FTHB Education

First Time Home Buyer

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Call us at (513) 333-6337.

Who is a first time home buyer?
We consider a first time home buyer to be anyone who has never owned a home, or who has not owned a home within the last 3 years.

Am I ready to buy?
It is important to evaluate your current financial situation and long term goals when deciding if you are ready to purchase a home. If you are currently renting, you should consider the additional expenses you may not have had to pay while renting, like trash, water, or sanitation that could push home ownership out of your budget. Alternatively, reallocating the money you spend on rent and and putting it towards a mortgage will ultimately give you an asset, which could be the best fit for your future wants and needs, despite the added costs. Our Rent vs. Buy Calculator is designed to give you an idea of the potential difference in cost you may face with the transition.

How much money do I need to have?
Typically, the rule of thumb is that your mortgage payment should not exceed 28% of your annual income. However, the amount of money you should spend on your mortgage depends on several additional factors like your credit score, the amount you will need to borrow, and the particular loan product you have. Aside from the money you will need for a down payment, you will also need to consider closing and prepaid costs, home inspections, and furnishings or home repairs later down the road. For qualifying buyers, we offer a down payment as low as 10%.

Where should I start?
Purchasing your first home can be both exciting and overwhelming. We are here to help guide you to a solution that is a healthy balance between your budget and long term home ownership goals. Send us a message to get started.

Common Loan Options


Generally, there are four loan options for first time home buyers : Conventional, FHA, VA, and USDA. We match all first time home buyers with a Convential Loan. FHA, VA, and USDA loans can offer lower minimum down payments, but they each have specific eligibility requirements that require government approval -- increasing processing time, and often require the purchase of private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Our conventional loan is a tailored mortgage program that addresses typical first time buyer challenges. We offer a minimum 10% down payment for qualifying applicants and a 7 year ARM that gives you flexibility with your monthly payments.

PIGGY BACK LOAN (80/10/10)

For qualifying buyers, we have a unique loan option available described as a "piggy back loan". Structured as two separate loans, a larger loan covers the initial mortgage, or up to 80% of the home's value, and is "piggy backed" by a second, smaller loan, covering 10% of the home's value. The remaining 10% comes from the borrower's down payment. Typically, this loan is used by prospective home buyers to avoid paying private mortgage insurance. You will only be required to pay interest payments on the smaller loan, functioning similarly to a HELOC.

Contact us to learn more about the qualifications to determine if you are eligibile.


A fixed rate mortgage is a financing option that allows borrowers to effectively maintain a long-term budget. With a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate on the loan remains the same through the term of the loan, giving borrowers who want relatively consistent payments the ability to take advantage of low rates while they are available. This loan type is popular among borrowers who plan to live in their newly purchased home for more than 5-10 years.

We offer fixed rate mortgages for loan terms ranging from 5 years to 30 years. The length of the term determines the amount of your monthly payments. With a shorter term loan, like a 5 year or 10 year, you will have less payments than you would with a longer term loan, but the monthly payment amount will be higher because the payback time is condensed.


An adjustable rate mortgage is
a financing option that allows borrowers to take advantage of falling interest rates without having to refinance. With an adjustable rate mortgage, the interest rate on the loan is initially set at a fixed-rate for a certain period of time, and is followed by periodic adjustments to the rate based off the current index value. Often having a lower initial interest rate than a fixed-rate mortgage, an adjustable rate mortgage is ideal for buyers who plan to sell their home after a few years, allowing them to avoid a potentially higher index value after the rate adjusts.

We currently offer 1-year, 3-1-year, and 5-1-year adjustable rate mortgages. The rates adjust after the term and each year thereafter according to the type of ARM.

All situations are unique to each homeowner. We will work with you to determine a loan term that is best for your budget and home ownership goals. Let's get started.

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Ready to begin your new journey? Let's get started.

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Review the documents you'll need throughout the process.

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Take a look at current rates and additional loan options

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Cinfed Credit Union
4801 Kennedy Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45209
(513) 333-3800
Routing #242076656


They always go above and beyond at the Oakley branch and truly care about each of their members. And, I absolutely love their kids' membership program. It makes it fun for them to learn about money... 
— Courtney Snow
Been a member since I moved to the Queen City in 1978. Cinfed has always provided customer service that other financial institutions only dream about. Thank you for almost forty years of outstanding... 
— Tim Grabenstein
I recently became a member here at CINFED and it was the best decision I have ever made. I walked in with tears and despair and left with dry eyes, a smile, and I even received a hug from the branch... 
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How lucky I am to have Liz Frey managing the office I use! I live in Florida but maintain Cinfed as my main banking office. Everytime I need special help a simple email or call to Liz and it is... 
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Emily Snyder took the best care of my two auto loans. She was professional, courteous and very knowledgeable of the available services for me. She went out of her way to make sure I felt like I was... 
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I have been member with Cinfed since 1986. The Roselawn Cinfed staff greeted the customer phone calls friendly and polite willing to help you with your needs. They have excellent customer service.... 
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I have been a member of CINFED since about 1981 when I was transferred from SLC, Utah with the US Army Recruiting Command and have always received excellent service and support . Hope Dee Dee is... 
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I have been a member at the Roselawn Branch for a long time and I couldn't be more satisfied with the customer service. No matter how often I come in with a question or issue and no matter what... 
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I been a member since 1985 and can not imagine banking anywhere else. This credit union as taken care of my every need. 24/7 services is excellent.
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Closed a loan in 24 hours! Absolutely unheard of! Thanks to the exceptional customer service of LeAnn Rose at the Turfway Branch! She went above and beyond by providing unexpected expedited service! ... 
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I recently applied for a credit card online. I received a call from Emily Snyder explaining what needs to be done next. It was easy and Emily’s customer service was excellent. Emily is a great... 
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I met Emily Snyder because I had a flat tire in the parking lot of Cinfed Credit Union. I didn’t know what to do and she offered to help me. It was late in the evening and I didn’t think anyone... 
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Emily Snyder took care of setting up a consolidation loan for me on Saturday. She was very friendly, professional, and explained very articulately all the steps involved. Emily also opened a new... 
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I recently closed for a car loan and a credit card with Susan Z. Her service was excellent. We closed in a couple of days. She was so helpful with her knowledge. It was a pleasure to deal with her.
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I cannot say enough good things about the service I have always received from Cinfed! Most recently, we refinanced a vehicle and dealt with Emily S.! She was quickly responsive and on top of her... 
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I can say a million great things about Cinfed Credit Union and how they helped me over the years ,But there are many helpful service members, but one Great lady Is Mrs Susan Z. She is an Awesome... 
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I have member with Cinfed for 24 years. The customer service is beyond great. Everything from daily banking to loan services. I recently purchased my daughter a car and originally it was going to be... 
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