those funds. Check out Bankrate’s guide to cash-out refinancing to learn more.

 

How to find the best mortgage rate in Ohio for you

When shopping for a mortgage, compare at least three loan offers — research shows this exercise can save you thousands of dollars over the life of a loan.

Bankrate can help you find the best mortgage deal. Here are some basic steps to securing a loan on favorable terms:

 

Step 1: Strengthen your credit score

Long before you start looking for a mortgage lender or applying for a loan, give your finances a checkup, and improve your standing if needed. This means pulling your credit score and credit reports. You’re entitled to a free credit report from each of the three main reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion), which you can get through AnnualCreditReport.com.

Step 2: Determine your budget

To find the right mortgage, you’ll need a good handle on how much house you can afford. That’s because a lender could qualify you for more mortgage than you need, or one that would max out your budget and leave no room for unexpected expenses.

Step 3: Know your mortgage options

There are a few different types of mortgages. Many lenders offer conventional loans that require as little as 3 percent down. FHA loans also have a low down payment threshold, while VA loans (for veterans) and USDA loans (for borrowers in rural areas) have no down payment requirement. If you’re in the market for a jumbo loan, check Pennsylvania’s county-by-county loan limits.

Step 4: Compare rates and terms from several lenders

Don’t settle on the first lender you talk to — rate-shop with at least three different banks or mortgage companies. You can look to your bank or other banks, credit unions, online lenders and local independents to ensure you’re getting the best deal on rates, fees and terms.

Step 5: Get preapproved for a mortgage

As you comparison-shop, keep in mind that getting a mortgage preapproval is the only way to get accurate loan pricing for your specific situation.

Lender compare

Compare mortgage lenders side by side

Mortgage rates and fees can vary widely across lenders. To help you find the right one for your needs, use this tool to compare lenders based on a variety of factors. Bankrate has reviewed and partners with these lenders, and the two lenders shown first have the highest combined Bankrate Score and customer ratings. You can use the drop downs to explore beyond these lenders and find the best option for you.

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Garden State Home Loans

NMLS: 473163

State License: MB-473163

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Rating: 3.6 stars out of 5
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Rating: 4.98 stars out of 5

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Homefinity

NMLS: 2289

State License: 4965

4.5

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
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Recent Customer Reviews

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Rating: 4.94 stars out of 5

4.9

1059reviews

Mortgage options in Ohio

If you’re in need of a mortgage to buy or refinance a home in Ohio, explore these options:

  • Ohio conventional mortgages: To qualify for a conventional mortgage, you’ll need a minimum credit score of 620 and a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio no more than 43 percent. If you make a down payment of less than 20 percent, you’ll need to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums, as well.
  • Ohio FHA loans: If your credit history disqualifies you from a conventional mortgage, you might be able to obtain a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). If you have a down payment of at least 3.5 percent, you could qualify for this type of loan with a credit score as low as 580.
  • Ohio VA loans: If you’re a veteran or active-duty member of the military, you might qualify for a mortgage backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). A VA loan doesn’t require a down payment or mortgage insurance, but you do need to pay a funding fee, which starts at 2.15 percent for homebuyers.

First-time homebuyer programs in Ohio

OHFA mortgage programs

 

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) works with mortgage lenders to offer a variety of loans for first-time homebuyers. To qualify:

 

  • Your income and the purchase price of the home must be within OHFA’s income and purchase price limits, which vary based on where you live. In Franklin County, for example, the income limits for conventional loan products range from $121,320 to $141,540, while the purchase price limit is $498,220 in non-target areas and $608,936 in target areas. (If you know the address of a specific property, you can use the state’s look-up tool to see if it’s in a target or non-target area.)
  • You must meet the debt-to-income (DTI) ratio requirement (varies based on type of loan).
  • Your credit score must be 640 or higher for a conventional, VA or USDA loan, or 650 or higher for an FHA loan.
  • The home must be a single- to four-family home; condominium; modular home or manufactured home.
  • The home must be situated on two acres or less, or five acres or less if in a rural area.

In addition to checking off those boxes, all borrowers seeking an OHFA loan need to complete a free homebuyer education course.

OHFA Ohio Heroes program

Depending on the type of work you do, you might be able to take advantage of OHFA’s Ohio Heroes homebuyer program, which offers a discount on your mortgage rate. This offering applies to repeat homebuyers as well as first-timers, but it’s especially valuable if you’re just starting to earn paychecks from any of the following jobs:

  • Police officer, firefighter (volunteers included), EMT or paramedic
  • Physician, nurse, nurse practitioner or STNA
  • Teacher (pre-K through grade 12), administrator or counselor

The program is also open to veterans, active-duty military members, members of reserves and surviving spouses. As with all OHFA programs, you’ll need to qualify based on specific underwriting criteria.

OHFA YourChoice! Down Payment Assistance

OHFA’s YourChoice! Down Payment Assistance offers 2.5 percent to 5 percent for a down payment, closing costs or other expenses. Borrowers don’t have to repay the funds provided they do not sell or refinance the property for seven years.

OHFA Grants for Grads

You might be staring down some student loan debt, but OHFA’s Grants for Grads program can make owning a home a more manageable expense. This program is for first-time homebuyers who have completed an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate or other post-graduate degree within the last four years, and offers forgivable down payment assistance worth 2.5 percent to 5 percent and a discounted mortgage rate. Borrowers don’t have to repay the down payment assistance if they remain in the state of Ohio for at least five years.

Mortgage Tax Credit

After you buy your first home, OHFA’s Mortgage Tax Credit program can play a role when it’s time to file your taxes. The IRS already allows you to deduct some of your mortgage interest if you itemize, and this program can help you lower your tax bill even more. There are two options:

  1. Mortgage Tax Credit Plus – If you obtain a loan through OHFA’s first-time homebuyer program, you can score a tax credit of up to 40 percent of your mortgage interest, up to a maximum of $2,000. There’s a trade-off, though: You might pay a “slightly higher interest rate,” according to OHFA’s website.
  2. Mortgage Tax Credit Basic – If your loan is not via OHFA, you can still apply for the tax credit, but it will be smaller: 30 percent of your mortgage interest for a bank-owned property; 25 percent for a property in a target area; and 20 percent for all other properties.

Local homebuyer assistance programs

If you’re buying a home in Columbus and your income is 80 percent or below the area median income (AMI), the American Dream Downpayment Initiative can give you up to $7,500 of assistance with your down payment in the shape of a deferred, forgivable loan; you must live in the residence for five years. A similar program in Toledo can help you get $7,500 worth of down payment assistance.